International cuisine - USA
The United States of America is a ‘new’ nation as far as the history of the world goes. Settlers from Europe and the local ‘Indian’ tribes have framed this country’s cuisine. With influences from France, England, Spain, Ireland and Italy, American cuisine has sub-cuisines like Cajun and Creole. Americans also revolutionized fast food with gourmet versions of hamburgers, pizzas, pastas and savoury pies.Typical American food varies from pasta meals to crockpot stews to grilled and barbeque foods. This is one country where you can experience a world full of flavours! USA is also famous for creating their own version of foods from cuisines that came in from Europe and the latest trend is to create amalgamations of different foods like the famous ‘Cronut’, a cross between a French croissant and a donut.
- Pizza: Brought to the US by immigrant Italians, Pizza is a staple fast food in the national today. It is also presented in gourmet restaurants with exotic toppings and a variety of cheeses. In fact the deep-dish version of this food is an American invention.
- Burgers: What was once a sandwich evolved into the burger we know today when America was at its industrial peak, workers needed a meal they could have quickly and easily and thus came the burger. Today gourmet burgers are some of the most expensive foods in the nation and the leading fast food chains serving burgers all originated in USA.
- Hot Dogs: Much like the burger, this was another dish that came out of ‘need’. People wanted cheap, easy to eat snacks available where they worked and a hot dog was just that. The classic styl, processed mustard is the ideal condiment and very much an American staple.
- Pies: All American mothers are proud of the pies they make, from the classic All-American Apple pie to nutty versions like pecan, there are diners in the US which specialize only in pies.
- Baked Beans: A traditional side dish, baked beans are on the menu in both homes and cafes. Brown sugar and molasses add a rich caramelized flavour to old-fashioned baked beans and in Cajun states, a touch of hot sauce makes them ideal for roasts and pot pies.
- Doughnuts: Fried dough makes an appearance as a desserts in most food cultures across the world. There is nothing more delicious than the combination of butter, flour and sugar! Doughnuts or donuts are an American tradition now and entire café chains are built around it, enjoyed best with coffee and ideally before a long office day!
More than spices, American cuisine uses herbs, again due to the influence of European nations. Though the proximity to South America and Mexico in particular did bring in a level of spiciness with a variety of chilies, mainly Cajun dishes include them as an ingredient.
- Paprika: Though American cuisine is far from pungent or even spicy, paprika is a preferred chili used by people. It is milder than most red chili powders and has distinct smoky flavour that goes best with typical American cuisine of roasts and grills.
- Black Pepper: Again a mild seasoning, the combination of salt and pepper is staple in most American recipes, this also helps retain the original flavour of the vegetables or meats used in a dish. Pepper is used bring out the character of a dish and not making it spicy per se.
- Oregano: Oregano is a herb native to Europe but settlers brought oregano plants to North America in the 16th century, though its popularity didn't really take off until pizza gained popularity with consumers after World War II. It is now used for pizza, pasta, bakes and even savoury pies.
- Rosemary: This evergreen shrub belongs to the mint family. The plant has a bitter, woodsy taste. Like oregano, rosemary can be a powerful seasoning and should be paired with dishes that have bold flavours. Cooks commonly pair rosemary with meats, root vegetables and hearty stews or soups.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a spice used in both savoury and sweet dishes, including recipes for chili, brisket and pies like pumpkin and apple. Americans tend to add this to their coffee or sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon and sugar on toasts, donuts and other breads too.
- Cayenne Pepper: In American cuisine this is the hottest of spices, ground and dried from a very hot variety of a pepper of the capsicum genus. A small amount goes a long way and is used to give fiery flavour to Mexican, Creole and Cajun specialties.
Common fruits & veggies:
- Garlic: Garlic's strong aroma and taste make it a powerful addition to any dish. Fresh garlic tends to have the most robust flavour, but garlic powder and even garlic salt taste great and are common key ingredients in everything from dips to seafood dishes in American cuisine.
- Broccoli: A part of the cabbage family, broccoli is one of the most common green vegetables used in American cuisine. Usually served steamed or sautéed as a side dish it is also used in bakes and casseroles. Since it is relatively low on flavour, it can be combined with a variety of herbs and cheeses to make it versatile.
- Spinach: Rich in vitamins and minerals, it is also concentrated in health-promoting phytonutrients. Spinach is used as a filling for tarts, as an ingredient for pastas and baby spinach is used in salads too. This is one of the most common greens used in American cuisine
- Pumpkin: Pumpkins and squash are believed to have originated in the ancient Americas. These early Native Americans roasted pumpkin strips over campfires and used them as a food source, long before the arrival of European explorers. Today pumpkin and squash are used for pies, casseroles and as side dishes too.
- Apples: North American apple harvesting began with the settlers at Jamestown in 1607. They brought with them seeds and cuttings from Europe. Today it is a staple fruit in the nation and Apple Pie is classic American eating.
- Oranges: Some of the best oranges in the world are grown in the state of Florida. This citrus fruit is a staple as juice in breakfasts across the country. Oranges are also used for a variety of desserts like cakes and preserves.
- Vegit Burger Patty: Spicy mix of potato flakes, vegetables and cheese to delight your senses! Avoid the tedious process of chopping and grating. Club Vegit patties with a burger and enjoy plateful of burgers within minutes.
- Vegit Cheese Balls: A creamy cheesy delicacy that melts in your mouth, cheese balls can be prepared easily by making small balls and rolling them in bread crumbs, deep fried to be served hot with tomato sauce or mayonnaise!