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Food as Definer of US Culture


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Name five foods that you think represent the United States as "cultural icons" (across the board, as a nation, not focusing on the regional) during the years 1950 to 2000.

Do the same, per your best guesses, for the years 2000 to 2050.

I'll leave the screen blank as to my own thoughts for fear of "stacking the deck". :smile:

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1950 - 2000

1) Apple Pie

2) Fried Chicken

3) Sandwiches/Heros

4) Barbeque

5) Ice Cream Sundaes

2000 - 2050

1) Heirloom Fruit / Vegatables

2) Native American dishes

3) Wines / Distilled Spirits / Beers

4) All things Porcine

5) Designer Sodas

how's that for a start?

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

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1950-2000

Hamburgers

Hot Dogs

Pizza

Fried Chicken (including wings and other variations)

The Submarine Sandwich (in all its variations)

I wish I could have six, then I could include the great amercan classic, the grilled steak

No idea what the future will bring, but am looking forward to it.

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Funny, I don't think of Coca-Cola as a food. But I ran out of room on my personal list without annointing beverages.

It is certainly a mainstay of culture, but predates 1950 I think. Although market growth was remarkable beginning in the 1950's.

Any of the above foods may be paired very well with a Coca-Cola, I think.

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Society changed so much between 1950 and 2000 it's hard to find examples that span the whole era, but I guess those that more or less originated then, and had lasting significance would be:

Hamburgers - (from a fast food outlet, McD's in particular) :hmmm:

Pizza - (virtually unknown pre-1950, every kids favorite by 2000) :cool:

"Lite" Beer - (what a concept!) :blink:

Twinkie - (devoid of nutrition) :raz:

Bottled Water - (circa 1950; no way in hell) :laugh:

Looking ahead to 2050:

Combini-Style Eating - (invest now!) :wink:

Soylent Green - (just kidding) :shock:

"Prescription Food" - (just what the doctor orders) :unsure:

Sex Food - (I don't know either, but it seems inevitable) :smile:

Bottled Water - (circa 2050; available no other way) :sad:

SB (Verily, I say unto you .....

Edited by srhcb (log)
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1950 - 2000

1) Apple Pie

2) Fried Chicken

3) Sandwiches/Heros

4) Barbeque

5) Ice Cream Sundaes

2000 - 2050

1) Heirloom Fruit / Vegatables

2) Native American dishes

3) Wines / Distilled Spirits / Beers

4) All things Porcine

5) Designer Sodas

how's that for a start?

I love your list from 1950-2000; not sure I would change that but I will think about it more. The 2000-2050 list is thougtful as well.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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removed due to double post

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Well, we all seem to think more or less alike, but that's never stopped me before:

1950-2000

Coca-Cola

McDonald's hamburgers

Hot dogs

Apple pie

Fried chicken

2000-2050

Heirloom tomatoes

Coca-Cola Zero

"Prescription cuisine" (food eaten specifically for certain health or medical benefits)

Ethanol (but not necessarily because we drink it)

McDonald's hamburgers (sorry, they aren't going to be dethroned)

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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A lot of really good answers so far!

Many similar things, yes. When the posts stop coming in, I'll tally up what everyone "voted" for. :smile:

I desperately wanted to include Maple Syrup and Lobster Rolls but it violates the regional rule.  phooey.

I don't blame you for wanting to add these, Johnny. If they *were* our cultural iconic foods, we'd probably have a much better reputation in the world-wide scheme of "gastronomy". :wink: Let's just keep them quiet, though, hmmm? The price and availability of Maine Lobster is already difficult enough to deal with. :sad:

I'm just happy you didn't choose milt. Though it *would* be rather amusing as cultural iconography. :rolleyes:

Sex Food - (I don't know either, but it seems inevitable) :smile:

What, you didn't know it's already available? :shock: It's. . .(oh nevermind, I don't have time right now to tell you all about it. . .)

( :raz: )

"Prescription cuisine" (food eaten specifically for certain health or medical benefits)

Wow. . .the second vote for "prescription" cuisine. And I have to say the idea never crossed my mind. Interesting. . .

Here's my 1950-2000 list:

Hamburgers

Hot Dogs

Coke

Corn on the Cob

Cotton Candy *or* S'Mores

(Do they make cotton candy in other places? Does anyone *outside* the US know about s'mores and how they fit into our culture? I don't know. . .I was going to use french fries for the fifth answer but then thought of their prevalence (under different names) in some other countries. . .)

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A lot of really good answers so far!

Many similar things, yes. When the posts stop coming in, I'll tally up what everyone "voted" for.  :smile:

I desperately wanted to include Maple Syrup and Lobster Rolls but it violates the regional rule.  phooey.

I don't blame you for wanting to add these, Johnny. If they *were* our cultural iconic foods, we'd probably have a much better reputation in the world-wide scheme of "gastronomy". :wink: Let's just keep them quiet, though, hmmm? The price and availability of Maine Lobster is already difficult enough to deal with. :sad:

I'm just happy you didn't choose milt. Though it *would* be rather amusing as cultural iconography. :rolleyes:

Sex Food - (I don't know either, but it seems inevitable) :smile:

What, you didn't know it's already available? :shock: It's. . .(oh nevermind, I don't have time right now to tell you all about it. . .)

( :raz: )

"Prescription cuisine" (food eaten specifically for certain health or medical benefits)

Wow. . .the second vote for "prescription" cuisine. And I have to say the idea never crossed my mind. Interesting. . .

Here's my 1950-2000 list:

Hamburgers

Hot Dogs

Coke

Corn on the Cob

Cotton Candy *or* S'Mores

(Do they make cotton candy in other places? Does anyone *outside* the US know about s'mores and how they fit into our culture? I don't know. . .I was going to use french fries for the fifth answer but then thought of their prevalence (under different names) in some other countries. . .)

Yes to cotton candy in the uk, and pretty much everywhere in europe, also had an amazing north african dessert which is essentially the same thing - can't remember its name though but it was amazing - will get back to you on that one as for "smores" ?????

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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I'm not sure french fries should be on a top-5 list, but it should definitely be on a top-10 list.

Just for the hell of it, in the next 50 years, I'll propose the following list:

Hotdogs

Hamburgers

Yogurt

Salad

Fried chicken

Which, honestly, is not so inaccurate for the last 30-some-odd years.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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A lot of really good answers so far!

Many similar things, yes. When the posts stop coming in, I'll tally up what everyone "voted" for.  :smile:

I desperately wanted to include Maple Syrup and Lobster Rolls but it violates the regional rule.  phooey.

I don't blame you for wanting to add these, Johnny. If they *were* our cultural iconic foods, we'd probably have a much better reputation in the world-wide scheme of "gastronomy". :wink: Let's just keep them quiet, though, hmmm? The price and availability of Maine Lobster is already difficult enough to deal with. :sad:

I'm just happy you didn't choose milt. Though it *would* be rather amusing as cultural iconography. :rolleyes:

Sex Food - (I don't know either, but it seems inevitable) :smile:

What, you didn't know it's already available? :shock: It's. . .(oh nevermind, I don't have time right now to tell you all about it. . .)

( :raz: )

"Prescription cuisine" (food eaten specifically for certain health or medical benefits)

Wow. . .the second vote for "prescription" cuisine. And I have to say the idea never crossed my mind. Interesting. . .

Here's my 1950-2000 list:

Hamburgers

Hot Dogs

Coke

Corn on the Cob

Cotton Candy *or* S'Mores

(Do they make cotton candy in other places? Does anyone *outside* the US know about s'mores and how they fit into our culture? I don't know. . .I was going to use french fries for the fifth answer but then thought of their prevalence (under different names) in some other countries. . .)

Yes to cotton candy in the uk, and pretty much everywhere in europe, also had an amazing north african dessert which is essentially the same thing - can't remember its name though but it was amazing - will get back to you on that one as for "smores" ?????

"Pashmak" it is a Persian sweet made with sesame oil and sugar, much more delicate than regular candy floss.

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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Repulsed by peanut butter? Heathens. As such, I add the PB&J to my top 5 (if Elvis had a variation on it, it must be American).

Fried Chicken

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich

Barbecue

Hamburgers

Apple Pie

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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The peanutbutter and jelly sandwich

I would put peanut butter itself at the top of the list. What better definer of culture. It's incredibly popular in the U.S., yet many other nationalities are repulsed by it.

I guess that peanut butter is our Vegemite. :smile:

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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will get back to you on that one as for "smores" ?????

"S'mores" is the diminution of "Some Mores". :biggrin: It is a dessert that people (it's supposed to be mostly for children, but that doesn't mean a thing to any adult that happens to be there :wink: ) make when camping out in the woods. You take a graham cracker, place a chocolate bar on top of it, toast a couple of marshmallows on a stick over the campfire, and when they are just perfect, pop them off of the stick and right on top of the chocolate, where they melt the chocolate a bit. Top with another graham cracker and you have a "s'more". :smile:

People like them so much that they make weak copies in their kitchen, but to me it's the burnt marshmallow that matters. It's important to remember to always get part of the toasted sticky marshmallows somehow stuck in your hair and glopped onto your clothes while burning your fingers trying to pull them off the stick. Otherwise it just won't taste right somehow.

The peanutbutter and jelly sandwich

buttered popcorn

I can't believe I didn't think of those two. :biggrin:

Just for the hell of it, in the next 50 years, I'll propose the following list:

Hotdogs

Hamburgers

Yogurt

Salad

Fried chicken

Which, honestly, is not so inaccurate for the last 30-some-odd years.

It surprises me that your list for the future does not include some form of iconic Asian-American food, Michael. I think mine will. Right next to "tacos".

"Pashmak" it is a Persian sweet made with sesame oil and sugar, much more delicate than regular candy floss.

Ahhhh. That would be very very good!

I would put peanut butter itself at the top of the list. What better definer of culture. It's incredibly popular in the U.S., yet many other nationalities are repulsed by it.

Peanut butter is definitely "ours", the peanuts originally by way of Africa (?), but the spread itself only truly loved here. . . :laugh:

TV dinners?

When one says "TV dinner" one thinks "USA". :biggrin:

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I tried to go with things introduced post 1950 but am ready to be corrected.

1. noodle bake/Campbell's soup flavored casseroles

2. fried chicken

3. baked potatoes with sour cream (and perhaps, chives)

4. macaroni and cheese

5. various types of sub-type sandwiches

Post 2000:

Most of these items are not particularly "American," but I feel that they have entered into the vernacular consciousness.

1. things with pesto (of various types)

2. things with sun dried tomatoes

3. things with previously exotic mushrooms

4. "ginormous" fast food meat based sandwiches

5. fried coke (why not?)

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[...]It surprises me that your list for the future does not include some form of iconic Asian-American food, Michael. I think mine will. Right next to "tacos".[...]

I thought of including tacos, and I thought of something Asian, but I think that fried chicken is pretty universal (OK, and maybe roasted chicken - pollo a la brasa, soy sauce chicken, etc.) and that the 2nd and 3rd generations in the U.S. tend to eat the things on my list. I don't think that the hotdog, hamburger, salads, and yogurt are likely to lose nationwide appeal any time soon.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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