What’s your favorite food? You know, the one where you take one bite, and your body instantly relaxes. Maybe later you regret it but, at that moment, you’re in your happy place. How many people share your opinion of that dish? StatsFind sought the answer by asking: What are the top ten favorite American foods?
Did your favorite make the top ten?
Survey methodology and demographics
StatsFind invited people living in the United States through social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram) to participate in a survey stating their favorite American food. These are the demographics of the over 1100 respondents.
Most respondents (56%) were between 25 and 35 years old. Half of the participants were female, and 48% were male. While the top three states represented were California, Texas, and New York, significant numbers were from Florida, Illinois, Washington, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. The remaining 40 states made up 39% of the participants.
The countdown of the top ten favorite American foods
Without further ado, we present the best-loved foods in the United States.
#10 Hot Dogs
There’s a dispute about whether Germany or Austria invented the hot dog or how it got its name, but one thing’s for sure: Americans love hot dogs. They have been the staple at baseball parks since 1893, and Americans consume 20 billion hot dogs yearly! That’s approximately 70 hot dogs per person per year.
Now, if we only knew why they sell ten hot dogs per pack but eight hot dog buns per bag.
#9 French Fries
Thomas Jefferson came across French fries in the 1780s while serving as American Minister to France. Jefferson’s slave, James Heming, learned 150 recipes while training as a chef. One recipe was for Pommes de Terre Frites à cru en Petites Tranches (potatoes deep-fried while raw, in small cuttings). When Jefferson returned to America, the recipe came with him, and French fries entered the American diet.
Today, Americans eat a total of 4.5 billion pounds of fries annually, approximately 15 pounds per person.
There weren’t enough keto or gluten-free voters to keep bread off the top ten list. Bread predates the written language and is an essential item in many American kitchens. Anyone who’s had fresh bread out of the oven with a pat of butter understands its popularity.
On average, each American eats 53 pounds of bread each year.
#7 Chicken-fried Steak
Also called country-fried steak, chicken-fried steak is a popular dish in the southern part of the United States. The cook dips a tenderized steak in a batter of milk or egg wash and seasoned flour and then fries the meat in a skillet. When plating, the cook adds a creamy gravy typically made with pan drippings. Chicken-fried steak gets its name from the preparation style, similar to fried chicken.
In 2011, the Texas State House of Representatives passed a resolution declaring October 26th “Chicken Fried Steak Day.”
#6 Banana Split
The banana split may have originated in 1904 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania when pharmacy owner David Strickler split a banana in two and then added scoops of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream. He also included three kinds of toppings and whipped cream in the dessert. Strickler also commissioned a glassmaker to create the first boat-shaped bowl to contain his new dessert.
Walgreens pharmacy then made the banana split popular across the U.S. after promoting it as the pharmacy’s signature dessert.
August 25th is National Banana Split Day.
It’s amazing how three simple ingredients (bread, tomatoes, and cheese) could create such a highly addictive food.
The first pizzeria founded in the United States is Lombardi’s, located in Little Italy in New York. Opening in 1905, Lombardi’s is one of the few pizzerias grandfathered into keeping its coal oven. However, Lombardi’s Italian-style pizza has stiff competition from Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s. And let’s not forget the rivalry between Italian-style, New York-style, Chicago-style, and California-style pizza.
Americans buy over 3 billion fresh and 1 billion frozen pizzas each year.
#4 Beef Jerky
Some may find beef jerky a surprise for the top ten list, but this snack is one of the most common meat appetizers in the United States, as the U.S. Census Bureau reported.
Why the growth in popularity? There’s an increase in demand for protein-rich snacks due to rising awareness of a healthy lifestyle.
#3 Apple Pie
You can picture it now: it’s a cool autumn evening and you’re wearing a cozy sweater and you smell the apple pie baking in the oven. Mom or dad pulls the pie and reminds you to let it rest for a few minutes. Honestly, doesn’t apple pie scream America?
May 13th is National Apple Pie Day.
#2 Barbecue Ribs
BBQ ribs deserve the number two spot for favorite American food. By the 1930s, thousands of stands, nightclubs, and cafes across the country featured barbecue ribs. And after World War II, ribs were on the menus at high-end restaurants. Today, there are over 1,000 yearly BBQ competitions in the United States.
Americans eat nearly 50 billion hamburgers yearly, the equivalent of three per person per week! Therefore, hamburger reigns supreme as America’s number one favorite food.
In 1904, Americans became acquainted with the hamburger at the St. Louis Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Since then, chains like McDonald’s, Burger King, White Castle, and Wendy’s have made hamburgers popular and easily accessible to the American public.
May 28th is National Hamburger Day.
Enjoyed digging into the top ten favorite American foods?
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