6 unusual American recipes to add to your repertoire

Hoagies and sloppy joes, oh my.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW once noted, “England and America are two countries separated by the same language.”

There is their blatant disregard for the ‘u’ (color, flavor, savor) and their firm adherence to ‘I could care less’. (It’s couldn’t…couldn’t care less. The rage.)

However, it’s not only the language that divides us from our cousins across the water – there’s also the food.

We’ve decided to round up some of the more unusual American offerings and translate them for you so next time you’re heading that way, you can order with aplomb – or even have a stab at cooking them yourself.

1. Meatloaf

Southern Living Southern Living

Nope, not the Bat out of Hell  guy, but literally a loaf made of meat. Tasty. While there have been many variations on the original the classic meatloaf seems to consist of ground beef baked in a loaf tin and topped with… ketchup. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, we say.

2. Sloppy joes

Simplyrecipes Simplyrecipes

It seems that a sloppy joe is kind of like a hamburger, except instead of the minced meat being bound together to form the burger (or patty if you will) it’s left loose in a sort of meat sauce. Sloppy indeed. There’s a recipe here for you to try your hand at.

3. French dip sandwiches


The French dip sandwich is a hot sandwich containing slices of roast beef on a ‘French’ roll or baguette (hence the name), with a side of jus or gravy to dip the sandwich into.

Apparently it originated in Los Angeles in the 1900s although opinions are divided exactly where with a number of restaurants claiming ownership.  We’ve got a recipe here that shows you how to make a traditional French roll with jus all of your very own.

4. Hoagies

Sheknows Sheknows

A hoagie for the uninitiated is basically a (sandwich) roll. You have to be careful though ‘cos people over there are fierce particular and protective about what actually constitutes a hoagie (vs a sub vs a roll). Here’s a recipe stipulating absolutely no mustard, ketchup or pickle. If you do - may God have mercy on your soul… I mean, it’s not a hoagie, allegedly.

5. Po’boy

Manlykitchen Manlykitchen

A sandwich by any other name, this one originated in New Orleans and traditionally includes fried oysters or shrimp. The main difference between a po’boy and other subs is the bread – this sandwich uses New Orleans French bread which is crisp on the outside and fluffy in the centre. Here’s a classic shrimp po’boy recipe.

6. Chicken fried steak

Thepioneerwoman Thepioneerwoman

What the what? Is it chicken? Is it steak? No it’s steak fried like chicken. Of course it is…

Basically it’s an American South dish where the steak is breaded (dipped in beaten egg and seasoned flour) and then fried. This being from the South, there’s usually plenty of spice in that flour seasoning.

Here’s a recipe if you’re tempted to give this a try.

Have we decoded the American menu for you? Have you found anything even stranger in your travels? Let us know in the comments below.

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