Just before Napoleon took over France, a political historian named Alexis de Tocqueville, travelled to America and wrote an insightful book called Democracy In America and Effects On Meaning. A century later, another foreigner cataloged his own observations on the unique American culture. He might be better known to you, Alistair Cook, a journalist and long-time host of Masterpiece Theatre on PBS. Following in these giant footsteps is British chef Jamie Oliver. First he led a revolution in school cafeterias. Now he’s promoting a cookbook about his travels around our nation and the culinary traditions he found there.
What he found, as NPR says in it’s summary of his interview on a recent edition of Talk of the Nation, was that there really wasn’t a quintessential American food. He found that our tradition of immigrants has given us a rich cuisine with flavors from around the world.
It’s interesting to hear what an outsider thinks of our food. Click on the link above to go to NPR’s page.