Thai food in Wichita
Thai food in Omaha
Indian food in Des Moines
Poke, Indonesian, and Korean tacos in Madison
Jamaican food in Michigan City, Indiana
Vegan Po'Boys in Grand Rapids
(Coconut curry poutine in Sarnia, Ontario)*
|Celebrating Fathers' Day together while our guide extolled the|
welcoming nature of the USA as I learned more about the
officials hired to represent me citing my holy text as reason
to separate kids from their families made me a little sick
Banh Mi in Syracuse, New York
Lebanese food in Providence
Eritrean food in Portland, Maine
Israeli food in Salem, Massachusetts
Dim sum, cuban breakfast, Shanghai street food, pizza, gelato, and fancy sushi in Manhattan
Sri Lankan food on Staten Island
Shanghai noodles in State College
Syrian food and southern breakfast (red velvet waffles! fried green tomatoes on breakfast sandwiches!) in Cleveland
Bento box and kimchi fried rice in Moline, Illinois
Indian food in Lawrence, Kansas
I mentioned these summer food delights to someone while traveling and the response was basically, "Well, we like to eat the food of the places we visit." Which is totally understandable. We did also eat frozen custard and excellent burgers to accompany delicious fried cheese curds in Wisconsin. Lobsters rolls and wild blueberry products in Maine. Rhode Island clam chowder, New England clam chowder, lobster bisque, lobster pie and stuff quahogs on the Atlantic Coast. Ipswich clams a bunch of different ways when we were a few miles from Ipswich. Hot dogs at baseball games and brats from the grill. Rhubarb from the backyard of our rental house and fresh fruit pie from each of the adjacent "I" states.
It's just that all of the above food is "American" food. It was prepared in the United States by Americans, and eaten in the United States by Americans (*except for the parenthetical parts of the list, which were obviously prepared and eaten in Canada). [On the Fourth I asked Dianthus to name one thing he liked about his country (and one thing he would like to see improved). He listed "American Food" citing hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, and pizza. He added tacos a few minutes later, and would have stuck on sushi if he had a chance.] . The US is a country of immigrants** and immigrants bring with them their food. This descendant of immigrants and refugees is excited that the bland fare brought by her Puritan ancestors in the 1640s continues to be expanded by ideas and ingredients from all over the world. Let's not confine that openness to food.
There is nothing quite so American as taking a ferry from one island to another, discussing lift and flight with kids whose ancestors came from a different continent, on the way to lunch prepared by people whose ancestors came from another continent, as the Statue of Liberty looks on. May such moments continue and grow.
**I sadly forewent my chance to eat a meal prepared by non-immigrant Sean Sherman ("The Sioux Chef") but I am excited to own his cookbook and to have heard him speak about native foods and foodways.