| American's have celebrated the 4th of July as the nation's day of Independence since 1776 when the final draft of the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted by the Continental Congress. It wasn't long before celebrations with bonfires, bells, and fireworks were an annual tradition. By the 19th century artillery salutes sounding throughout the day were common, making for a truly explosive celebration.
To celebrate the new event, according to legend, John Adams' wife Abigail made a celebratory meal of turtle soup, New England poached salmon with egg sauce, green peas, and boiled new potatoes in jackets. They followed the meal with Indian pudding or Apple Pandowdy. Other signers of the Declaration would have most likely dined on roast turkey, fricasseed rabbit, pigeon, crawfish, lobsters, apricot tarts, roasted apples, plums, jellies, or custards.
Today's celebrations typically leave out the gunfire and turtle soup doesn't make an appearance on many menus, but fireworks and good food still are an integral part of the 4th of July. Most people think of the classic American backyard barbecue with grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. But how about a celebration of All-American food this 4th of July? Check out these American Classics from among the many recipes you will find at CHEFScatalog.com.
Classic American Recipes
Apple Pie: This classic apple pie is our national favorite! While the original recipe may have originated in England, America has made it our own.
Boston Baked Beans: Long before Boston simmered navy beans in molasses and became "Beantown," New England native Americans were simmering a mixture of beans, maple syrup, and fat.
Chocolate Chip Cookies: This classic cookie was invented by Ruth Wakefield, owner of the Toll House Inn in Whitman, MA in the 1930's. While making cookies, she found that she was missing baker's chocolate. Substituting a chopped chocolate bar, the chocolate chip cookie was born.
Corn Bread: This quick bread has been a staple of the American diet since the first European settlers came to North America. Native Americans introduced those early settlers to ground corn, corn bread, and its many delicious possibilities.
Key Lime Pie: Created in in the 1800's by a local cook, this is the official pie of Florida. A tart and sweet creamy pie that is a perfect summer treat.
Maryland Crabcakes: The Chesapeake Bay, shared by Maryland and Virginia, is the home habitat of the tasty blue crab-the foundation of the true Maryland Crabcake.
New Orleans Beignets: These deep-fried, sugar-dusted pillows of goodness are the official state doughnut of Louisiana. With roots as far back as ancient Rome, French settlers brought beignets with them to North America. Today they are most associated with the French quarter of New Orleans.
Potato Salad: With roots in Spanish and German cuisine, the potato salad came over with settlers to the new world. Once here, Americans made it their own by adapting the traditional recipe to local ingredients.
Tater Tots: A distinctively American twist on the potato theme. The tater tot originated with the Ore-Ida company in 1956, whose founder was looking for something to do with leftover slivers of cut potatoes. Adding some seasoning and shaping the potato bits into cylinders, the tot was born.
S'mores: The recipe for the sweet treat of marshmallow, chocolate, and graham crackers called S'mores first appeared in a 1927 Girl Scout magazine. A campfire staple, nothing evokes family camping trips like this American classic.