When you visit the United States, what do you want to see and experience? Perhaps you want to view the bright lights of Hollywood or celebrate New Year's Eve in Times Square.
For some people, the sights are great, but it's the food that's the real game-changer. The United States is such a melting pot of cultures that many dishes have developed over the centuries and continue to be a melting pot of flavours.
So, when you're out on Route 66, what are some of the must-try classic American foods?
You know food is popular when it has its own eating competition – every 4th of July, the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is held on Coney Island, Brooklyn. In 2016, Joey Chestnut polished off 70 hot dogs with buns in 10 minutes, incredible!
While you don't have to eat your hot dogs that fast, it's highly recommended to sample this piece of American culture.
First introduced by Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker in 1916 on the very same Coney Island, hot dogs now take on regional variations. The 'New York style' is regarded as the original, usually served with a beef frank, sauerkraut, spicy brown mustard and onions. Depending on where you go, you could be offered everything from ketchup and chili con carne to mayonnaise and potatoes on top your dog!
Pizza may originate in Italy, but the 'za that you can find in Chicago is a different breed. Known as 'Chicago-style' or 'deep dish', chefs use a special pan, creating a thick base so the pizza can be piled high with all forms of toppings – think meat, cheese, tomato and vegetables.
Records suggest this taste sensation originated in the Windy City during the 1940s with local restaurants copying the recipe off each other, vying for the best slice in town. As Chicago is the first stop along Route 66, check into Uno Pizzeria & Grill – famous for its deep-dish style delights!
Have you heard the phrase 'as American as apple pie'? It means that you are extremely American, because what's more American than apple pie? But, here's a fun fact for you: Apple trees weren't actually native to the US. When the pilgrims moved over here, they had to have their apple pie, so they brought seeds over and the rest is history.
From the sweet fruit to the golden brown crust, there's always a good reason to have a slice of apple pie. Pro tip: Remember to ask for vanilla ice cream – it tops the whole experience off!
To learn more about the secrets of Route 66, get in touch with our team today!