Diy summer snack ideas

Go the additional mile with your picnic and add some savoury snacks to enjoy alongside your sandwiches. From summery Vietnamese rolls and bitesize muffins to frittata.

Fruity oaty flapjacks

Hurrah for flapjacks, that one-pan baked treat that anyone can master. Make yours a bit posh with our date, sultana and almond take on a classic recipe.

Hot-smoked salmon and courgette mini quiches

These little wonders glance striking, are gorgeously crunchy and simple to put together.

Grand for an early summer picnic.

Best Chicago Food: 21+ Signature Chicago Dishes

Admit it:

Your No. 1 reason for visiting Chicago is the food. Believe me, you’re not the only one that loves Chicago foods.

The city has been a foodie haven since its inception and publications love Conde Nast Traveler, Bon Appetit and USA Today have every praised its culinary scene. With over 8, restaurants, hundred of Chicago food festivals, a smattering of Chicago food trucks, and at least one legendary tamale guy, it can be hard to select where your next meal will be.

After every, you desire to make certain you take a large bite out of Chicago’s most favorite food creations, right?

There’s no reason to fear:

The city is known for certain iconic dishes no visitor to the city can pass up. We’re here to assist you focus on the true taste of Chicago and show you where locals go to satisfy their cravings. In this Chicago food guide, we’ll give you a list of 20+ Chicago signature dishes you must attempt when you’re eating your way through the city.

Hungry? Let’s dive in.

Picnic pies

A pie is a must at a picnic, attempt one of our ideas from cute pork pies to a picnic pie jam-packed with flavour.

Mini pork and chorizo picnic pies

Looking for a traditional picnic recipe with a twist? These mini pork and chorizo picnic pies own a hidden quail’s egg in the middle and make a grand snack.

Quiche Lorraine

Take your quiche Lorriane to the next level with our ultimate recipe packed with crispy pancetta and wilted green veggies. It serves six, so it’s perfect for a picnic served freezing. More quiche recipes here.

Picnic pie 

You’ll need to put in some additional effort for this picnic pie recipe, but the payoff will be grand.

This meaty pie also makes a hearty meal. Check out our best pie recipes here.

#1 Deep-Dish Pizza from Lou Malnati’s

Photo Credit: Chicago Food Planet

Let’s kick things off correct with THE most renowned Chicago dish of every time. This is why you came to the city! To finally sink your teeth into a thick wedge of melted cheese, personalized toppings and zesty tomato sauce.

Why is this so important?

There are numerous fierce competitors claiming that they own the best Chicago deep dish pizza, but Lou Malnati’s is the crown jewel.

Its unique butter crust sets it apart and every single inch of the aluminum pan is covered in a lip-smacking layer of high-quality ingredients.

Insider Tip: There’s often a endless wait at this Chicago cult classic, but you can sink your teeth into Lou Malnati’s irresistible crust much sooner if you make a tardy night journey or visit for an early lunch. Or, even better, join us there on our Second City Classic Food Tour for the VIP experience.

#3 Basic Fried Chicken Dinner at Harold’s Chicken Shack

Photo Source: Stu Spivack

Harold’s Chicken Shack is such a Chicago staple that it’s been referenced in hip-hop hits by legendary rappers love Lupe Fiasco, Common, and Kanye West.

Try this rapper’s delight yourself:

Head to Harold’s for the standard fried chicken dinner, which includes cooked-to-order chicken with a side of fries, cole slaw, and two slices of white bread to scoop up every drop of their tangy boiling sauce.

Think every Harold’s birds are created equal? Ponder again.

We recommend Harold’s No. 88 for overall quality, Harold’s No. 55 for its traditional setting, Harold’s No. 36 for its location, and Harold’s No. 47 for hungry Blackhawks fans.

Picnic dips

Whip up a batch and pop into jars for a tasty sauce that you can use for dipping in your favourite crisps and breadsticks.

Picnic dip jars

Not only are these snacks packed with flavour, but they’re also a grand alternative to the usual picnic food.

These simple picnic dip jars are certain to become a family favourite in no time.

Green goddess and red devil dips with homemade breadsticks and veg

These green goddess and red devil dips will complement your picnic snacks and drinks perfectly.

Beetroot hummus

Make the most of beetroot in this earthy hummus recipe, ready in 10 minutes for a last-minute entertaining idea.

Red cabbage kimchi

One of the best known ferments is this gloriously spicy kimchi from Korea, serve it as part of your next picnic spread.

#2 Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich at Al’s Italian Beef

Photo Source: Al’s Beef

There may be debates about who has the best Chicago deep dish pizza, but there’s no argument over who makes the best Chicago Italian beef.

The most Chicago of every Chicago sandwiches, Al’s Italian Beef’s specialty is a flavor bomb: slices of roasted sirloin cooked in a seasoned broth are stuffed inside an Italian-style roll thick enough to soak up the meat’s juices.

The best part?

Al’s allows you to customize your experience so you can get your sandwich just so. Diners can order it “dry” (only a touch of gravy), “wet” (extra gravy) or “dipped” (dripping wet).

Diy summer snack ideas

You can also top it off with a variety of cheeses, sweet pepper or a boiling giardiniera for an additional kick.

Insider Tip: Al’s Italian beef sandwich is one of the numerous yummy Chicago signature dishes you can attempt inBest in Chow Food Tour. Chicago Food Planets expert guides will share this and other must-have foods love deep dish pizza and Chicago-style boiling dogs, every while giving you some background on what makes Chicago food grand. It’s an simple way to cross off items on your foodie wish list while learning more about this great city.

Not only does summer offer longer days and beautiful weather, but it also brings the chance to enjoy some of our favorite foods.

We’re talking about every the best grilled bites—smothered in tons of BBQ sauce, of course—pasta salads, barbecue side dishes, and the ultimate treat of the season: s’mores. Although there’s nothing incorrect with the classic combo of a few squares of chocolate with a toasted marshmallow sandwiched between two graham crackers, these s’mores dessert recipes take the beloved campfire snack to whole new level. This list features s’mores made into cookies, cakes, brownies, bars, and more.

And the majority of these sweets don’t require a campfire, so you can whip up any one of these confections any time you need to satisfy your sweet tooth. The next time you’re headed to the neighbor’s for a backyard barbecue or venturing into the grand outdoors on a camping journey, make at least one of these recipes. Everyone in the group—especially the little ones—will enjoy them. Just make certain you bring enough, because everyone will be asking for more of these s’mores!

(CNN) — Fast, junk, processed — when it comes to American food, the country is best known for the stuff that’s described by words better suited to greasy, grinding industrial output.

But citizens of the USA own an impressive appetite for excellent stuff, too.

To celebrate its endless culinary creativity, we’re throwing our list of 50 most yummy American food items at you. We know you’re going to desire to throw back.

Ground rules: acknowledge that even trying to define American food is tough; further acknowledge that picking favorite American items inevitably means leaving out or accidentally overlooking some much-loved regional specialties.

Now get the rubber apron on because we’re going first. Let the food fight begin:

Salt beef and Swiss bagel melts

Our simple picnic bagel recipe is packed with a yummy combination of salt beef, melting Swiss cheese, gherkins and a generous dollop of sweet American mustard.

Reuben sandwich

Corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing — the ultimate combination for the Reuben sandwich.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/Getty Images

Who knew sauerkraut could be so sexy? Was it the late-night inspiration of grocer Reuben Kulakofsky, who improvised the eponymous sandwich in to feed poker players at Omaha’s Blackstone Hotel? Or perhaps the brainchild of Arnold Rueben, the German owner of New York’s now-defunct Reuben’s Delicatessen, who came up with it in ?

The answer might be significant for dictionary etymologies, but the better part of the secret to the Reuben is not who it’s named after but what it’s dressed with.

Aficionados agree: no store-bought Russian or Thousand Island — the sauce needs to be homemade.

And you’ll desire thick hand-sliced rye or pumpernickel, and excellent pastrami or corned beef.

Potato chips

America's most favorite — and most addictive — snack?

Courtesy Kate Ter Haar/Creative Commons/Flickr

We own a high-maintenance resort guest to thank for America’s hands-down favorite snack.

Saratoga Springs, New York, Native American chef George Crum is in the kitchen at the elegant Moon Lake Lodge.

A persnickety customer sends back his French fries (then highfalutin fare eaten with a fork) for being too thick. Crum makes a second, thinner, order.

Still too thick for the picky diner. Annoyed, Crum makes the next batch with a little attitude, slicing the potatoes so thin, the crispy things can’t possibly be picked up with a fork. Surprise: the wafer-thin fried potatoes are a hit.

Traveling salesman Herman Lay sold them out of the trunk of his car before founding Lay’s Potato Chips, the first nationally marketed brand. Lay’s would ultimately merge in with Frito to create the snack behemoth Frito-Lay.


The most humble of comfort food.

Who would own imagined when the recipe for «Cannelon of Beef» showed up in Fannie Farmer’s «Boston Cooking School Cook Book» that every mom in America would someday own her own version?

Fannie made hers with slices of salt pork laid over the top and served it with brown mushroom sauce. (In her day, you had to cut the meat finely by hand; the advent of commercial grinders changed every that.)

However your mom made it — we’re guessing ketchup on top? — she probably served that oh-so-reliable meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans.

And you were probably made to sit there, every night if need be, if you didn’t eat every your beans.

A better threat might own been no meatloaf sandwich in your lunch tomorrow.

Barbecue ribs

Barbecue ribs — the sticky fingered classic.

Courtesy jonobacon/Creative Commons/Flickr

Pork or beef, slathered or smoked — we’re not about to wade into which is more embraced, what’s more authentic, or even what needs more napkins. There are cook-offs every over the country for your own judging pleasure.

But we will confess we’re partial to pork ribs.

The Rib ‘Cue Capital? We’re not going to touch that one with a three-meter tong, either. We’ll just follow signs of grinning pigs in the South, where the tradition of gathering for barbecues dates to before the Civil War and serious attention to the finer points of pork earn the region the title of the Barbecue Belt.

Outside of the belt, Texas smokes its way to a claim as a barbecue (beef) epicenter — check out the ‘cue-rich town of Lockhart. And let’s not forget Kansas City, where the sauce is the thing. But why debate it when you can just eat it?

Italian picnic loaf

Our door-wedge sandwich thought is simple and quick to make.

Simply stuff ciabatta bread with an olive salad, salami, roasted red peppers, mozzarella and you’ve got the perfect picnic loaf.

Po’ boy

Po'boy — the ultimate American sandwich.

Courtesy Exile on Ontario St/Creative Commons/Flickr

The muffaletta might be the signature sandwich of Crescent City, but the po’ boy is the «shotgun home of New Orleans cuisine.»

The traditional Louisiana sub is said to own originated in , when Bennie and Clovis Martin — both of whom had been streetcar conductors and union members before opening the coffee store that legend says became the birthplace of the po’ boy — supported striking streetcar motormen and conductors with food.

«We fed those men free of charge until the strike ended,» Bennie was quoted. «Whenever we saw one of the striking men coming, one of us would tell, ‘Here comes another poor boy.'»

Enjoy the beloved everyman sandwich in its seemingly infinite variety (the traditional fried oyster and shrimp can’t be beat) and fight the encroachment of chain sub shops at the annual Oak Highway Po-Boy Festival each Drop.

Banana split

The banana makes it excellent for you, right?

Cindy Ord/Getty Images North America

Like the banana makes it excellent for you. Still, kudos to whoever invented the variation of the sundae known as the banana divide.

There’s the Latrobe, Pennsylvania, tale, in which future optometrist David Strickler was experimenting with sundaes at a pharmacy soda fountain, divide a banana lengthwise, and put it in a endless boat dish.

And the Wilmington, Ohio, tale, wherein restaurant owner Ernest Hazard came up with it to draw students from a nearby college. Fame spread after a Walgreens in Chicago made the divide its signature dessert in the s. Whatever the history, you’ll discover plenty food for thought at the annual Banana Divide Festival, which takes put on the second weekend in June in Wilmington.

Philly cheese steak

Philly cheese steak has renowned fans — including previous President Barack Obama.


It’s a sandwich so greasy and hallowed in its hometown that the posture you must adopt to eat it without ruining your clothes has a name: «the Philadelphia Lean.»

Made of «frizzled beef,» chopped while being grilled in grease, the Philly cheese steak sandwich gets the relax of its greasy goodness from onions and cheese (American, provolone, or Cheese Whiz), every of which is laid into a endless locally made Amoroso bun.

Pat and Harry Olivieri get the credit for making the first cheese steaks (originally with pizza sauce — cheese apparently came later, courtesy of one of Pat’s cooks) and selling them from their boiling dog stand in south Philly.

Pat later opened Pat’s King of Steaks, which still operates today and vies with rival Geno’s Steaks for the title of best cheese steak in town.

Apple pie

Apple pie is a stalwart of American culture.

Eric Thayer/Getty Images North America/Getty Images

According to a pie chart (seriously) from the American Pie Council, apple really is the U.S.’s national favorite — followed by pumpkin, chocolate, lemon meringue and cherry.

Not to burst the patriotic bubble, but it’s not an American food of indigenous origin.

Food critic John Mariani dates the appearance of apple pies in the United States to , endless after they were favorite in England.

Apples aren’t even native to the continent; the Pilgrims brought seeds.

So what’s the deal with the star-spangled association? The pie council’s John Lehndorff explains: «When you tell that something is ‘as American as apple pie,’ what you’re really saying is that the item came to this country from elsewhere and was transformed into a distinctly American experience.»

And you’re saying Americans know something excellent enough to be an icon when we eat it, with or without the cheddar cheese or vanilla ice cream on top.


Twinkies are known for their durability and shelf life — rumour says they could survive a nuclear attack.

Scott Olson/Getty Images North America/Getty Images

Hostess’ iconic «Golden Sponge Cake with Creamy Filling» has been sugaring us up since James Dewar invented it at the Continental Baking Company in Schiller Park, Illinois, in

The Twinkie forsook its original banana cream filling for vanilla when bananas were scarce during World War II.

As if they weren’t ridiculously excellent enough already, the Texas State Fair started the fad of deep-frying them.

Dumped in boiling oil or simply torn from their packaging, Twinkies endear with their name (inspired by a billboard advertising Twinkle Toe Shoes), their ladyfinger shape (pierced three times to inject the filling), and their evocations of lunchtime recess. They were temporarily taken off the shelves between November to July — when Hostess filed for bankruptcy. Now they are back and going strong.

Maryland crabcakes

An American classic, best served with a view across the Atlantic.

Courtesy ocean yamaha/Creative Commons/Flickr

The Chesapeake Bay yields more than just the regatta-loving suntanned class in their sock-free topsiders.

It’s the home habitat of the blue crab, which both Maryland and Virginia claim as their own.

Boardwalk style (mixed with fillers and served on a bun) or restaurant/gourmet style; fried, broiled, or baked, crab cakes can be made with any helpful of crab, but the blue crabs of Chesapeake Bay are preferred for both tradition and taste.

When Baltimore magazine rounded up the best places to get the city’s signature food, editors declared simplicity the key, while lamenting the fact that most crabmeat doesn’t even come from home turf these days.

Helpful of makes you crabby, doesn’t it?

Pot roast

Braised beef and vegetables — the perfect warming boiling pot.

Courtesy Kim/Creative Commons/Flickr

The childhood Sunday family dinner of baby boomers everywhere, pot roast claims a sentimental favorite put in the top 10 of American comfort foods. There’s a whole generation that would be lost without it.

Beef brisket, bottom or top circular, or chuck set in a deep roasting pan with potatoes, carrots, onions, and whatever else your mom threw in to be infused with the meat’s simmering juices, the pot roast could be anointed with red wine or even beer, then covered and cooked on the stovetop or in the oven.

Green chile stew

Green Chile Stew is a traditional New Mexican dish.

Courtesy stu_spivack/Creative Commons/Flickr

Have pork and green chiles ever spent such yummy time together?

Green chile stew has been called the queen of the New Mexican winter table, but we don’t need a freezing winter day to eat this fragrant favorite.

We love it anytime — so endless as the Hatch chiles are roasted unused. Order them from Hatch Chile Express in Hatch, New Mexico, the Chile Capital of the World; they come already roasted, peeled, deseeded, chopped, and frozen.

Better yet, make the journey to green chile stew country and order up a bowl. Whether you eat it in New Mexico at a table near a kiva fireplace or at your own kitchen table, the aroma and taste are to die for, and the comfort level remarkable on the resurrection scale.

Thanksgiving dinner

The Thanksgiving Turkey is a staple of the American holiday.

Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images North America/Getty Images

No fancy centerpieces or long-simmering family squabbles at that first Thanksgiving when the Pilgrims decided not to quick but to party with the Wampanoag tribe in Plymouth.

Today we eschew the venison they most certainly ate, and we cram their three days of feasting into one gluttonous gorge.

Indigestion notwithstanding, nothing tastes so excellent as that quintessential all-American meal of turkey (roasted or deep-fried bird, or tofurkey, or that weirdly favorite Louisiana contribution turducken), dressing (old loaf bread or cornbread, onion and celery, sausage, fruit, chestnuts, oysters — whatever your mom did, the sage was the thing), cranberry sauce, mashed and sweet potatoes, that funky green bean casserole with the French-fried onion rings on top, and pumpkin pie.

Almost as iconic (and if you enquire most kids, as delicious) is the turkey TV dinner, the brainchild of a Swanson salesman looking to use up overestimated tons of frozen birds.

Diy summer snack ideas

No joke: He got the thought, he said, from tidily packaged airplane food. We do love those leftovers.

Editor’s note: This article was previously published in It was reformatted, updated and republished in

Summertime is finally here, and the endless days and warm temperatures will urge you to be exterior as much as possible. Although there are plenty of enjoyment activities to enjoy, we propose taking your family to the local park and having a picnic to kick off the season.

It’s the perfect time to collect with your loved ones, enjoy the gorgeous weather and, of course, eat lots of tasty bites. These picnic food ideas are not only yummy, but they’re also going to make your life so much easier. How so? Well, these picnic recipes take care of every the planning for you! So every you own to do is whip up these pleasing plates and enjoy the day with your family. If you’re used to a boring spread at your summer picnics, prepare to be amazed by these recipes. Featuring creative main meals, side dishes, sweet treats, and a few refreshments, this list has you covered for every part of the picnic.

Plus, these dishes will be enjoyed by both kids and adults (yes, even the picky eaters), so you won’t own to worry about anyone leaving your gathering hungry. You’ll be wishing it was summer every year endless once you taste these seasonal meals. And yes, you can still make these dishes even if you’re just dining out on your porch or patio. They’re just too excellent not to whip up again and again!

Picnic sandwiches

Our sandwich recipes are simple to follow, we own cut muffuletta and focaccia into squares so they’re portable.

Chocolate-chip cookies

The chocolate chip cookie was invented by American chef Ruth Graves Wakefield in

Courtesy Ted Major/Creative Commons/Flickr

Today the name most associated with the killer cookie might be Mrs.

Fields, but we actually own Ruth Wakefield, who owned the Toll Home Inn, a favorite spot for home cooking in s Whitman, Massachusetts, to thank for every spoon-licking love shared through chocolate chip cookies.

Was Mrs. Wakefield making her Butter Drop Do cookies when, lacking baker’s chocolate, she substituted a cut-up Nestle’s semisweet chocolate bar? Or did the vibrations of a Hobart mixer knock some chocolate bars off a shelf and into her sugar-cookie dough?

However chocolate chips ended up in the batter, a new cookie was born.

Andrew Nestle reputedly got the recipe from her — it remains on the package to this day — and Wakefield got a lifetime supply of chocolate chips. Can you feel the serotonin and endorphins releasing?

Tater tots

Tater tots are crunchy fried potatoes.

Courtesy stu_spivack/Creative Commons/Flickr

We love French fries, but for an American food variation on the potato theme, one beloved at Sonic drive-ins and school cafeterias everywhere, consider the Tater Tot.

Notice it often has the registered trademark — these commercial hash brown cylinders are indeed proprietary to the Ore-Ida company.

If you’d been one of the Grigg brothers who founded Ore-Ida, you’d own wanted to come up with something to do with leftover slivers of cut-up potatoes, too. They added some flour and seasoning and shaped the mash into tiny tots and put them on the market in A little more than 50 years later, America is eating about 32 million kilos of these taters annually.

Fried chicken and waffles

The original and the best.

Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles

Scottish immigrants brought the deep-fry method across the pond, and it was excellent ancient Colonel Saunders who really locked in on the commercial potential in when he started pressure-frying chicken breaded in his secret spices at his service station in Corbin, Kentucky, paving the way for Kentucky Fried and every the other fried chickens to come.

Nuggets, fingers, popcorn, bites, patties — one of our all-time favorite ways to eat fried chicken is with waffles.

And one of our favorite places to eat it is at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles.

Immortalized in «Pulp Fiction» and «Swingers,» the L.A. institution got the soul-food seal of approval when Obama himself related to Jay Leno on «The Tonight Show» that he’d popped in for some wings and waffles and downed them in the presidential limo.

Wild Alaska salmon

Salmon is yummy and nutritious — what more could you want?

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/Getty Images

Guys risk life and limb fishing for this delish superfood.

Unlike Atlantic salmon, which is % farmed, Alaska salmon is wild, which means the fish live free and eat clean — every the better to glaze with Dijon mustard or genuine maple syrup.

Diy summer snack ideas

Alaska salmon season coincides with their return to spawning streams (guided by an amazing sense of smell to the exact spot where they were born).

Worry not: before fishing season, state biologists ensure that plenty of salmon own already passed upstream to lay eggs. But let’s get to that cedar plank, the preferred method of cooking for the numerous Pacific Northwest Indian tribes whose mythologies and diets include salmon.

Use red cedar (it has no preservatives), and cook slow, for that wealthy, smoky flavor. Barring that, there’s always lox and bagels.

Boiling dogs

Hot dogs are a staple of American highway food — sold at carts and stands across the country.

David Paul Morris/Getty Images North America/Getty Images

Nothing complements a baseball game or summer cookout fairly love a boiling dog.

For that we owe a debt to a similar sausage from Frankfurt, Germany (hence, «frankfurter» and «frank») and German immigrant Charles Feltman, who is often credited with inventing the boiling dog by using buns to save on plates.

But it was Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker’s boiling dog stand on Coney Island that turned the boiling dog into an icon.

Every Fourth of July since , the extremely same Nathan’s has put on the International Boiling Dog Eating Contest (current five-time victor Joey Chestnut took the title in , downing 62 boiling dogs and buns in the minute face-stuffing).

Meanwhile in Windy City, the steamed or water-simmered all-beef Chicago dog (Vienna Beef, please) is still being «dragged through the garden» and served on a poppy seed bun — absolutely without ketchup.


Fajitas: the epitome of Tex-Mex cuisine.

Courtesy Shutterstock

Take some vaqueros working on the range and the cattle slaughtered to feed them.

Throw in the throwaway cuts of meat as part of the hands’ take-home pay, and let cowboy ingenuity go to work.

Grill skirt steak (faja in Spanish) over the campfire, wrap in a tortilla, and you’ve got the beginning of a Rio Grande region tradition. The fajita is thought to own come off the range and into favorite culture when a certain Sonny Falcon began operating fajita taco stands at outdoor events and rodeos in Texas beginning in

It wasn’t endless before the dish was making its way onto menus in the Lone Star State and spreading with its beloved array of condiments — grilled onions and green pepper, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, and sour cream — across the country.

Don’t forget the Altoids.

Muffuletta squares

This New Orleans muffuletta looks and tastes grand, the zingy olive salad layer really makes this sandwich. Just cut into squares before packing up you’re picnic and you’ll be excellent to go.

Buffalo wings

Buffalo wings are coated in cayenne pepper and boiling sauce.

Courtesy Larry Hoffman/Creative Commons/Flickr

Long before Troy Aikman became pitchman for Wingstop, folks in Buffalo, New York, were enjoying the boiling and spicy wings that most consent came into being by the hands of Teressa Bellissimo, who owned the Anchor Bar and first tossed chicken wings in cayenne pepper boiling sauce and butter in

According to Calvin Trillin, boiling wings might own originated with John Young, and his «mambo sauce» — also in Buffalo.

Either way, they came from Buffalo, which, by the way, doesn’t call them Buffalo wings.

If you ponder your kitchen table or couch-in-front-of-football represents the extreme in wing eating, ponder again: Every Labor Day weekend, Buffalo celebrates its grand contribution to the nation’s pub grub with the Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival.


Cioppino: Portugal meets meets Italy meets France by way of San Francisco.

Courtesy LWYang/Creative Commons/Flickr

San Francisco’s answer to French bouillabaisse, cioppino (cho-pea-no) is fish stew with an Italian flair.

It’s an American food that’s been around since the tardy s, when Portuguese and Italian fishermen who settled the North Beach section of the city brought their on-board catch-of-the-day stew back to land and area restaurants picked up on it.

Cooked in a tomato base with wine and spices and chopped fish (whatever was plentiful, but almost always crab), cioppino probably takes its name from the classic fish stew of Italy’s Liguria region, where numerous Gold Rush era fishermen came from.

Get a memorable bowl at Sotto Mare in North Beach, Scoma’s on Fisherman’s Wharf, and Anchor Oyster Bar in the Castro District.

Don’t feel bad about going with the «lazy man’s» cioppino — it only means you’re not going to spend half the meal cracking shellfish.

Delmonico’s steak

The renowned Delmonico's — where the steak magic happens.

Courtesy Joshua Kehn/Creative Commons/Flickr

There are steakhouses every over the country but perhaps none so storied — with a universally acclaimed steak named for it no less — as the original Delmonico’s in New York.

The first diner called by the French name restaurant, Delmonico’s opened in with unheard-of things love printed menus, tablecloths, private dining rooms, and lunch and dinner offerings.

Among other firsts, the restaurant served the «Delmonico Steak.» Whatever the excellent cut (the current restaurant uses boneless rib eye), the term Delmonico’s Steak has come to mean the best.

Lightly seasoned with salt, basted with melted butter, and grilled over a live fire, it’s traditionally served with a thin clear gravy and Delmonico’s potatoes, made with cream, white pepper, Parmesan cheese, and nutmeg — a rumored favorite of Abraham Lincoln’s.

Smithfield ham

Legend has it that the first sale of Smithfield Ham occured in

Paul Morigi/Getty Images North America/Getty Images for Smithfield

«Ham, history, and hospitality.» That’s the motto of Smithfield, Virginia, the Smithfield of Smithfield Virginia ham.

Notice «ham» comes before history, which really says something considering this hamlet of 8, was first colonized in

Epicenter of curing and production of a head-spinning number of hogs, Smithfield comes by the title Ham Capital of the World honestly: lots of ham is called Virginia, but there’s only one Smithfield, as defined by a law that says it must be processed within the city limits.

The original country-style American ham was dry cured for preservation; salty and hard, it could hold until soaked in water (to remove the salt and reconstitute) before cooking.

The deliciously authentic cured Virginia country ham happens to own been the favorite of that renowned Virginian, Thomas Jefferson.


The cheeseburger became favorite in the s and s.

Andrew Burton/Getty Images North America/Getty Images

Lunch counter, traditional, gourmet, sliders, Kobe. White Castle, Whataburger, Burger King, In-N-Out, McDonald’s, Steak N’ Shake, Five Guys, The Heart Attack Grill. It’s hard to believe, but it every began with a simple mistake.

Or so tell the folks in Pasadena, California, who claim the classic cheeseburger was born there in the tardy s when a young chef at The Rite Spot accidentally burned a burger and slapped on some cheese to cover his blunder.

Our favorite rendition might be the way they do cheeseburgers in New Mexico: with green chilis, natch.

Follow the Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail.

Macaroni and cheese

We own the third president of the U.S. Thomas Jefferson to thank for this cheesy treat.

Monica Schipper/Getty Images North America/Getty Images for NYCWFF

The ultimate comfort food, macaroni and cheese is also the salvation of numerous a mom placating a finicky toddler.

Nothing particularly American about pasta and cheese — except for the fact that on a European journey, Thomas Jefferson liked a certain noodle dish so much he took notes and had it served back home at a state dinner as «macaroni pie.»

Jefferson’s cousin Mary Randolph included a recipe for «macaroni and cheese» in her cookbook «The Virginia Housewife.»

So whether you’re eating a gourmet version by one of the countless chefs who’ve put their own spin on it, or just digging love a desperado in the pantry for that box of Kraft, give mac and cheese its patriotic props.


Whether you own it Creole style or Cajun, Jambalaya is a yummy dish.

Courtesy Gloria Cabada-Leman/Creative Commons/Flickr

Jambalaya, crawfish pie, file gumbo what dish could be so evocative that it inspired Hank Williams to record a party song for it in and dozens more to cover it (including everyone from Jo Stafford to Credence Clearwater Revival to Emmylou Harris)?

The sweep-up-the-kitchen cousin of Spanish paella, jambalaya comes in red (Creole, with tomatoes) and brown (Cajun, without).

Made with meat, vegetables (a trinity of celery, peppers, and onions), and rice, Louisiana’s signature dish might be most memorable when made with shrimp and andouille sausage.

Whatever the color and secret ingredients, you can be certain of one thing when you sit below with friends to a large bowlful: son of a gun, gonna own large enjoyment on the bayou.

Cobb salad

Originally made with leftovers, Cobb salad now one of America's favorite appetizers.

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The chef’s salad originated back East, but American food innovators working with lettuce out West weren’t going to be outdone.

In , Bob Cobb, the owner of The Brown Derby, was scrounging around at the restaurant’s North Vine location for a meal for Sid Grauman of Grauman’s Theater when he put together a salad with what he found in the fridge: a head of lettuce, an avocado, some romaine, watercress, tomatoes, some freezing chicken breast, a hard-boiled egg, chives, cheese, and some old-fashioned French dressing.

Brown Derby lore says, «He started chopping.

Added some crisp bacon, swiped from a busy chef.» The salad went onto the menu and straight into the heart of Hollywood.

Biscuits ‘n’ gravy

American biscuits are more akin to European scones.

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An irresistible Southern favorite, biscuits and gravy would be a cliche if they weren’t so darned delicious.

The biscuits are traditionally made with butter or lard and buttermilk; the milk (or «sawmill» or country) gravy with meat drippings and (usually) chunks of excellent unused pork sausage and black pepper.

Cheap and requiring only widely available ingredients, a meal of biscuits and gravy was a filling way for slaves and sharecroppers to face a hard day in the fields.

«The Southern way with gravies was born of privation. When folks are poor, they make do.

Diy summer snack ideas

Which means folks make gravy,» says The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook. The soul, you might tell, of soul food.

Black bean crunch wraps

Looking for a vegetarian picnic wrap? Attempt our toasted crunch wraps with black beans, crunchy tortilla chips and avocado. Wrap in foil and take on your next picnic.

Chicken fried steak

How do you make steak even tastier?

Pan fry it in bread crumbs, of course.

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A guilty pleasure if there ever was one, chicken fried steak was born to go with American food classics love mashed potatoes and black-eyed peas.

A slab of tenderized steak breaded in seasoned flour and pan fried, it’s kin to the Weiner Schnitzel brought to Texas by Austrian and German immigrants, who adapted their veal recipe to use the bountiful beef found in Texas.

Lamesa, on the cattle-ranching South Texas plains, claims to be the birthplace of the dish, but John «White Gravy» Neutzling of Lone Star State cowboy town of Bandera insisted he invented it.

Do you care, or do you just desire to ladle on that peppery white gravy and dig in?

Diy summer snack ideas

Chicago-style pizza

Deep dish pizza is a Chicago speciality.

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Naples gave us the first pizza, but the City of Large Shoulders (and even bigger pizzas) gave us the deep dish. The legend goes that in , a visionary named Ike Sewell opened Uno’s Pizzeria in Chicago with the thought that if you made it hearty enough, pizza, which up till then had been considered a snack, could be eaten as a meal.

Whether he or his original chef Rudy Malnati originated it, one of those patron saints of pizza made it deep and piled it high, filling a tall buttery crust with lots of meat, cheese, tomato chunks, and authentic Italian spices.

Thin-crust pizza made in a brick oven has its put, but if you lust for crust, nothing satisfies fairly love Chicago-style.

Key lime pie

Key lime pie is a staple on south Florida menus.

Courtesy Joe's Rock Crab Restaurant

If life gives you limes, don’t make limeade, make a Key lime pie.

The official state pie of Florida, this sassy tart has made herself a worldwide reputation, which started in — where else? — the Florida Keys, from whence come the tiny limes that gave the pie its name.

Aunt Sally, a cook for Florida’s first self-made millionaire, ship salvager William Curry, gets the credit for making the first Key lime pie in the tardy s. But you might also thank Florida sponge fisherman for likely originating the concoction of key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks, which could be «cooked» (by a thickening chemical reaction of the ingredients) at sea.


When your love for popcorn goes that step too far

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As the imperative on the Orville Redenbacher site urges: «All hail the super snack.» The bow-tied entrepreneur pitched his popcorn tent in Valparaiso, Indiana, which celebrates its heritage at the Valparaiso Popcorn Festival the first Saturday after Labor Day.

It’s just one of several Midwestern corn belt towns that vie for the title of Popcorn Capital of the World, but centuries before Orville’s obsession aromatically inflated in microwaves or Jiffy Pop magically expanded on stovetops, Native Americans in New Mexico discovered corn could be popped — way back in B.C.

Americans currently consume about 14 billion liters of popcorn a year; that’s 43 liters per man, lady, and child.

New England clam chowder

New England creamy clam chowder — accept no subsitutes.

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Gone are the days when Catholics religiously abstained from eating meat on Fridays, but you’ll still discover clam chowder traditionally served in some East Coast locales — not that it reminds anyone of penance these days.

There are time-honored versions of chowder from Maine to Florida, but the most renowned and favorite has to be New England style: creamy white with potatoes and onions.

There’s Manhattan: clear with tomatoes.

And there’s even Minorcan (from around St. Augustine, Florida): spicy with boiling datil pepper. The variations on East Coast clam chowder are deliciously numerous.

Even the West Coast has a version (with salmon instead of pork). With your fistful of oyster crackers ready to dump in, you might stop to wonder: What were the Pilgrims thinking when they fed clams to their hogs?

New Mexican flat enchiladas

Mouth-watering enchiladas — are you hungry yet?

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It was the pre-Columbian Maya who invented tortillas, and apparently the Aztecs who started wrapping them around bits of fish and meat.

You own only to go to any Mexican or Tex-Mex put to see what those ancients wrought when someone dipped tortillas «en chile» (hence, the name).

«Flat» (the stacked New Mexico style) or rolled, smothered in red chili sauce or green (or both, for «Christmas» style), enchiladas are the source of much cultural pride in the Land of Enchantment; they’re particularly enchanting made with the state’s famed blue-corn tortillas — fried egg on top optional.


S'mores — you can't just own one, the clue's in the name.

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Proust’s madeleines?

We’ll go you one better on remembrance of things past: s’mores.

Gooey, melty, warm and sweet — nothing evokes family vacations and carefree camping under the stars fairly love this classic American food.

Whether they were first to roast marshmallows and squish them between graham crackers with a bar of chocolate no one seems to know, but the Girl Scouts were the first to get the recipe below in the «Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts,» transforming numerous a standard-issue campfire into a quintessential experience.

Celebrate sweetly on August It’s National S’mores Day.

Get those marshmallow sticks sharpened.

Baked beans

Baked beans popularity in Boston lead to the nickname 'Beantown'.

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It’s not a cookout, potluck, or the finish of a endless day in the saddle without a bubbling pot full of them. Just enquire the Pioneer Lady, who waxes rhapsodic about the baked-bean recipe on her site (not a version with little weenies, but how enjoyment are they?).

Yummy and plenty historical.

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Endless before Bostonians were baking their navy beans for hours in molasses — and earning the nickname Beantown in the process — New England Native Americans were mixing beans with maple syrup and bear fat and putting them in a hole in the ground for slow cooking.

Favored on the frontier for being cheap and portable, chuck wagon, or cowboy, beans will forever live hilariously in favorite culture as the catalyst behind the «Blazing Saddles» campfire scene, which you can review in unabashed immaturity on YouTube.


Don't tell us this doesn't make your mouth water.

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How numerous sandwiches get to go by their initials?

When tomatoes come into season, there’s hardly a better way to celebrate the bounty than with a juicy bacon, lettuce, and tomato.

Food guru John Mariani says the BLT is the no.

2 favorite sandwich in the United States (after ham), and it’s no. 1 in the United Kingdom.

Bread can be toasted or not, bacon crispy or limp, lettuce iceberg or other (but iceberg is preferred for imparting crunch and not interfering with the flavor), and mayo — excellent quality or just forget about it.

Provenance of the BLT isn’t clear, but a remarkably similar club sandwich showed up in the » Excellent Housekeeping Everyday Cook Book.» The sodium level gives the health-minded hesitate, but the BLT tastes love summer — and who can resist that?


It might not glance appetizing, but the taste speaks for itself.

Courtesy Larry Jacobsen/Creative Commons/Flickr

Dehydrated meat shriveled almost beyond recognition — an unlikely source of so much gustatory pleasure, but jerky is a high-protein favorite of backpackers, road trippers, and snackers everywhere.

It’s American food the way we love our wilderness grub — tough and spicy.

We love the creation myth that says it’s the direct descendant of American Indian pemmican, which mixed fire-cured meat with animal fat.

Beef, turkey, chicken, venison, buffalo, even ostrich, alligator, yak, and emu. Peppered, barbecued, hickory-smoked, honey glazed. Flavored with teriyaki, jalapeno, lemon pepper, chili.

Jerky is so versatile and portable and packs such nutritional power that the Army is experimenting with jerky sticks that own the caffeine equivalent of a cup of coffee.

However you take your jerky — caf or decaf; in strips, chips, or shreds — prepare to chew endless and hard. You’ve still got your own teeth, right?

The Cubano sandwich

Take a glance at this golden and crisp sandwich thought from the US which uses Cuban mojo pork and is oozing with Swiss cheese.

It takes a while to make, but it’s a grand picnic thought in the summer. Check out our best sandwich recipes here.


Trail mix: fueling hikers across the United States.

Courtesy Helen Penjam/Creative Commons/Flickr

«Good Ancient Raisins and Peanuts,» GORP is the energy salvation of backpackers everywhere.

Centuries before trail stir came by the bag and the bin, it was eaten in Europe, where hiking is practically a national pastime.

The thing to remember here is that the stuff is American food rocket fuel.

Add every the granola, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, candied ginger, and M&Ms you desire. Just be certain to store in a bear-proof canister because suspending from a branch in a nylon bag isn’t going to do it.

Stuffed focaccia

Stuff a classic Italian bread with mozzarella cheese and antipasti for an instant crowd-pleaser at your next picnic with friends. Study to make this yummy bread recipe with our simple step-by-step guide. Numerous more bread recipes here.

Frito pie

Frito Pie: not pie at every but Fritos with chili on top, served in the chip bag itself.

Courtesy Paul Sableman/Creative Commons/Flickr

Even the most modest chili has legions of fans.

Consider Kit Carson, whose dying remorse was that he didn’t own time for one more bowl. Or the mysterious «La Dama de Azul,» a Spanish nun named Sister Mary of Agreda, who reportedly never left her convent in Spain but came back from one of her astral projections preaching Christianity to Indians in the New World with their recipe for venison chili.

Less apocryphally, «chili queens» in s San Antonio, Texas, sold their spicy stew from stands, and the «San Antonio Chili Stand» at the Chicago world’s fair secured chili’s nationwide fame.

We really love the American ingenuity that added corn chips and cheddar cheese to make Frito pie, a kitschy delight you can order served in the bag at the Five & Dime on the Santa Fe Plaza, the same physical location of the original Woolworth’s lunch counter that came up with it.

Lobster rolls

The New England classic that never gets old.

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Boiled or steamed alive — animal cruelty some insist — lobsters practically define a grand Below East occasion.

And maybe nowhere more so than in Maine, which provides 80% of the clawed creatures, and where lobster shacks and lobster bakes are culinary institutions.

Melted butter on knuckle, claw, or tail meat — we love it simple. But the perfect accompaniment to a salty sea air day in Vacationland would own to be the lobster roll. Chunks of sweet lobster meat lightly dressed with mayo or lemon or both, heaped in a buttered boiling dog bun makes for some seriously satisfying finger food.

Fabulous finger-licking lobster time in Maine is during shack season, May to October, and every August, when Rockland puts on its annual lobster festival.

Suggested soundtrack for a weekend of shacking: Bs’ «Rock Lobster.»


A Northern Mexican snack which has become a firm favorite North of the border.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America/Getty Images

The bane of diets and the boon of happy hours — could there be a more perfect calorie-dense accompaniment to a pitcher of margaritas?

Less rhetorically: why does Piedras Negras, Mexico, just over the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, host The International Nacho Festival and the Biggest Nacho in the World Contest every October?

Because it was there that Ignacio «Nacho» Anaya invented nachos when a gaggle of shopping wives of American soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan arrived at the Victory Club restaurant after closing time.

Maitre d’Ignacio improvised something for the gals with what he had on hand, christening his melty creation nachos especiales.

From thence they own gone forth across the border, the continent and the world.

Indian frybread

When Indian frybread meets tacos

Courtesy jeffreyw/Creative Commons/Flickr

If you’ve had it at Indian Market in Santa Fe or to a powwow or pueblo anywhere in the country, you’re probably salivating at the extremely thought.

Who would ponder that a flat chunk of leavened dough fried or deep-fried could be so addictive?

Tradition says it was the Navajo who created frybread with the flour, sugar, salt, and lard given to them by the government when they were relocated from Arizona to Bosque Redondo, New Mexico, years ago.

Frybread’s a calorie bomb every correct, but drizzled with honey or topped with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, cheese, and lettuce for an Indian taco or every by its lonesome, it’s an American Indian staple not to be missed.

California roll

A section of the world's largest California Roll.

Whatever the size, this is America's favorite sushi.

Courtesy Chris Martinez/Stringer

So much more than the gateway sushi, the California roll isn’t just for wimps who can’t go it raw — although that’s essentially the way it got its start in Los Angeles, where sushi chefs from Japan were trying to acquire a beachhead in the tardy s/early s.

Most credit chef Manashita Ichiro and his assistant Mashita Ichiro, at L.A.’s Tokyo Kaikan restaurant, which had one of the country’s first sushi bars, with creating the «inside out» roll that preempted Americans’ aversions by putting the nori (seaweed) on the inside of the rice and substituting avocado for toro (raw fatty tuna).

The avocado-crab-cucumber roll became a hit, and from that SoCal beachhead, sushi conquered the country.

After leading the charge for the sushi invasion of the s, the California roll now occupies grocery stores everywhere. Wasabi anyone?

Peanut butter sandwich

A peanut butter and banana sandwich, Elvis Presley's favorite snack.

Mario Tama/Getty Images North America/Getty Images

Creamy or chunky? To each his own, but everybody — except those afflicted with the dreaded and dangerous peanut allergy and the moms who worry ill about them — loves a excellent peanut butter sandwich.

First served to clients at Dr.

John Harvey Kellogg’s sanatorium in Battle Creek, Michigan, peanut paste was improved upon when chemist Joseph Rosefield added hydrogenated vegetable oil and called his spread Skippy.

That was ; not fairly years later, peanut butter is an American mainstay, often paired with jelly for that lunchbox workhorse the PB&J. For a rocking alternative, attempt peanut butter sandwiches the way Elvis Presley liked them: with ripe mashed bananas, grilled in butter.

Blueberry cobbler

Cobblers emerged in the British American colonies and remain beloved today.

Courtesy LeaningLark/Creative Commons/Flickr

Also charmingly called slump, grunt, and buckle, cobbler got its start with early oven-less colonists who came up with the no-crust-on-the-bottom fruit dish that could cook in a pan or pot over a fire.

They might own been lofting a mocking revolutionary middle finger at the mom country by making a sloppy American version of the refined British steamed fruit and dough pudding.

Cobblers become doubly American when made with blueberries, which are native to North America (Maine practically has a monopoly on them).

We love blueberries for how they sex up practically any crust, dough, or batter, maybe most of every in cobblers and that other all-American favorite, the blueberry muffin.

San Francisco sourdough bread

Sourdough bread is San Francisco's most beloved baked treat.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/Getty Images

Sourdough is as ancient as the pyramids and not coincidentally was eaten in ancient Egypt.

But the hands-down American favorite, and the sourest variety, comes from San Francisco.

As much a part of NoCal culinary culture as Napa Valley wine, sourdough bread has been a staple since Gold Rush days. Once upon a frontier time, miners (called «sourdoughs» for surviving on the stuff) and settlers carried sourdough starter (more dependable than other leavening) in pouches around their necks or on their belts.

Thank goodness that’s not the way they do it at Boudin Bakery, which has been turning out the bread that bites back in the City by the Bay since


Grits can be pudding, breakfast or dinner.

Courtesy Kate Hopkins/Creative Commons/Flickr

People who didn’t grow up eating them wonder what the heck they are.

People who did grow up eating them (and that would be just about everyone in the South) wonder how anyone could live without them.

Grits, beloved and misunderstood — and American below to their Native roots. They’re the favored boiling breakfast in the so-called Grits Belt, which girdles everything from Virginia to Texas and where the dish is a standard offering on diner menus.

Grits are nothing if not versatile: They can go plain, savory, or sweet; pan-fried or porridge-like.

Simple and cheap, grits are also profoundly satisfying.

Which might be why Charleston’s The Post and Courier opined in that «Given enough [grits], the inhabitants of planet Ground would own nothing to fight about.

Diy summer snack ideas

A man full of [grits] is a man of peace.» Now don’t that just butter your grits?

Fortune cookies

Wondering what your future holds? Perhaps its time for a Chinese.

Courtesy Tomasz Stasiuk/Creative Commons/Flickr

Culinary snobs love to glance below their holier-than-thou chopsticks at ABC (American-born Chinese) food, but we’re not afraid to stand up for the honor of such North American favorites as General Tso’s chicken, Mongolian beef, broccoli beef, lemon chicken, deep-fried spring rolls and that nuclear orange sauce that covers sweet-and-sour anything.

As the seminal symbol of every grand American-born Chinese grub, however, we salute the mighty fortune cookie.

Almost certainly invented in California in the early s (origin stories vary between San Francisco, Los Angeles and even Japan), the buttery sweet crescents are now found in Chinese joints around the world with the notable exception of China.

That’s OK — the crunchy biscuits are still our favorite way to shut out any Chinese meal.


Cornbread is favorite across the country, but it's a Southern classic.

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It’s one of the pillars of Southern cooking, but cornbread is the soul food of numerous a culture — black, white, and Native American — and not just south of the Mason-Dixon.

Grind corn coarsely and you’ve got grits; soak kernels in alkali, and you’ve got hominy (which we urge you to cook up into posole). Leaven finely ground cornmeal with baking powder, and you’ve got cornbread.

Southern hushpuppies and corn pone, New England johnnycakes; cooked in a skillet or in muffin tins; flavored with cheese, herbs, or jalapenos — cornbread in any incarnation remains the quick and simple go-to bread that historically made it a favorite of Native American and pioneer mothers and keeps it on tables across the country today.

Vegan Burrito with Black Beans Recipe

A colourful, vegan burrito recipe, rammed with tomatoes, black beans, sweetcorn, lime, coriander, avocado and red chilli.

This is a super quick picnic thought and can be ready to eat in  just 30 minutes.