North America is an extremely diverse culture. Some call it a melding pot, because many people immigrated to the continent from other cultures. Many French immigrants settled in Canada, but while the French influence is still there, it has been diluted over centuries of other cultures finding their home in the beautiful wilderness as well. The Mexican people have a more tightly-knit culture, as their ancestors passed down the “old ways” successfully to the younger generation. The United States is extremely diverse, with older traditions staying in the east and newer traditions popping up in the west.
Canadian cuisine began with the French but has since morphed to include some of other cultures, including those of Great Britain and the United States. Those living in the province of Quebec still tend to cook French food. Their dishes are hearty fare that has simple flavors, all of which meld together well. In the wilds of the North, game is much more popular and is eaten on a regular basis. One can get caribou, moose or venison without much trouble. Smoked meat is delicious in Canada, especially in the city of Montreal. Salmon is on the menu frequently, especially when visiting either coast of the country.
Traditional Mexican food has been handed down through generations of family members. It was created by using the available resources, which means that many of the dishes are very spicy. This is because spices were always plentiful in Mexico. Spanish rice is familiar to most. It is a dish created by blending garlic, tomatoes, onions and a few other spices in with white rice. The result is a spicy rice that goes perfect as an appetizer.
Chicken is popular in the southern area of Mexico, while beef is the main protein in the northern area. Both areas make a version of burritos. This meal is a filing one that uses thin tortilla’s as a base. Some put rice in the tortilla, others put meat, and still some use leftover beans as a way to be economical. Burritos had their start as a way to eat food cheaply and easily, but have now become extremely popular in many parts of the world.
The United States
When people immigrated to the United States hundreds of years ago, they settled on the east coast. This may be why most of the food in the east coast is more reminiscent of the past than the food in the west coast is. In the east, the food tends to be very filling and warm. This may be because of the difficult and long winter months. Stews are extremely popular, as are other dishes that can be combined in one pot, such as casseroles. Beef and chicken are the two most popular proteins. In the northeast, citrus has to be shipped in from the south or the west, as there is not a long enough growing season for it to thrive.
Those in the west coast live on a much lighter fare. People moving to the west from the east met people from other cultures and integrated their food into the recipes they currently had. This made a new type of food called fusion, which is when foods from two different cultures are meshed together. Fruit is popular in the west because it grows so well in the bright sunshine.