America is best known for the legacy of ‘Fast Food’ outlets it has introduced to the rest of the world, from Kentucky Fried Chicken in Kuala Lumpur to Pizza Hut in Perth, McDonalds in Melbourne to Wendy’s in Wellington. Even if you ask the average American to name some of the country’s native dishes, hamburgers and hotdogs will probably be on the tip of his tongue. As frightening as all of this sounds, the good news for those of you who appreciate cuisine of a slightly higher quality is that the variety on offer in the States is greater than anything you could ever imagine.
Most regions have their own specific delicacies so here are just a few of the more common localised dishes. If you are in Louisiana, you’re going to be spoilt for choice with the wonderful mix of Cajun and Creole dishes on offer. Especially popular is gumbo, jambalaya, po-boys and crawfish. Further north in the states of New England, you should sample the clam chowder and lobster. Even further north in the isolated state of Alaska, chitons are a favourite edible delicacy. These are oval-shaped marine mollusks whose shells are made up of eight overlapping plates. The Chinese slipper and gumboot chitons are the most popular. And, in New Mexico you should try the spicy tortillas and fajitas as well as much more traditional Mexican cuisine.
All the major cities also have their very own Little Italy, Chinatown or French Quarter too so if you’re missing the culinary delights of your homeland, a visit to one of these will give you the chance to partake in all your favourite ethnic dishes.
Finally, of course a stay in the States would not be complete without trying some of the more traditional food. We don’t want to turn you off it entirely. The ribs, steaks and subs are usually of a much superior quality to those in your home country so it would be a pity not to try them at least once. Although, somehow, I don’t think you will need much persuasion.