America’s Top Ten Favorite Foods

From Donuts to chicken - here are the top ten American foods. Are your favorites on the list?

Not all Americans will agree on the USA’s Top Ten favorite foods, but I bet you a burger that at least one of yours is on this list.

Hamburgers

Hamburgers are a definite staple of the American diet. The average American will consume three burgers a week, contributing to the massive 13 billion burgers eaten in the USA every year.

Despite their name, hamburgers don’t actually contain ham – they are made from beef. The name comes from the Hamburg steak, a particular cut of beef from the town of Hamburg in Germany.

If you would like to see what is currently the world’s biggest burger, you will need to travel to Minnesota and find the Black Bear Resort Casino. Their outsize burger is ten ft in diameter and weighs a whopping 2014 lbs.

If seeing the world’s biggest burger has tickled your taste buds, perhaps you could treat yourself to the world’s most expensive burger stand burger? Served up by the NYC Food Truck 666, ‘The Douche Burger’ costs a devilish $666. For that price, you’ll get a gold-leafed beef patty, caviar, truffles, lobster, champagne steamed gruyere and Himalayan rock salt. They’ll also brand your bun with a pentagram.

The ‘home of the hamburger’ is the peaceful town of Seymour, in Wisconsin. There, over 100 years ago a man named ‘Hamburger Charlie’ (his parents must have made a lucky guess at his christening) invented the hamburger. The rest (including McDonald’s) is, as they say, history.

Hotdogs

Each 4th of July, the American people eat over 150 million hot dogs. Like burgers, although hot dogs will be forever associated with the USA, they were invented in Frankfurt in Germany.

The average American eats 50 hotdogs every year, and the favorite hot dog toppings are mustard and ketchup.

Astronauts ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Neil Armstrong ate hot dogs on their way to the moon in 1969.

Pizza

Everybody loves pizza. So much so that 350 slices of pizza are consumed every second (yes, even at night) in the USA.

There are more than 60,000 pizza joints in the USA, but if you can’t be bothered to go out, they are sure to deliver – for every six pizzas sold in the US, one is delivered.

An urban legend states that the Margherita pizza was named after Queen Margherita of Italy, who, in 1889, chose the red, white and green toppings as her favorite, due to their resemblance to the Italian flag.

French Fries

7% of all the potatoes grown in America end up as McDonald’s fries. McDonald’s accounts for one-third of the total French fry sales in the USA every year.

French Fries have an international appeal, but it is unclear where they actually come from originally. Both France and Belgium claim to have invented Fries, and the disagreement is ongoing.

You can visit a Museum dedicated to the humble French Fry in Bruges, Belgium – the Friet Museum.

Brits call French Fries ‘chips’. At home in the UK though, ‘chips’ tend to be a thicker and shorter version of the well-loved deep-fried potato, while ‘fries’ are what you buy in a Fast Food restaurant. This all means that Brits have to call potato chips ‘crisps’, to avoid even more confusion.

Waffles

Did you know that March 25th is International Waffle Day? This festival originated in Sweden, where there is also a National Waffle Day on August 24th. The Swedes love waffles so much they celebrate them twice a year.

Patrick Bertoletti holds the record for eating waffles, having consumed 29 8 oz waffles in just ten minutes. Well done, Mr. Bertoletti!

The record for waffle sales may well be deserved by Waffle House, who, according to their website have sold 877,388,027 waffles since 1995. That’s 145 of these tasty eats every minute.

Peanut Butter

The chances are high that you have tried a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at least once in your life. In fact, the average American college student has eaten 1,500 of these staples in their lifetime.

Since it’s gluten-free and vegan-friendly, peanut butter can be enjoyed by most people, which may go some way to explaining its popularity. Apologies to all the nut-allergy sufferers out there. Perhaps you’ll have to stick with french fries?

Peanut butter is actually really high in magnesium. A tablespoon of the stuff stands you at a very respectable 24.5 milligrams of magnesium, which is 6% of your recommended daily intake.

Oreos

Oreos are the USA’s favorite cookies, and it looks like they are on their way to world domination too.

They were first made in 1912, in a bakery in New York, where they sold for just 30 cents per lb. Since then 490 billion Oreos have been sold in total.

Oreos are now available in 100 countries, but the Americans are still feeling the Oreo love and consuming 7.5 billion every year.

Half of the people who eat Oreos pull them apart, but strangely, women are much more likely to do this than men. I wonder why?

Soda

Not quite a favorite food, but undeniably a favorite, soda is consumed by Americans on average every three days or more.

In 2012 the revenues of The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo were over $100 billion. And there are, of course, many other companies producing soft drinks.

‘Beverly’ is widely agreed to be the most horrible tasting soda of them all. If you’ve never had the pleasure of trying it, you can search one of the many online videos of other people’s attempts before you decide to go for it.

The Coca-Cola company has 3500 different soda flavors in production around the world. In Japan, flavors like cheese, eel, and octopus are popular. Perhaps ‘Beverly’ isn’t so bad after all.

If you are short on cash but would like to get drunk, try mixing your liquor with diet soda. A study by Northern Kentucky University found that this combination makes people 18% more drunk than mixing alcohol with full-sugar soda.

Donuts

The first literary mention of the favorite donut is in ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ by Washington Irving. In his novel, he speaks of ‘ balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog’s fat, and called doughnuts.’

Donuts were initially called ‘olykoeks’ which means oily cakes in Dutch. Despite the unappetizing name, the Dutch brought their rich cakes with them to America before the revolutionary war. The name has since evolved into something a little less gross.

The actress, Renee Zellweger is reported to have eaten 20 donuts a day, in her race to put on weight for the film Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason. Perhaps she visited Boston, the place with the most donut stores per person.

Chicken

More than half of the entrees ordered in American restaurants are a chicken dish, and the average American citizen eats 80 lbs of chicken each year.

Over Superbowl weekend, 2012, the National Chicken Council reports that 1.25 billion chicken wing portions were consumed in the US.

During cold and flu season chickens hide, but the chicken soup makers of America celebrate. It is at this time of year that they make over half of their total profits.

Chickens breasts are getting bigger. Back in 1980, a chicken’s breast accounted for just 10% of its total body weight. 27 years later the breast makes up 21% of a chicken’s body weight.

Ali Emerson

Ali Emerson is a writer who loves to help people learn new things. You can learn more about her at aliemerson.com

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