Southern regional food and Southern dishes include Cajun Cuisine, African American recipes, Kentucky recipes, and some more.
American food has had a bad rap for years, perhaps not without good reason. First, it sorely lacks an identity. This huge nation, with as many growing regions as ethnicities, can`t (and perhaps shouldn`t) articulate itself in any unified culinary language. Pockets of wonderful cooking have always existed. There are the regional specialties of the South, where the cuisine is called as Southern regional food - addictive green chiles in the Southwest, solid German and Scandinavian "real-food" of the Midwest, and corn bread and sweet baked beans from New England.
As Americans became more exposed to and comfortable with the European tradition of cooking as an art (which, according to James Beard, happened after enough men and women returned home from service in World War II with a belly-full of Continental cuisine), American chefs blossomed. Inspired by the traditions of more ancient cooking cultures, while working in kitchens free from the restrictions of those cultures, chefs let their imaginations run.
The diversity of regional cuisines and the plethora of local ingredients have become the genius of American cooking (like that of Larry Forgione, David Burke, Anne Rosenzweig, and Waldy Malouf). Immigrant America, too, by preserving old ways and introducing new flavors, provides endless inspiration for the American palate. It creates a demand for unusual produce and imported specialties, which in turn add their charms to this country`s skillet. So, California sunshine and produce revivify French cooking, while Asian and Indian ingredients spice up the mix. And, in the last ten years, the simple home-cooked "American meal" has been raised to a high art. "Old-fashioned" foods such as macaroni and cheese, cod cakes, mashed potatoes, and rice pudding have become chic treats. American haute cuisine has become an exuberant hybrid, fishing all the best bits out of the melting pot and re-creating them in ever-changing ways.
Cajuns live in the bayou country to the west and south of New Orleans. Originally French Canadians, they were exiled to Louisiana in the 18th century when they refused to swear loyalty to England, and their name is a corruption of "Canadian." Unlike "classic" southern cooking and Southern regional food, in this case the French influence is that of the country, not the château. Cajun food is simple and full of flavor. It is mostly prepared in heavy, cast iron pots and makes use of the rice and seafood that are so abundant in the Gulf of Mexico.
Gumbos and jambalayas are the most well-known Cajun specialties. Peppers, onions, and celery are an inseparable trio in many recipes (eg., crayfish bisque and the various gumbos) and they almost always join a roux. As in the Southwest, the general American aversion to spicy foods is suspended in Louisiana: cayenne peppers and chiles from Latin America have found a regular place in the Cajun larder. They were probably imported by the Spanish, who briefly occupied the area. Likewise, Native American influence is strongly felt in many recipes of Southern regional food.
The term, Creole, means simply a person with European blood who has been born in the New World. Over time, it also came to apply to those with mixed French or Spanish and African or Caribbean blood. In the world of cooking, it names the French-inspired haute cuisine of New Orleans. Here, tried-and-true French methods met American ingredients head-on. The results were tantalizing: Creole bouillabaisse, shrimp rémoulade, okra beignets, pompano en papillote, chicken Rochambeau, wild goose cassoulet, and of course terrapin stew. Many of the ingredients and methods of Cajun cooking are used in New Orleans as well. Roux is a common first step; crawfish and oysters show up everywhere. But the simple has given way to a complex, distinctive patois that can be heard in the tastes of New Orleans` famous eateries.