Street food is the key to finding the easiest and the cheapest way to get a hint of local foodstuffs. Especially for all gourmands out there, we have made up a list of the top ten best street foods around the United States of America.
Chicago-Style Hot Dog
Hot dogs might be American classic street food, but Chicago knows how to make it a full meal. The history of Chicago-style hot dogs dates back to early 1930 when the vendors started selling street food for only a nickel. Traditionally Chicago-style hot dogs are made of fluffy poppy seed buns with a beef sausage featuring topped up chopped onions, kosher pickles, paper tomatoes, and mustard. The combination of hot and cold, crunchy and soft, made these hot dogs unconditional winners in the street culinary.
Chicago is one of the firsts that offered classic hot dogs without ketchup, considering it unacceptable. Even now, the vast majority of Chicago hot dog vendors don't top up their dogs with sauces that disguise the sausage's authentic taste. Today, there are more hot dog restaurants in Chicago than famous fast-food restaurants like McDonald's' and Burger King combined.
Traditionally, a cheeseburger is the same hamburger topped with a slice of cheese. Mostly cheese is placed on the hot meat patty to make the cheese melt. A cheeseburger may have different variations in terms of toppings such as tomato, onion, pickles, bacon, and coated with ketchup, mayonnaise, or mustard. Originally, the cheeseburger recipe has non-negotiable ingredients, and classic American cheese is one of them. However, lately different types of cheeses, such as Cheddar or blue cheese, have been used to enhance the burger flavor. There is no clear information about the American Cheeseburger's birthplace. However, some claim that it was invented by a young cook known as Lionel Sternberger at The Rite Spot restaurant in California.
Today you may find hundreds of different cheeseburger variations topped with ingredients nowhere near to the traditional recipe. September 18 is the National Cheeseburger Day, one of the remarkable culinary events for all Americans.
There is no doubt that burrito is the most recognizable icon of Mexican-American cuisine. Today there are many different burrito styles, but not too long ago, it was a working-class food that grew out of American's political relationship with Mexico. Burrito wrapped in a traditional Mexican tortilla may consist of different ingredients, such as meat, beans, cheese, guacamole, etc.
The name itself means "little donkey," translated from Spanish. The first theory about the birthplace comes from Ciudad Juarez. This gentleman was going around the town and selling them off a "burro" (donkey). Others claim that the name comes from Sonora, where the miners go deep into the mine on their "burros," they wrap up their food in big tortillas and make little burritos out of them. Burritos are often served with traditional Mexican garnishes such as sliced radish, lime wedges, or fresh diced onions. You may add some guacamole or salsa to your burrito to make it fresh and more Mexican.
Fajita is one of the most popular Mexican-American dishes made of grilled meat strips and served in a flour tortilla. Mexicans marinate meat in lime juice to make it softer and then grill it over an open fire. Fajita usually includes different condiments such as tomatoes, cheese, guacamole, and lettuce. Traditionally fajitas are made of beef. The history of fajita dates back to the 1930s, when Mexican cowboys were occasionally paid with meat. When cows were being butchered, the most undesirable parts, such as the head, lungs, entrails, were given to Mexicans as a part of their pay. From Spanish, the word "faja" translates as little strap, traditionally referred to as skirt steak.
If you aren't from Pennsylvania, have never been in Philadelphia, or even stopped at a Wawa, you probably haven't heard the term hoagie. A hoagie is a regional colloquialism for a sub sandwich. It's typically a cold sandwich with different types of meats and topped up with lettuce, tomato, cheese, and onion. The genuine Philadelphia Hoagie must be well-seasoned with basil, salt, oregano, and paper without using any mayonnaise. Some use oil and vinegar to enhance the meat flavor and add some moisture. These days you can find a great variety of hoagie sandwiches topped with ham, beef, turkey, fish, and even vegetarian-friendly hoagie. In 1992 hoagie was declared the official Sandwich of Philadelphia, such as French Dip in California.
Just do yourself a favor and try a classic hoagie before leaving Philadelphia.
A deep-fried hot dog coated in cornmeal butter is one of the favorite snacks across the United States. The accurate history of a corn dog is quite unknown and shrouded in mystery. Many believe that corn dogs were firstly popularized in Texas by Neil Fletcher, while others claim that corn dogs have been invented in 1942 in Minnesota and originally were known as Pronto Pup.
Corn dogs are usually topped with ketchup, mustard, pickles, or mayonnaise. However, today you may find a large variety of corn dog sticks, especially in Latin American and Asian countries. Many restaurants offer meatless alternatives for vegans and vegetarians, such as veggie corn dogs and corn dog nuggets. If you are a fast-food lover, March 20 is the day when Americans celebrate National Corn Dog Day. You may also participate in a Corn Dog Eating Contest in nearby eateries.
Originally the Pretzel was made as a baked pastry featuring a knot shape. The legend says that the Pretzel was invented in Italy by monks to feed their prayers during Lent. Pretzel was introduced to Americans in the mid-19th century by two immigrants. Lately, one of them named Casper Gloor, opened a bakery in Tell City, Indiana, and started selling pretzels from a secret Swiss recipe. First, the Pretzel was baked as crunchy bread without any toppings. However, today you may find your favorite snack in different shapes rather than a knot stuffed with sweet jam or chocolate. Pretzel is an iconic part of Pennsylvania street food that you may find almost everywhere selling them from trailer trucks.
Originally, a Donut is a Dutch creation but didn't really become popular until they made it to the good old US. Initially, the donut was a round piece of dough fried in pork fat and served whole. However, the dough did not always cook through, leaving the center still raw. In 1847 Sesame Hanson Gregory invented the first ring-shaped donut. The donut later became a popular treat during World War I when Donut girls, later named Donut Dollies, served donuts to American soldiers fighting in the trenches overseas. Initially, classic donuts were covered either with glaze or powdered with sugar and cinnamon. However, today you may find a great variety of donuts stuffed with different flavors, such as vanilla cream, chocolate, fruit preserves, and other sweetness.
In the United States, you will pledge your allegiance to one of two huge donut chains. You are either a Krispy Kreme fan or a Dunkin downs fan.
Mac & Cheese
Macaroni and cheese also referred to as a mac "n" cheese, is a dish consisting of pasta and cheese sauce, usually made with cheddar cheese. The history of Mac and Cheese traces back to thirteen centuries in Naples, Italy. Americans first came in contact with macaroni during the American Revolution, when Thomas Jefferson first visited France. Originally Mac and Cheese came from Italy, but now it's one of the American food icons.
Of course, it's hard to call Mac and Cheese healthy food, but buying Italian pasta glazed with creamy cheese is what everyone needs to try. Americans call it creamy heaven that you get into before you die. Many eateries around the US offer different variations and toppings with classic Mac and Cheese, such as spinach and artichoke Mac and Cheese, chili Mac and Cheese, and even Mac and Cheese with seafood. Roll up your sleeves and prepare your stomach as it's going to be a delicious ride.
The deep-fried dough can be found in every cuisine, and Churros are one of the favorite ones. Churros are a snack made of dough and coated with some sweets; usually, chocolate or sugar with cinnamon. The origin of Churros comes from Spanish-speaking countries, whether from Spain or Hispanic America. In the US, Churros are sold as a Spanish specialty and are a perfect fit for breakfast. Nowadays, Churros are famous street food, especially among the Spanish-speaking population. Many street vendors fry them on the streets and sell them off freshly.
Do have Churros stuffed with different toppings, such as chocolate, caramel, fruit preserves, and even cheese; they are all amazing.