Throughout my secondary research phase, I began to wonder, does the U.S. have a food culture of its own? Sure, New Orleans is famous for gumbo and po-boys, Maryland for its crab cakes, Maine for its lobster, and of course Savannah has Paula Dean (more olive oil and butter, please!), but what about all those little cities in between? And when you look at the Nation as a whole, the lines between distinct food cultures start to blur, and once again we become a melting pot of immigrant influence (Chinatown, Little Italy). So, what’s our secret ingredient? Let’s hope it’s not a Big Mac, although it seems McDonald’s is the closest thing we have to a universal food culture. In the United States, the largest distance between two McDonald’s is 145 miles (in North Dakota). Yikes! Maybe it’s not about a universal food culture, but it is about a celebration of culture. American cities pride themselves on their food. We should have public spaces that communicate that pride, and brand it to the world. Italy’s parmegiano reggiano is truly amazing, but Georgia’s BBQ and low-country boil deserve an Oscar too! Map showcasing every McDonald’s in the U.S. (courtesy of Weather Sealed)
does the U.S. have a food culture?