Corn or maize was first domesticated in Mexico, then reached the United States about 800 years ago. Maize is made into a thick porridge in many cultures: cornmeal mush in the U.S. Popcorn consists of kernels that explode when heated, forming fluffy pieces that are eaten as a snack.
The turkey is one of the most famous birds in North America. In fact, Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the wild turkey, not the Bald Eagle, the national bird of the United States! The turkey's popularity comes from the American people's love of eating the bird for special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Pumpkin pie is a traditional sweet dessert, eaten during the fall and early winter, especially for Thanksgiving and Christmas in the United States and Canada. The pumpkin is a symbol of harvest time and featured also at Halloween.
Baked beans is a dish containing beans, sometimes baked but, usually stewed, in a sauce. Most canned baked beans are made from haricot beans in a sauce. In Ireland and the United Kingdom, a tomato and sugar sauce is mostly used. In the United States there are many kinds of baked beans served in different kinds of sauce.
Thomas Jefferson introduced Neapolitan "macaroni" (i.e. spaghetti) to America. Pasta is a staple of American cuisine these days.
Apple pie: what could be more American? The problem is: apple pie was a British invention and English colonists brought apples to America. The unique American aspect of apples, are the varieties developed here: Golden and Red Delicious, Jonathan, and McIntosh.
Since pigs first arrived with the early Spanish settlers, Americans have used pork in an endless array of recipes. American food just wouldn't be the same without pork.
Steaks, hamburgers, classic beef stew... Beef is the core, the essence of American food history.
Wheat bread and wheat cakes, from pancakes and waffles to wedding cakes.... wheat holds a special, prominent place in the American food pattern.
Potatoes, whether baked or boiled, dehydrated or fried, have presented opportunities to American chefs for more than 200 years.
During the 1930s most chickens were raised in America for egg production. Fried chicken served at Grandmother's Sunday mid-day dinner was a rare, special treat. But nowadays fried chicken may be the ideal all-purpose, all-occasion American food.