What is the National Dish of the USA?

Which dish would deserve the designation of America's national dish?
Which dish would deserve the designation of America's national dish?

Anyone visiting the United States for the first time may be surprised by the ways in which Americans introduce food into almost all celebrations. Depending on the occasion and location, certain foods seem to always make an appearance. For instance, picnic menus often include burgers, hot dogs, and potato salads while mashed potatoes, turkey, and roasted root vegetables are popular during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. But do Americans really have a national dish like they have a national flag, national symbol, and national anthem? Technically, the answer to this question is no – but if the United States did have an official national dish, surely apple pie, brownies, and hamburgers would all be contenders.

Why The US Has No Particular National Dish

No food, in particular, has been designated the national dish of the US, possibly because there are simply too many regional foods to choose from. Most residents of Louisiana consider jambalaya as the regional food while residents of North Carolina, Memphis, and Kansas City would consider barbecue to be their most revered dish. The residents of the southern states will pick fried chicken, collard green, and macaroni and cheese over any other dish while those in New England states consider seafood as their pride and joy. And of course, pizza and fast food are popular across the nation. 


Hamburger is considered by many people as the national dish of the US because of its popularity across all age groups. However, the question has always been whose hamburger is the national dish? Burger King’s, McDonald's’ or Wendy’s? Burgers may have originated from Germany (Hamburg) or from the Danish immigrants in America. Regardless of the origin, Americans are hamburger-obsessed. They consume approximately 50 million burgers per year. The consumption is so high that some sources have estimated the amount of hamburger when put alongside each other would measure 800,000 miles, long enough to go round the earth 32 times. There are over 50,000 hamburger joints in the US with over 75% of all the country’s restaurants being burger joints. About 60% of all sandwiches sold in the US is hamburger. McDonald's alone buys over one billion pounds of hamburger meat every year.

Other Foods Considered National Dishes

Apart from hamburger, brownies and apple pies are also sometimes considered the national dishes of the US. Americans consume $700 million worth of apple pie every year. Although apple pie originated in Europe, it is not uncommon to hear that “there is nothing more American than apple pie.” In fact, apple pie has become a symbol of the American culture and a national dessert.

Chocolate brownies are classic desserts in America. These brownies come in different flavors and adds-on including mint, peanut butter, raspberry, almonds, and white chocolate. They are sold in all corners in the country. Even toddlers as young as one year already know that brownies are one of the country’s favorite dish.


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