Other than indigenous peoples, we are a nation of immigrants, those who came by choice and those who came by force. As our country keeps growing and changing with new people arriving all the time, what we eat changes too. Like our country, American cuisine is never static. It is interesting and exciting and reflects the great, rich diversity that makes it yours, mine, and ours. American cuisine is the world—right here on our tables.
A few thoughts about American food come from one of our own queens of cuisine, Julia Child. In one of her last interviews, she was asked about a favorite food, and what a surprise. She raved about a tomato sandwich made from a sliced, flavorful tomato, on white bread thickly slathered with good mayonnaise, and sprinkled with salt and pepper. She and Jacques Pépin, an immigrant from France, presented an entire TV program on the hamburger. After a big bite from a hefty burger piled with tomato, lettuce, and other fixings, Julia declared, “Good American fare.”
For summer holidays and celebrations, many of us will be gathering together in person, or perhaps digitally, and we’ll be sharing all kinds of foods. The following have become a part of traditional foods for summer festivities: hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, coleslaw, chips and dips, ice cream, pies, cakes, cookies, watermelon, cold beer, and cold soda. There are many other good things to eat—way more than can be listed. Therefore, we offer a meager list of books about our food history and encourage everyone to check the library’s catalog for more.