6 Foods Invented in the USA

 

 -By Angelica Wedell

On Independence Day we get out and meet up with our communities at barbecues, block parties and parks for fireworks. This is the day we celebrate what brings us together as cities, counties and towns. None of these festivities would be complete without food on the table.

Citizens across the USA generally eat a “melting pot” of foods, with origins all over the world.  But for the 4th of July, we’d like to celebrate the United States’ Independence Day with a sampling of all American-born foods! No matter the city or town, here are 6 American Foods you will see on the 4th of July.

Buffalo Wings

Buffalo Wings

Chicken wings smothered in hot buffalo sauce are one of our favorite foods for a party!  Most historians say that Buffalo Wings were invented during the 1960s in Buffalo, New York.  That’s right – the sauce is named after a town – not a large, bovine, plain-dwelling animal.

Ranch Dressing

Ranch Dressing

Ranch is the most popular dressing in the US, and it was born in California.  Steve Henson, owner of Hidden Valley Ranch, invented a buttermilk dressing with herbs and spices in the 1950s.  Here’s a home-made ranch dip with yogurt as a base (pictured).

Corn Bread

Corn Bread

Today, corn bread is a staple side-dish of southern cooking.  The dish originally came from Native Americans.  Historians say that Native Americans were likely making corn bread long before the first European ever set foot in North America.

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

Whether it’s slathered on bread or eaten straight from the jar, Americans love peanut butter.  South American Incas may have been the very first to grind peanuts into a paste, but you can’t talk about any modern peanut products without mentioning Dr. George Washington Carver, who came up with more than 300 uses for peanuts – including peanut butter as we know it today.  It was also debuted at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookie

America’s favorite cookie was first baked in Whitman, Massachusetts by Ruth Wakefield in 1930.  It is said that the cookies were a happy accident.  Wakefield ran out of baker’s chocolate (for chocolate cookies) and substituted chunks of Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate.  She expected the chocolate pieces to melt throughout the whole cookie, but the pieces remained whole.  She named it the Toll House Crunch Cookie after her family-owned inn.

Soul Food

Soul Food

If the food has soul, then it’s down-home American.  Since they were brought to the US in the 18th century, African Americans created dishes out of whatever was available to them.  Thus, some of southern cooking’s favorite recipes were born.  For the 4th of July, much of my own family will be cooking up foods like fried catfish, collard greens, ham hocks and grits (pictured), and sweet potato pie!  By the way, the term “soul food” was coined in the 1960s.

These are only a few of the many foods invented in the USA.  We hope you enjoy them this 4th of July.

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References:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/a-brief-history-of-the-buffalo-chicken-wing-10260772/?no-ist

https://www.hiddenvalley.com/about-us/our-story/

http://www.indians.org/articles/corn-bread.html

http://nationalpeanutboard.org/the-facts/history-of-peanuts-peanut-butter/

http://www.women-inventors.com/Ruth-Wakefield.asp

http://americanfood.about.com/od/resourcesadditionalinfo/a/Soul-Food-History-And-Definition.htm

Photo credit:  Buffalo Wings, Corn Bread,Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Cookie, and Soul Food images came from pixabay.com.

 

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