Category Archives: America’s Best Foods

America does food better than any other nation (shut up, France) and here are the most American of our culinary obsessions.

American Sausage Series Part 5: Miscellaneous Sausages

I just can’t get over the fact that Cincinnati eats their sausages with grape jelly.”

~AFFotD Editor-in-Chief Johnny Roosevelt, after part 4 of this series

 grilled sausage

We’ve been talking a lot about sausages the past few weeks.  Like, a lot.  There are dozens of types of sausage out there, even when you include the hundred or so varieties that haven’t made their way to America yet.  In fact, we managed to find 25 different types of sausages that were either created in America, or were brought over from Germany (or other countries, but let’s be honest here, mostly Germany) and adopted by America as something that’s worth stuffing into your sin hole (that’s what we’ve been trying to call mouths this year.  In retrospect it probably wasn’t our best idea).

Twenty sausage varieties have already been discussed, leaving us going into the homestretch to take all of the leftover sausages we had and “stuff” their “meat” into the “casing” of our final entry in this article series.  (Did you see what we did there, or were we too subtle?  Subtle about the “this category is like the sausage of sausage varieties” thing?)

American Sausage Series Part 5:  Miscellaneous Sausages

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American Sausage Series Part 4: Regional Midwest Sausages

American Sausage Series Part 3: Regional East Coast and Southern Sausages

American Sausage Series Part 1: Typical American Sausages

“Wait, we’re doing sausages enough?  But we’ve already done hot dogs!  And sandwiches!  When will the madness end?”

~AFFotD’s Research Staffers

sausage

About once a year, the staff of America Fun Fact of the Day decide they want to take on a really ambitious project.  Well, really, our editor-in-chief goes on a weird peyote trip and is like, “Man, what if we wrote about every kind of sandwich in America” or has the rest of us scour the internet for every goddamn regional hot dog or what have you, and when the boss man says, “Jump” we say, “Ugh, fine, can we have a few drinks first, at least?”  And now that we’re nice and entrenched in 2016, we apparently are overdue for our latest unnecessarily ambitious article series—sausages!  That’s right, we’re going to tell you about every fucking sausage, for the small, small price of “our sanity.”

Now, we are going to keep this list at least somewhat manageable by only sticking with sausages that were invented in America, or those that have a distinctive “American” version.  That means Italian Sausage, while invented in Italy (really!?  You don’t say!) still counts, because there’s an American variation of that sausage, but we can’t really go with chorizo, since the chorizo we eat tends to be either a Mexican or Spanish style.  It also, thankfully, means we don’t have to write about vegetarian sausage, as the Germans invented that in 1916, possibly as a continuation of the World War I chemical warfare research that brought us mustard gas.

Also unfortunately (or fortunately?) we can’t include Scrapple, which some people consider a sausage, but which is technically a nightmare pudding that mushes together pork offal with corneal and buckwheat and forms it into a loaf.  If we wanted to write an article of “America’s horrific attempts to mimic haggis” we might include Scrapple, but until then they don’t make the cut.  Basically, we stuck with encased meats of a very specific type.  We’re not going to go generic, so a specific kind of meat, in a sausage, on its own isn’t enough to make the list.  That’s right, chicken sausage, get right the fuck out of here.  Otherwise, we will follow these basic rules until our researchers get lazy and we don’t.  But strap yourself in, as the next few weeks you’ll get to learn way more about dick-shaped food than you’d have any reason to know in a thousand lifetimes.  Sausages!

American Sausage Series Part 1:  Typical American Sausages

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The American History of Clam Chowder

“It’s chowdah!  CHOWDAH!  I’ll kill you!  I’ll kill you all!”

~Freddy Quimby

clam chowder

The existence of what we generally refer to as a clam is a simple one.  They are small little mollusks that spend their whole life completely immobile until a human comes along, boils them alive, and eats them unceremoniously alongside literally dozens of its slayed brethren.  Don’t feel too bad for them, though, because they’re delicious.  Okay, fine, if that’s not enough of an excuse, uh, let’s say…all clams are racist?  Yeah, every clam is like, suuuper racist, like “you don’t feel safe when they start talking, and you’re like, Scandinavian” racist.  Better?  Yeah, fuck those guys!  That’s why we have a duty, as Americans, to slaughter them in droves and cook them in rich, satisfying stews.

Clam chowder is a dish that even people who don’t eat clams still like and enjoy.  If someone said, “I don’t like clams, they’re too rubbery, also that racist thing is still messing with my head” they would still see “clam chowder” on the menu and want to order it, despite literally half of the words in the dish being things they actively dislike.  That is because clam chowder, at its very core, is an inherently American dish—it’s not nearly as widespread as, say, hamburgers or pizza (sit down Germany and Italy we took the ball from you and ran farther with it, those are ours now) but it is one of the best soup options out there, especially for that asshole boss of yours with the shellfish allergy (just tell them that clams don’t count, and that promotion will be yours in no time!)

That’s why today we’re going to take a moment to set you aside, but a warm bowl of creamy seafoody cholesterol in front of you, and tell you about the history of one of the first American soups.

The American History of Clam Chowder

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Otto Frederick Rohwedder and the Invention of Sliced Bread

“It’s the greatest invention since sliced bread.”

~Literally every single salesperson you have ever met, every goddamn one

 sliced bread

We take a lot of the simple things in our lives for granted.  That’s just human nature—if something doesn’t look difficult, or inherently present itself as some technological triumph, we tend to assume that these have always existed.  We can marvel at the technology behind, say, a smart phone, but overlook the fact that the first calculator was made in 1959, looked like this, and was able to compute less than your smart phone’s calculator app.

We’re going about this in a roundabout way, but the moral here is that many assume sliced bread has been around since, oh, roughly the same time as bread and knives co-existed, when in reality it’s a 20th century phenomenon.  Yes, sliced bread was first packaged and sold in 1928, and it is an American invention.  Specifically, by an enterprising Midwesterner who devoted over ten years of his life to designing and perfecting a machine to slice whole loaves of bread at once to ensure that we would forever be able to take an arduous step out of the process of making toast and sandwiches.  That man, nay, that hero, was Otto Frederick Rohwedder, and this is his story.

Otto Frederick Rohwedder and the Invention of Sliced Bread

 otto frederick whatshisname Continue reading

Pizza Puff: Your New Favorite Fried Pizza Product

“I don’t care how it came to be, just gimme gimme gimme!”

~The Average American’s First Response to Hearing of the Existence of Pizza Puffs

pizza puff

America is a pretty big country, all things considered, and we’re not just talking about geographically.  Different areas have noticeably different cultures—you could probably find more differences between a small town in Texas and a co-op in Portland than you’d find between separate European nations that don’t even speak the same language.  This size and diversity makes road trips awesome, while also ensuring that no matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to find and taste every single delicious local food concoction.  Think about it—there is, right now, some awesome, underground food invention in your very hometown or city that you haven’t even heard of yet.  Now just imagine that on a nationwide scale.  Every city in America has a type of food that is unique to them, and the only thing that takes away from the joy we find in that knowledge is the fact that most of America goes their lives not knowing that their new favorite food is out there somewhere.

We bring this up because we’re going to tell you about one of those local treats—the pizza puff.  Made in Chicago, but really only known to the Chicagoans who often frequent run down hot dog stands (so, you know, pretty much every Chicagoan) there’s not much history surrounding it, apart from the fact that it’s absurdly delicious, recklessly unhealthy, and, well, it’s basically like a deep fried pizza pocket, and if that doesn’t sound appealing to you, close this browser, turn off your computer, and drown yourself in a river, because you’re doing life wrong.

For those of you still dry and alive, however, let’s talk about pizza puffs.

Pizza Puff:  Your New Favorite Fried Pizza Product

more pizza puffs

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American Sandwich Series: Sandwiches Oddities of America (Savory Division)

“What’s that?  This is the last one?  The no more sandwich articles?  FREEDOM!  FREEDOM!”

~AFFotD’s Recently Over-Taxed Research Department

the last sandwich

Several weeks ago we embarked on a dangerous mission—to write about every kind of American sandwich that we hadn’t previously covered in our four-part Submarine Sandwiches of America series from over a year ago.  Some thought it couldn’t be done.  Some resigned in outrage.  The rest of us got drunk and decided, “Fuck it, we’ll probably miss a few sandwiches, but whatever” and got to writing.  Since then we’ve talked about American classics, regional favorites, and way more open faced sandwiches than we expected to have to cover when we shruggingly decided to count random piles of shit on a single piece of bread as a sandwich.  But we’ve finally come to an end to our journey, and we’re going to take things out the only way we know how.

By telling you about extremely strange sandwiches that have been created by America’s culinary know-how and disregard for convention.  Well, not like last time when we talked about sweet ones.  This here’s the savory division, y’all.

American Sandwich Series:  Sandwiches Oddities of America (Savory Division)

big ass sammich Continue reading

American Sandwich Series: Sandwiches Oddities of America (Sweet Division)

“What?  You don’t think that’s a sweet-flavored sandwich?  It’s got fruit in it, for God’s sake.  Yes, cranberry counts as a fruit, I don’t give a shit if it’s tart!”

~Inter-Office Debate Among AFFotD Staffers

sandwich fool

For the past few weeks, we’ve been shouting at you about various sandwiches that originated in America, using a list of arbitrary rules that, frankly, we’ve ignored more often than not in deciding what sandwiches warrant inclusion in our Sandwiches of America series.  We’re now in the homestretch, where we talk about what we’ve deemed to be the oddest sandwiches in America.  Admittedly, most entries in the open faced sandwich article, and some regional entries, definitely qualify as “odd” but we needed to limit this article’s length so we just kind of played fast and loose with our definitions of regional sandwiches and just general oddities.  Deal with it, this is already published, and there’s nothing you can do to fix it.

For the rest of you who don’t particularly care about what sandwich shows up in which article, we’ll delve into our second to last article, where we tell you about strange sandwiches that we’ve decided to arbitrarily place in the “sweet” category.

American Sandwich Series:  Sandwiches Oddities of America (Sweet Division)

god this looks fucking delicious Continue reading

American Sandwich Series: Lesser-Known Regional Sandwiches of America (Mountain, West Coast and Southern Edition)

“No, we’re not going to do EVERY Southern barbecue sandwich, we’re not insane.”

~AFFotD Editor-in-Chief Johnny Roosevelt

 sandwiches

So, we’ve been writing about sandwiches a lot lately, and we’re going to keep that train going.  Okay, listen, this is the sixth article out of eight about how bread is a thing that can taste better when you put random shit in it, so at a certain point you just run out of ways to introduce the damn topic.  “Hi, AFFotD here.  As you’ve surely noticed, we’ve decided to take on the daunting task of telling you about every sandwich that’s unique enough to warrant discussion, outside of submarine style sandwiches that we covered in a four part series a year ago.  After telling you about classic sandwiches, open face monstrosities, regional sandwiches of the East, and the unhealthy bread monsters birthed by the Midwest, we’re going to cover the rest of the nation, focusing on the South (and Miami, which doesn’t really count as the south), the Mountain Time Zone region, and the West Coast.”

Huh actually that was a decent way to set up this article.  We’re not really sure why we put it in sarcastic quotation marks, come to think of it.  Anyway, let’s talk sandwiches!

American Sandwich Series:  Lesser-Known Regional Sandwiches of America (Mountain, West Coast and Southern Edition)

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