History UsefulNotes / CuisinesInAmerica

13th Aug '17 4:31:10 PM HasturHasturHastur
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Like Chinese, Mexican food is very regional. Some of these regions are in the U.S. with the major types being Tex-Mex, Cali-Mex, and New Mexican. These aren't so much Americanized versions of Mexican as these areas were originally part of Mexico. However, the most Americanized restaurants generally label themselves as Tex-Mex. Anything labeled "Authentic Mexican Cuisine" is very Americanized, often to the point of replacing traditional sauces with brown gravy. Some restaurants serve Mexican food aimed at immigrants hewing more toward cuisine found in Mexico. [[GratuitousSpanish Often these have "taquería" in the name, even if their specialty isn't tacos]].

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Like Chinese, Mexican food is very regional. Some of these regions are in the U.S. with the major types being Tex-Mex, Cali-Mex, and New Mexican. These aren't so much Americanized versions of Mexican as these areas were originally part of Mexico. However, the most Americanized restaurants generally label themselves as Tex-Mex. Anything labeled "Authentic Mexican Cuisine" is very Americanized, often to the point of replacing traditional sauces with brown gravy. Some restaurants serve Mexican food aimed at immigrants hewing more toward cuisine found in Mexico. [[GratuitousSpanish Often these have "taquería" in the name, even if their specialty isn't tacos]].
tacos]]. If it's a hole in the wall with a hot sauce rack full of Valentina, Tapatio, and El Yucateco, a beverage cooler full of Jarritos, Sidral Mundet, and Sangria Senoral (and possibly also large jugs full of ''horchata'', ''aguas frescas'', and ''agua de Jamaica'' on the counter), a TV playing ''telenovelas'', and staff who loudly converse in (often profanity-laden) Mexican Spanish and possibly have their kids running around (if it's a ''really'' small operation), odds are good that you've found a relatively authentic independent/mom & pop Mexican place and should make a point of running in if you've got a craving.
4th Aug '17 9:29:07 PM karstovich2
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* The classic form of this argument is probably in Philadelphia with its famous cheesesteaks. Two establishments--Pat's King of Steaks and Geno's Steaks--both claim to be the original place where someone chopped up some thin-sliced steak, tossed in some onions, topped it with cheese, and put it all in a long roll. To add to the sense of rivalry, they are right across the street from each other, at the intersection of 9th St. and Passyunk Avenue in South Philly. Both have capitalized on their fame and now attract large crowds from out of town. True to expectations, many local aficionados reject both Pat's and Geno's for another place; some swear by Tony Luke's (also originally South Philly, although now a small chain), while others advance John's Roast Pork (also South Philly; famous for cheesesteaks despite the name), and still others swear by Jim's Steaks (on South Street popular with late-night revelers, as South is a bar street on the dividing line between South Philly and Center City[[note]]That's "downtown," but [[InsistentTerminology don't tell a Philadelphian that]][[/note]]) and still others have their own preferred holes-in-the-wall. Still other people reject the hegemony of the cheesesteak and declare for the lesser-known Philadelphia roast pork sandwich, where the top contenders are Tony Luke's (again), John's (again), and Tommy [=DiNic's=] (in the relatively [[StealthPun tony]] Reading Terminal Market in Center City).

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* The classic form of this argument is probably in Philadelphia with its famous cheesesteaks. Two establishments--Pat's King of Steaks and Geno's Steaks--both claim to be the original place where someone chopped up some thin-sliced steak, tossed in some onions, topped it with cheese, and put it all in a long roll. To add to the sense of rivalry, they are right across the street from each other, at the intersection of 9th St. and Passyunk Avenue in South Philly. Both have capitalized on their fame and now attract large crowds from out of town. True to expectations, many local aficionados reject both Pat's and Geno's for another place; some swear by Tony Luke's (also originally South Philly, although now a small chain), while others advance John's Roast Pork (also South Philly; famous for cheesesteaks despite the name), name, and only a few blocks away from the original Tony Luke's), and still others swear by Jim's Steaks (on South Street popular with late-night revelers, as South is a bar street on the dividing line between South Philly and Center City[[note]]That's "downtown," but [[InsistentTerminology don't tell a Philadelphian that]][[/note]]) and still others have their own preferred holes-in-the-wall. Still other people reject the hegemony of the cheesesteak and declare for the lesser-known Philadelphia roast pork sandwich, where the top contenders are Tony Luke's (again), John's (again), and Tommy [=DiNic's=] (in the relatively [[StealthPun tony]] Reading Terminal Market in Center City).
1st Aug '17 8:08:10 PM karstovich2
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Speaking of which... Two different cuisines which get lumped together because they come from Louisiana and start with the letter "C." Both began as colonial-era cuisines from whatever ingredients could be foraged from Louisiana Territory, and have increased in popularity across the US. Creole food used classic 19th-century [[UsefulNotes/SnailsAndSoOn French recipes]] with local ingredients--e.g. replacing the carrots of the French ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirepoix mirepoix]]'' with the bell peppers of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_trinity_(cuisine) holy trinity]]--with influences from Spanish Caribbean and African cooking. Cajun cuisine is simpler country-folks cooking. The difference arises from the differing backgrounds; Creole cuisine arises from the mixed culture of colonial New Orleans, consisting of direct immigrants from France, African slaves and freedmen, Spanish and other random immigrants, and people descended from the extensive intermarriage among them, while the Cajuns by and large primarily descend from Acadians (people of French ancestry who had settled in Acadia--what is now New Brunswick in Canada) who left for Louisiana after the British more or less forced them out of their homeland during the [[UsefulNotes/SevenYearsWar "French and Indian War"]].[[note]]Acadia had been taken over in 1710 as part of [[UsefulNotes/WarOfTheSpanishSuccession "Queen Anne's War"]], and many Acadians left for Louisiana at that time, but the later war led to a much larger exodus.[[/note]] Culinarily, the main divide separating the two would probably be the incorporation of tomatoes and/or butter in Creole dishes, these being traces of the Spanish and upper-crust French influences, respectively; authentic Cajun dishes, which have remained much closer to French peasant food and have a weaker Spanish influence, eschew tomatoes and generally use vegetable oil as their main cooking fat (traditionally, the Cajun cooking fat was lard, but vegetable oil is ''much'' cheaper). Cross-pollination due to cultural proximity blurs the distinction between them the further you go from southern Louisiana. Both have also updated with French cuisine, incorporating and refining, and now many metropolitan areas around the country feature five star New Orleans-style restaurants.

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Speaking of which... Two different cuisines which get lumped together because they come from Louisiana and start with the letter "C." Both began as colonial-era cuisines from whatever ingredients could be foraged from Louisiana Territory, and have increased in popularity across the US. Creole food used classic 19th-century [[UsefulNotes/SnailsAndSoOn French recipes]] with local ingredients--e.g. replacing the carrots of the French ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirepoix mirepoix]]'' with the bell peppers of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_trinity_(cuisine) holy trinity]]--with influences from Spanish Caribbean and African cooking. Cajun cuisine is simpler country-folks cooking.

The difference arises from the differing backgrounds; Creole cuisine arises from the mixed culture of colonial New Orleans, consisting of direct immigrants from France, African slaves and freedmen, Spanish and other random immigrants, and people descended from the extensive intermarriage among them, while the Cajuns by and large primarily descend from Acadians (people of French ancestry who had settled in Acadia--what is now New Brunswick in Canada) who left for Louisiana after the British more or less forced them out of their homeland during the [[UsefulNotes/SevenYearsWar "French and Indian War"]].[[note]]Acadia had been taken over in 1710 as part of [[UsefulNotes/WarOfTheSpanishSuccession "Queen Anne's War"]], and many Acadians left for Louisiana at that time, but the later war led to a much larger exodus.[[/note]] Culinarily, the main divide separating the two would probably be the incorporation of tomatoes and/or butter in Creole dishes, these being traces of the Spanish and upper-crust French influences, respectively; authentic Cajun dishes, which have remained much closer to French peasant food and have a weaker Spanish influence, eschew tomatoes and generally use vegetable oil as their main cooking fat (traditionally, the Cajun cooking fat was lard, but vegetable oil is ''much'' cheaper). Cross-pollination due That said, the styles do borrow a lot from each other (much as French ''haute cuisine'' will sometimes borrow something cool from French regional cooking, and vice versa). Also, because they are much more similar to cultural proximity blurs each other than to anything else, the distinction between them blurs the further you go from southern Louisiana. Both have also updated with French cuisine, incorporating and refining, and now many metropolitan areas around the country feature five star New Orleans-style restaurants.
1st Aug '17 8:04:23 PM karstovich2
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Has become near-synonymous with the two best-known evangelists of the style, Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme. Prudhomme is interesting because he was actually Cajun (from Saint Landry Parish in the heart of Acadiana), but adapted his style to Creole preferences (like working with tomatoes and butter) when he moved to New Orleans and took over the Commander's Palace restaurant, a bastion of Creole cooking (although he introduced a number of Cajun styles into Creole, like blackening). Prudhomme later took on Lagasse as his protégé Lagasse is actually not from Louisiana (he's half-French Canadian, half-Portuguese, and originally from Boston), but Prodhomme saw a spark in him and hired him for the kitchen at the Commander's Palace.

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Has become near-synonymous with the two best-known evangelists of the style, Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme. Prudhomme is interesting because he was actually Cajun (from Saint Landry Parish in the heart of Acadiana), but adapted his style to Creole preferences (like working with tomatoes and butter) when he moved to New Orleans and took over the Commander's Palace restaurant, a bastion of Creole cooking (although he introduced a number of Cajun styles into Creole, like blackening). Prudhomme later took on Lagasse as his protégé protégé; Lagasse is actually not from Louisiana (he's half-French Canadian, half-Portuguese, and originally from Boston), but Prodhomme saw a spark in him and hired him for the kitchen at the Commander's Palace.
1st Aug '17 8:02:37 PM karstovich2
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Has become near-synonymous with the two best-known evangelists of the style, Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme. The former is the protégé of the latter; Lagasse is actually not from the area (he's half-French Canadian, half-Portuguese, and originally from Boston), but Prodhomme saw a spark in him and hired him for the kitchen of the Commander's Palace restaurant.

to:

Has become near-synonymous with the two best-known evangelists of the style, Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme. The former Prudhomme is interesting because he was actually Cajun (from Saint Landry Parish in the heart of Acadiana), but adapted his style to Creole preferences (like working with tomatoes and butter) when he moved to New Orleans and took over the Commander's Palace restaurant, a bastion of Creole cooking (although he introduced a number of Cajun styles into Creole, like blackening). Prudhomme later took on Lagasse as his protégé of the latter; Lagasse is actually not from the area Louisiana (he's half-French Canadian, half-Portuguese, and originally from Boston), but Prodhomme saw a spark in him and hired him for the kitchen of at the Commander's Palace restaurant.
Palace.
28th Jul '17 4:03:14 PM karstovich2
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* Another sfinciuni derivative is the tomato pie, which consists of a thick sheet of foccacia-like dough baked with a thick layer of tomato sauce and sprinkled lightly with Pecorino Romano cheese; it is often produced by bakeries rather than dedicated pizzerias, and was historically considered a "poor man's pizza" as it was light on the cheese and heavy on the vegetable ingredients and consequently much cheaper than typical pizzas. The heart of this style is in Trenton, New Jersey, where two bakeries [[TropeCodifier codified]] the form; however, the style is popular across the Garden State, as well as being very popular in Greater Philadelphia and having outposts in New York and southern New England (it's fairly popular in Connecticut and there's a variant native to Providence, RI) to the north and Delaware (Lewes, a resort on the Delaware Atlantic coast popular with vacationers from [[UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC DC]], has a few establishments) to the south.

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* Another sfinciuni derivative is the tomato pie, which consists of a thick sheet of foccacia-like dough baked with a thick layer of tomato sauce and sprinkled lightly with Pecorino Romano cheese; it cheese. It is often typically produced by bakeries rather than dedicated pizzerias, as it is supposed to be sold by the slice and served at room temperature almost like, well, a pie sold by the slice at a bakery. Tomato pie was historically considered a "poor man's pizza" as it was light on the cheese and heavy on the vegetable ingredients and consequently much cheaper than typical pizzas. The heart of this style is in Trenton, New Jersey, where two bakeries [[TropeCodifier codified]] the form; however, the style is popular across the Garden State, as well as being very popular in Greater Philadelphia and having outposts in New York and southern New England (it's fairly popular in Connecticut and there's a variant native to Providence, RI) to the north and Delaware (Lewes, a resort on the Delaware Atlantic coast popular with vacationers from [[UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC DC]], has a few establishments) to the south.
27th Jun '17 5:18:37 PM nombretomado
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The concept of ''terroir'' in American wine is limited compared to Europe; only a few places such as Napa Valley in California really mean anything to wine drinkers. Although some wines are still labeled using the old "semi-generic" system (using names of French wines like Burgundy or Champagne), most are now varietally labeled. American vintners are not permitted to use chapetalization (adding sugar to boost alcohol content for balance purposes), partly because the warmer growing climate means the wines are strong enough anyway. Most of the top selling wine varietals are French ones such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot. However, Zinfandel, an American growth of what was originally a Croatian varietal, is a strong seller in both red (a strong, rich, jammy, and highly alcoholic wine, but nonetheless well respected when properly done) and white (actually a rosé--who are we kidding, only "blush" works for this--sugary horror often compared to alcoholic Kool-Aid[[note]]TheOtherWiki's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plonk_(wine) article on "plonk"]] has two large plastic cups with lids and straws filled with iced White Zinfandel to illustrate the concept of cheap wine.[[/note]]) varieties, and is often considered a distinctly American wine. There is also one small specialty area where the US is being recognized: America has an unusual bounty of regions where the climate is good for growing grapes but can also expect a hard frost every year; this makes these regions excellent for producing ice wine. Wineries in Northern Michigan (particularly the Grand Traverse Bay) have capitalized on this, and along with Canada's similar discovery (Southern Ontario in particular has a similar climate), North America is producing ice wine to rival the products of its native Germany.

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The concept of ''terroir'' in American wine is limited compared to Europe; only a few places such as Napa Valley in California really mean anything to wine drinkers. Although some wines are still labeled using the old "semi-generic" system (using names of French wines like Burgundy or Champagne), most are now varietally labeled. American vintners are not permitted to use chapetalization (adding sugar to boost alcohol content for balance purposes), partly because the warmer growing climate means the wines are strong enough anyway. Most of the top selling wine varietals are French ones such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot. However, Zinfandel, an American growth of what was originally a Croatian varietal, is a strong seller in both red (a strong, rich, jammy, and highly alcoholic wine, but nonetheless well respected when properly done) and white (actually a rosé--who are we kidding, only "blush" works for this--sugary horror often compared to alcoholic Kool-Aid[[note]]TheOtherWiki's Kool-Aid[[note]]Wiki/TheOtherWiki's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plonk_(wine) article on "plonk"]] has two large plastic cups with lids and straws filled with iced White Zinfandel to illustrate the concept of cheap wine.[[/note]]) varieties, and is often considered a distinctly American wine. There is also one small specialty area where the US is being recognized: America has an unusual bounty of regions where the climate is good for growing grapes but can also expect a hard frost every year; this makes these regions excellent for producing ice wine. Wineries in Northern Michigan (particularly the Grand Traverse Bay) have capitalized on this, and along with Canada's similar discovery (Southern Ontario in particular has a similar climate), North America is producing ice wine to rival the products of its native Germany.
31st May '17 3:20:55 PM CV12Hornet
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* The 2000s have seen another variety of pizza restaurant arise in Northern California, upscale pizzerias serving Italian-style pizzas with a high degree of authenticity (i.e. wood-fired brick ovens leaving scorching on the crust, as well as proper mozzarella and Italian toppings/recipes such as margherita, often run by recent immigrants). San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area are the main center of this new style; expect long waits for a table and $20 pizzas.
18th May '17 9:15:48 AM Madrugada
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** Also note that, when we say "sugar", what we often mean is "high-fructose corn syrup" (or HFCS), [[CaptainObvious a sugar substitute derived from corn]]. This is frequently used in place of cane sugar due to both large subsidies granted to corn farmers and strict quotas on cane sugar imports, and unless a sweet food is explicitly specified as not having HFCS in it, it can be assumed to have it. The only problem this causes is that Jewish restrictions on grains during Passover prevent its consumption for them around then. The health effects of HFCS (particularly as it concerns America's problems with obesity) are a controversial subject, but most health professionals generally agree that this is probably more a function of economics versus any difference from regular cane sugar; it's heavily subsidized and therefore dirt-cheap, allowing food makers to put it in just about anything. In Europe and other places, cane sugar (and in Europe beet sugar[[note]]chemically the same as cane sugar albeit slightly different from HFCS[[/note]] even more so, also due to subsidies and import quotas) is cheaper than HFCS, and not any less prevalent in food. Remember: like your parents told you when you were little, eating too many sweets is bad for your health, whether it's natural cane sugar or HFCS.

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** Also note that, when we say "sugar", what we often mean is "high-fructose corn syrup" (or HFCS), [[CaptainObvious a sugar substitute derived from corn]]. This is frequently used in place of cane sugar due to both large subsidies granted to corn farmers and strict quotas on cane sugar imports, and unless a sweet food is explicitly specified as not having HFCS in it, it can be assumed to have it. The only problem this causes is that Jewish restrictions on grains during Passover prevent its consumption for them around then. The health effects of HFCS (particularly as it concerns America's problems with obesity) are a controversial subject, but most health professionals generally agree that this is probably more a function of economics versus any difference from regular cane sugar; it's heavily subsidized and therefore dirt-cheap, allowing food makers to put it in just about anything. In Europe and other places, cane sugar (and in Europe beet sugar[[note]]chemically the same as cane sugar albeit slightly different from HFCS[[/note]] even more so, also due to subsidies and import quotas) is cheaper than HFCS, and not any less prevalent in food. Remember: like your parents told you when you were little, eating too many sweets is bad for your health, whether it's natural cane sugar or HFCS.



#Although this might conceivably vary by region a ''little'' (as well as those with lactose intolerance), in America we put cheese on ''[[TrademarkFavoriteFood everything]]''.[[note]] This has been noticed abroad; James May, when joking that Richard Hammond is really an American after a ''Series/TopGear'' bit on UsefulNotes/{{NASCAR}}, noted that Hammond owns a Mustang, has cowboy boots, and "[[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers put[s] cheese on everything]]."[[/note]] On virtually every soup, on virtually every salad, on most kinds of sandwiches... it would be much easier to list the foods our restaurants ''won't'' automatically put cheese on, although it's harder to think of them. One of the few exceptions to this rule is fish.[[note]]And even then, the UsefulNotes/McDonalds Filet-O-Fish sandwich contains cheese, and queso fresco is also common on fish tacos.[[/note]]

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#Although this might conceivably vary by region a ''little'' (as well as those with lactose intolerance), in America we we're willing to put cheese on ''[[TrademarkFavoriteFood everything]]''.[[note]] This has been noticed abroad; James May, when joking that Richard Hammond is really an American after a ''Series/TopGear'' bit on UsefulNotes/{{NASCAR}}, noted that Hammond owns a Mustang, has cowboy boots, and "[[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers put[s] cheese on everything]]."[[/note]] On virtually every soup, on virtually every salad, on most kinds of sandwiches... it would be much easier to list the foods our restaurants ''won't'' automatically put cheese on, although it's harder to think of them. One of the few exceptions to this rule is fish.[[note]]And even then, the UsefulNotes/McDonalds Filet-O-Fish sandwich contains cheese, and queso fresco is also common on fish tacos.[[/note]]
1st May '17 1:48:28 AM ThePocket
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These drinks fell out of favor as the US expanded west and gained more arable land for grain production. Today, only one distillery in the country--Laird's of Monmouth County, New Jersey[[note]]New Jersey had always been noted for having a particular liking for the stuff; applejack was often called "Jersey Lightning," and laborers on the major roads built in New Jersey in the 18th and early 19th centuries were often paid in the stuff[[/note]]--produces applejack (and even then the stuff is only partly distilled from apples--the rest is rectified grain spirit), and New England is better known for beer than rum. Cider production also largely disappeared, although it has undergone a revival alongside the craft brewing movement in apple-growing regions; the most famous cider in the contemporary US is probably Woodchuck Hard Cider from Vermont, but production has also picked up in New England and in Michigan, New York, and Washington.[[note]]It came naturally in these states because of their strong craft brew cultures and ''giant'' apple crops--particularly Washington, which produces 2/3 of the country's apples; New York and Michigan are the second and third apple-growing states, at about 6% of the national crop each.[[/note]]

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These drinks fell out of favor as the US expanded west and gained more arable land for grain production. Today, only one distillery in the country--Laird's of Monmouth County, New Jersey[[note]]New Jersey had always been noted for having a particular liking for the stuff; applejack was often called "Jersey Lightning," and laborers on the major roads built in New Jersey in the 18th and early 19th centuries were often paid in the stuff[[/note]]--produces applejack (and even then the stuff is only partly distilled from apples--the rest is rectified grain spirit), and New England is better known for beer than rum. Cider production also largely disappeared, disappeared[[note]]Hard cider, at least; "apple cider", which is basically just fresh (but unfiltered) apple squeezings, is still popular as a seasonal beverage (starting in early fall, with hot spiced varieties picking up around Thanksgiving and through the winter) and for dunking donuts in.[[/note]], although it has undergone a revival alongside the craft brewing movement in apple-growing regions; the most famous cider in the contemporary US is probably Woodchuck Hard Cider from Vermont, but production has also picked up in New England and in Michigan, New York, and Washington.[[note]]It came naturally in these states because of their strong craft brew cultures and ''giant'' apple crops--particularly Washington, which produces 2/3 of the country's apples; New York and Michigan are the second and third apple-growing states, at about 6% of the national crop each.[[/note]]
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