Countries all over the world get a reputation for a specific kind of food. When you think of Italy, you think of pizza and pasta. If you think of France, you think of cheese and wine. But what, exactly, constitutes American cuisine? And not just favorite American food borrowed from other countries, but food that originated in America? There's actually several examples of foods that are distinctly native to the United States.
* Key Lime Pie - For starters (actually dessert), this pie is named after an actual part of the United States, the Florida Keys, and made from the limes that grow there. It's a rich dessert combining sweet cream and tart citrus flavor, usually having a graham cracker crust.
* Pot Roast - A hearty stew of rich beef, potatoes and carrots, smothered in gravy. It's the kind of comforting dinner you look forward to mom serving when you visit home. Favored in the northern half of the country and especially the Midwest.
* Jerky - A native American food before Columbus got here, as it was originally dried and cured buffalo meat called "pemmican." Americans have adopted the idea to all kinds of meats, especially beef and venison.
* Corn Bread - Corn being a distinctly American crop, corn flour is also used to make many authentic American dishes. You could go on all day naming them. Corn muffins, johnnycakes, corn pone, hush puppies, and many other variants.
* Grits - While on the subject of the deep South, grits are another native American food made from corn. It's a hot, hearty cereal served at breakfast, usually made from either corn or hominy.
* Biscuits and Gravy - When you see this on the breakfast menu, you know you're deep in the American south or Midwest, and possibly on the interstate highway leading from one to the other. The gravy is a thick white sausage affair slathered over fresh baked biscuits.
* Boston Baked Beans - Another American food so authentically regional that it was named after an American city. Baked bean dishes in general are a unique American food, if you don't count chili.
* New England Clam Chowder - This Yankee seafood stew grew to huge popularity along the Eastern seaboard, since the fishing trade was so active there. It's a warm, hearty kind of stew made from clams and potatoes, ofter served with crackers.
* Barbecue - Barbecue sauce, and any meat cooked over an open fire and served covered in it, is distinctly American. It's especially popular in the Southwest, almost to being the official regional meal.
* Apple Pie - So distinctly American that it's used as a standard of comparison for how American anything else is, as the common cliche goes. Baked apple pie will warm the heart of any American traveling abroad.
So there you have it, American food culture. America, being a cultural melting pot, tends to borrow many dishes from other cultures and make it their own, such as with Tex-Mex chili and New York pizza. But there are foods that are distinctly American, to the point where if you were in another country and ran across an American restaurant, it's what you'd expect them to serve. If you're in the mood for some American food, visit Bay Pony Inn At Lederach or a similar location.