5. Cobb Salad
Photo: Richard Moross
The responsibility of eating all this greasy, fatty food can be weighty. Sometimes so much so that Americans have been known to say “I think I’ll just have a salad today.” Of course, when we say salad, we don’t mean it in the same greens-and-tomatoes topped with balsamic way that the Euros do. No, when we make a salad, we pile it so high with meat, cheese and carbs that it passes the caloric intake of the cheeseburger we were so proud of ourselves for passing up. The ultimate example: the cobb salad. Bacon, chicken, eggs, cheese, and really whatever else you can find in your fridge, ideally piled so high that the eater can see no shred of lettuce at all.
4. Baked Alaska
We Americans are complex people. When we face serious decisions like “What would you like for dessert, dear? Ice cream or pie?” we don’t merely sit back and say, “How about you put a scoop of ice cream on top of that pie?” No, no. We take the entire box of ice cream, and figure out a way to bake it inside the damn pie. How does it work? Damned if I know. But I do know this: you can throw rum on top of it and light it on fire – now that’s a meal.
3. Buffalo Wings
So yeah, chicken is fine. I mean, it can taste OK sometimes, but really it’s kind of a bland protein. Why can’t you be more like pork, chicken? Wait a minute. What if we fry it at 600 degrees to a burnt little crisp, until it’s barely recognizable as meat, then smother it in XXX hot sauce and serve it with a heaping bowl of gooey cheese product? That’s more like it, chicken! Bonus points: the use of vegetables—solely as a palette cleanser between bites of meat.
Photo: The CJM
Such a brilliant-but-simple innovation, it’s hard to believe that 5,000 years of civilization couldn’t create it without us. Take one turkey, shove a duck inside it, and then shove a chicken inside that. From there you’re on you’re own, although it’ s most preferably enjoyed with sausage stuffing in the very middle, deep-fried, and wrapped in bacon if possible. Bonus points if you can figure out a way to enjoy some form of melted cheese product with this monstrosity. Some people have pushed to have the turducken become the traditional Thanksgiving feast, while others have begun to enjoy it on Christmas. But this invention is so uniquely American that there is no better day to enjoy one than the Fourth of July.
1.Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
When Ruth Graves Wakefield of Whitman, Massachusetts first chopped up a semisweet chocolate bar and added it to her buttery cookie recipe in 1937, she invented a treat that likely would have made this list on its own merits. But it was to be significantly improved. As the decades went on and millions of Americans attempted to recreate Ruth’s recipe, they came to a shocking realization: they were way too lazy to actually bake the cookies. On the flip side, they realized that eating the cookie dough straight from the bowl was actually even tastier than waiting for the final cookie, despite the salmonella risks. Searching for a way to eat this delicious snack without having mom yell at you to get your hands out of the mixing bowl, America put our collective heads together for one epic conclusion: chop it up and put it in ice cream. Now that’s cooking.