When planning a cuisine inspired holiday America might not be the most obvious choice that comes to mind. It rarely appears on foodie lists, and when thinking of American food, often the first thing that comes to mind is the iconic burger and fries meal that is one of our guilty pleasures!
America is a big country with a big personality to match. This personality comes from the pride it has in its nation, influenced by the array of diverse cultures and backgrounds, all living together in one country. Arguably, America is the place to go if you want to experience a whole mix of different cultures and experiences - all in one great nation.
This country has more to offer than a great fast food industry - although this is an area it excels at too! In America, you can taste the best in humble homefare or find the finest restaurants to dine in. The choice is yours.
With wide-open roads, you can hit the road with ease and traverse through the ever-changing scenery safe in the knowledge you have your bed and everything you need with you. Exploring at your own pace gives you plenty of opportunities to stop and grab some fantastic foods to try while exploring your chosen destinations.
So let's delve into the great tastes of America further and find out what America has to offer.
Cultural influences in America
America has an incredible mix of cultural influences. Almost every culture and region in the world has had an impact on this country in some form. This is apparent in regional traditions, music, languages spoken and, of course, in the food.
With a strong history of immigration, it is no wonder that wherever you go in America, the influences of another culture or in many cases, multiple cultures are apparent. America is an ethnically and culturally diverse country with a lot to offer.
But, let's focus on the food and the different cultural experiences you might be lucky enough to experience.
A great place to start when talking about the different cultures of America is its indigenous population. The foods are a delicious mix of natural ingredients and humble fayre that are a delight to try. It isn't always easy to find something genuinely traditional, but many modern American dishes are inspired by the ingredients and cooking methods learnt and adapted from Indigenous recipes.
When out and about on holiday keep an eye out for cornbreads, hominy and hushpuppies! These are dishes that make use of maise or corn, which was a staple ingredient of the Indigenous population and has now morphed into the dishes that Americans know and love today.
African American cuisine
In the Southern states, you can find 'soul food' These foods originated from America's slave past and were the foods commonly consumed on the plantations of the South. These dishes were influenced by the exquisite tastes and cooking methods of West Africa, from which many slaves originated.
When travelling through the South, try and pop into a restaurant that serves chitlins, cornbread, candied yams and for dessert, try some banana pudding or sweet potato pie!
Most cities will have entire districts dedicated to Asian culture, and the local Chinatown is often the best place to go to explore the most authentic in American Asian foods. You don't always have to go that far, Chinese food, in particular, is a firm favourite and can be found easily in most American towns and you should be able to find a whole host of different Asian flavours and influences.
A majority of Asian restaurants don't differ too much from the westernised versions of Asian food we are used to but if this is a favourite food type then ask around when you get to your destination. You might find yourself a gem of a restaurant that is highly recommended by the locals.
An article about American cuisine wouldn't be complete without mentioning Latin America. The flavours of the Caribbean, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and several other countries that make up this colourful continent are sensationally flavourful, and you don't usually have to go very far to find them. Latin American dishes have been adapted to suit western tastebuds and have been adopted into many cuisines around the globe.
Latin America is a broad term that is generally understood to include Central America, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, French Guyana, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, the Caribbean islands and some southern parts of North America. It covers vast swathes of land, each with different cultural and historical influences, so you will be spoilt for choice if you want to explore some of these flavours and foods. You should try an authentic taco or tortilla and pupusa or pico de gallo! You won't be disappointed.
A country of fusion
With cultural influences usually comes a wonderful amalgamation of different traditions. This is even more apparent when it comes to food. A mix of tastes, ingredients and cooking methods helps to create something brand new, and this is perhaps one of the things America is best known for - especially when it comes to food.
You can't get much more fused than Cajun cuisine! This style of cooking was named after the French-speaking Arcadian people who were deported to America by the British. The result is recipes that are a beautiful mix of cultural food influences. These cultures include West Africa, French and Spanish techniques!
This rustic style of cooking uses simple ingredients and methods and produces incredibly tasty results. If you are passing through New Orleans, watch out for some traditional Jambalaya or Gumbo. These are traditional one-pot recipes packed with flavour. Crawfish is another staple food that is worth looking out for. It is cooked in a variety of ways - all equally delicious.
We have already briefly mentioned the influences of the Latin Americas on cuisine in North America, but Mexican/American fusion food needs a special mention of its own.
Mexican food has been incorporated into the American diet in such a way that it is easy to forget that many of the ingredients and cooking styles originated in Mexico! Wherever you go in America, it is easy to see the influences on recipes and tastes.
More cuisine inspiration than we could possibly mention!
For a country that doesn't automatically come to mind when you mention a taste inspired holiday, America has more options and flavours to try than we can easily mention in one article!
Wherever you go in America, you can see the influences of the local indigenous people, European influences, the tastes of Western Africa, the cultural mixes of the Pacific Islanders and so much more!
Each region, city and state in America has its own influences and traditions to take into account too. So, wherever you are travelling, make sure you keep an eye out for the local foodie hotspots. The choice is yours to choose the flavours and experiences you love the most.
Choose an American motorhome holiday to suit your tastes
There is no better way to experience the best that America has to offer than with a motorhome holiday. You can follow an itinerary specially planned out to take in the most exciting sights and destinations. Our talented travel team can help you to create a holiday you won't forget in a hurry, and we have some fantastic itineraries to pick from.
Explore the Rhythms Of The South with a tour that offers more than just a look at the talents and musical influences of Southern America. On this tour, you can visit some beautiful places like the Holly Springs National Forest. You can take a trip to Graceland to walk in the iconic footsteps of Elvis Presley and then still find time to visit the French Quarter of New Orleans where you can experience some beautiful traditional cooking.
California Calling takes you on an adventure through the highlights of this beautiful and iconic state. With so many fantastic places to visit, you can find yourself almost any style of food you want to try! We even offer excursions so you can see the sights and get great food along the way.
If a trip to the Big Apple is on your bucket list then choosing our Colours of New England Tour is a great choice! You start and end your trip in New York, giving you ample opportunity to try out the many diverse cuisines and fusion foods New York has to offer. With a food stand and deli on every street, you can try the iconic New York Bagel or grab a New York Pretzel as a snack. You can even have a slice of pizza for dinner and follow it up with a New York Cheesecake! Your waistline might not thank you, but your taste buds will.
If you are looking for something a little different then you could take a tour of the famous American National Parks that includes the Grand Canyon, travel through Florida or take a trip to Alaska to see the snow-capped scenery and explore the local wildlife.
America is a must-see destination that will have you wanting to go back again and again to see even more of it, and with such a diverse landscape and culture, it is easy to see why.
When it comes to food, one thing is for sure, whatever your tastes - America does food well.
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