This article is being republished.
With the Fourth Of July upon us, backyard grills will be firing up from sea to shining sea. While American Independence from British overlords is the crux of the holiday, it’s the backyard BBQs, smokey meats, and ice cold beers that are the core of everyone’s day off (plus blowing sh*t up, obvi).
What’s always felt odd to us is that the most American of American holidays doesn’t really celebrate actual indigenous American foods. That needs to change. Sure, we all love a great hamburger and our devotion to hot dogs is unparalleled. But let’s face it, those are both German foods. Hell, the second busiest day for ordering pizza in America is the 4th. And as much as we love pizza around here, it’s about as Italian as you can get.
This year, how about celebrating America (the place) with food that’s actually from here. We’ve compiled a short list of some great foods that are as varied and multicultural as America itself. These are the foods that are American in the geographical sense — and were the cornerstones of the indigenous foodways for millennia.
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The American Buffalo, or Bison, is as American as America gets. The buffalo is so iconic it used to be on the nickel (we should totally bring that back, btw). Buffalo meat is also making a huge comeback, after being on the verge of extinction just 100 years ago. As a food protien, it’s not factory farmed and largely free-range/ grass fed while also being humanely raised and butchered.
For the uninitiated, Bison steaks have a much cleaner taste that shines with an earthy mineral quality. It’s kinda like beef turned up to eleven — with a cleaner taste to the fattiness and crisper taste to the lean bits. It’s also cleaner when it comes to hormones and antibiotics, as most herds are all organic across the board these days.
If you’re east of the Mississippi, it may be a little harder to source this meat. If you’re west of the Big Muddy, it’ll be much easier to find it in most regular grocery stores. Still, there are plenty of butchers who will ship you plenty of delicious buffalo anywhere in America.