North & South American Food
Food from the Americas
Countries / States: United States / Canada / Mexico / Caribbean / Costa Rica / Guatemala / Panama / Argentina / Bolivia / Brazil / Chile / Columbia / Ecudor / Peru / Venezuela
North America. Central America. South America. While extremely vast in culture and traditions, these three areas have one thing in common: the native foods grown on their continents. Even with a variety of environments and landscapes and beliefs, the people of the Americas created exciting and delicious cuisine from what they could harvest on their land.
As settlers came and colonized the Americas, we can quickly see how the presence of these new cultures influenced the local cuisine and enhanced the local diet.
“The Old South is a place where people use food to tell themselves who they are, to tell others who they are, and to tell stories about where they’ve been. The Old South is a place of groaning tables across the tracks from want. It’s a place where arguments over how barbecue is prepared or chicken is served or whether sugar is used to sweeten cornbread can function as culinary shibboleths. It is a place in the mind where we dare not talk about which came first… We just know that somehow the table aches from the weight of so much . . . that we prop it up with our knees and excuses to keep it from falling.”
— Michael W. Twitty
List of Americas Cuisines
The Americas has a large variety of cuisines to enjoy. With such vast environments and cultures, there is truly a journey to be had when it comes to these cuisines.
Top North American Dishes
- BBQ Pulled Pork
- Apple Pie
- Potato Chips
- Fried Chicken
- Biscuits and Gravy
- Chicken and Waffles
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
- Nova Scotian Lobster Rolls
Top Central and South American Dishes
- Dulce de Leche
- Chupe de Camarones
History of Food of the Americas
Once referred to as the New World, the Americas has a unique and controversial history concerning its cuisine. European settlers came to colonize and conquer the indigenous people that created a cuisine culture of beans, rabbit, potatoes, corn, and deer. With this takeover, the cuisine shifted to a more European diet, mainly based on the cooking styles of Italy, Spain, and Portugal. European colonizers introduced pigs, sheep, goats, and different kinds of wheat to the Americas during their settlement.
But the Americas, particularly North America, is known as a melting pot of cultures, dramatically influencing the diet and available cuisines. During the Gold Rush, many immigrants from Asian countries came to the West and introduced more vegetables, ginger, and stir fry. As we see in the North American south, immigrants from the Caribbean islands also brought their own cooking practices with dishes such as jambalaya and Creole seasoning.
One aspect of North American cuisine that stays true to its indigenous people is the dried meats and barbecue style of cooking on an open flame or with charcoal.