Introduce Your Foreign Friends to American Cuisine

American cuisine is highly processed, but there’s a lot more to the story than that. If you’ve been to an American supermarket, you’ve probably noticed that it’s filled with rows and rows of cans: fruits, vegetables, soups. And jars: jams, pickles, relishes. But if you think that Americans don’t have fresh produce, you’re wrong. American grocery stores carry plenty of fresh produce, but they also carry things that may be hard to find in other countries, like pea pods. It’s time to introduce your foreign friends to American Cuisine.

For any good American with foreign friends, deciding on how to introduce them to American cuisine can be a dilemma. Of course, there are hundreds of “must-try” dishes in every different cuisine. Before you decide what to feed your guests, start with the basics.

Today, let’s explore how you can introduce American cuisine to your friends and loved ones. Here’s what you need to know:

Focus on Main Ingredients Familiar to Your Guests

For example, if you want to try BBQ, you’ll need to either buy a grill or go to a restaurant that serves BBQ. That’s because BBQ is cooked outside. If you decide to eat BBQ at a restaurant, remember that you’ll be asked about your heat tolerance level.

Some restaurants ask because they don’t always advertise the level of spiciness in their food. Others don’t know their level of spiciness, so they’re trying to gauge yours. However, the reputation of American cuisine has been heated. And often, cooked food that’s spicy here is mild elsewhere. Salsa is very mild compared to other spicy foods in America.

In other words, if you’re in a restaurant and you’re being asked to rank your spice tolerance, it’s best to go with mild. This way you can still enjoy the food.

Start Things Off with a Snack

No matter what cuisine your guests are accustomed to, food is always an excellent way to break the ice. The good thing about American food is that there are plenty of snacks you can enjoy.

If you have friends, consider asking them to bring their favorite snacks. You can also get snacks at the supermarket or the local convenience store. Before you go shopping, it’s helpful to know what snacks are popular. 

Adjust the Food to Their Cultural Tastes (If Needed)

When adjusting the food to their cultural tastes, the idea is to familiarize your guests with American cuisine. For example, if you have friends, you can prepare a salad and ask if they like it. If they say yes, you can ask them what kinds of salad they want. Do they like salad dressings? How about vegetables or fruits? Do they prefer their salad plain or light, or with lettuce, or with vegetables and fruits?

These may seem silly questions, but they help you plan your meal. Remember, American cuisine already has a reputation for being rich and fattening, so you have to ask your guests if they’re okay with eating salad.

If your guests say they don’t like salad, there are plenty of side dishes to choose from, like mashed potatoes, corn, macaroni, or baked beans.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, American cuisine is very rich and diverse. That’s why it can be confusing to introduce to people. Fortunately, there are plenty of snacks, side dishes, and even a variety of main dishes you can serve for lunch or dinner. Remember, the idea is to present your guests with something they will like, which means you should ask them what they like to eat.

If you’re interested in more cooking tips and ideas from private chefs in Nashville, browse our website! Here at Food Fire + Knives, we want to help everyone experience food in new and exciting ways. We offer private chef catering and cooking classes open to all. Sign up for our newsletter now and stay up to date with the latest on food and cooking!

Published By Kim Gandhi Kim Gandhi began cooking at 8 years old with a love of food driving her to experiment with her Hispanic and German heritage. She gained a BBA in Marketing and turned to the business world for much of her career. Her strong customer service background and her passion for great events that involve chefs, customers, and amazing food allows her to indulge in her love of cooking and enjoying what FFK chefs bring to the table.