Americans are trying in every possible way to facilitate the process of cooking, often sacrificing the quality and usefulness of this very food, the author of the channel notes. "Between New York and Boston" on Yandex.Zen... But do US residents really care what to eat? Further - from the first person.
When I first watched people devouring frozen and unhealthy convenience foods instead of preparing fresh food on their own, I got the impression that they didn't care what they eat. It seemed that Americans could eat their burgers 3 times a day and would be quite happy. But I was wrong.
It turned out that in America there is a clear differentiation of food according to the time of its consumption. Therefore, if Americans eat pizza, then only in the evening, since pizza is not eaten for dinner and for breakfast. In the States, breakfast, lunch and dinner are not just a designation of the time of day when you eat, but also a list of very specific foods that you need to eat only during these hours.
Restaurants usually have several menus, each served at a specific time. We have this too, but I could order pancakes with apricot jam from the breakfast menu without any problems, at any time of the day, and no one would mind, but for America this would be completely inappropriate. After the hand of the clock crosses, for example, for 10 AM (10 am), the breakfast menu will no longer be available.
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Faced with this for the first time, I considered it to be the nuances of the restaurant business: it is easier for them to prepare a certain list of dishes, which is why they set such time limits. But I was wrong, this is not a restaurant order - this is an American feature that has been supported for more than one generation. Therefore, with the word lunch, an American will have a very specific set of dishes before his eyes. And if someone's mom prepares waffles for dinner, a traditional breakfast dish, in America this could mean the following: apart from the diluted mixture for making waffles, there was no other food in the kitchen.
It was very unusual for me, because in my family, as, probably, in the overwhelming majority of “our” families, food is not tied to any particular meal and we eat it whenever we want.
Of course, it is customary for us to use the first courses for lunch, but there were times when we ate soups in the evening. So, one day, my husband, returning from work in the evening, found on the stove only cooked, fragrant fish soup and refused the offered meat casserole for dinner in favor of fish soup with herbs and croutons. And the girls, seeing how their dad was already finishing the second bowl of fish soup, began to shout: “For us, for us, and for us….” and ate it even after their meat casserole.
Yes, we have our own family traditions, for example, pancakes on Saturday for breakfast: for children with condensed milk or sour cream, and my husband and I love with herring or caviar. But with the same success these pancakes, with sour cream or caviar, we can eat for dinner or lunch. Likewise, cheese cakes and casseroles: my mother usually cooked all this for breakfast, but it is quite appropriate for an afternoon snack with dinner.
Perhaps the only thing that is tied to the time of consumption is oatmeal, almost all my family eats it exclusively for breakfast. But, the youngest daughter, who focuses exclusively on her taste preferences, and does not know about temporary troubles yet, often asks to cook oatmeal in milk (with sugar!) And devours it with cutlets for dinner.
I remember when I came to the States and studied English, I came across the following phrase in the book: “It would be cool to always eat breakfast for dinner”, the literal translation reads - “It would be great to always have breakfast for dinner”. You can imagine how many questions this phrase caused me. The American teacher, no matter how hard he tried, could not then explain to me what it meant. Now, after 2 years of living in the States, I perfectly understand the hidden meaning of this truly American phrase.
But now I am amazed at something else: how in America, where a “storm” rises for any restrictions on freedoms and lawsuits begin, could such restrictions on food survive for more than one generation? Probably, Americans, who are so fond of order and stability, see such restrictions as some kind of meaning, or they do not consider them restrictions at all.
Original column published on the blog. "Between New York and Boston" on Yandex.Zen
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