One of our favorite secrets to amazing Mediterranean dishes is Caper Butter. Caper bushes can be spotted growing wild in rocky crags and on coastal cliffs. Capers are picked by hand each morning as soon as they reach the desired size, then dried in the hot Mediterranean sun. While they are sometimes found packed in sea salt, most capers are pickled in a brine of vinegar or wine. Pickled capers can be used straight from the jar. FACT: Capers range in size from that of a small peppercorn, such as the prized non-pareil variety from Southern France, to the size of a small pea.
Did you know that October is National Pasta Month? Source: National Pasta Association. Ingredients 1- 16 oz. Preparation Boil Pasta according to the directions on the package.
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Rinse under cold water and drain thoroughly. Add pasta to a medium sized bowl along with the remaining ingredients. Blend together. The pasta salad may be served immediately or stored covered in the refrigerator for the following day. Click Here for the Recipe. Capers and red wine bring out the natural flavors of tomatoes and artichoke hearts and herbs in this classic Mediterranean recipe. How can this be? There are countless reasons to take a few minutes in the morning to enjoy a healthy breakfast, but overall health and wellness tops the list.
Therefore, in celebration of National Breakfast Month , let us please remind our readers to eat a healthy breakfast. Here are some ideas we found to make your first meal of the best. Red onion, thinly sliced. Directions: Add all crepe ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Flip the crepe and cook another minute until lightly browned. Remove from pan and place on plate and continue process until batter is gone.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, cream cheese, lemon juice and zest, and dill. Season with cracked pepper. To assemble the crepes, spread a small amount of the cheese and dill mixture over one half of the crepe. Add a thin layer of smoked salmon on top of half of the cheese, generously sprinkle with capers, add thinly sliced onion and fold crepe into quarters and serve. Place pancetta slices in panini press and cook about 3 minutes or until crispy. Remove from press and set aside. To assemble the paninis, add a tablespoon of pesto on the top inside slice of each sandwich.
Add the eggs to the bottom slice of bread. Top the egg with arugula, pancetta, and a layer of roasted red pepper. Top the sandwich with the pesto bread slice and place into the panini press for about 5 minutes or until slightly crispy and golden. Add hash browns and fry for about 5 minutes until slightly golden in color. Add breakfast sausage into the pan, break up with a wooden spoon and cook another 7 minutes or until sausage is done. Add egg mixture and chopped roasted red peppers and stir occasionally, lower heat to medium while cooking the eggs for about 6 minutes or until eggs are done.
Turn heat off, sprinkle cheese on top to melt. Our featured recipes this month showcase what we believe to be the unsung heroes of the culinary world, Non-Pareil Capers. Here are three fresh ideas for you to enjoy:. The salty, slightly briny flavor our our Capers pairs perfectly with smoked salmon and dill. This gourmet dish is simple to create for brunch or dinner.
Layer the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and capers along the center of the breasts and top with the mozzarella. Fold one side of the breast over the filling and roll into a long tube, secure with a toothpick. Allow the chicken to cool for 2 to 3 minutes before slicing or cutting in half. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 medium onion, chopped 2 Tbsp. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook until the onion is tender. Add oregano and artichoke hearts and anchovy paste, stir for one minute. Add tomatoes, capers and red wine and stir to break up the tomatoes into large pieces.
Bring to boil, and then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Add olives and red pepper flakes. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes more. Their distinctive salty, slightly briny flavor makes them a staple for Mediterranean dishes like authentic scaloppini and picatta recipes. So what are these mysterious tiny nuggets of goodness? Capers are the unripened flower buds of a perennial bush native to the Mediterranean. We source our capers from Turkey where wild caper bushes can be spotted growing wild in rocky crags and on coastal cliffs. Capers are picked by hand as soon as they reach the desired size, then dried in the hot Mediterranean sun before they are pickled in a brine of vinegar.
Great question! It means, they are unsurpassed, the most desired- the best! So, now you know! Spread it on fish or chicken before baking or serve it as a spread with crackers or crusty bread. Spoon mixture over a block goat cheese and serve with pita chips. Dice tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, and anchovy filets.
Mix together with basil and crushed red pepper flakes for an alluring Puttanesca pasta sauce. Having trouble finding your favorite natural foods products in your area code? No problem. With more than 40, health and wellness essentials from top brands , chances are you will find just what you are looking for and then some! AND they deliver them to your door. The company is celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year and was recently awarded the Silver Stevie Award for Innovation in Customer Service.
Next time you are in a pinch for time or having trouble finding what you are looking for, we encourage you to visit their site and give them a try! Baja Fruit Salad Every good brunch menu needs fruit to compliment the main dishes! Here are some helpful tips and serving ideas for easy Easter Sunday celebrations. Add Roasted Bell Pepper Strips in your quiche, frittata, or scrambled eggs Make an irresistible omelet by adding Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes , Kalamata Olives , fresh herbs and a dollop of tangy goat cheese or crumbled feta.
Roughly chop Spicy Italian Olive Antipasto and toss into an omelet. Cube your favorite cheese and combine with a variety of olives , olive oil and a few shavings of citrus peel. Serve Spicy Italian Olive Antipasto with feta cheese, hummus and warm pita triangles. Serve Castelvetrano Olives as a quick and addictive snack by themselves or alongside Spanish Marcona almonds and Manchego cheese.
Photo Source: www. So forget delivery. In less time, you can grill up even better pizza! Here are some suggestions on how to turn a plain pizza into a gourmet experience: Plenty of cheese please! Grilled pizza topped with Sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini, pepperoni, light cheese and thinly sliced red onions. Photo Courtesy of www. Photo courtesy of www. Great served hot or room temperature. Pasta can be traced as far back as the fourth century B.
There are more than pasta shapes produced worldwide. The most popular pasta shapes in the U. The average person in Italy eats more than 51 pounds of pasta every year. Click Here for the Recipe Capers and red wine bring out the natural flavors of tomatoes and artichoke hearts and herbs in this classic Mediterranean recipe. Red onion, thinly sliced Directions: Add all crepe ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Rendered pork fat made the most popular cooking medium, especially from the cooking of bacon. Pork fat was used more often in the southern colonies than the northern colonies as the Spanish introduced pigs earlier to the South. The colonists enjoyed butter in cooking as well, but it was rare prior to the American Revolution , as cattle were not yet plentiful.
Prior to the Revolution , New Englanders consumed large quantities of rum and beer , as maritime trade provided them relatively easy access to the goods needed to produce these items. Rum was the distilled spirit of choice, as the main ingredient, molasses , was readily available from trade with the West Indies. Further into the interior, however, one would often find colonists consuming whiskey , as they did not have similar access to sugar cane. They did have ready access to corn and rye, which they used to produce their whiskey.
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In comparison to the northern colonies, the Southern Colonies were quite diverse in their agricultural diet. The uplands of the Piedmont and the coastal lowlands made up the two main parts of the southern colonies. The diet of the uplands often included wild game, cabbage , string beans , corn , squashes and white potatoes. People had biscuits as part of their breakfast , along with healthy portions of pork. Rice played a large part of the diet in Louisiana. In addition, unlike the uplands, the lowlands subsistence of protein came mostly from coastal seafood. Much of the diet involved the use of peppers, as it still does to this day.
Some, such as Rocky Mountain oysters , stayed regional; some spread throughout the nation but with little international appeal, such as peanut butter a core ingredient of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich ; and some spread throughout the world, such as popcorn , cola , fried chicken , cornbread , unleavened muffins such as the poppyseed muffin , and brownies.
During the s, American farms were mostly self-sufficient; but, certain staples like salt , coffee , sugar and baking soda would be purchased at the town general store. If the family didn't grow wheat , then flour would also be purchased. Another luxury was canned salmon , which was sometimes eaten for Sunday dinner. Items purchased at the general store would be paid for with eggs, butter or some other food from the farm. Women were responsible for much of the processing of food like straining fresh milk, churning butter, making molasses from sorghum , grinding corn into cornmeal or cleaning whole chickens.
Fresh picked apples were pressed into cider , which could be fermented to make apple cider vinegar. Fruits and vegetables were preserved by various means like canning, drying or pickling. One contemporary writer from Michigan described October as cider season, when apple butter would be made. Her writings mention johnnycakes ; and, as winter fare, buckwheat cakes.
Typical farmhouse fare included fried chicken, simmered green beans , boiled corn, chicken and dumplings , fried ham , boiled beans and beets , stewed tomatoes , potatoes, and coleslaw made of shredded cabbage. Pon haus , similar to the scrapple of the Pennsylvania Dutch , was a typical breakfast dish among the Germans who had settled Indiana in the 19th century.
Pork scraps and corn meal were cooked into a thick porridge and molded in loaf pans. Once solidified, the mixture would be cut and fried. During the fall months pork might be replaced with fried apples or potatoes. It was served with buttered biscuits , jam, jelly, milk gravy or sorghum syrup. Fruit butter might be made from apples. Jane Pride, New York Herald. Pork was a staple of the rural diet through the Southern and Midwestern United States. Lard was used for baking, frying and even as a seasoning.
The cookware of the period was made of cast iron and these were thoroughly seasoned with pork fat. Fried salt pork with gravy was an indulgent fat-laden dish often served with a side of boiled potatoes. In the Appalachian region a dish called "killed lettuce" was made with pokeweed , dandelion and assorted wild greens that were drizzled with hot bacon grease until wilted or "killed".
Pie could be served up to three times a day and many varieties were prepared depending on the season. During the spring months, pies would be made of rhubarb and strawberry ; in summer peach , cherry , blackberry , blueberry , elderberry and grape ; and in fall apple. The staples of the urban diet were bread, dairy and canned goods. Dinner might be tomato bisque from a can topped with cream or a salad made of canned string beans and mayonnaise. Many preferred to purchase food at delicatessen 's, rather than attempt to prepare meals in the cramped kitchenettes.
German delicatessens in cities like New York and Milwaukee sold imported cold cuts, potato salads , schmierkase , wienerwurst , North Sea herring , assorted pickles and other prepared foods. Jewish immigrants from Germany soon followed suit, replacing pork dishes with corned beef and pastrami. Ice cream soda was served at soda fountains, along with various other early "soda water" recipes like the Garden Sass Sundae rhubarb or the Oh-Oh-Cindy Sundae strawberry ice cream topped with chocolate syrup, chopped nuts, whipped cream and candied cherries.
In the 20th century highly industrialized processed foods became a dominant feature of American diets. Fusion of the food traditions of various immigrant groups to the US contributed to development of distinct ethnic-American dishes. This style of dainty fare was highly decorated and ladylike and it was intended to be consumed only by women. The decorative and ornate foods were a symbol of distinction between men and women, as the former were associated with less refined foods.
Dozens of articles published in women's magazines promoted the "dainty" quality of tea parties. From one issue of Good Housekeeping : "the secret of a successful tea room is daintiness, first in the service, and then in the quality of the food served". During the Progressive Era s—s food production and presentation became more industrialized. From thru the machine double-crimped, compound-sealed, open-top, so-called "sanitary can" was perfected replacing individually-crafted and manually-soldered hole-in-top style cans.
Also during that time, the can manufacturing industry consolidated. During that same time frame, grain-feeding of cattle during low pasture months made milk increasingly available year-round. The invention of milking machines lowered production costs.
Pasteurization , homogenization , evaporation , condensation , and refrigeration along with glass milk bottles, wax paper cartons, and then plastic bottles made milk increasingly available and safe for urban consumers. Examples include the Root beer float and the Milkshake. Major railroads featured upscale cuisine in their dining cars. White Castle was one of the first examples. At the universities, nutritionists and home economists taught a new scientific approach to food.
In the early s muckraking journalists raised public concern about the wholesomeness of industrialized food products that contained various preservatives and adulterants of unknown safety. From to Harvey Washington Wiley , a chemist at the U. Department of Agriculture , supervised "hygienic table trials" to test the safety of food additives and preservatives. His work contributed to the enactment of the Pure Food and Drug Act of He became the first commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and later led the laboratories of Good Housekeeping Magazine.
During World War I the Progressives ' moral advice about food conservation was emphasized in large-scale state and federal programs designed to educate housewives. Large-scale foreign aid during and after the war brought American standards to Europe. Starting with iodized salt in , commercially distributed food began to be fortified with vitamins and minerals. In , milk began to be fortified with viosterol , a purified vitamin D2 product. Synthetic thiamin vitamin B1 first became available after and bakers began voluntarily enriching bread with high-vitamin yeast or synthetic vitamins in the late s.
The logistical requirements of the US military during WW2 and the Korean War spurred the development and growth of the processed foods industry in the US. Examples include powdered milk , powdered eggs , potato flakes , and frozen concentrated orange juice. After the war, low cost, highly processed foods became one of the foundational elements of an era of mass prosperity.
Newspapers and magazines ran recipe columns, aided by research from corporate kitchens, which were major food manufacturers like General Mills , Campbell's , and Kraft Foods. For example, the General Mills Betty Crocker's Cookbook , first published in , was a popular book in American homes. Highly processed foods of the mid-twentieth century included novelty elements like multi-colored Jell-O using various chemical food colorings , prepared breakfast cereals marketed to children with large amounts of sugar and artificial colors e. Froot Loops. Tang , Hi-C. Mid-twentieth century foods also added novelty packaging elements like spray cheese in an aerosol can , pimento stuffed olives, and drink pouches.
The development of the microwave oven resulted in the creation of industrial food products and packaging that is intended take advantage of the unique opportunities and overcome the unique challenges of that technology. Throughout the second half of the 20th century the US commercial food system has become increasingly dependent on subsidized maize corn production to provide feed for livestock and ingredients for human foods such as high-fructose corn syrup.
One signature characteristic of American cooking is the fusion of multiple ethnic or regional approaches into completely new cooking styles. For example, spaghetti is Italian, while hot dogs are German; a popular meal, especially among young children, is spaghetti containing slices of hot dogs. Some dishes that are typically considered American have their origins in other countries. American cooks and chefs have substantially altered these dishes over the years, to the degree that the dishes now enjoyed around the world are considered to be American. Hot dogs and hamburgers are both based on traditional German dishes, but in their modern popular form they can be reasonably considered American dishes.
Pizza is based on the traditional Italian dish, brought by Italian immigrants to the United States, but varies highly in style based on the region of development since its arrival. For example, "Chicago" style has focus on a thicker, taller crust, whereas a " New York Slice " is known to have a much thinner crust which can be folded. These different types of pizza can be advertised throughout the country and are generally recognizable and well-known, with some restaurants going so far as to import New York City tap water from a thousand or more miles away to recreate the signature style in other regions.
The fortune cookie was likewise invented in California in the early s and is known in Asia only as an American style food. A wave of celebrity chefs began with Julia Child and Graham Kerr in the s, with many more following after the rise of cable channels like Food Network. By the beginning of the 21st century regional variations in consumption of meat began to reduce, as more meat was consumed overall. During the s, upscale restaurants introduced a mixing of cuisines that contain Americanized styles of cooking with foreign elements commonly referred as New American cuisine. Generally speaking, in the present day 21st century, the modern cuisine of the United States is very much regional in nature.
It includes the six states of Connecticut , Maine , Massachusetts , New Hampshire , Rhode Island , and Vermont , with its largest city and cultural capital Boston , founded in The Native American cuisine became part of the cookery style that the early colonists brought with them.
Tribes like the Nipmuck , Wampanoag , Passamaquoddy and other Algonquian cultures were noted for slashing and burning areas to create meadows and bogs that would attract animals like moose and deer , but also encourage the growth of plants like black raspberries , blueberries , and cranberries. The style of New England cookery originated from its colonial roots, that is to say practical, frugal, and willing to eat anything other than what they were used to from their British roots.
The oldest forms of the cuisine date to the early 17th century and in the case of Massachusetts, out of the entire country only the state of Virginia can claim recipes that are older. East Anglian cookery would have included recipes for dishes like suet puddings, wheaten breads, and a few shellfish delicacies, like winkles, and would have been at the time of settlement simple Puritan fare quite in contrast to the fineries and excesses expected in London cavalier circles. Most of the cuisine started with one-pot cookery, which resulted in such dishes as succotash , chowder , baked beans , and others.
This region is fairly conservative with its spices, but typical spices include nutmeg , ginger , cinnamon , cloves , and allspice , especially in desserts, and for savory foods, thyme , black pepper , sea salt , and sage. Typical condiments include maple syrup , grown from the native sugar maple , molasses , and cranberry sauce. New England is noted for having a heavy emphasis on seafood, a legacy inherited from coastal tribes like the Wampanoag and Narragansett , who equally used the rich fishing banks offshore for sustenance.
Favorite fish include cod , salmon , winter flounder , haddock , striped bass , pollock , hake , bluefish , and, in southern New England, tautog. All of these are prepared numerous ways, such as frying cod for fish fingers, grilling bluefish over hot coals for summertime, smoking salmon or serving a whole poached one chilled for feasts with a dill sauce, or, on cold winter nights, serving haddock baked in casserole dish with a creamy sauce and crumbled breadcrumbs as a top so it forms a crust.
Farther inland, brook trout , largemouth bass , and herring are sought after, especially in the rivers and icy finger lakes in upper New England where New Englanders will fly fish for them in summertime. Today turkey meat is a key ingredient in soups, and also a favorite in several sandwiches like the Pilgrim.
For lunch, hot roast beef is sometimes chopped finely into small pieces and put on a roll with salami and American or provolone cheese to make a steak bomb. Dairy farming and its resultant products figure strongly on the ingredient list, and homemade ice cream is a summertime staple of the region: it was a small seasonal roadside stand in Vermont that eventually became the internationally famous Ben and Jerry's ice cream.
Vermont is known for producing farmhouse style cheeses, especially a type of cheddar. Crustaceans and mollusks are also an essential ingredient in the regional cookery. Squid are heavily fished for and eaten as fried calamari , and often are an ingredient in Italian American cooking in this region. Whelks are eaten in salad, and lobster , which is indigenous to the coastal waters of the region and are a feature of many dishes, baked, boiled, roasted, and steamed, or simply eaten as a sandwich , chilled with mayonnaise and chopped celery in Maine and Massachusetts, or slathered with melted butter on Long Island and in Connecticut.
Shellfish of all sorts are part of the diet, and shellfish of the coastal regions include little neck clams , sea scallops , blue mussels , oysters , soft shell clams , and razor shell clams. Much of this shellfish contributes to New England tradition, the clambake. The clambake as known today is a colonial interpretation of an American Indian tradition. Oysters are otherwise eaten chilled on a bed of crushed ice on the half shell with mignonette sauce, and are often branded on where they were harvested.
Large quahogs are stuffed with breadcrumbs and seasoning and baked in their shells, and smaller ones often find their way into clam chowder. Other preparations include clams casino , clams on the half shell served stuffed with herbs like oregano and streaky bacon. The fruits of the region include the Vitis labrusca grapes used in grape juice made by companies such as Welch's , along with jelly , Kosher wine by companies like Mogen David and Manischewitz along with other wineries that make higher quality wines.
Though not anywhere near as productive a region as the top three apple producing regions, Apples have been a staple of New England foodways since at least the s and it is here that a very high amount of heirloom varieties are found, many of them gaining renewed interest as part of locavore movements and the re-emergence of cider as a beverage of choice. Historically New England and the other original 13 colonies were major producers of hard cider and the only reason why this changed were that immigrants from Western and Central Europe preferred beer, especially lagers, to apple based alcohol.
In more recent years cider has made a roaring comeback nationwide, with New England being the first to break out of the box and with many pomologists scouring the woods for abandoned apple trees and heirloom varieties to add to the cider press. Angry Orchard is a local commercial brand that began in New Hampshire but has since skyrocketed in sales, with other large marques following suit around the land. Beach plums a small native species with fruits the size of a pinball, are sought after in summer to make into a jam.
Cranberries are another fruit indigenous to the region, often collected in autumn in huge flooded bogs. Thereafter they are juiced so they can be drunk fresh for breakfast, or dried and incorporated into salads and quickbreads. Blueberries are a very common summertime treat owing to them being an important crop, and find their way into muffins , pies and pancakes. Typical favorite desserts are quite diverse, and encompass hasty pudding , blueberry pie , whoopie pies , Boston cream pie , pumpkin pie , Joe Frogger cookies, hand crafted ice cream , Hermit cookies, and the chocolate chip cookie , invented in Massachusetts in the s.
Southern New England, particularly along the coast, shares many specialties with the Mid-Atlantic, including especially dishes from Jewish and Italian-American cuisine. Coastal Connecticut is known for distinctive kinds of pizza , locally called apizza pronounced locally as abeetz , differing in texture thin and slightly blackened and toppings such as clams from pizza further south in the so-called pizza belt, which stretches from New Haven, Connecticut southward through New York , New Jersey , and into Maryland.
The oldest major settlement in this area of the country is found in the most populous city in the nation, New York City , founded in by the Dutch. Today, it is a major cultural capital of the United States. In addition, cities like New York and Philadelphia have had the past influence of Dutch,  Italian, German,  Irish,   British,  and Jewish cuisines,  and that continues to this day.
Baltimore has become the crossroads between North and South, a distinction it has held since the end of the Civil War. A global power city ,  New York City is well known for its diverse and cosmopolitan dining scene. Many of the more complicated dishes with rich ingredients like Lobster Newberg , waldorf salad , vichyssoise , eggs benedict , and the New York strip steak were born out of a need to entertain and impress the well to do in expensive bygone restaurants like Delmonico's and still standing establishments like the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
Since the first reference to an alcoholic mixed drink called a cocktail comes from New York State in , it is thus not a surprise that there have been many cocktails invented in New York and the surrounding environs. Even today New York City bars are noted for being highly influential in making national trends.
Cosmopolitans , Long Island iced teas , Manhattans , Rob Roys , Tom Collins , Aviations , and Greyhounds were all invented in New York bars, and the gin martini was popularized in New York in speakeasies during the s, as evidenced by its appearance in the works of New Yorker and American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. Like its neighbor Philadelphia , many rare and unusual liquors and liqueurs often find their way into a mixologist's cupboard or restaurant wine list.
New York State is the third most productive area in the country for wine grapes, just behind California and Washington. It has AVA 's near the Finger Lakes, the Catskills, and Long Island,  and in the Hudson Valley has the second most productive area in the country for growing apples, making it a center for hard cider production, just like New England. Since their formative years, New York City , Philadelphia , and Baltimore have welcomed immigrants of every kind to their shores, and all three have been an important gateway through which new citizens to the general United States arrive.
Even in colonial days this region was a very diverse mosaic of peoples, as settlers from Switzerland, Wales, England, Ulster, Wallonia, Holland, Gelderland, the British Channel Islands, and Sweden sought their fortune in this region. The original Dutch settlers of New York brought recipes they knew and understood from the Netherlands and their mark on local cuisine is still apparent today: in many quarters of New York their version of apple pie with a streusel top is still baked, while originating in the colony of New Amsterdam their predilection for waffles in time evolved into the American national recipe and forms part of a New York City brunch, and they also made coleslaw , originally a Dutch salad, but today accented with the later 18th-century introduction of mayonnaise.
Crab cakes were once a kind of English croquette, but over time as spices have been added they and the Maryland crab feast became two of Baltimore's signature dishes; fishing for the blue crab is a favorite summer pastime in the waters off Maryland , New Jersey , and Delaware where they may grace the table at summer picnics.
Other mainstays of the region have been present since the early years of American history, like oysters from Cape May, the Chesapeake Bay, and Long Island, and lobster and tuna from the coastal waters found in New York and New Jersey. In the winter, New York City pushcarts sell roasted chestnuts, a delicacy dating back to English Christmas traditions,  and it was in New York and Pennsylvania that the earliest Christmas cookies were introduced: Germans introduced crunchy molasses based gingerbread and sugar cookies in Pennsylvania, and the Dutch introduced cinnamon based cookies, all of which have become part of the traditional Christmas meal.
After the s, new groups began to arrive and the character of the region began to change. There had been some Irish from Ulster prior to , however largely they had been Protestants with somewhat different culture and often a different language than the explosion of emigrants that came to Castle Garden and Locust Point in Baltimore in their masses starting in the s.
The Irish arrived in America in a rather woeful state, as Ireland at the time was often plagued by some of the worst poverty in Europe and often heavy disenfranchisement among the masses: many of them arrived barely alive having ridden coffin ships to the New World, very sick with typhus and gaunt from prolonged starvation. In addition, they were the first to face challenges other groups did not have: they were the first large wave of Catholics.
They faced prejudice for their faith and the cities of Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore were not always set up for their needs. For example, Catholic bishops in the U. Unsurprisingly, many Irishmen also found their fortunes working as longshoremen, which would have given their families access to fish and shellfish whenever a fisherman made berth, which was frequent on the busy docks of Baltimore and New York. Part of the Catholic mass includes every parishioner taking a sip of wine from the chalice as part of the Eucharist. Taverns had existed prior to their emigration to America in the region, though the Irish brought their particular brand of pub culture and founded some of the first saloons and bars that served Dublin style stout and red ale ; they brought with them the knowledge of single malt style whiskey and sold it.
The Irish were the first immigrant group to arrive in this region in massive millions, and these immigrants also founded some of the earliest saloons and bars in this region, of which McSorley's is a still operating example. It was also in this region that the Irish introduced something that today is a very important festival in American culture that involves a large amount of food, drink, and merry making: Halloween.
In England and Wales, where prior immigrants had come from, the feast of All Hallows Eve had died out in the Reformation , dismissed as superstition and excess having nothing to do with the Bible and often replaced with the festival of Guy Fawkes Night. Other immigrant groups like the Germans preferred to celebrate October 31 as Reformation Day , and after the American Revolution all of the above were less and less eager to celebrate the legacy of an English festival when they had fought a very bloody war to leave the British Empire.
The Catholicism of the Irish demanded attendance at church on November 1 and charity and deeds, not just faith, as a cornerstone of dogma, and many of their older traditions survived the Reformation and traveled with them. Naturally, they went door-to-door to collect victuals for masked parties as well as gave them out, like nuts to roast on the fire, whiskey, beer, or cider, and barmbracks ; they also bobbed for apples and made dumb cakes.
Later in the century they were joined by Scots going guising , children going door-to-door to ask for sweets and treats in costume. From the Mid Atlantic this trend spread to be nationwide and evolved into American children trick-or-treating on October 31 wearing costumes and their older counterparts having wild costume parties with lots of food and drink like caramel apples , candy apples , dirt cakes , punch , cocktails , cider both alcoholic and non , pumpkin pie , candy corn , chocolate turtles , peanut brittle , taffy , tipsy cake , and copious buckets full of candy; children carving jack-o-lanterns and eating squash derived foods derive from Halloween's heritage as a harvest festival and from Irish and Scottish traditions of carving turnips and eating root vegetables at this time of year.
Their bobbing for apples has survived to the present day as a Halloween party classic game, as has a variation on the parlor game of trying to grab an apple hanging from the ceiling blindfolded:  it has evolved into trying to catch a donut in one's teeth. Immigrants from Southern Europe, namely Sicily , Campania , Lazio , and Calabria , appeared between and in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Eastern Maryland hoping to escape the extreme poverty and corruption endemic to Italy; typically none of them spoke English, but rather dialects of Italian and had a culture that was more closely tied to the village they were born in than the high culture only accessible to those who could afford it at this time; many could not read or write in any language.
They were employed in manual labor or factory work but it is because of them that dishes like spaghetti with meatballs , New York—style pizza , calzones , and baked ziti exist, and Americans of today are very familiar with semolina based pasta noodles. Their native cuisine had less of an emphasis on meat, as evidenced by dishes they introduced like pasta e fagioli and minestrone , but the dishes they created in America often piled it on as a sign of wealth and newfound prosperity since for the first time even cheap cuts of it were affordable: the American recipe for lasagna is proof of this, as mostly it is derived from the Neapolitan version of the dish with large amounts of meat and cheese.
New York—style hot dogs came about with German speaking emigrants from Austria and Germany, particularly with the frankfurter sausage and the smaller wiener sausage ; Jews would also contribute here by introducing the kosher version of these sausages, made of beef rather than pork. Hot dogs are a typical street food sold year round in all by the most inclement weather from thousands of pushcarts.
As with all other stadiums in Major League Baseball they are an essential for New York Yankees and the New York Mets games though it is the local style of preparation that predominates without exception. Hot dogs are also the focus of a televised eating contest on the Fourth of July in Coney Island,  at Nathan's Famous , one of the earliest hot dog stands opened in the United States in by Nathan Handwerker , a Jewish man who emigrated from what is now Ukraine in and whose influence is felt today around the world: hot dogs are a staple of amusement parks years later.
A summertime treat, Italian ice , began its life as a sweeter adaptation of the Sicilain granita that was strictly lemon flavored and brought to New York and Philadelphia. Its Hispanic counterpart, piragua , is a common and evolving shaved ice treat brought to New York City by Puerto Ricans in the s. Unlike the original dish which included flavors like tamarind, mango, coconut, piragua is evolving to include flavors like grape and cherry, fruits which are impossible to grow in the tropical Puerto Rican climate and get exported back to the island from New York.
Other dishes came about during the early 20th century and have much to do with delicatessen fare, set up largelyby Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe who came to America incredibly poor, often illiterate in any other language but Hebrew, and often banished from mainstream society in their place of origin for centuries. Most often they were completely unable to partake in the outdoor food markets that the general population utilized as most of the food for sale was not kosher. The influence of European Jewry before their destruction in the Holocaust on modern mid Atlantic cooking remains extremely strong and reinforced by their many descendants in the region.
American-style pickles , now a common addition to hamburgers and sandwiches, were brought by Polish Jews,  and Austro-Hungarian Jews brought a recipe for almond horns that now is a common regional cookie, diverting from the original recipe in dipping the ends in dark chocolate. New York inherited its bagels and bialys from Jews, as well as Challah bread. Pastrami first entered the country via Romanian Jews, and is a feature of many sandwiches, often eaten on marble rye, a bread that was born in the mid-Atlantic.
Whitefish salad , lox , and matzoh ball soup are now standard fare made to order at local diners and delicatessens, but started their life as foods that made up a strict dietary code. Rugelach cookies and hamentashen are sweet staples still sold to the general public, but came to New York over a century ago with Ashkenazi Jews along with Jewish rye. Like other groups before them, many of their dishes passed into the mainstream enough so that they became part of diner fare by the end of the 20th century, a type of restaurant that is now more numerous in this region than any other and formerly the subject matter of artist Edward Hopper.
In the past this sort of establishment was the haven of the short order cook grilling or frying simple foods for the working man. Today typical service would include staples from this large region like beef on weck , Manhattan clam chowder , the club sandwich , Buffalo wings , Philadelphia cheesesteak , the black and white cookie , shoofly pie , snapper soup , Smith Island cake , blackout cake , grape pie , milkshakes , and the egg cream , a vanilla or chocolate fountain drink with a frothy top and fizzy taste.
As in Hopper's painting from , many of these businesses are open 24 hours a day. Midwestern cuisine today is a very eclectic and odd mix and match of foodways. It covers everything from Kansas City-style barbecue to the Chicago-style hot dog , though many of its classics are very simple, hearty fare. Mostly this region was completely untouched by European and American settlers until after the American Civil War , and excepting Missouri and the heavily forested states near the Great Lakes, was mainly populated by nomadic tribes like the Sioux , Osage , Arapaho , and Cheyenne.
As with most other American Indians tribes, these tribes consumed the Three Sisters of beans, maize, and squash, but also for thousands of years followed the herds of bison and hunted them first on foot and then, after the spread of mustangs from the Southwest due to the explorations of conquistadors, on horseback, typically using bow and arrow. There are buffalo jumps dating back nearly ten thousand years and several photographs and written accounts of trappers and homesteaders attesting to their dependence on the buffalo and to a lesser degree elk.
After nearly wiping out the elk and bison to nothingness, this region has taken to raising bison alongside cattle for their meat and at an enormous profit, making them into burgers and steaks. This region today comprises the states near the Great Lakes and also the Great Plains; much of it is prairie with a very flat terrain where the blue sky meets a neverending horizon. Winters are bitterly cold, windy, and wet. Often that means very harsh blizzards especially near the Great Lakes where Arctic winds blow off of Canada and where the ice on rivers and lakes freezes reliably thick enough for ice hockey to be a favorite pastime in the region and for ice fishing for pike , walleye and panfish to be ubiquitous in Minnesota , Wisconsin , and Michigan , where they often there after become part of the local tradition of the fish fry.
Population density is extremely low away from the Great Lakes and very small towns dominated by enormous farms are the rule with larger cities being the exception. Detroit , Cleveland , St. Louis , Cincinnati , Indianapolis , Milwaukee , Minneapolis and her twin sister city across the river St. Paul dominate the landscape in wealth and size, owing to their ties with manufacturing, finance, transportation, and meatpacking.
Smaller places like Omaha , Tulsa , and Kansas City make up local capitals, but the king of them all is Chicago , third largest city in the country, on the shores of Lake Michigan. Non-American Indian settlement began here earlier than anywhere else in the region, and thus the food available here ranges from the sublime to the bizarre. As with all of the Midwest, the primary meats here are beef and poultry, since the Midwest has been raising turkeys , chickens , and geese for over a hundred and fifty years; chickens have been so common for so long that the Midwest has several native breeds that are prized for both backyard farming and for farmer's markets, such as the Buckeye and Wyandotte ; one, Billina, appears as a character in the second book of the Oz series by L.
Frank Baum. Favorite fruits of the region include a few native plants inherited from Native American tribes like the pawpaw and the American persimmons are also highly favored. As with the American South, pawpaws are the region's largest native fruit, about the size of a mango, and are often found growing wild in the region come September, whereafter they are made into preserves and cakes and command quite a price at farmer's markets in Chicago. Other crops inherited from the Native Americans include wild rice , which grows on the banks of lakes and is a local favorite for fancy meals and today often used in stuffing for Thanksgiving.
Typical fruits of the region are cold weather crops. Once it was believed that the region had winters that were far too harsh for apple growing, but then a breeder in Minnesota came forth with the Wealthy apple and thence came forth the third most productive region for apple growing in the land, with local varieties comprising Wolf River , Enterprise, Melrose , Paula Red , Rome Beauty , Honeycrisp , and the Red Delicious. Cherries are important to Michigan and Wisconsin grows many cranberries , a legacy of earlyth-century emigration of New England farmers.
Crabapple jelly is a favorite condiment of the region. The influence of German, Scandinavian, and Slavic peoples on the northern portion of the region is very strong; many of these emigrated to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois in the 19th century to take advantage of jobs in the meatpacking business as well as being homesteaders and tradesmen.
Bratwurst is a very common sausage eaten at tailgate parties for the Green Bay Packers , Chicago Bears , or Detroit Lions football teams and is often served boiled in lager beer with sauerkraut, different than many of the recipes currently found in Germany. Polish sausage, in particular a locally invented type of kielbasa , is an essential for sporting events in Chicago: Chicago today has approximately , speakers of Polish and has had a population of that description for over a hundred years.
Poles that left Poland after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the descendants of earlier immigrants still make all of the above and such comestibles are common in local diners and delis as result. In Cleveland, the same sausage is served in the form of the Polish boy : this is a weird but tasty sandwich made of french fries, spicy barbecue sauce, and coleslaw; unlike cities in the East where the hot dog alone is traditional fans of the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, and Milwaukee Brewers favor at least two or three different kinds of sausage sold in the little pushcarts outside the stadium; the hot dogs themselves tend to follow the Chicago style, which is loaded with mustard, and pickled vegetables.
In Cincinnati, where the Cincinnati Reds play, the predilection for sausage has a competitor in Cincinnati chili , invented by Macedonian immigrants: this bizarre but tasty dish includes spaghetti as its base, chili with a Mediterranean-inspired spice mix, and cheddar cheese; the chili itself is often a topping for local hot dogs at games.
In the Midwest and especially Minnesota,  the tradition of the church potluck has become a gathering in which local foods reign, and so it has been since the era of the frontier: pioneers would often need to pool resources together to have a celebration in the 19th century and that simply never changed. Next to that is the booyah , a thick soup made of a number or combinations of meat, vegetables, and seasonings that is meant to simmer on the stove for up to two days. Lefse , traditionally a Scandinavian flatbread, has been handed down to descendants for over a hundred years and is common on the table.
Behind that is the venison, a popular meat around the Great Lakes and often eaten in steaks, sandwiches, and crown roasts for special events. Last on the table are the dessert bars and most especially the brownies : this confection was created originally in in Chicago and has gone on to become a global food and international favorite. Further South, barbecue has its own style in places in Kansas and St. Louis that are different to the South and the American West. Kansas City and St. Louis were and remain important hubs for the railroad that connected the plains with the Great Lakes and cities farther east, like Philadelphia.
Louis area, Omaha, and Kansas City had huge stockyards, waystations for cattle and pigs on their way East to the cities of the coast and North to the Great Lakes. Louis-style barbecue favors a heavy emphasis on a sticky sweet barbecue sauce. Its standbys include the pork steak , a cut taken from the shoulder of the pig, grilled, and then slowly stewed in a pan over charcoal, crispy snoots, a cut from the cheek and nose of the pig that is fried up like cracklin and eaten dipped in sauce, pork spare ribs , and a mix of either beer boiled bratwurst or grilled Italian derived sausage, flavored with fennel.
Dessert is usually something like gooey butter cake , invented in the city in the s. Kansas City-style barbecue uses several different kinds of meat, more than most styles of American barbecue- turkey, mutton, pork, and beef just to name a few- but is distinct from St.
Louis in that the barbecue sauce adds molasses in with the typical tomato based recipe and typically has a more tart taste. Traditionally, Kansas City uses a low-and-slow method of smoking the meat in addition to just stewing it in the sauce. It also favors using hickory wood for smoking and continual watering or layering of the sauce while cooking to form a glaze; with burnt ends this step is necessary to create the "bark" or charred outer layer of the brisket. When referring to the American South as a region, typically it should indicate Southern Maryland and the states that were once part of the Old Confederacy , with the dividing line between the East and West jackknifing about miles west of Dallas, Texas, and mostly south of the old Mason—Dixon line.
These states are much more closely tied to each other and have been part of US territory for much longer than states much farther west than East Texas, and in the case of food, the influences and cooking styles are strictly separated as the terrain begins to change to prairie and desert from bayou and hardwood forest. This section of the country has some of the oldest known foodways in the land, with some recipes almost years old.
Native American influences are still quite visible in the use of cornmeal as an essential staple  and found in the Southern predilection for hunting wild game, in particular wild turkey , deer , woodcock , and various kinds of waterfowl ; for example, coastal North Carolina is a place where hunters will seek tundra swan as a part of Christmas dinner; the original English and Scottish settlers would have rejoiced at this revelation owing to the fact that such was banned amongst the commoner class in what is now the United Kingdom, and naturally, their descendants have not forgotten.
Catfish are often caught with one's bare hands , gutted, breaded, and fried to make a Southern variation on English fish and chips and turtles are turned into stews and soups. Peaches have been grown in this region since the 17th century and are a staple crop as well as a favorite fruit, with peach cobbler being a signature dessert. European influence began soon after the settlement of Jamestown in and the earliest recipes emerged by the end of the 17th century.
Specific influences from Europe were quite varied, and remain traditional and essential to the modern cookery overall. German speakers often settled in the Piedmont on small farms from the coast, and invented an American delicacy that is now nationally beloved, apple butter , based on their recipe for apfelkraut, and later introduced red cabbage and rye. From the British Isles, an enormous amount of influence was bestowed upon the South, specifically foodways found in 17th- and 18th-century Ulster , the borderlands between England and Scotland, the Scottish Highlands , portions of Wales , the West Midlands and Black Country.
Often ships' manifests show their belongings nearly always included cookpots or bakestones and seed stock for plants like peaches , plums , and apples to grow orchards which they planted in their hundreds. Each group brought foods and ideas from their respective regions. In time they came up with a method for distilling a corn mash with added sugar and aging in charred barrels made of select hardwoods, which created a whiskey with a high proof. This gave birth to American whiskey and Kentucky bourbon , and its cousins moonshine and Everclear.
Closer to the coast, 18th-century recipes for English trifle turned into tipsy cakes , replacing the sherry with whiskey and their recipe for pound cake , brought to the South around the same time, still works with American baking units: 1 pound sugar, one pound eggs, one pound butter, one pound flour. For most Southerners in the antebellum period , corn and pork were staples of the diet.
Country ham is often served for breakfast and cured with salt or sugar and hickory-smoked. Desserts in the South tend to be quite rich and very much a legacy of entertaining to impress guests, since a Southern housewife was and to a degree still is expected to show her hospitality by laying out as impressive a banquet as she is able to manage. American style sponge cakes tend to be the rule rather than the exception as is American style buttercream, a place where Southern baking intersects with the rest of the United States.
Nuts like pecan and hickory tend to be revered as garnishes for these desserts, and make their way into local bakeries as fillings for chocolates. In Louisiana, cooking methods have more in common with rustic French cuisines of the 17th and 18th century than anything ever found at the French court in Versailles or the bistros of 19th- and 20th-century Paris; this is especially true of Cajun cuisine.
Cajun French is more closely related to dialects spoken in Northern Maine , New Brunswick , and to a lesser degree Haiti than anything spoken in modern France, and likewise their terminology, methodology, and culture concerning food is much more closely related to the styles of these former French colonies even today. Unlike other areas of the South, Cajuns were and still are largely Catholics and thus much of what they eat is seasonal; for example pork is an important component of the Cajun boucherie a large community event where the hog is butchered, prepared with a fiery spice mix, and eaten snout to tail but it is never consumed in the five weeks of Lent, when such would be forbidden.
Cajun cuisine tends to focus on what is locally available, historically because Cajuns were often poor, illiterate, independent farmers and not plantation owners but today it is because such is deeply imbedded in local culture. Boudin is a type of sausage found only in this area of the country, and it is often by far more spicy than anything found in France or Belgium.
Chaudin is unique to the area, and the method of cooking is comparable to the Scottish dish haggis: the stuffing includes onions, rice, bell peppers, spices, and pork sewn up in the stomach of a pig, and served in slices piping hot. Crayfish are a staple of the Cajun grandmother's cookpot, as they are abundant in the bayous of Southern Louisiana and a main source of livelihood, as are blue crabs , shrimp , corn on the cob, and red potatoes, since these are the basic ingredients of the Louisiana crawfish boil.
New Orleans has been the capital of Creole culture since before Louisiana was a state; this culture is that of the colonial French and Spanish that evolved in the city of New Orleans, which was and still is quite distinct from the rural culture of Cajuns and dovetails with what would have been eaten in antebellum Louisiana plantation culture long ago. Cooking to impress and show one's wealth was a staple of Creole culture, which often mixed French, Spanish, Italian, German, African, Caribbean and Native American cooking methods, producing rich dishes like oysters bienville , pompano en papillote , and even the muffaletta sandwich.
However, Louisiana Creole cuisine tends to diverge from the original ideas brought to the region in ingredients: profiteroles , for example, use a near identical choux pastry to that which is found in modern Paris but often use vanilla or chocolate ice cream rather than custard as the filling, pralines nearly always use pecan and not almonds, and bananas foster came about when New Orleans was a key port for the import of bananas from the Caribbean Sea. Andouille is often used, but not the andouille currently known in France, since French andouille uses tripe whereas Louisiana andouille is made from a Boston butt , usually inflected with pepper flakes, and smoked for hours over pecan wood.
Other ingredients that are native to Louisiana and not found in the cuisine of modern France would include rice, which has been a staple of both Creole and Cajun cooking for generations, and sugarcane, which has been grown in Louisiana since the early s. Ground cayenne pepper is a key spice of the region, as is the meat of the American alligator , something settlers learned from the Choctaws and Houma.
The maypop plant has been a favorite of Southerners for years; it gives its name to the Ocoee River in Tennessee, a legacy of the Cherokees, and in Southern Louisiana it is known as liane de grenade, indicating its consumption by Cajuns. It is a close relative of the commercial passionfruit , similar in size, and is a common plant growing in gardens all over the South as a source of fresh summertime fruit.
African American influences came with slaves from Ghana , Benin , Mali , Congo , Angola , Sierra Leone , Nigeria , and other portions of West Africa, and the mark African Americans and their descendants have made on Southern food is extremely strong today and an essential addition to the Southern table. Crops like okra , sorghum , sesame seeds , eggplant , and many different kinds of melons were brought with them from West Africa along with the incredibly important introduction of rice to the Carolinas and later to Texas and Louisiana , whence it became a staple grain of the region and still remains a staple today, found in dishes like Hoppin John , purloo, and Charleston red rice.
Like the poorer indentured servants that came to the South, slaves often got the leftovers of what was slaughtered for the consumption of the master of the plantation and so many recipes had to be adapted for offal, like pig's ears and fatbacks  though other methods encouraged low and slow methods of cooking to tenderize the tougher cuts of meat, like braising, smoking, and pit roasting, the last of which was a method known to West Africans in the preparation of roasting goat.
Certain portions of the South often have their own distinct subtypes of cuisine owing to local history and landscape, i. Cajun cuisine , Floridian cuisine, for example, has a distinct way of cooking that includes ingredients her other Southern sisters do not use, especially points south of Tampa and Orlando. The Spanish Crown had control of the state until the early 19th century and used the southern tip as an outpost to guard the Spanish Main beginning in the s, but Florida kept and still maintains ties with the Caribbean Sea , including the Bahamas Haiti , Cuba , Puerto Rico , the Dominican Republic , and Jamaica.
South of Tampa, there are and have been for a long time many speakers of Caribbean Spanish , Haitian French , Jamaican Patois , and Haitian Creole and each Caribbean culture has a strong hold on cooking methods and spices in Florida. In turn, each mixes and matches with the foodways of the Seminole tribe and Anglophone settlers. Thus, for almost years, Floridian cooking has had a more tropical flavor than any other Southern state. Allspice , a spice originally from Jamaica , is an ingredient found in spice mixes in summer barbecues along with ginger , garlic , scotch bonnet peppers , sea salt, and nutmeg; in Floridian cooking this is often a variant of Jamaican jerk spice.
Coconuts are grown in the areas surrounding Miami and are shipped in daily through its port for consumption of the milk, meat, and water of the coconut. The second has a red peel and an apple like after taste, and the third and fourth are used as a starch on nearly every Caribbean island as a side dish, baked or fried: all of the above are a staple of Florida outdoor markets when in season and all have been grown in the Caribbean for almost years.
Mangoes are grown as a backyard plant in Southern Florida and otherwise are a favorite treat coming in many different shapes in sizes from Nam Doc Mai , brought to Florida after the Vietnam War, to Madame Francis , a mango from Haiti. Sweetsop and soursop are popular around Miami, but nearly unheard of in other areas of the South. Citrus is a major crop of Florida, and features at every breakfast table and every market with the height of the season near the first week of January. Hamlin oranges are the main cultivar planted, and from this crop the rest of the United States and to a lesser extent Europe gets orange juice.
Other plantings would include grapefruits , tangerines , clementine oranges , limes , and even a few more rare ones, like cara cara navels , tangelos , and the Jamaican Ugli fruit. Tomatoes , bell peppers , habanero peppers , and figs, especially taken from the Florida strangler fig , complete the produce menu. Blue crab , conch , Florida stone crab , red drum , dorado , and marlins tend to be local favorite ingredients.
Dairy is available in this region, but it is less emphasized due to the year round warmth. Traditional key lime pie , a dessert from the islands off the coast of Miami, is made with condensed milk to form the custard with the eye wateringly tart limes native to the Florida Keys in part because milk would spoil in an age before refrigeration. Pork in this region tends to be roasted in methods similar to those found in Puerto Rico and Cuba, owing to mass emigration from those countries in the 20th century, especially in the counties surrounding Miami.
Ptarmigan , grouse , crow blackbirds, dove, ducks and other game fowl are consumed in the United States. In the American state of Arkansas , beaver tail stew is consumed in Cotton town. Cooking in the American West gets its influence from Native American and Hispanophone cultures, as well as later settlers that came in the 19th century: Texas, for example, has some influence from Germany in its choice of barbecue by using sausages.
Another instance can be found in the Northwestern region, which encompasses Oregon , Washington , and Northern California. All of the aforementioned rely on local seafood and a few classics of their own. Here, the terrain is mostly temperate rainforest on the Coast mixed with pine forest as one approaches the Canada—US border inland. One of the core favorite foodstuffs is Pacific salmon , native to many of the larger rivers of the area and often smoked or grilled on cedar planks. In Alaska , wild game like ptarmigan and moose meat feature extensively since much of the state is wilderness.
Fresh fish like steelhead trout , Pacific cod , Pacific halibut , and pollock are fished for extensively and feature on the menu of many restaurants, as do a plethora of fresh berries and vegetables, like Cameo apples from Washington state, the headquarters of the U. Hazelnuts are grown extensively in this region and are a feature of baking, such as in chocolate hazelnut pie, an Oregon favorite,  and Almond Roca is a local candy. Like its counterpart on the opposite coast to the East, there is a grand variety of shellfish in this region.
Geoducks are a native species of giant clam that have incredibly long necks, and they are eaten by the bucket full as well as shipped to Asia for millions of dollars as they are believed to be an aphrodisiac. Gaper clams are a favorite food, often grilled or steamed in a sauce, as is the native California abalone , which although protected as a food source is a traditional foodway predating settlement by whites and today features heavily in the cooking of fine restaurants as well as in home cooking, in mirin-flavored soups the influence of Japanese cooking is strong in the region noodle dishes and on the barbecue.
Olympia oysters are served on the half shell as well as the Kumamoto oyster , introduced by Japanese immigrants and a staple at dinner as an appetizer. California mussels are a delicacy of the region, and have been a feature of the cooking for generations: there is evidence that Native American tribes consumed them up and down the California coast for centuries in their masses. Crabs are a delicacy, and included in this are Alaskan king crab , red crab , yellow crab , and Dungeness crab.
Californian and Oregonian sportsmen pursue the last three extensively using hoop nets, and prepare them in a multitude of ways. Favorite grains are mainly wheat, and the region is known for sourdough bread. Today it is home of a large population of Native Americans , Hispanos , descendants of the American frontier , Asian Americans , and immigrants from Mexico and Latin America ; California, New Mexico, and Texas continue to hold their unique identities which is reflected in their distinct regional cuisines, the multiple cuisines of California , New Mexican cuisine , Texan cuisine , and Tex-Mex.
Spanish is a commonly spoken secondary language here; the state of New Mexico has its own distinct dialect. With the exception of Southern California, the signature meat is beef , since this is one of the two regions in which cowboys lived and modern cattle ranchers still eke out their living today.
These cuts of meat are different from the related Mexican cuisine over the border in that certain kind of offal, like lengua tongue cabeza head and tripas tripe are considered less desirable and are thus less emphasized. Typical cuts would include the ribs, brisket, sirloin, flank steak, skirt steak, and t-bone. Historically, Spanish settlers that came to the region found it completely unsuitable to the mining operations that much older settlements in Mexico had to offer as the technology of the age was not yet advanced enough to get at the silver that would later be found in the region.
They had no knowledge of the gold to be discovered in California, something nobody would find until , and knew even less about the silver in Nevada, something nobody would find until after the Civil War. Likewise, settlers learned the cooking methods of those who came before and local tribes as well: for example, portions of Arizona and New Mexico still use the aforementioned beehive shaped clay contraption called an horno , an outdoor wood fired oven both Native American tribes like the Navajo and Spaniards used for roasting meat, maize, and baking bread.
In Utah, a state heavily populated by Mormons , alcohol is frowned upon by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints but still available in area bars in Salt Lake City, mainly consumed by the populations of Catholics and other Protestant denominations living there. Introduction of agriculture was limited prior to the 20th century and the development of better irrigation techniques, but included the addition of peaches , a crop still celebrated by Native American tribes like the Havasupai ,  and oranges; today in Arizona , Texas , and New Mexico the favored orange today is the Moro blood orange , which often finds its way into the local cuisine, like cakes and marmalade.
In California, Spanish missionaries brought with them the mission fig : today this fruit is a delicacy. Chili peppers play an important role in the cuisine, with a few native to the region such as the New Mexico chile pepper, knows as Hatch, New Mexico and Anaheim ; these still grown by Hispanos of New Mexico and Pueblo.
In New Mexico, chile is eaten on a variety of foods, such as the green chile cheeseburger, made popular by fast food chains such as Blake's Lotaburger. Indeed, even national fast food chains operating in the state, such as McDonald's , offer locally grown chile on many of their menu items. In the 20th century a few more recent additions have arrived like the poblano pepper , rocoto pepper , ghost pepper , thai chili pepper , and Korean pepper, the last three especially when discussing Southern California and its large population from East and South Asia.