Commentary: No such thing as ‘American’ food

Alex Forbess, Food Editor

There is so much fighting occurring in the United States. The biggest struggle is how to secure our borders and maintain a fair procedure of obtaining citizenship.

Lawmakers, lobbyists and activists are sharing their views to figure out how these potential citizens can experience the American Dream, even in food.

Yes, some people may take advantage of indulging in too much food but there is no other place in the world where they can taste great, authentic dishes named like All-American Cheeseburger or Dodger Dog. However, when people begin to understand the origin of these dishes, they will find not any of these dishes originated in the United States.

If people want proof that this nation was founded by immigrants, look at the food that is being offered. Pizza, ice cream, tea: every dish was created somewhere and brought to this country for everyone to enjoy.

However, there is nothing more American than a hamburger. From morphing the meat into patties to setting it the grill coated with various spices and sauces, this German cuisine is the ideal meal for any patriotic event such as the Fourth of July.

As people take a bite and witness toppings fall and melting cheese drip on thier fingers, who would have known this creation came from a place called Hamburg, Germany.

But let us not be completely shocked because there are bound to be other dishes that may still have the full-blooded American vibe.

While people attend a baseball game, it is second-hand nature for them to satisfy their hunger with a hot dog, which in fact originated in Frankfurt, Germany. This dachshund – little sausage – made a huge breakthrough in 1487, five years before Christopher Columbus sailed to the new world.

Well, what is more American than fried chicken? Despite dating back to ancient cultures in Rome, China or Egypt, thank the Scottish bringing recipes of this crispy, golden brown poultry when they settled in the United States’ southern region.

Do not worry because the U.S. will still love her ribs, smothered in the greatest barbecue sauce created in the land of the free—not so fast.

Cooking ribs can go as far as cavemen learning how to use fire to cook their meat but the first recorded barbecue rib can be recorded in the Caribbean in 1526 by Taino Indians.

People can pick any dish on any menu and they will realize that none of the food originated here but rather came from various regions around the world. The twist is that this is a main component that built this country.

Like the average U.S. citizen, there is no such thing that someone is 100 percent American.

Chefs and cooking enthusiasts can throw different toppings and use different types of bread to create a pastrami sandwich, but it still does not change where the meat came from, which is Turkey and Romania.

The United States can be described more as a buffet than a melting pot. Instead of mixing everything together and attempting to create the All-American meal, cherish the vast selection presented.

Food is a significant way of displaying one’s culture and not try plagiarize their idea. McDonald’s may have created the Big Mac, but the next time they make another one, they should take a moment to thank Germany for their magnificent creation.

The United States, a nation founded by immigrants; eat it and love it.

Alex Forbess, a senior journalism major, is food editor for the Campus Times. He can be reached by email at

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