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Italian Food's Growing Popularity in the U.S.


Marguerite La Corte, a global trend tracker and product antropologist for the food & beverage industry, enjoys going to well known gourmet shops such as Citarella in New York City and going to off-the-beaten path to places in far-flung neighborhoods to buy special items like mortadella and prosciutto di Parma. She loves Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and she drinks Lavazza coffee.

La Corte is one example of how Americans haven't satisfied their appetite for Italian food. In 2013, Italian imported food in the U.S. rose seven percent to $4 billion (which $1.6 billion is the wine sector), more than the double of U.S. food imports' average (which is three percent), according to ICE, Italian Trade Commission of New York City.

The surge in Italian food imports is due to the fact that Americans have become more health conscious and have realized that Italian products are not only good, but also very healthy.

"The increase is due to the fact that consumers have gained some sort of educational food knowledge for them to fall in love with Italian products," said Lucio Caputo, president of the Italian Wine and Food Institute of New York City.

In addition, genuiness and freshness have become the significant keys for consumers. This has helped the imports of particular products a lot, and Italian food commands the market share with more than 50 percent, in areas such as oil, cheese, and pasta.

In fact, pasta (with 30.2 percent in the sector) is the leading import, along with the olive oil (with 50.2 percent of the market) and with cheese that reached the 26.7 percent. During the fiscal years 1998-2007, according to the Department of Commerce, Italy and France were the two top cheese sources for the U.S.

"Americans want Italian pasta, especially those that have different colors," said John Blount, owner of Italian Harvest located in San Francisco, who has been importing Italian food since 2000. "They also love white pasta that has different shapes because they find them to be more amusing."

In addition, Italian pasta has good quality because it is made of selected grains.


The Illustrated History of Italian-American Food

Spaghetti and meatballs. Marinara sauce. Chicken parm. Baked ziti. Garlic bread. Pizza (as we conceive of it). What these foods have in common, beside being universally beloved, is that they are wholly American inventions. Yes, these titans of red-sauce cuisine bear little resemblance to any dish you’d find in Italy.

How did this come to be? We’re familiar with the basics. The late 19th-, early-20th century saw a wave of Italian immigration to North America. In large cities, these people had to adapt to an urban lifestyle, purchasing food instead of growing it, and wrangling with unfamiliar American ingredients. Which set the stage for a dramatic shift in eating habits. What was originally a veggie-heavy, protein-low diet became meatier, saucier, and, as it only could in America, bigger.

Few people know this culinary evolution better than Simone Cinotto, author of The Italian American Table, Soft Soil, Black Grapes, and Making Italian America. Cinotto is one of the foremost experts on the Italian-American culinary experience, and also has the benefit of an outsider's perspective—being, well, a real Italian from Italy. He, along with Vincent Cannato, a historian at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, walked us through some of the seminal moments in the formation of Italian-American cuisine. But before diving into the history of spaghetti and meatballs, Cinotto was quick to remind us that “there was absolutely no Italian cuisine” in the regionally fragmented old country. In America, it turns out, Italian food could find its footing in new ways, thanks to unlikely heroes (think Lady and the Tramp) and the pride of second- and -third generation immigrants.

Here is the illustrated history of Italian-American food.


Frequency U.S. consumers eat Italian cuisine 2015, by age group

*The source does not provide the detailed information regarding the question. The wording chosen here might therefore differ slightly from the wording of the survey. The source does not provide information on method of survey.
** The date of survey was not provided, the date given is the publication date of the source.

Leading trends in breakfast/brunch items on restaurant menus in the U.S. 2018

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These are America’s favorite foods from around the world

America loves Italian and Mexican cuisine, but its own hotdogs and hamburgers aren’t exceptionally popular on the world stage.

An international YouGov study of more than 25,000 people in 24 markets finds that American food ranks 7th out of the 34 cuisines. YouGov asked people which of 34 national cuisines they had tried and whether they liked or disliked them. Italian cuisine beat all other fares, with pizza and pasta standing among the most popular foods in the world. The cuisine received an average popularity score of 84% across the 24 nations we studied.

For US residents, food from Italy (88%) was beaten out only by their devotion to American cuisine, which earned 91% popularity domestically. Italian food was closely followed by Mexican dishes (86%), which America ranked the highest out of all surveyed markets. Respectively, Chinese cuisine (84%), Spanish meals (79%), and Japanese cooking (74%) followed for most US natives. Americans were least likely to enjoy Emirati (23%), Saudi Arabian (24%), and Finnish (27%) cuisines, which are less prevalent in the country.

American food ranks seventh globally and is favored by 68% of the people surveyed—with only people in the Philippines (93%) ranking the cuisine higher than most Americans do. Residents of Singapore (83%), Taiwan (76%), and the UAE (75%) also rated American food very favorably. On the opposite end of the spectrum, American food is the least popular in Spain (49%), China (51%), and Germany (53%).

Patriotically, the biggest fans of Italian food are Italians themselves, with 99% enjoying their national cuisine. Other big fans include Spaniards (94% of those who have tried it say they like it) and the French (92%), while the least impressed by Italian food are the Chinese (59%).

Second place behind Italian food goes to Chinese cuisine, which scored on average 78% across the markets surveyed. It’s liked by 95% of Chinese people, with Singaporeans (94% of those who have tried it say they like it) and Hongkongers (91%) also particular fans. The cuisine is least popular in Saudi Arabia (54%) and Indonesia (57%).

The world’s third most popular cuisine is Japanese, scoring an average of 71% across the 24 nations. Aside from the 94% of Japanese people who like it, 94% of Singaporeans who have tried it also do, as well as 93% of Hongkongers. Once again it’s the Saudi Arabians who are least enamored, with only 43% enjoying it.

At the bottom of the table comes Peruvian cuisine, which received an average score of only 32%. Scoring only fractionally higher (and rounding to the same percentage score) was Finnish cuisine.

It should be pointed out, however, that Finland was one of the markets surveyed but Peru was not, meaning that the loyal 94% of Finns who like their own market’s cuisine was enough to give them the edge. Had the study included Peruvian opinions then Finnish cuisine would likely have come bottom.

The lowest opinion any nation had for another nation’s cuisine was Japan towards Saudi Arabian cuisine, with just 11% of Japanese people who have tried it saying that they like it.

In fact, the survey finds that Japanese people are the harshest food critics of any nation surveyed. Of the 34 cuisines we asked about, 23 scored less than 50% among Japanese respondents. On average only 39% of Japanese people said they liked any given foreign food.

By contrast, it’s Filipinos who are the most likely to appreciate international cuisine. An average of 67% of Filipinos who had tried any given cuisine said they liked it, with only five types of food being liked by fewer than half.


Italian Regional Food: the North

Italian Regional Food: Risotto with wild mushrooms

First-time travelers to Italy may be surprised to find such a culinary diversity from region to region.

Unlike your typical Italian restaurant in the States, Italian food has much more variety than spaghetti and meatballs or eggplant parmesan. Even though you can find Italian specialties like pizza and tortellini all over Italy, it is well worth sampling the local dishes for a bit of authenticity. Every region has its own cheeses, wines and sometimes even vegetables.

When eating foods grown or raised in the surrounding countryside and complemented with the local wine, both your traveling and eating experiences are taken to a whole new level. The pride Italians have in their locally-grown produce, regional specialties and exceptional wines is something you cannot find in a supermarket.

Italian Regional Specialties: The North

Northern Italian cuisine is characterized by a lesser use of olive oil, pasta and tomato sauce and a heavier reliance on butter (or lard), rice, corn (for polenta) and cheeses for cream sauces. Of course, there are exceptions to these rules such as the renowned olive oils of Liguria and the Lakes region, which figure greatly in the cuisines of these areas.

Pasta in the north is by no means non-existent, but it does have to share time with delicious risotto and polenta. Northern Italian main courses often reflect people’s pride in their unspoiled countryside, and are likely to include some sort of game or wild fowl such as rabbit, quail or grouse.

Seafood and shellfish are very popular on the coast, and rivers and streams provide carp and trout. Of course, the overall rule is “if it grows or lives well in the area, then it can make it onto the table”.

Val d’Aosta

The region produces fontina cheese, which is used in local specialties like Cotoletta alla Valdostana – a veal chop covered in fontina and ham. Capriolo alla Valdostana is a hearty venison stew made with wine, vegetables and grappa.

The rocky crags of the Alps help make Aostan wines unique and the region is home to the DOC recognized Reds Donnas, Chambave Rosso and Nus Rosso. Whites include the simply named and crisp Bianco and the Blanc de Morgex with its hints of alpine meadows. Val d’Aosta is also home to the dessert wine Nus-Malvoisie Fletri as well as locally made Grappa.

Piemonte

Piemonte is the home of fonduta, a melted cheese dip made of milk, eggs and white truffles (tartufi bianchi). Fine cheeses include robiola, sheep cheese (tuma, in dialect) and tumin, a white mountain cheese soaked in red pepper and olive oil sauce. Cardi alla Bagna Cauda is a dish of locally grown chard served with a warm sauce of anchovies, garlic and olive oil. Other regional dishes include local game such as rabbit, and boiled meat dishes like Vitello tonnato (thinly sliced veal with a sauce of boiled egg yolk, tuna and capers) and ox tail. Grissini are thin and crispy breadsticks that have become popular throughout the country and the world. Piemonte is also home to two types of wild mushrooms prized the world over: porcini mushrooms and white truffles.

Italian Regional Food: Cheese fonduta. Ph. depositphoto.com/silkenphotos

When it comes to wines, Piemonte is second to none: it is the home of Asti white wines, including Moscato and sparkling Asti Spumante. The region is also home to full-bodied reds such as Barbera, Barolo, Barberesco and Dolcetto.

Lombardia

This region is known for its rice dishes including Minestrone alla Milanese, made with vegetables, rice and bacon. Risotto alla Milanese is a creamy dish of braised short-grain rice blended with meat stock, saffron and cheese. Other favorites include ravioli with a pumpkin filling from Mantova, and small quails with polenta from Bergamo. Osso buco is a traditional main course of veal knuckle – with the marrowbone intact – braised with rosemary and sage. The excellent cheeses of the region include the rich blue gorgonzola, grana padano (a rival of parmigiano-reggiano), the alpine bitto, the creamy crescenza and the gluttonous mascarpone.

Italian Regional Food: Stuffing ravioli with pumpkin. Ph. depositphotos/zaziedanslacuisine

Lombardia wines mostly hail from the Valtellina area, known for its well-aged reds that include Valtellina Superiore, Lombardy’s best. Franciacorta is home to sparkling white wines in the tradition of the champagnes of France, but with a truly Italian character.

Veneto

Veneto cuisine incorporates polenta and rice in its dishes, along with wild fowl, mushrooms, or seafood. Traditional courses include Risi e Bisi (rice and peas), and fegato alla Veneziana (calf’s liver fried with onions). Seafood ranging from prawns, shrimp and clams to fresh fish and eels, play an important part in the local diet, and is proudly displayed in markets and restaurants. Wild game such as rabbit, duck, pigeon and guinea fowl are found in the protected marshes of the Venetian Lagoon and are a favorite element of Veneto’s cooking. Radicchio di Treviso is a bitter red chicory served as a salad, but more often grilled and served with salt and olive oil. Asparagi di Bassano are white asparagus, usually boiled and served with vinaigrette or eggs. Asiago is the best and most popular cheese that comes from Veneto. Pandoro, a star-shaped cake delicately flavored with orange-flower is a specialty of Verona and it is typical of Christmas, when it is consumed throughout the country.

Venetian risi e bisi

The region is known for some of Italy’s most famous reds such as Valpolicella and Bardolino. Whites include Soave, Gambellara, Bianco di Custoza and Vigne Alte.

Italian Regional Food: Rabbit with mushrooms and polenta. Ph. depositphotos/Isantilli

Trentino-Alto Adige

This region shares culinary traditions of Italian and German origins. Canederli made with bread, milk and butter and served in a broth, is just one of several types of gnocchi (dumplings) popular in Trentino-Alto Adige. Polenta is very popular around Trentino along with wild fowl, river trout and Germanic sauerkraut. Speck is a salumi style cured meat that is similar to prosciutto, but is smoked, and has become available throughout Italy. The most popular cheeses include fresh Tosela, Spressa delle Giudicarie (DOP) and Puzzone di Moena.

Canederli. Ph. Michela Simoncini on flickr (flic.kr/p/aZS7vi)

Red wines include the full-bodied Marzemino and the fruity Teroldego. White wines excel in this pre-alpine climate and include Nosiola, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, the Spumante Talento Trento and the traditional sweet dessert wine Vin Santo.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

The region is known for its vast cornfields, which feed the areas demand for polenta. Prosciutto di San Daniele is a sweet cured ham that is hung to absorb fresh mountain air and is considered one of the best prosciuttos of Italy. Montasio is an aged, hard cheese sold at different levels of maturity. The cuisine of the Venezia Giulia portion or the region, especially around Trieste, reflects German/Slavic traditions, too. Jota is a soup made of beans, potatoes and white cabbage Porcina is a mix of boiled pork with sauerkraut, mustard and horseradish. Slavic goulash and dumplings are also local favorites. The coastal areas love their seafood including cuttlefish (seppia), mixed fried fish and Boreto Graesano, a fish and white polenta soup. Regional desserts have a Germanic touch: favorites are apple strudel, Cuguluf (a ring cake) and Gubana (made from dried fruit and raisins).

Friulan wines are well known, with Ramandolo being protected by a DOCG designation. Other reds include Refosco dal Peduncolo and Schiopettino. Friuli is best known for its whites, with the very popular Tocai, Malvasia Istriana, and Ribolla Gialla topping the list. Vitoska is a white wine served as an aperitivo and Picolit is a white dessert wine.

Liguria

The most famous of all culinary masterpieces from Liguria is its basil pesto sauce, served with either trofie (favored in Cinque Terre) or trenette (favored in Genoa). The olive oil of the region is an exception to most of Northern Italian cooking and plays an everyday role along the rocky coast of the area. Seafood has a large role in the local diet, with fresh caught anchovies being a favorite as well as swordfish, tuna, sardines and sea bass. Zuppa di datteri is a shellfish soup made in the port of La Spezia. Popular meat dishes include tomaselle (Veal rolls) and coniglio in umido (Rabbit stew). Ligurian desserts include pandolce genovese, a sweet bread made with candied fruit, raisins and nuts, and sweet pizzas made with walnuts, chestnuts and candied fruit.

Italian Regional Food: Fresh pesto, made with pine-nuts, basil, olive oil and garlic

Red wines include Rossese di Dolceacqua, Ormeasco, and the dessert wine Sciacchetrà Rosso. The white wines of Liguria are ideal for seafood and include Cinque Terre, Sciacchetrà and Colline di Levanto. Spirits range from Grappa and the citrus based Limoncello Ligure, to walnut-infused Nocino.


How World War II Changed The Way Americans Ate

Madeleine Crum, The Huffington Post: The following is an excerpt from Lizzie Collingham's "The Taste of War," [Penguin, $36.00] which, as its name implies, details the impact food consumption, soldier nutrition and Nazi diets had on World War II:

The new-found prosperity of American workers allowed them to buy goods which had previously been out of their reach. Peggy Terry overheard ‘a woman saying on the bus that she hoped the war didn’t end until she got her refrigerator paid for. An old man hit her over the head with an umbrella.’

But the desires generated by wealth were thwarted by shortages of every imaginable consumable as industry focused its energies on armaments. Instead, consumers were urged to save and, to encourage them, a vision of a post-war world of plenty was disseminated through advertising campaigns which spread the government’s propaganda messages while maintaining a brand presence in the eyes of potential consumers. The relentless advertising created an absurd sense that the only thing Americans were fighting for was for the right to consume. A Royal typewriter advertisement captured the tone of the great majority of wartime American advertisements: ‘WHAT THIS WAR IS ALL ABOUT . . . [is the right to] once more walk into any store in the land and buy anything you want.’

Eileen Barth, a social worker whose husband was in the army, explained, ‘I remember an ad in which people were shown as pigs
because they seemed to want so much. To me, it was wanting to have things for the first time in their lives. They were able to enjoy life a little more, even get a house in the suburbs. These were people who lived through the Depression, as children, many of them. I guess you’d say a new middle class came into being. Perhaps they concentrated a little too much on the material life. The war did it.’ The privations Americans had put up with during the Depression and now during the war shaped their post-war desires.

What most Americans wanted was their own home. Given the overcrowding in the cities and the state of disrepair of both urban and rural housing stock, it was hardly surprising. Jean Muller Pearson married a pilot in the 120th Observation Squadron and followed him to his base in Boise, Idaho. The housing shortage meant that people would rent virtually any habitable space, and she and her husband squeezed into the top floor of a house with another couple, sharing a bathroom, kitchen and a sitting room on the landing. Then her husband was posted to Tonopah, Nevada, where they ended up living in what had been a miner’s shack. They had an old iron stove in the kitchen which was both oven and water heater, and the “refrigerator” was a wooden crate attached to the outside of the kitchen accessible through a window that opened inward. On very cold nights milk and produce froze.’ They were fortunate in that they had a bathroom in a lean-to built on the side of the shack. Theirs was one of only thirty bathtubs in the whole town and Jean would invite the other wives over for a bath.

After such living conditions, a detached suburban home with its own yard and, most importantly, a sense of privacy, seemed very appealing, as did numerous labour-saving appliances such as washing machines. A vital element in this new world was not only a new refrigerator standing proudly in the kitchen of the ideal suburban home but one that was filled to the brim with food. A public service advertisement for Macy’s in the New York Daily News in September 1943 listed ‘defending Democracy’ and ‘a better world’ as things Americans were fighting for, but it also included ‘a steak for every frying pan’.

In May 1943 an opinion poll found that rationing and wartime food shortages had barely made any impact on American meals. Two-thirds of the women surveyed asserted that their diet had changed very little since the introduction of rationing, and three-quarters of the women acknowledged that the size of their meals had stayed the same. The minimal impact that rationing had on American eating habits is revealed by the passing comment of a woman from New York, who noted that coffee rationing, which cut consumption from three cups to one a day, was ‘the wartime measure to have affected one the most’. The food privations inflicted on American civilians by the war were minimal compared to those suffered by civilians in all other combatant nations. As one US soldier acknowledged to his English hostess: ‘if American women had had to put up with half as much as we have they would have made a terrific fuss’. As it was they still complained a great deal.

The overriding problem was that Americans had no particular emotional investment in the war. Before Pearl Harbor American public
opinion had been adamantly opposed to involvement in another European conflict. After the Japanese attack there was outrage and anger and a sense that the United States had to win. But there was ambivalence about the sacrifices American civilians were willing to make. Many could see that agriculture was booming and food was plentiful and they did not believe that rationing was really necessary. The Americans’ natural suspicion of state intervention made them question the government’s motives for implementing the system. One soldier’s wife commented sourly that she thought it ‘was a patriotic ploy to keep our enthusiasm at fever pitch’.

Housewives resented the favourable distribution of sugar to commercial bakeries. This made them more reliant on bought cakes and denied them the homely activity of baking. Intermittent shortages of foodstuffs followed by sudden gluts of the same foods shook housewives’ faith in the rationing system. In the spring of 1943 potatoes disappeared from city shops. The army had used up the winter reserve stocks. A few weeks later there were so many potatoes no one knew what to do with them. Eggs followed a similar pattern in the autumn – disappearing, only to return in the spring of 1944 in excess. These food shortages were certainly not serious, as they were in Germany’s cities where staple foods became unavailable, leaving the inhabitants with insufficient food to sustain their energy and health. But they were unsettling and inconvenient. In addition, half the black women employed as maids and cooks deserted their employers for better paid war work, leaving their mistresses to cope with only the assistance of recipe books and filled with the resentful sense that the proper order of life had been thoroughly upset.

The food around which American civilians’ dissatisfaction with rationing centred was red meat. Red meat, preferably beef, was highly valued as a prime source of energy, especially for the working man, and its presence on a plate helped to define the food as a proper meal. But during the war most red meat, and especially steak, disappeared into the army bases. Butchers continued to stock lower-quality cuts of red meat, pork, poultry and fish, and during the war Americans ate at least 2.5 pounds of meat per person per week. This was a generous quantity and it represented a per capita increase of at least 10 pounds a year. In comparison, Soviet workers were lucky to find a scrap of sausage in their canteen’s cabbage soup and the British had to get by on less than half the American ration. Moreover, a proportion of the pound of meat per week which British civilians ate was often made up of corned beef or offal. American women did not take kindly to offal and few took the advice of a recipe book designed to assist the ‘gallant
soldier on the home front . . . in making the most of her meat purchases during the present emergency’ by beginning resolutely to jelly tongues, Creole kidneys, fry liver like the French, and apply the cooking of Maryland to tripe. Instead, they preferred to use ‘stretchers’ to make their meat go further and reduced waste by religiously using up leftovers.

There was plenty of meat available but it was not the kind American civilians craved. It is therefore unsurprising that the black market in food was most active in the meat trade. During the war a large number of small slaughterhouses sprang up which traded locally and were able to evade the inspectors from the Office of Price Administration. They would buy livestock for slaughter above the ceiling price and then sell it on to black market distributors. Butchers would sell favored customers high quality steaks in the guise of ‘pre-ground’ hamburger which used up fewer ration points. In an attempt to persuade Americans to abide by the rules, Eleanor Roosevelt took the Home Front Pledge to always pay ration points in full. The food at the White House, which under the Roosevelts had never been good, was now used to set an example, and although the ‘New York Times sympathised with the President for having to lunch on salt fish four days in a row’ Eleanor insisted that this was only fitting in a time of war. In sympathy with the American publics dismay over coffee rationing Eleanor also cut the demitasse of coffee from the White House after-dinner ritual.

The American black market never got so out of hand that it was a threat to the economy, but the illegal meat trade was sufficiently active for it to threaten the Department of Agriculture’s ability to meet its supply commitments to Britain. It grew in size throughout 1943 as enthusiasm for the war waned once the public realized that a speedy victory was beyond the reach of the Allies. The attitude of Americans towards the black market signalled that both a consensus and social cohesion were weaker in wartime America. In contrast to Britain, where petty pilfering was justified with guilty defensiveness, many Americans viewed it with the triumphant sense that they had beaten the system. Others simply did not question it at all, taking small under-the-counter transactions for granted. When Helen Studer was working as a riveter at the Douglas aircraft factory in California, she recalled, without any apparent guilt, how the friendly woman at the grocery store would slip extra goods into her bag. ‘When I’d get home, Id have three or four things on my bill that wasnt said out loud. Id have a carton of cigarettes . . . There might have been a couple of pounds of oleo [margarine] or there may have been five pounds of sugar. I never knew what I was going to have.’

The advertising images generated during the war created an image of the meaning of victory as the freedom to indulge in all those luxuries which Americans had been denied during the war. In 1943 Norman Rockwell in the Saturday Evening Post illustrated the four freedoms which Roosevelt stated that he hoped the war would achieve for the world in his State of the Union address to Congress on 6 January 1941. Rockwell depicted the freedom from fear, freedom of speech, freedom of worship, and freedom from want, with images of ordinary Americans going about their everyday lives: parents checking on their sleeping children, a man speaking at a town meeting, a congregation at prayer in a church and a family seated around a table laden with food. The private, homely nature of the paintings reinforced the widespread notion that the grand ideals of freedom and democracy which Americans were fighting to defend were embodied in the details of the American way of life. Most particularly they appeared to be symbolized by an American family sitting down to eat a huge Thanksgiving turkey. Rockwell noted in his autobiography that this picture of abundance caused a certain amount of resentment among Europeans living in conditions of austerity, who were able to read the message of American superiority encoded in the image of plentiful food.

That these ideas and images were internalized by ordinary Americans is illustrated by a letter Phil Aquila wrote to his sister in October 1944. Posted to Kentucky during the war, Phil kept in touch with his family in Buffalo. His family, of Italian descent, was poor, and every summer his mother used to take all nine children out to the farms around New York to work in the seasonal harvesting of the vegetable crop. ‘I hope by now Mas finished canning,’ he wrote, ‘although she still can buy a lot of stuff at the market of Bailey & Clinton Streets to can if she feels she needs more food for this winter. Yep, people in this country are sure lucky, to be able to stock up as much food as they want. That’s what us guys are fighting for, so tell Ma to stock up.’

During the Depression years the idea emerged of the consumer as the saviour of the American economy. The working man who bought himself goods such as radios and refrigerators by means of hire purchase was the key to generating industrial production. Not only was he improving his standard of living but the demand for consumables would increase productivity and keep working men in jobs. At the end of the war, the government returned to this argument and encouraged purchasing without restraint as a way of preventing the expected post-war economic slump. The ‘former head of the Office of Price Administration, Chester Bowles, told his former colleagues in advertising, the resulting mass markets, where “the janitors appetite for a sirloin steak is as profitable as the bankers,” would democratize the benefits of prosperity’. Consumerism was the American answer to Britain’s Beveridge Report which symbolized the hope for a better world to be achieved through the creation of a welfare state. Americans believed that if the masses were able to gain access to the fruits of economic abundance, political and economic equality would follow.

Excerpted from THE TASTE OF WAR by Lizzie Collingham. Reprinted by arrangement with The Penguin Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. Copyright (c) Lizzie Collingham, 2012.


Frequency U.S. consumers eat Italian cuisine by gender 2015

*The source does not provide the detailed information regarding the question. The wording chosen here might therefore differ slightly from the wording of the survey. The source does not provide information on method of survey.
** The date of survey was not provided, the date given is the publication date of the source.

Leading trends in breakfast/brunch items on restaurant menus in the U.S. 2018

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Words in This Story

preference - n. a feeling of liking or wanting one person or thing more than another person or thing​

cuisine - n. ​a style of cooking​

professional - adj. relating to a job that requires special education, training, or skill

global - adj. involving the entire world

culinary - adj. ​used in or relating to cooking​

adventurous - adj. not afraid to do new and dangerous or exciting things

pandemic - n. an occurrence in which a disease spreads very quickly and affects a large number of people over a wide area or throughout the world


Ligurian Cuisine

Liguria boasts some of the most rugged landscape in Italy, a steady succession of high mountains plunging into the sea. As a result, the population lives mostly in the valley mouths, drawing what little substance they can from the flatter parts of the valley floors, and putting their boats to sea—both to fish and to communicate. Indeed, until the railway was built a little more than a century ago, it was much easier for people to go by boat than to travel overland, and even now what would be a quick drive on the highway can take hours on the old roads.

Given the scarcity of arable land, it's natural that the Ligurian diet is primarily vegetarian and fish-based. Ligurians do enjoy pasta, but often add potatoes or string beans to the water, and tend to use simple sauces, of which ​pesto is the most famous. Ravioli is also a Ligurian staple most of the traditional recipes are vegetarian, stuffed with wild greens (especially borragine, a herb gathered on mountain slopes) and ricotta, though they can also have meat. During the spring, there are many savory pies stuffed with green vegetables.

Ligurians enjoy fish in many preparations, from hearty stews such as buridda and ciuppin to more elegant dishes. Meats, on the other hand, play a lesser role cima alla Genovese (stuffed breast of veal), started out as a dish of meager means and is now served at festive occasions, as is tocco di carne (stewed beef).


The Most-Popular Food Around the World Is …

Italian food! 84 percent of people across the globe say they like it.

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Guess what kind of food Americans like best?

OK, besides American cuisine, which 91 percent of U.S. residents say they like. (Gotta feel bad for the 9 percent of Americans who don’t like American cuisine, eh?)

The national cuisine Americans like most is … Italian food. According to an International survey conducted by YouGov, 88 percent of Americans surveyed said they have tried and like Italian cuisine. Judging from the fact that pizza and pasta are undeniable U.S. diet staples, that’s not surprising.

The next most popular cuisine among U.S. residents was Mexican, with 86 percent saying they liked it, followed by Chinese (84 percent), Spanish (79 percent) and Japanese (74 percent) cooking.

The survey, for which the market research and data analytics firm polled more than 25,000 people in 24 markets, asking them which of 34 national cuisines they had eaten and whether or not they liked them, also determined that Italian food was the most popular food not only in the U.S., but worldwide, averaging 84 percent in popularity across all 24 nations surveyed. While popular nearly everywhere, Italian food was most popular with Italians themselves 99 percent of Italy residents had a favorable opinion of Italian food. (Because … duh.)

While Italian cuisine emerged as the most popular in the world, both Chinese food and Japanese food were not too far behind, with, respectively, 78 percent and 71 percent of those surveyed around the world expressing a favorable attitude towards those cuisines.

American cuisine, meanwhile, was not admired quite as much the world over as it is at home, but it still fared fairly well in the polling, ranking 7th out of 34 cuisines globally, with 68 percent of people around the world saying they had tried American food and liked it.

Burgers and fries, hot dogs and apple pie -- they’re delicious in any language.


Watch the video: O Κορωπιώτης από τις ΗΠΑ με την καλύτερη πίτσα της Αττικής (January 2022).