10 American Foods Everyone Should Try

J-1 Participants at American BBQ
Apr 01 2019

You’ve heard about it. You’ve seen it. You’ve dreamed of eating it. Now that you have set foot in the USA, you are one step closer to sinking your teeth into a true American burger. Without a doubt, the iconic hamburger, paired with some fries, is a beloved symbol of the United States. What else can satisfy your explorative taste buds?

During your J-1 program, try all 10 of these classic American dishes:

Apple Pie: Like the saying “As American as apple pie,” this sweet treat is a must, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. Apple pie can be found at your local grocery store, diner, or at a pie eating contest.

Barbecue: Hear the sizzling on the grill while the sweet smell of barbecue sauce wafts through the air. If you can’t get a hold of a grill or it’s not the season, pop into a local barbecue restaurant that offers something for everyone!

Hot Dogs: The cousin of the hamburger. Add a little mustard and ketchup and these tasty snacks will appease your cravings whether in the park or at a sporting event. If you’re on the go, get one at a hot dog stand!

Bagels & Cream Cheese: This duo is one you should not miss. Originating in the Jewish communities of Poland, bagels are now available everywhere in the USA in many different varieties. Toast one and try it with some cream cheese, which can be found in plain, sweet, or savory flavors!

Biscuits and Gravy: Usually found on a breakfast menu, especially in the South, this dish is made up of warm soft biscuits covered with gravy, usually mixed with ground meat and flavored with pepper. They are sometimes served with fries on the side and can typically be found at an American diner.

Chicken and Waffles: Two delicious individual items which might sound like an unusual combination. This dish is loved by many and may become your next favorite dish! The waffles are served with syrup/butter as usual but with an addition of fried chicken on the plate.

Meatloaf: The ultimate American comfort food. Just like it sounds, meatloaf is a mixture of ground meat and other ingredients formed into the shape of a loaf of bread. Easily made at home, try looking up a recipe online and get creative in the kitchen!

Tater Tots: Glorious pieces of deep-fried, grated potatoes – what more can you ask for? Some say that tater tots are better than fries; try both and decide for yourself! Tater tots are usually served as a side dish.

Macaroni and Cheese: One of the simplest yet most comforting and delicious dishes: cooked macaroni pasta plus a cheese sauce, traditionally made from cheddar. Add your favorite meat, vegetables, or garnishes to your liking. The dish can also be ordered at many restaurants if you want to get a little more fancy.

S’mores: A popular campfire treat consisting of marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers. Here are the steps: roast a marshmallow over a fire until golden brown (don’t worry, it takes practice!). Break a graham cracker in half to create two pieces. Sandwich the chocolate and marshmallow between the two crackers. Take a big bite and savor the moment.

Post photos of yourself trying out these delicious American foods on social media and tag them with #CICDParticipants! We can’t wait to hear about all of the delicious treats you find around the U.S.

Share your Story!

CICD always has opportunities to win prizes with our photo contests. The most creative photos submitted during your J-1 program are chosen as the winners! Ask your coordinator if there are any contests going on right now!

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