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American food
I’m slowly recovering from the cold. Still too much coughing and spluttering, and I’m sleeping for longer and feeling more tired than usual, but it is gradually improving. Last night I didn’t wake up in the early hours; the first time in several weeks that I’ve slept through the night without waking.

We had hoped to have an American friend join us for Sunday lunch this week; unfortunately she can’t be with us, but we have planned an American-inspired menu which we will eat in her absence. We’ll start with corn chowder, served with corn bread. Main course will be caesar salad, and baked potatoes on the side, and pudding will be apple pie à la mode.

Corn chowder and corn bread are American in origin. The main course is slightly less American — I believe that caesar salad originated in Mexico, and potatoes originally came from Peru. But caesar salad was popularised in the US, and I associate a side dish of a baked potato with American menus, particularly if chives are involved. (Why would chives make a baked potato more American in my mind?)

Apple pie is a traditional European pudding, but is popular around the world and Americans seem to think of it as being quite American. I’m amused by the term “à la mode” to mean that something is served with ice cream — using a French term smacks of pretension, especially as it doesn’t mean anything to do with ice cream.

Anyway, should be a good lunch.

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Mexico and Peru are in the Americas! Surely that's close enough. :)

Too true! Continentally American, even if not nationally American.

It seems Caesar Cardini (and his brand of dressing, Cardini's, which Tesco still sells today) is claimed to have been the inventor - a Mexican citizen, but in a restaurant in California at the time of the invention.

I would think the chives+potato=American association will be from baked potatoes usually coming with toppings like sour cream and chives and/or cheese in the US, but plain in the UK (which is why I tend only to order them as a side dish in US or US-style restaurants).

The use of "à la mode" to mean "with ice cream" always seemed bizarre to me as well. There is a tale explaining its origins online - http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/PieHistory/ApplePie.htm - though I have no idea how accurate or otherwise it may be.

It all sounds like a great menu to me, anyway - I'm not sure I've ever tried corn chowder, but I know and like all the other elements well!

Ice Cream never goes out of fashion.

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