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There are steakhouses all over the country but perhaps none so storied -- with a universally acclaimed steak named for it no less -- as the original. People who didn't grow up eating them wonder what the heck they are. Whatever the size, this is America's favorite sushi. It's a sandwich so greasy and hallowed in its hometown that the posture you must adopt to eat it without ruining your clothes has a name: "the Philadelphia Lean.". It's not a cookout, potluck, or the end of a long day in the saddle without a bubbling pot full of them. Gone are the days when Catholics religiously abstained from eating meat on Fridays, but you'll still find clam chowder traditionally served in some East Coast locales -- not that it reminds anyone of penance these days. We'll go you one better on remembrance of things past: s'mores. Cobblers emerged in the British American colonies and remain beloved today. Courtesy @joefoodie/Creative Commons/Flickr. If you think your kitchen table or couch-in-front-of-football represents the extreme in wing eating, think again: Every Labor Day weekend, Buffalo celebrates its great contribution to the nation's pub grub with the. Lynne Webb is the editor, publisher and recipe developer. We like it anytime -- so long as the Hatch chiles are roasted fresh. Lightly seasoned with salt, basted with melted butter, and grilled over a live fire, it's traditionally served with a thin clear gravy and Delmonico's potatoes, made with cream, white pepper, Parmesan cheese, and nutmeg -- a rumored favorite of Abraham Lincoln's. Courtesy Marcelo Trasel/Creative Commons/Flickr. Green Chile Stew is a traditional New Mexican dish. Flavored with teriyaki, jalapeno, lemon pepper, chili. First served to clients at Dr. John Harvey Kellogg's sanatorium in Battle Creek, Michigan, peanut paste was improved upon when chemist Joseph Rosefield added hydrogenated vegetable oil and called his spread Skippy. Unlike Atlantic salmon, which is 99.8% farmed, Alaska salmon is wild, which means the fish live free and eat clean -- all the better to glaze with Dijon mustard or real maple syrup. Jerky is so versatile and portable and packs such nutritional power that the Army is experimenting with jerky sticks that have the caffeine equivalent of a cup of coffee. Made of "frizzled beef," chopped while being grilled in grease, the Philly cheese steak sandwich gets the rest of its greasy goodness from onions and cheese (American, provolone, or Cheese Whiz), all of which is laid into a long locally made Amoroso bun. And let's not forget Kansas City, where the sauce is the thing. Long before Troy Aikman became pitchman for Wingstop, folks in Buffalo, New York, were enjoying the hot and spicy wings that most agree came into being by the hands of Teressa Bellissimo, who owned the Anchor Bar and first tossed chicken wings in cayenne pepper hot sauce and butter in 1964. And one of our favorite places to eat it is at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. The Chesapeake Bay yields more than just the regatta-loving suntanned class in their sock-free topsiders. We do love those leftovers. Grits can be pudding, breakfast or dinner. A persnickety customer sends back his French fries (then highfalutin fare eaten with a fork) for being too thick. Who would have imagined when the recipe for "Cannelon of Beef" showed up in Fannie Farmer's 1918 "Boston Cooking School Cook Book" that every mom in America would someday have her own version? Lobster, clams, scallops, oysters, cod, swordfish and flounder abound. Made with meat, vegetables (a trinity of celery, peppers, and onions), and rice, Louisiana's signature dish might be most memorable when made with shrimp and andouille sausage. -- she probably served that oh-so-reliable meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans. Every Fourth of July since 1916, the very same Nathan's has put on the. Add all the granola, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, candied ginger, and M&Ms you want. Hot dogs are a staple of American street food -- sold at carts and stands across the country. Indigestion notwithstanding, nothing tastes so good as that quintessential all-American meal of turkey (roasted or deep-fried bird, or tofurkey, or that weirdly popular Louisiana contribution turducken), dressing (old loaf bread or cornbread, onion and celery, sausage, fruit, chestnuts, oysters -- whatever your mom did, the sage was the thing), cranberry sauce, mashed and sweet potatoes, that funky green bean casserole with the French-fried onion rings on top, and pumpkin pie. Frito Pie: not pie at all but Fritos with chili on top, served in the chip bag itself. Sourdough is as old as the pyramids and not coincidentally was eaten in ancient Egypt. That was 1922; not quite 100 years later, peanut butter is an American mainstay, often paired with jelly for that lunchbox workhorse the PB&J. Grits, beloved and misunderstood -- and American down to their Native roots. Courtesy stu_spivack/Creative Commons/Flickr. Grind corn coarsely and you've got grits; soak kernels in alkali, and you've got hominy (which we encourage you to cook up into posole). The soul, you might say, of soul food. Nuggets, fingers, popcorn, bites, patties -- one of our all-time favorite ways to eat fried chicken is with waffles. Melted butter on knuckle, claw, or tail meat -- we love it simple. Ground rules: acknowledge that even trying to define American food is tough; further acknowledge that picking favorite American items inevitably means leaving out or accidentally overlooking some much-loved regional specialties. Cobblers become doubly American when made with blueberries, which are native to North America (Maine practically has a monopoly on them). The sweep-up-the-kitchen cousin of Spanish paella, jambalaya comes in red (Creole, with tomatoes) and brown (Cajun, without). Californian (1) Charcuterie (1) Cocktails (4) Creole/Cajun (1) French (2) + SHOW ALL. Paul Morigi/Getty Images North America/Getty Images for Smithfield. "We fed those men free of charge until the strike ended," Bennie was quoted. Fried chicken, catfish, cornbread, biscuits, collard greens, sweet tea, pecans and bourbon are just a few of the comfort foods that you can expect to find in the area. Avocados, peaches, plums, oranges, lemons, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, artichokes, figs, fresh herbs, olives and grapes, in addition to the fine wines and abundant fresh seafood, make California a veritable culinary paradise and the nature of its cuisine a vast spectrum. Cranberries, blueberries and pure maple syrup are native to the area … San Francisco's answer to French bouillabaisse, cioppino (cho-pea-no) is fish stew with an Italian flair. Grill skirt steak (faja in Spanish) over the campfire, wrap in a tortilla, and you've got the beginning of a Rio Grande region tradition. New England creamy clam chowder -- accept no subsitutes. Head south to the border and Tex-Mex cuisine becomes common fare. New England is well known for its top quality seafood. Po'boy -- the ultimate American sandwich. Bread can be toasted or not, bacon crispy or limp, lettuce iceberg or other (but iceberg is preferred for imparting crunch and not interfering with the flavor), and mayo -- good quality or just forget about it. Famed for its quality dairy products, the use of milk, eggs, cheese and butter is common. We have the third president of the U.S. Thomas Jefferson to thank for this cheesy treat. Added some crisp bacon, swiped from a busy chef." However chocolate chips ended up in the batter, a new cookie was born. Beef brisket, bottom or top round, or chuck set in a deep roasting pan with potatoes, carrots, onions, and whatever else your mom threw in to be infused with the meat's simmering juices, the pot roast could be anointed with red wine or even beer, then covered and cooked on the stovetop or in the oven. Don't feel bad about going with the "lazy man's" cioppino -- it only means you're not going to spend half the meal cracking shellfish. Native American cuisine is the first cuisine of America. Kind of makes you crabby, doesn't it? No joke: He got the idea, he said, from tidily packaged airplane food. Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images North America/Getty Images, Fast, junk, processed -- when it comes to American food, the country is best known for the stuff that's described by words better suited to greasy, grinding industrial output. It was the pre-Columbian Maya who invented tortillas, and apparently the Aztecs who started wrapping them around bits of fish and meat. Or did the vibrations of a Hobart mixer knock some chocolate bars off a shelf and into her sugar-cookie dough? People who did grow up eating them (and that would be just about everyone in the South) wonder how anyone could live without them. Dehydrated meat shriveled almost beyond recognition -- an unlikely source of so much gustatory pleasure, but jerky is a high-protein favorite of backpackers, road trippers, and snackers everywhere. Simple and cheap, grits are also profoundly satisfying. Legend has it that the first sale of Smithfield Ham occured in 1779. Courtesy jonobacon/Creative Commons/Flickr. The most humble of comfort food. We love French fries, but for an American food variation on the potato theme, one beloved at Sonic drive-ins and school cafeterias everywhere, consider the Tater Tot. Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/Getty Images. After leading the charge for the sushi invasion of the 1980s, the California roll now occupies grocery stores everywhere. Whether he or his original chef Rudy Malnati originated it, one of those patron saints of pizza made it deep and piled it high, filling a tall buttery crust with lots of meat, cheese, tomato chunks, and authentic Italian spices. The foods of the Philippines, Japan, China and mainland America inspire the creative talents of modern Hawaiian chefs to prepare the bountiful fish, seafood and produce of the islands in unique and definitive ways. Luau fare like kalua pig, poi, lau lau and lomi lomi salmon originate from the Polynesian influence on the islands. Our goal is to inspire our readers to make flavorful, creative food, whether it's for a quick weeknight meal, family dinner or holiday celebration. As the seminal symbol of all great American-born Chinese grub, however, we salute the mighty fortune cookie. Better yet, make the trip to green chile stew country and order up a bowl. Courtesy jeffreyw/Creative Commons/Flickr. Food critic John Mariani dates the appearance of apple pies in the United States to 1780, long after they were popular in England. Get our latest recipes, cooking tips, and entertaining ideas delivered directly to your inbox. A man full of [grits] is a man of peace." We're not going to touch that one with a three-meter tong, either. We have a high-maintenance resort guest to thank for America's hands-down favorite snack. Hostess' iconic "Golden Sponge Cake with Creamy Filling" has been sugaring us up since James Dewar invented it at the Continental Baking Company in Schiller Park, Illinois, in 1930. The Twinkie forsook its original banana cream filling for vanilla when bananas were scarce during World War II. There's the 1904 Latrobe, Pennsylvania, story, in which future optometrist David Strickler was experimenting with sundaes at a pharmacy soda fountain, split a banana lengthwise, and put it in a long boat dish. The biscuits are traditionally made with butter or lard and buttermilk; the milk (or "sawmill" or country) gravy with meat drippings and (usually) chunks of good fresh pork sausage and black pepper. Still too thick for the picky diner.