American Food: Perception vs. Reality


What comes to mind when you think of American food? Many people, no matter what country they’re from, would probably say burgers, French fries, ice cream, pizza, hot dogs, processed foods, and pretty much anything overly sweet or especially salty. More than once, American food has been called disgusting – and this is partially true. But not all of the food in the United States is disgusting, and Americans do not exclusively eat hamburgers and French fries. So, what do the people of the United States of America really eat?

Well, the chart-toppers of the list of America’s favorite foods are probably no surprise – hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries, and pizza. However, the most common foods that Americans actually eat – sandwiches, fruit, vegetables, soft drinks, and milk – are different than what they like to eat. Just because you like French fries or chocolate chip cookies doesn’t mean you eat them every day or make them part of a typical meal at home. It’s important to remember that what people eat when they’re out to dinner at a restaurant in a certain country isn’t necessarily what can be found in their kitchen.

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Additionally, the cuisines found in the United States are a combination of influences from around the world, just like the people. There is no one single dish or food that could represent the entire country. Each region, state, and even city could have its own specialties, most popular cuisines, and culinary traditions. Find out what the best regional foods are around your school, and ask local students what they recommend.

You can find almost any type of restaurant in the U.S., especially in larger cities – from Chinese to Italian, Indian to Lebanese, Korean to Brazilian. With so many different culinary options, the United States is one of the best places to try a variety of cuisines and get a taste of the country’s diversity. And if you’re feeling homesick or looking to make new friends at school, food is a great way to bring people together.

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What’s something you’ve found interesting about food in the U.S.? Let us know in the comments below!

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