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Traditional American Food in American Culture

Updated on April 25, 2017

The American Hamburger and Hot Dog (My Style)

Bison replaces Beef, Swiss Cheese replaces American Cheese and (jalapenos, mushroom and pickle) replace (lettuce, onion, tomato)
Bison replaces Beef, Swiss Cheese replaces American Cheese and (jalapenos, mushroom and pickle) replace (lettuce, onion, tomato) | Source
Turkey Hot Dogs replaces Beef, Chili Cheese  and Mustard replace Ketchup
Turkey Hot Dogs replaces Beef, Chili Cheese and Mustard replace Ketchup | Source

A Holiday Speciality (Seafood Combo)

clams, muscles, scallops, shrimp, squid
clams, muscles, scallops, shrimp, squid | Source

Typical American - National Holiday - Foods

As long as I have lived in these United States, I have associated certain meals with certain holidays. Perhaps that is because those meals always included the same main dish depending on the holiday.

For example:

Easter - Meals for a Greek mother and American father meant whatever father said and that is what we ate. That is until mother took out the garbage and father along with it - then suddenly my Easter meal became authentic Easter eggs and some variation of Greek-American. This usually meant a baked ham with Greek bread (the kind with the red egg on top) and an occasional lamb dish. We altered this holiday for our family and switched back to the big chocolate Easter basket with dyed eggs and my wife's version of Greek Lazagna (Pastitsio)

4th of July - I do not know an American person who does not know what this holiday means. Sure this holiday means a celebration of Independence from the British but more importantly it means BBQ - All beef grilled hamburgers, all beef grilled hot dogs, corn on the cob and perhaps some apple pie. We learned over time that smarter shopping can lead to less fat consumption on this holiday and we also learned to bring our grills inside the Man Cave to protect against a rainy holiday.

Labor Day - It was pretty much the same as 4th of July with a focus on American fall football (NFL) and ice hockey (NHL).

Thanksgiving - Is there any other meal than a turkey that takes half of the day to cook? Add in some dressing (stuffing), bread, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, mashed yams, string beans and an assortment of pies (apple, blueberry, pumpkin). Repeat this menu all day and watch football.

Christmas - This holiday meal was always a bit of tradition mixed with variations of ham, pasta, seafood or turkey main dishes followed up with candy, cookies and much wine.

Holiday Food Poll

What food is served during your biggest holidays ?

See results

The Birthday - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Breakfast - Egg Whites, Turkey Sausage sandwich
Breakfast - Egg Whites, Turkey Sausage sandwich | Source
Lunch - A Peanut Butter cake with Chocolate cake and Peanut Butter filling
Lunch - A Peanut Butter cake with Chocolate cake and Peanut Butter filling | Source
Dinner - A Bison steak cooked fresh on the grill in the Man Cave and topped with Horseradish and Mushrooms
Dinner - A Bison steak cooked fresh on the grill in the Man Cave and topped with Horseradish and Mushrooms | Source

Typical American Food

Birthdays - While the tradition here in the Untied States are certainly some form of cake and ice cream annually, the main dish really depends on the age of the participants and the audience. At least this was the case when I grew up but now birthdays are celebrated in ways of reaching a milestone.

Mother's Day - It is tradition to take you mother to her favorite restaurant and celebrate her very special day letting her eat whatever she wants. That all changes one day when you become a mother and then you may or may not even want to spend time with your mother, on that day. Regardless, for us Mother's day means a weekend celebration with either the entire family BBQ or immediate family dinner with the main dish being seafood (Crab, Lobster or Salmon).

Father's Day - I really do not have many memories of celebrating this day because my parents divorced by the time I was age 5. Now as far as celebrating Father's Day myself it means a weekend celebration with either the immediate family for a BBQ or driving the Jeep (with the top down) to my favorite restaurant or hanging in the Man Cave where I can grill (Bison steak or Turkey London broil).

Kid's Day - Child number one for us, asked us one day why there wasn't a kids day every year to celebrate the great children of the world. My first thought was to say because everyday is a kids day meaning that there is no day that goes by where a parent does not put their children first (at least for us anyway). I hesitated on my thought and instead replied, there should be a single day in the year where parents celebrate their kids so we instilled a kids day - the first Saturday in August. As the kids grew up, kids day turned into teen day which then turned into "your day" In case you wondered, the meals for kids turned began with Macaroni and Cheese and migrated to whatever dish they want.

The Regional American Food - Pizza (any style)


Regional Foods in America

Depending on where you live, in America, you may have encounters with a regional food. That is to say a food famous for the region of the United States that you live and for me that means Philadelphia. The food most famous for this area means the home grown Cheese Steak sandwich but my Friday night dinner ia always pizza.

There are many places that serve their version of a cheese-steak like local diners but they do not compare to the fathers of this regional delight - Geno's and Pat's in Philadelphia.

We took a weekend Saturday and traveled into Philadelphia for a taste of the region and we decided to also perform our taste test. To be fair on the comparison, we ordered the top selling sandwich from each place with regard for cost or nutrition.

Four adults voted, on the best cheesesteak, and the decision was split so we need your help in the tie breaker.

Cheese Steak Poll

Who has the best Cheese Steak sandwich ?

See results

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Chocolate - It is very difficult to remove chocolate from the annual foods list because of Valentine's Day, Easter and Halloween. It is even more difficult when you worked for M&M Mars like I did but they experts say Dark Chocolate is better than Milk Chocolate so now we only eat limited quantity of dark chocolate. Valentine's Day chocolate was greatly reduced - the Easter baskets were replaced by one piece of the kids favorite candy, one CD of their favorite music and one DVD of their favorite movie - Halloween candy is only given out to the children in costumes.

Hamburger - There is no one who loves a good old American cheese and 80% lean beef pub burger like me (add in a side a fresh cut French fries loaded with cheese and salt). That is my idea of beef and beer but we cannot always eat common American foods due to the potential health dangers with the built in cholesterol and saturated fat content. Because of health concerns with the American burger, I switched to a leaner meat with Chicken, Bison and Turkey. So now I will grill these meats when the traditional craving for a pub sandwich comes along.

Hot Dog - Who does not love having a big all beef hot dog during an American Baseball (MLB) game or Summer BBQ? We Americans are not really certain of the content in a beef hot dog but they sure do taste good with a healthy portion of spicy brown mustard. Because of the cracker jack surprise inside package of not knowing what I am eating, I switched to a leaner Turkey hot dog. While it is true that 100% all beef can mean the entire cow and 100% all turkey can mean the entire bird, I can only measure the nutritional value of each. So now I will, on occasion, eat a beef skinless hot dog but have mostly substituted my beef for a leaner alternative.

Pizza - Let's talk about pizza - I have never peeked into the nutritional content of pizza because I love it too much to even consider replacing it. So instead of the extra cheese pizza we will order our Friday night pizza with a veggie topping instead of the extra cheese.

Cheers and OPA!

© 2014 mts1098


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