Fast food is arguably America's greatest culinary legacy - although many would argue that isn't exactly a great contribution, especially to public health. It's also arguably an unfair statement too; beyond fast food restaurants, America boasts a wealth of delicious cuisine owing to it's rich mix of nationalities and cultures.
So, without further ado, here are five uniquely American foods that prove the Land of the Free is also the Land of the Delicious.
Okay, so not really a meal as such but Twinkies always invoke a sense of wonder in those who've never visited the States. Encasing vanilla cream in a delicious sponge cake, the Twinkie is America's ultimate sweet treat.
The popularity of the Twinkie is such that you can get the cake in a variety of flavours, including chocolate Twinkies and banana flavour cream-filled Twinkies. Deep-fried Twinkies, although quite unhealthy, are also popular in the States especially at state fairs and baseball games.
Biscuits and Gravy
Often mistaken for digestives in traditional beef gravy by confused Brits, biscuits and gravy is actually an irresistible combination of scone-like dough biscuits and a milk gravy with meat drippings. Originating in the South during the War of Independence, biscuits and gravy remain a staple Stateside breakfast dish.
Another dish originating in America's southern states, Grits are also a common source of confusion to those living outside of the US - and some of those who live in the US too!
Grits were created by Native Americans and consist of coarsely-ground corn mixed with water to form a sort of thick porridge. Grits are traditionally a breakfast dish and there are quite a variants; grits mixed with milk for a creamier consistency, grits with cheese and even grits with shrimp!
'But Buffalos don't have wings?' Buffalo Wings are literally named, but it's because they're chicken wings made to a recipe originating in Buffalo, New York! Buffalo Wings are what we traditionally think of as hot wings; chicken wings deep-fried and then coated in a sauce, usually consisting of Cayenne pepper and butter.
The traditional Buffalo wing has evolved over time, specifically with regards to heat. Restaurants across the States try and out do each other in order to boast the hottest wings in the country. These super-hot wings are usually served in the form of a food challenge and definitely aren't for the faint of heart - or stomach!
Originating in New England, chowder is essentially a thick seafood or vegetable soup. Chowder bears more in common with a traditional stew, however, as it is thickened with broken up crackers and consists of a lot of vegetables and seafood.
The most famous chowder by far is New England Clam Chowder, which consists of clams, broth, diced potatoes and onions. Interestingly, clam chowder is considered a Friday tradition among Catholics, a tradition that has it's roots in previous laws dictating that no meat could be eaten on a Friday.