I was talking with a friend from Australia on the telephone when she mentioned how strange she found American food to be. She had traveled quite extensively when she was younger, and came to the United States of America on many trips, often accompanied by her brother. Though neither of us could really put our finger on what type of food would be considered American, we did note some difference that you don’t find in many other parts of the world.
Sugar added everywhere
Her first concern about American food was the amount of sugar that we use in many things. She said our peanut butter is overwhelming with the amount of added sugar, and it makes her ill. They don’t add much to natural peanut butter where she shops, and she said that she noticed that American food other than that also has a lot of added sugar. We both agreed that there is really no reason that either of us can think of to add sugar to bread, but it is hard to find it here without that additive. Sugar is everywhere, and most don’t realize how much they are actually eating each day.
So many choices
She was also surprised about the choices you get when ordering American food in a restaurant. She was always used to a meal coming as described and was overwhelmed when her servers in various restaurants asked her what she wanted for sides. This is apparently uncommon as well. You do get a lot of choices when you eat American food out in a restaurant, but those traveling from other countries are simply not used to that. She thought that is was pretty amazing, and definitely a good quality about American eating. Once she got over the shock of having so many choices, she was happy to mix and match her meals in a way she really never did at home.
A real adventure
My friend also mentioned that she found American food to be a lovely combination of ethnic foods from all over the world. We have taken the charm of many menus and put our own twists on them. That seems to be in a reflection of the diversity of our population. She said that though American food seems to be a mixture of foods from around the world, we definitely put our own touch to them. The dishes may not be from here, but we have made them our own. Eating in the United States, she says, was most definitely an adventure.