Smash Negativity Team

American Good Food: History and Examples

American dishes, food

American cuisine may not have the hundreds of years of history that some world cuisines do, yet as a general rule, its most famous dishes recount the narrative of a youthful country.

More individuals are understanding that “American cooking” is something other than fried chicken and mac ‘n’ cheese and that there might be no such thing as “American food” by any means. 

In this article, we will discuss the idea of a unique category called “American Good Food.” We will also explain the definition of food and give a brief history of American cuisine. American good food is often associated with fast food chains that bring together ingredients from all over America.

However, this association can be seen as unfair, as it denies the historical and creative contributions of the new world to American culture. Another missing perspective is that of society.

Many people openly admit that fast food is unhealthy, but they still bring their friends to fancy burger joints. As Margaret says in Dan Cruickshank’s Life at the Extreme, “The best food is the food you didn’t have to make yourself.”

As we progress in the article, we will take a look at some of the good foods in America that you might not be aware of, and I hope this will make you more aware of the various cuisines America has to offer. Let’s get right into it by first defining what American good food is.

Definition of American Good Food

To start with, what exactly is American Good Food? Well, according to the introduction of this article, an American Good Food (AGF) is a food or a dish that, on top of its nutritional value, is attractive and eye-appealing because of its taste, texture, smell or visuals and can be consumed anytime.

AGF should be liked by a large number of people from different cultural backgrounds, and AGF should reflect a spirit of America in the sense that it should have its roots in American soil or that the dish itself, by its name, its preparation, its portion size or the way it is served and consumed, is uniquely or predominantly from America.

It is not difficult to understand that AGF includes a much broader and wider category than the definition of American staple food under US immigration law. For example, hot dogs and pizzas are American staple foods but they’re far from the category of American Good Food.

AGF is an ideal and an element representing the diverse American food landscape: constantly changing and abundant; vibrant and growing; innovative and rich in tradition. As a developing interdisciplinary field, food studies are crucial in understanding culture, history, health, well-being, and social justice-related issues in America. As a result, AGF itself and AGF studies can play an important role in connecting and engaging students, scholars, instructors, professionals, food activists, consumers and the public in both academic and practical fields in many aspects.

History of American Cuisine

Moving on from the definition, we will now learn about the history of American cuisine. Before the colonization by the Europeans, the Native Americans had a vast history of rich food cultures. They were the first people to cultivate crops such as corn, potatoes, tomatoes, and chili, all of which have become particularly central to popular American dishes today.

The Native Americans also hunted a variety of game, including rabbits, deer and wild turkeys. As much as “American Good Food” dissects into the different components that make up American cuisine today, the history surrounding Native American Food was, and still is, often overlooked.

The introduction of European colonists brought over a whole array of new foods that are often considered today to be quintessentially American, such as wheat, citrus fruits, sugarcane, and honey bees. But one of the most significant impacts that the European settlers had on American food culture was the introduction of livestock.

The ability to rear animals in such large numbers utterly transformed the American diet. Beef, pork, chicken, and assorted other meats rapidly became the central focus of the meal, as opposed to mainly using animals for their skins, bones, and other byproducts.

The colonists also began to adopt the revolutionary European method of preserving food through salting, curing, and smoking. This meant that the colonists could observe relatively abundant and consistent diets all year round instead of having to harvest excessive amounts of nonperishable food to survive through the winter months.

With the rise of industry and global trade, the food culture in America underwent yet another dramatic shift. New foods from all over the world, including tea, coffee, sugar, and a wealth of new spices, became available to the average consumer for the first time. This had a huge international impact on the food culture in America, especially with the rise of fusion cuisine, which became increasingly popular throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

Influence of Immigrants on American Food

The dishes that Americans now consider to be their own are often adopted or adapted from other cultures. The diet in America before the arrival of Europeans included a wide variety of foods, from wild game and fish to vegetables, fruit, and nuts.

As various immigrant groups started to arrive in the 19th and 20th centuries, a huge number of new foods and flavors were introduced. Italian pizza and pasta, German sausages, Polish pierogi, Chinese and Japanese stir-fries, Mexican tacos and tortillas, as well as the nation’s most famous export, the fast food hamburger, are just a few examples.

Some foods have been adapted over time to become staple dishes in America; for example, hot dogs were brought over from Germany but someone had the idea of placing them in a long split roll, so much so that the German name ‘Frankfurter’ is now well-known in America and beyond. The same thing happened with the Italian tomato and cheese bread, bruschetta, which is now a popular addition to an American menu under the name ‘garlic bread’. 

Examples of American Good Food 

paul h, pexels,17199132.jpg

America has a variety of cuisines ranging from traditional dishes to regional specialties, which include Cajun Gumbo, Chicago Deep Dish Pizza and Hawaiian Poke Bowl. Barbecue is also considered an excellent option, with smoked brisket, Kansas City-style ribs, and Carolina-pulled pork topping the list. Let us take a look at some of the dishes below:

1. Traditional American Food

There are four famous American dishes that truly capture the essence of the country: classic burgers, Southern Fried Chicken, New England Clam Chowder, and Tex-Mex tacos. These dishes represent the cultural differences and combinations that make up America.

Classic Burgers are just like the unofficial symbol of American food, known around the world for their association with fast food and commercialism. In any case, real Southern Fried Chicken is nothing like the bland stuff you get at fast food chains.

It includes a rich history that dates back to Scottish slaveholders and has advanced over time with the civil rights movement. New England Clam Chowder could be a bit more puzzling. It’s an ancient dish with a blurry origin, but it’s, by one means or another, associated with promoting potato consumption within the local area.

Finally, Tex-Mex tacos give us a taste of the Texan spirit and the influence of neighboring Mexico. They began within the mining areas of Mexico and rapidly spread to Texas, becoming a symbol of the bold Texan West. These dishes tell a story of America’s history and culinary advancement, displaying the variety and uniqueness of their cuisine.

2. American dessert

Apple pie is a classic dessert in the US that has been around for a long time. The English, Dutch, and Swedes brought it to America. You will eat it warm, with a few ice creams on top. Chocolate chip cookies have been super well known since the 1930s, when somebody invented chocolate chips.

On the other hand, cheesecake is regularly thought to be English, but it really began in New York. It’s more often than not made with cream cheese and cream, and the recipe was made in North America.

Cheesecakes aren’t as sweet since they balance out the sharpness with sugar. Each state has its own form of cheesecake, like lemon-flavored in Florida and a special one in Philadelphia with “dunkle” cheese. These days, American pastry specialists like to be inventive and utilize interesting ingredients in cheesecake recipes. 

3. Comfort Foods

When it comes to comfort food, macaroni and cheese are a well-known choice in America. It can be matched with other comfort foods like fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Fried chicken is additionally considered a classic comfort food, found in numerous Southern eateries.

Meatloaf is another comfort food that spans generations. Mashed potatoes are regularly ranked second among well-known comfort foods, not just in America. Comfort foods bring delight and bliss and make a dull day way better. Southern and Midwestern comfort foods reflect people’s beginnings and locations. 


In conclusion, the article has shown that the roots of American good food belong to cooking traditions brought from Europe as well as to the food-rich and varied traditions of the indigenous peoples of America. As we have seen, these traditions have been joined by a non-ending variety of flavors and dishes that have been introduced from almost every part of the world.

As a result, the United States can be seen as the home of a great wealth of global cooking traditions, which, when brought together, produce a truly unique and diverse food culture for both Americans and people around the world to enjoy.

Sign Up for More!Subscribe to our newsletter to have first-hand access to our special offers and life tips.

More resources

Leave a Comment