What is American Food? If you asked almost anyone, people would name foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs, meatloaf, roast beef, fried chicken, and the list goes on. These foods, however, are not what Americans eat every day. So what do they eat? American cooking has now become more diverse and can be seen as a reflection of our nation’s diversity. Common meals now include foods from Europe, Central America, Africa, and China. These meals not only add diversity but also are often times much healthier than typical “American dishes.”
A paradigm to this would be Highland Park located in Los Angeles. I have ventured out into this area and have found myself struggling to pick a place to eat because of all the options available. At night there are several taco trucks to chose from, Thai food restaurants, Indian food restaurants, Italian food restaurants, and many more. Some places in the United States have more than others, but no matter where you are I am sure there are at least a few culturally diverse restaurants.
Something that I find very interesting with the growth in “non-American” food is the fact that many Americans love to brag about going to eat at exotic new places. I have many friends that love talking about their experiences trying something new and eating something they would not normally eat such as Indian food or Thai food. The reason I find this interesting is because of the assimilation theory. For a long time now immigrants have been expected to assimilate into the American society, but now there are more and more Americans trying to experience other cultures, specifically through food. If immigrants all fully assimilated, Americans would not have the opportunity for this diversity, especially since immigrants are the ones starting many of these restaurants. I do not think America would be the same if the only option we had for dinner was between meatloaf and a hot dog.