Recently I decided to participate in a wonderful event facilitated by the Student Ambassadors (SA) at NCCU called NCCU World Festival. The festival, which takes place in May, includes a food festival, fashion show, and a talent show and involves both local students and international students. We are currently in planning mode for the food festival, so that means my team–Team USA (well, one of three)–and I have to decide the menu ASAP. Facilities are limited, preparation can be done beforehand, and the food will be sold (yes, I might be able to make a little $$ off of this) and served outside.
But my question is: WHAT is American food?
Foreigners to the USA, of course, will almost invariably say “McDonald’s” or “hamburgers” or “french fries” (which all pretty much go hand-in-hand) when asked what American food is. But I think Anthony Bourdain summed it up best when he said, “American food is whatever people are eating now in America.”
Indeed, there is simply no one dish that I think perfectly encompasses what the USA is.
So I am reaching out to you, 朋友們, friends: What should I include in my menu?
Some of my ideas so far include:
“New Jersey Grub” – sloppy joes and milkshakes…or bagels? One my my teammates mentioned that she would love to learn how to make bagels (good thing I’ve actually done that a couple of times).
“Americana” – apple pie, potato salad and lemonade
“Americanese” – General Tso’s Chicken and fortune cookies (nobody in Asia, unless they have been to the US, has ever heard of such things)
“New England’s Best” – New England Clam Chowder, whoopie pies/frappe (which is basically a milkshake)
I’m trying not to be too ambitious; I would like to keep it as simple as possible. But I also want to make something memorable and unique.
Other ideas, anyone? What do you think American food is? I would love to get your input!
Also, a video for more information about the festival: NCCU World Festival