Maybe the United States didn’t invent Neapolitan pizza or paella or sushi, but that doesn’t mean this country doesn’t have its own signature food and culinary inventions. It goes without saying that one of the greatest things about America is that it’s a melting pot and, yes, that includes the food. Just about every kind of cuisine ever created from around the world has been introduced to the United States. Whether you’re visiting the West Coast, East Coast, or someplace in the middle, you’ll have no trouble finding everything from Lebanese to Chinese to Mediterranean—or anything else you might be craving. In addition to incredible foods from around the world, the United States has some of its own unique dishes and foods. And in this post, we’ll talk about three of the uniquely American foods and where you can find them.
Who knew there could be so much joy found in one shriveled up piece of meat? If you were to describe jerky to someone who had no idea what it was, it may, at first, sound a little off-putting. But all you need is a little taste of the savory, tough, chewy, dehydrated meat to be convinced. Although beef is arguably the most common form of jerky, chicken and turkey are great alternatives for anyone seeking a lower sodium lean protein alternative. And if you are feeling adventurous, crank up your jerky enthusiasm a notch by venturing into less conventional jerky meats including venison, elk, ostrich, emu, buffalo, yak, and even alligator. Although people usually think of jerky as that delicious portable food that’s often found at gas stations and truck stops, there are more places to find it than you may have realized. If you are in Atlanta, you can stop by the South African restaurant 10 Degrees South to try the Biltong Beef Jerky, which can be enjoyed on its own or in your Caesar salad. Anyone visiting Las Vegas will want to dedicate an evening to chomping on mouth-watering jerky entrees at Strip House. They marinate their jerky for 24 hours before topping it off with fried onions and grilled tomatoes. Finally, for the truly adventurous foodie, try the Baked Nebraska at Root 246 in Solvang, California. It’s a sponge cake topped off with Italian meringue, sweet corn ice cream, and savory beef jerky.
2. Banana Split
If there is ever a time you should justify spending $18.99 on ice cream, it’s when you eat the Nine-Pound Humongous Banana Split at The Poky Dot in Fairmont, West Virginia. You get nine, 1-pound ice cream balls in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry topped off with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, cherries, nuts, and bananas. Although the banana split is now something you can find all over the world, this American staple was first invented in 1907 by Ernest Hazard, a restaurant owner in a small town in Ohio. By the 1920s, the banana split was a classic American dessert, thanks to a Walgreens in Chicago.
If you are really serious about your banana splits, you won’t want to miss the Banana Split Festival that takes places every June in Wilmington, Ohio. The three-day festival features an assortment of banana split variations to sample, a banana split eating contest, traditional fair food, craft vendors, and a car show. Nothing says “American” quite like an entire weekend dedicated to eating ice cream.
Sound insignificant? This campfire classic has had more of a cultural impact than one might realize at first glance. The sinfully delicious and straightforward combination of graham cracker, toasted marshmallow, and Hershey chocolate is so much more than a special treat for the kids on a camping trip. And while you should definitely break out the s’mores anytime you are camping in the great outdoors, there and hundreds of other ways to enjoy this American snack food.
If you are in Portland, Oregon, locate the Nineteen27 S’mores Food Truck where you can get unique s’mores at just $4 a pop. This Portland food truck puts a unique spin on the classic snack and spices things up with chai-spiced graham crackers, gooey chocolate fudge, and other inventive flavors. If you have a craving for something sweet in the morning, indulge yourself with a s’mores donut at Beaver’s Coffee and Donuts in Chicago. You’ll find mini donuts dipped in marshmallow and chocolate sauce and topped off with graham cracker crumbs.
Are you ready to eat your way from coast to coast and sample all the classic American foods across the country? Plan your foodie trip by buying your bus ticket from BusTickets.com today.