USA's Tasty Specialities

With its range of cultures, backgrounds and immigrants, the USA is a mix of cultural and culinary flavours based on regionalism and diversity. The foods here vary from coast to coast and even neighbourhood to neighbourhood. The dishes in the south-eastern states have been heavily influenced by African slaves from generations past, including barbecue, fritters and fried chicken. In Louisiana, the French influences of Creole and Cajun reign supreme. The south-western states have been influenced by Mexican food, including beans, corn, chilli and guacamole, while the west coast has developed fusion cuisine which takes ingredients from numerous culinary choices to create flavourful dishes.

Classic American specialities include:

Needing no introduction, top your burger with tomatoes, lettuce, onion, pickles, mustard; or mix it up with chillies, nacho cheese or even guacamole for a Mexican twist. It's the classic American favourite.

New England Clam Chowder
Originally thought to have been passed along by French fishermen in colonial times, this classic American soup is so much more than that. Thick and aromatic, New England clam chowder has layered flavours atop a meaty foundation. There are, of course, many variations but the original dish is creamy with potatoes and onion and packed with quahog clam to give the soup a briny kick.

A traditional meatloaf is made up of mixing a lump of mince with bread crumbs, onion, an egg and a splash of milk, then seasoned with oregano and paprika. Patted into a bread tin, the meatloaf is then baked for about an hour.

Chilli con Carne
Popular in the south-western states of the USA, chilli con carne is a spicy stew-like dish served with sour cream, guacamole and rice.

A much revered tradition in the USA, the eating of S'mores evokes childhood holidays and carefree camping. Roast a marshmallow over an open fire, squish it between two graham crackers, similar to a digestive biscuit, and add a few squares of chocolate.