Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Cooking with an Empire's Child - Week 2 The New World

I found it very difficult to decide on the nation for this week's post. I had planned to write this series in chronological order, hence beginning with the West Indies last week. However, when looking at my lovely book The Rise and Fall of the British Empire, to see where next we were to visit, I found myself in Virginia. That's right. The U.S. of A. Although, at the time is wasn't called that. In fact, there were bits and pieces that were considered to be owned by the French and the Spanish and it was all a little confusing.

Well, not only was I confused about what to do next; I had this sinking feeling that I was going to have to feature the signature dish of a nation that is not celebrated in many parts of the world for its gourmet food. Now, don't get me wrong, American food, to me, is the best in the world. However, that is my personal opinion. The fact that Coolwhip features so often in dessert recipes online would make the French weep.

So you see, I was very aware that I may be tripping up on some tender emotions if I broached the subject. It seemed a little early on in a series to be offending people's sensibilities.

Then, lying awake worrying about it in the middle of the night, it dawned upon me: The American signature dish is, of course, the hamburger. Now I don't care what you have to say about its origins, this dish has truly swept the world. I don't think there is a nation in the world that does not sell a hamburger. (Please let me know if there is). Everyone knows what it is, and a large percentage of people (within a certain generation at least) have eaten one.

So I have taken the proverbial bull by the horns, and decided to feature the Hamburger this week as the signature food of America. Are you with me?

Let me add that this is not going to be an ordinary, shop-bought, long-life, chain-style hamburger. Yes it will be quick and easy family food, but please let me show you how to make the best hamburger in the world. It can be done. You may grimace at my audacity. But believe me, I have made one and so I know.

Try it and then feel free to disagree.

P.S. Shopping list for the best hamburger in the world will follow shortly.

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