What's on the Menu

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Published on 2012-02-19 (19 February 2012)

  • There's a heck of a lot more on the menu than meatloaf and apple pie and you'll enjoy raft of local specialties as you journey across America - here's a few to get your teeth in to.

    A nation of immigrants, the United States of America often called "the melting pot of the world" and the North American cooking pot is no exception, containing a blend of cuisines from the many different nationalities that have settled here.

    New England style cooking:

    The northeastern part of the USA, known as the New England states, are renowned for their hearty dishes imported by British colonists and for their cold-water seafood harvested by the local fishing fleet.

    Be sure to try the New England Clam Chowder and the Maine lobster, traditionally known as the 'poor mans' lobster, but now a sort after delicacy.

    Experience New England style cooking on the Northeastern BLT or Freedom Trail tours.

    Southern Soul Food:

    One of the first of the southern cuisines with enslaved Africans making the best of what they had, often just throwaway foods from the plantations, the tops of turnips and beets, pigs feet, oxtail and offal.

    Later the Irish, German and Czech immigrants brought their own traditions to soul food, creating a broader style of southern cooking, characterised by wholesome cooking with plenty of deep fried foods, heavy sauces and sweet desserts.

    Enjoy Southern soul food on the Atlantic Dream or Coast to Coast South tours.

    Cajun and Creole: New Orleans Shrimp

    The city of New Orleans, has a distinctly European culture and a wonderful mixture of French and Spanish cooking, spiced with African and West Indian flavours.

    Cajun comes from the French Acadians or "Cajuns", deported by the British from Acadia in Canada to settle in Louisiana.

    From this colourful mix of cultures came rustic dishes like Jambalaya and Gumbo, wonderfully flavoured stews of meats, sausage and seafood.

    Try the best Cajun and Creole food in New Orleans on the Southerner or Southern Sun tours.


    Southwest or Tex-Mex cuisine has some serious roots and is often considered the oldest US regional style.

    The entire area was once part of Mexico and not surprisingly, its contemporary cuisine bears a strong resemblance to Mexican food, drawing heavily on native foodstuffs like corn, beans and chilies.

    The word "chili" is Aztec in origin and chili con carne, chili con queso, and fajitas are all Tex-Mex inventions.

    Sample some traditional Tex-Mex cuisine on the Cross Country BLT or Grand Trek tours.

    California Cuisine:

    Seattle Pike Place Market California is blessed with a bountiful supply of fresh fruits, vegetables and sea foods in all seasons.

    It has a diverse ethnic population and as such Californians have developed a refreshingly healthy cuisine that utilises fresh ingredients flavoured with unusual combinations of spices.

    This is the home of avant-garde, experimental cuisine.

    Enjoy fresh California cuisine on the Western Wonder or Westerner 2 BLT tours.

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