Food off the assembly line
Industrially processed products, such as cake mixes and egg powder, existed before the World Wars, but after them they took on a new level. Innovations like canned food and freezing, which were massively fed to the troops, demanded a new market. American manufacturers have switched to housewives.
Corporations were creating a world where cooking was hard work. Happy women in commercials for canned tomatoes and dried mashed potatoes called for freedom from kitchen slavery. The famous tins of soups and stewed beans settled in home pantries.
Life in major American cities was in full swing around the clock. Workers and clerks wanted an inexpensive and hearty meal during their short break, or even a bite to eat on the go. The answer to the request was the rapid development of fast food. It is now often associated with American cuisine, although it is, of course, much wider than this stereotype.
You can try real American cuisine at the Middle Ground gastrobar in Minsk, which has been operating on the legendary Oktyabrskaya Street since 2019.
Middle Ground is reimagining American cuisine, so familiar dishes are prepared with their own twist and offer unusual combinations of products: the menu includes, for example, a beef burger with caramelized banana or grilled chicken with pineapple chutney.
The establishment is confident that burgers are a complete dish that deserves a careful approach, so each ingredient is prepared directly in Middle Ground. But the team pays special attention to meat: here they are very meticulous about the whole process – from choosing a supplier to cooking. In addition, Middle Ground demonstrates a very spectacular serving of dishes: Tik-Tok users really fell in love with the Lava Cheetos burger for it.
But, of course, the menu is not limited to burgers: Middle Ground offers both cold appetizers and hot dishes (you can see the full menu here). By the way, the restaurant’s menu is updated every three months – presenting even more opportunities to discover amazing combinations.
The bar and kitchen at Middle Ground work together to create balance in your gastronomic experience. For each dish, the waiter will help you choose the perfect drink – be it one of the many available beers, wine or an author’s cocktail.
You will be eating hearty meals in a loft interior with brick walls, vintage furniture and a panoramic view of Oktyabrskaya.
Typical American food that can be found in any diner in the United States. According to the most popular version, which was supported by the Library of Congress, the first burger was built in 1900 by Louis Lassen, owner of the Louis’ Lunch restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut. The customer ordered something to eat on the go, and Lassen served him a cutlet between two toasts. But advertisements from that time show that hamburgers began to cook in America much earlier.
Most researchers consider the German city of Hamburg to be the birthplace of the dish – from there, the local recipe, along with migrants, migrated across the ocean. So, the first American burger chain White Castle adheres to the version that the hamburger was invented by a chef from Hamburg, Otto Kuase.
Another theory is that the forerunner of the modern burger was the inexpensive steak hamburger that appeared on American menus in the early 1870s. A cutlet of ground beef and onions was served not on bread, but on a plate. These steaks were in demand in inexpensive cafes along with bread and sandwiches, so getting a cutlet into a bun can be regarded as a natural evolution.
Curiously, the hamburger originally had a questionable image. It was served mainly in saloons, 24-hour carts, and cheap bunkhouses. One of the advertisements from the end of the 19th century sounded like this: “The famous hamburger steak sandwiches are always at hand! They will fill an empty stomach and satiate even Satan himself. Such sinful associations indicated that the dish had no place in polite society.
However, for more than a hundred years, the hamburger has radically changed its reputation and has become a favorite not only of America, but of the whole world. It is served in inexpensive cafes and gourmet restaurants. That very multicultural influence opens up incredible scope for the chef’s imagination: various sauces, cheeses, vegetables and even fruits are added to the filling.
Barbecue for Americans is not just meat roasted over an open fire. This is an important social ritual, an opportunity to have a great time with family, friends and neighbors. Almost every state has its own idea of a “true” barbecue. In central Texas, this is a brightly spiced brisket simmered with oak or nut chips. In South Carolina, meat is served with a hot Carolina Gold sauce made from mustard, brown sugar, and vinegar.
A thin and long sausage was brought to the States in the 1860s by immigrants from Germany. Legend has it that a sausage vendor in St. Louis once ran out of serving gloves and replaced them with a bun. The hot dog immediately became the favorite food of the working class, especially in New York and Chicago. Since the end of the 19th century, it has been strongly associated with baseball and is considered a fan favorite snack.
As in the classic American dream, the hot dog’s “lower” origins did not become an obstacle for him on the way to the culinary top. ” To which Roosevelt replied: “Put it in your mouth and chew it until you eat it.” So the dish became a symbol of an informal meeting at a high level – the “hot dog of diplomacy”.
The saying “American as apple pie” is used in the States to express patriotism and is on a par with such staples as baseball and rock and roll. How did it happen that in a country where apples were not born, apple pie became part of the cultural identity?
Initially, only one variety of apples grew in North America – “crabapple”, suitable only for the production of strong cider. In the mid-1600s, seedlings with more edible varieties were brought to the continent by sea, but they did not bear fruit for several decades, because there was no one to pollinate them. And only when, finally, European honey bees were brought up, the story of that same American apple pie started.