Important Foods In American Culture By Aiden Reiss

1 (Pizza): In america, there are around “350 slices of pizza eaten every second,” but why is that? To see why pizza is the most popular food in the US, we have to go back to the nineteenth century when imigragrents started coming to the US. One fourth of all immigrants were Italian. “With them, they brought their taste buds and pizza-making skills.” These Italians kept immigrating to the US until the twentieth century. In total, over 4 million Italian immigrants come over to the US, each having fine pizza making skills. Once these immigrants started making and selling pizza, pizza became the most famous phenomenon in the United States.


2 (Chicken Wings): For Super Bowl LIV, people consumed 1.4 billion chicken wings, and during Super Bowl LV, another 1.4 billion chicken wings were consumed. Why is that? To see how the popularity of chicken wings emensed, we have to go back to Super Bowl XLV that took place February, 2011. Right before Super Bowl XLV, the National Chicken Council realized that chicken wings had become a social phenomenon. Once they realized this, they promoted chicken wings with the annual Wing Report which shows the amount of chicken wings consumed each Super Bowl. Over the years, the amount of chicken wings consumed went from 6 million all the way to 1.4 billion. The amount of chicken wings consumed can’t stop going up and up. 


3 (Grilled Cheese): Nowadays, Grilled Cheese is pretty much the named Comfort Food in the United States. Well, why is that? To see how Grilled Cheese was founded and how it became so popular, we have to go back to the early twentieth century to follow a man named James L. Kraft. “After he got kicked out of his partner’s business, James only had a little more then $60 in his name.” James purchased cheese wholesale and mule. James then started going around and selling the wholesale cheese to local grocery stores. James realized that the cheese in the grocery stores was getting bad. This was because the stores did not have fridges. This made it so the cheese wheels would have to be used the day the stores got it. “In 1915, Kraft invented a way to manufacture a blended, pasteurized cheese that he called “processed cheese.” This new type of cheese could travel across the country without spoiling. A year later in 1916, he patented this idea. In the great depression, people used James’ processed cheese and put it in a binding. This new food could stay good for a super long time and was rather filling. Now, Grilled Cheese is the most popular comfort food.

4 (Burgers): Right now, Burgers are the most popular on the go food in all of America. Well, why is that? Unlike many of the other foods, Burgers did not become popular because they played a role in a historic event. Burgers became popular because they are so cheap and filling. Burgers were also one of the first, on the go foods which meant you could just buy one and eat it while going to work. Burgers also got a lot of popularity from TV shows such as Popeye with the famous phrase, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” Because Burgers are on the go foods that are rather filling. These funny TV show quotes made the Burger popularity sky rocket.  

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Artist Statement

My theme is important foods in American Culture. While researching these foods, I found a lot of connections between them that explains why these foods are so popular. Chicken wings, pizza, and grilled cheese were all important foods in history. Chicken wings became popular because of the Super Bowl, pizza because of the huge Italian immigration, and grilled cheese because of the Great Depression. The reason burgers became so popular was because of the fast food aspect and the pop culture revolving around burgers. Overall, this teaches us a lot. Popular foods originate from important events in history. These foods filled the needs of that event. Overall, there are so many interesting connections between these historic foods. 

Published by workshopstudent

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