Many people think that the most typical American meal is the
following: a big, tender steak, a hot baked potato, a fresh green
salad, rolls and butter. For dessert, apple pie with ice cream, and
Americans do eat the meal described above, and they eat it often.
Steak house restaurants are very popular places. In the warm summer
months many families have backyard barbecues, and cook steak over
charcoal grills. But it's really not possible to describe one meal
as typically American.
The United States is a large country with a population that comes
from almost every corner of the world. Like its people,
American food comes from around the world, too. So American food is
impossible to define. Typical American food is nearly always food
that come to America from another country. Many of these foods are
so popular that they are found everywhere.
Almost every town across the country has a Chinese restaurant. It
may not serve food that anyone in China would recognize, but
Americans love their chow mein and chop suey. You can also buy these
Chinese foods in the supermarket. Many Americans (like people
everywhere) are not eager to try strange foods, but they never think
of Chinese food as strange.
One of the newest kinds of adopted American food is Mexican food.
Tacos have become very popular every fast. They can be found in
airport lunchrooms and school cafeterias. Of course Mexican food in
the United States is different from that made in Mexico. But
millions of Americans are crazy about it, and supermarkets offer all
kinds of spicy Mexican food, including tacos, burritos, and
enchiladas. Mexican food has even entered that fast food market.
Fast food is almost a symbol of America. At a fast food place you
get your food quickly and you don't pay very much for it. Each fast
food restaurant has a specialty. Some of them sever mainly
hamburgers, french fries, and hot dogs, pretty ordinary American
food. Another very popular fast food, one which comes from the
South, is fried chicken served with coleslaw and baking powder
biscuits. Along the New England coast all kinds of seafood are
offered at little stands. Most of the food is deep-fried. You can
get clams, shrimp, or pieces of fish, all served with french fried
Maybe Italian food is the foreign food that has become most typical
in America. Spaghetti, noodles, macaroni, and pizza are all eaten
everywhere in the United States. When Americans go abroad they find
eating in Italy almost like being home because the food is so
familiar. Of course, there are peculiar American dishes such as
"American chop suey" which, believe it or not, is macaroni, ground
beef, and tomato sauce!
Whenever immigrants enter the United States they bring their foods
with them. With time, many of these foods are added to American
menus in restaurants, schools, and at home. An American menu is
truly an international menu.