American Cuisine _revised_.doc

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					     Course: CUL 151 – American Cuisine
     Textbook: The History of American Cuisine
     Chapter 1: “Introduction – Important Concepts in the Development of American

     Purpose: To understand the important regional influences which make up the
     American cuisine. Knowledge of these major regional characteristics will help the
     skilled chef better understand the history of the American Cuisine as well as
10   better understand the eating habits of Americans and their American diet.

           The Cuisine of the United States is characterized by the broad diversity of
15   foods, driven by the tendency of the country as a whole to integrate widely
     divergent ingredients and styles of cooking. Cuisines differ from region to region
     in the ingredients they use and the method of cooking because each region is
     influenced by innovation and centuries of immigration.

20   California Cuisine
             California cuisine is a cuisine marked by an interest in fusion
      integrating disparate cooking styles and ingredients and which, influenced by the
     state's health-conscious tradition, tends to be freshly prepared. The food is
     typically prepared with particularly strong attention to presentation.
25         Alice Waters, of the restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, is
     usually credited with originating California cuisine and retains the reputation of
     offering the ultimate California cuisine experience. Her cuisine emphasizes the
     freshest ingredients which are in season and are procured solely from local
     farms. Wolfgang Puck, from the Spago restaurants, helped popularized California
30   cuisine.
           Besides the cooking style, the cuisine is affected by the abundance of fruits
     and vegetables as the state is one of the major agricultural centers of the United
     States. Some locally grown produce that are less common in other parts of the
     country include avocados, artichokes, fresh figs, fresh dates, and persimmons.
     Southwestern Cuisine
           Southwestern cuisine is food styled after the rustic cooking of the West
     Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. It comprises a fusion
     of recipes for things that might have been eaten by cowboys, Native Americans,
40   and Mexicans throughout the post-Columbian era.
            Southwestern cuisine is heavily influenced by Mexican cuisine but
     involves more large cuts of meat. This style of cuisine is known for its use of
     spices, particularly chili pepper and Tabasco sauce. Southwestern cuisine is
     also associated with the concept of the barbeque, which includes barbecue
45   sauces and barbequed ribs and other kinds of meats.
     Southern Cuisine
            The Southern region of the United States, which consists of 16 states
     including the Mid Atlantic states of Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North
50   Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia; the Southern states of
     Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee; and the West South Central
     States of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, has a distinct cuisine that
     draws heavily on influences from various groups that have inhabited the area.
     The most notable influences come from African-American, Native American,
55   Irish, French, and Spanish cuisines.
            Foods that are commonly associated with the South are iced tea; pit
     barbecue; grits, or coarsely ground corn; biscuits, especially with gravy; catfish;
     casseroles; cornbread; fried chicken; okra; and pickled green tomatoes,
     watermelon rind, and peaches.
60          Frying is the most common method of cooking in the South. This is a direct
     reflection of the influence of slave cooking on the region, since Africans of the
     time were fond of deep fat frying. Southern fried chicken is among the region's
     most well-known foods, though pork is as integral a part of the cuisine as
     chicken, with Virginia ham being the most famous.
65          An example of a traditional Southern meal is deep fried chicken, field peas,
     turnip greens, cornbread, sweet tea, and a dessert, which could be a traditional
     southern sweet potato pie or a traditional peach cobbler.
            Specific cuisines that are representative of Southern cooking include soul
     food, Creole, Cajun, and Tex-Mex.
70          Soul food is food traditionally eaten by African Americans of the Southern
     United States. Many of the various dishes and ingredients included in soul food
     are also regional fare and comprise a part of white Southern U.S. cuisine, as
     well. African-American slaves were generally given only the leftover and
     undesirable cuts of meat after the slave owners had taken the choicest cuts, and
75   had only the vegetables they grew for themselves. After slavery, many, being
     poor, could afford only off-cuts of meat, along with offal. Farming, fishing, and
     hunting provided fresh vegetables, fish, and wild game such as possum, rabbit,
     squirrel, and sometimes waterfowl.
             Offals that are regularly used in soul food included chicken gizzards,
80   chicken livers, and chitterlings, or "chitlins" (the cleaned and prepared intestines
     of hogs, slow-cooked and often eaten with vinegar and hot sauce; sometimes
     parboiled, then battered and fried).
             Vegetables commonly used in soul food include black-eyed peas, which
     are cooked separately or with rice, as "hoppin' john." Sweet potatoes, which are
85   often parboiled, sliced, and then baked, using sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and
     butter or margarine, are commonly called "candied yams." They are also boiled,
     then pureed and baked into pies.
            Creole cuisine is a style of cooking originating in Louisiana that blends
     French, Spanish, and American influences. It also bears hallmarks of Italian
90   cuisine, as well as Caribbean and African touches. The most popular Creole
     dish is jambalaya, a rice-based dish with vegetables and meat, possibly brought
     by the Spanish who controlled the territory before the Louisiana Purchase.
             Cajun cuisine originates from the French-speaking Acadians, or "Cajun,"
      who were deported from Nova Scotia when they refused to support the British
 95   government after French Nova Scotia was ceded to England. It is what could be
      called a rustic cuisine
      locally available ingredients predominate and preparation is simple. An authentic
      Cajun meal is usually a three-pot affair, with one pot dedicated to the main dish,
      one dedicated to steamed rice, skillet cornbread, or some other grain dish, and
100   the third containing whatever vegetable is plentiful or available.
             The aromatic vegetables bell-pepper, onion, and celery, called “the holy
      trinity of Cajun cuisine” by some chefs, are ubiquitous. Characteristic seasonings
      include parsley, garlic, bay leaf, and "onion tops" (scallions). Cayenne pepper or
      locally made pepper sauces such as Tabasco is used to add some heat to the
105   food. The overall feel of the cuisine is more Mediterranean than North American.
             Tex-Mex cuisine originates from the mixture of Texas and Mexican
      cooking. Many of the ingredients used in Tex-Mex cuisine are common in
      Mexican cuisine, although ingredients unknown in Mexico are often added. Tex-
      Mex cuisine, which is part of Southern cuisine, is characterized by its heavy use
110   of meat (particularly beef), beans, and spices. Nachos, crispy tacos, crispy
      chalupas, and fajitas are all Tex-Mex inventions. Serving tortilla chips and a hot
      sauce or salsa as an appetizer is also an original Tex-Mex combination, and one
      that Texan diners insist on.

115   Midwestern Cuisine
             Midwestern cuisine in the United States features simple dishes such as
      pot roast, sausage, scrapple (a cornmeal pudding made with pork scraps and
      trimmings, cooled and hardened into a loaf), pancakes, and other comfort foods.
      Dairy is an important ingredient, especially cheese. Meals tend to be served
120   family style or smorgasbord, buffet style, rather than in courses. Seasoning is
      light, not spicy.
             As with most cuisines, it is heavily influenced by the immigrant groups
      which settled in various areas of the Midwest. In the northern Midwest, which
      consists of mainly Northern European groups, Cornish pasties, or meat pies, and
125   Polish paczki, or doughnuts, are common. Missouri and Illinois were destinations
      for many ethnic German immigrants, so sausages and potatoes are more
      prevalent. Italian cuisine is popular in Chicago and St. Louis.

      New England Cuisine
130         New England cuisine is a type of American cuisine found in the
      northeastern region of the United States, which includes the states of
      Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and
      Vermont. New England cooking is characterized by extensive use of seafood and
      dairy products, which results from its historical reliance on its seaports and
135   fishing industry, as well as extensive dairy farming in states like Vermont. Two
      outstandingly characterful ingredients native to New England are maple syrup
      and cranberries. The starch of the New England cuisine is the potato. The
      favored cooking techniques are stewing and baking.
             Maine is known for its lobster, once a poor man's supper; Vermont is known
140   for its cheddar cheese and maple syrup; coastal Massachusetts is known for its
      clams, cod, haddock, and cranberries.
             New England is also known for many of its fine, local lagers and ales, the
      most famous of which is Samuel Adams of the Boston Beer Company in Boston,
      Massachusetts. Even today, traditional cuisine remains a strong part of New
145   England's identity. Some of its plates are now enjoyed by the entire United
      States, including clam chowder, baked beans, and homemade ice cream.

      Vocabulary – American Cuisine
      2000 Vocabulary

                            health                steamed               integrate
      afford                holy                  sugar                 integrating
      agricultural          hunting               supper                involves
      attention             ice                   tea                   major
      baked                 iced                  tend                  method
      baking                inventions            tendency              overall
      bay                   island                tends                 predominate
      beans                 leaf                  typically             purchase
      bell                  loaf                                        region
      boiled                meal                                        regional
      butter                meals                                       reliance
      centuries             meat                  Academic              retains
      cheese                meats                 Vocabulary            solely
      chicken               mixture                                     specific
      cleaned               original              affected              style
      coarsely              originates            area                  styled
      combination           plates                areas                 styles
      comfort               plentiful             available             techniques
      conscious             polish                comprise              tradition
      cooked                pot                   comprises             traditional
      cooking               rabbit                concept               traditionally
      cooled                reflection            consists              ultimate
      cream                 regularly             credited
      dish                  reputation            distinct
      dishes                restaurant            diversity
      entire                restaurants           emphasizes
      especially            rice                  ethnic
      fat                   roast                 features
      fond                  sauce                 identity
      fried                 sauces                immigrant
      fruits                slave                 immigrants
      frying                slavery               immigration
      government            slaves                innovation
      grain                 slow                  integral

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