American cuisine is an American food style that traces its roots back to the colonial times when Native Americans used different styles to cook a variety of foods with different ingredients. As colonization took place, it saw the introduction of new types of food that were unknown prior to this epoch. As the immigration of people from different parts of the world in the 19th and 20th centuries intensified, the same happened to the diversity in cooking styles.
This essay is going to limit its focus to American food and will give an analysis of what American food entails. The Native American delicacy was made of different types of food and they included plant foods which can be categorized as root vegetables like arrowhead, bitterroot, prairie, sweet potato and white potatoes. The other category is green vegetables like salmon berry shoots, fiddlehead fern, wood sorrel, wild nasturtium and coltsfoot. Their fruits according to Sack (2001) included; strawberries, pitaya, hawthome fruits and elderberries and American persimmons.
The natives also used seeds as food for example; pine nuts, dropseed, spurge, tumbleweed, sunflower and pigweed. Apart from plant food, they also used animal foods especially game meat of animals such as deer, bighorn sheep, bear, bison, goat and elk. Small game meat came from animals like raccoon, rabbit, wood rat, ground hog, honey badger and porcupine and is something that is still common to the natives. They also hunted birds such as pigeon, osprey and turkey besides keeping birds such as geese, swan and ducks (American Native Food.
2009). When colonialists arrived in the Americas, they found that the food that was consumed there was different from what they were used to and thus they had to introduce what they were used to back in England. They also kept animals for fur and meat and with time they had a cuisine similar to that of their motherland. Apart from introducing their own foods, they also adopted some of the natives’ food and would use their own cooking styles unlike those of the locals (American Native Food.
2009). Colonial foods varied across regions and they greatly transformed the diet of the locals for example hunting game meat was no longer practiced and they tried to discourage it. Today just like it was the case in the past, people living near the sea consumes sea foods such as crustaceans, lobsters and various kinds of fish. Today, there happens to be a change of diet as the American diet has been changed by the fast food industries.
Schlosser (2001), many Americans have forgotten about their indigenous foods and have turned to fast foods something that is detrimental to their health. Many of them are flocking in fast food hotels and restaurants that are selling foods such as cheese, hamburger, pizza and fries. These foods have been cited as the main cause of obesity in America and have caused many to be overweight. Today, if one goes to a hotel to look for food; one finds that the menu is limited in the kinds of foods that are sold unlike in the past where traditional foods made the menu.
Though this food has led to the change of diet, it has created many job opportunities as many are employed in those hotels that are allover the world and has led the Americanization of food due to globalization something that threatens the survival of food cultures of those nations (Schlosser, 2001). In short, it could be said that American foods are diverse and depends on the regions they are consumed in. In the past, the Native Americans before colonialists had a wide range of foods that was fit health-wise unlike the lately introduced fast foods.
These foods were prepared and cooked in various ways but colonialist introduced theirs when they came as they consumed different kind of food from what was consumed locally and some of them are still in use to date. References: American Native Food. 2009. American Native Food. Accessed from http://www. tahtonka. com/food. html Schlosser, E, 2001. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Houghton Mifflin Company. Sack, Daniel. 2001. Whitebread Protestants: food and religion in American culture. Palgrave Macmillan.
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