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Introduction to American cooking

American cooking is a rich and varied mix of dishes and ingredients which shows how culturally diverse the country really is. Discover American culture through its food with delicious hamburgers, pumpkin pies, hotdogs and barbecues. Every dish, every ingredient, tells a part of America's story.

American food is also known for being creative and is constantly innovating. New cooking techniques, exotic ingredients are easily brought into traditional recipes. Americans never hesitate to push the boundaries and experiment with their recipes. That is why American Food is popular throughout the world.

When you need comfort, you immediately think of American food. Dishes are often simple and comforting. They are prepared to be shared with family or friends over a nice dinner, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. That is what makes American cooking a unique experience.

What makes American food unique?

Each region of the United States has its own culinary specialties, reflecting local cultural influences. For example, Southern food is known for its corn and pork dishes, while New England food is famous for its seafood.

American cooks are constantly on the lookout for new techniques and ideas, which translates into dishes which are always evolving and changing. What's more, America is a melting pot of cultures, and this is reflected in the food. American dishes often bring elements from various world cuisines, creating unique and interesting flavors.

Finally, American food is accessible. Whether in a Michelin-starred restaurant or a neighborhood food truck, American dishes can be enjoyed by everyone. Therefore, it is through the combination of diversity, innovation and accessibility that American food is truly unique.

The history of American food

The history of American food is as diverse as the country itself. It began with indigenous peoples, who used a variety of local ingredients to create simple, yet tasty dishes. The arrival of European settlers introduced new cooking techniques and ingredients such as wheat and beef.

In the 19th century, the arrival of immigrants from Europe, Asia and Latin America brought new culinary influences. These influences were integrated into American food, creating a delicious flavors that continues to evolve today.

In the 20ᵉ century, industrialization and globalization further transformed American cooking. The introduction of fast food and comfort cooking created a new food culture, centered on convenience and pleasure. Despite these changes, American food remains very diverse and continues to embrace new influences, making the history of American food one of diversity, innovation and adaptation.

The most popular American recipes

American food is rich and diverse, a true reflection of America. The dishes, from burgers to hot dogs to barbecues, are known in the entire world. Two recipes stand out for their popularity: pancakes and brownies.

The pancake is a typical American breakfast and can sometimes be eaten as a dessert. As for the brownie, it just shows us how much of a sweet tooth Americans have. It’s a must-have dessert that has crossed borders.

The traditional pancake recipe

The traditional pancake recipe is easy to prepare. There are few ingredients: flour, sugar, milk, eggs and yeast. Start by mixing the flour, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs, then add the milk. Gradually add the flour mixture whilst you are stirring to avoid lumps.

Leave the dough to rest for an hour, an essential step for fluffy pancakes. Then heat a non-stick frying pan and pour in a small ladleful. When bubbles appear on the surface, turn the pancake over and let it cook for a few more minutes. Serve your pancakes while still warm.

The real brownie recipe

The real recipe for brownie is just as easy. The ingredients are dark chocolate, butter, sugar, flour, nuts and eggs. Start by melting the chocolate and butter in a “bain-marie” (or in the microwave), then beat the eggs with the sugar.

Add the chocolate and melted butter, then add the flour and chopped walnuts. Pour the dough into a square tin and bake for around twenty minutes. It’s better for the brownie to be undercooked inside. Leave to cool before cutting into squares. Serve your brownies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an even more delicious treat.

How to prepare an authentic American hamburger

In the US, the burger is an iconic dish. Its preparation begins with the choice of ingredients. The choice of meat is crucial. It's recommended to choose ground beef with 15% fat. That way, the meat will be juicy without being too fatty. Season generously with salt and pepper to enhance the meat's flavor. Next, shape into steaks weighing around 150 g each. It's important not to flatten them too much; they should remain thick.

Cooking the steak is a crucial stage in the preparation of a hamburger. It must be done quickly and at high temperature. After cooking, it's best to let the meat rest for a few minutes before placing them on the bread. This step, often neglected, allows the meat to retain its juices and stay tender.

The choice of bun is just as important as the choice of meat. It's best to opt for a soft, lightly toasted hamburger bun. The bun must be strong enough to support the weight of the steak and toppings without breaking down. Classic toppings include lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickles. Variations are possible to suit individual tastes, but these ingredients are the most commonly used in American hamburgers.

Finally, the sauce is the finishing touch that gives the burger its full flavor. There are many different sauces, but the most popular are mayonnaise, ketchup and barbecue sauce. You can buy them ready-made, but a homemade sauce will always add extra flavor.

How to make an American-style barbecue

The American-style barbecue is famous in American cooking. It all starts with the choice of equipment. A charcoal barbecue is better to get that characteristic smoky taste. You also need to make sure the charcoal reaches the right temperature before you start cooking.

Preparing the ingredients is an equally important step. An American-style barbecue often features ribs, steaks, saucisses, hot dogs and chicken wings. They all need to be marinated in advance so they're flavored. The marinades can be based on soy sauce, honey, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, mustard, etc. The important thing is to let the food marinate for several hours, or even overnight, so that it absorbs the flavors properly.

Barbecuing is a delicate process that requires constant supervision. Food must be turned regularly to prevent burning, and basted with marinade to keep it juicy. Vegetables, such as corn on the cob, peppers and potatoes, can be cooked directly on the grill. It's important to cook them at a lower temperature and turn them regularly so they don't burn.

Finally, serving grilled meats is an important moment. Meat should be served with typical American sauces, such as barbecue sauce, ranch sauce or honey-mustard sauce. Traditional side dishes include French fries, coleslaw and cornbread.

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