This Saturday is July 4th, aka Independence Day, aka America’s b-day. It’s the perfect excuse to celebrate by indulging in some cuisine from the U.S. of A. Whatever you think about their food, you can’t deny that it’s hearty, heavy and – often – pretty delicious. Check below for a list of some of America’s finest contributions to the culinary world; and a few ideas for the wines that we think will pair with them best.
The gold standard. And, it’s been said, the mark of a great cook; if you’re testing out the kitchen at a new bar or restaurant, or are desperate to evaluate a friend’s cooking for some reason, a basic burger is a good way to see what kind of skills they’re packing. It’s hard to mess up, but it’s hard to get perfect too. They’re also versatile, especially in these times of artisanal burgers on every corner; nowadays you can cover them in everything from pesto to goat’s cheese and even to peanut butter, (we’ve seen it, it happens).
Pair it with… Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel
Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Macaroni and Cheese is the kind of ultimate comfort food that transcends barriers; your favorite might be your mum’s secret recipe, a hastily whipped up box of Kraft or the artisan stuff they serve up at high-end restaurants, (like our favourite over at Mr & Mrs Bund). It doesn’t matter whether you sprinkle it with breadcrumbs or how many cheeses you throw in the sauce; if you’re going to do the day with justice, it’s a must.
Pair with… Chardonnay, Dry Riesling, Merlot
Even compared to some of the foods on this list, hot dogs are pretty humble. It’s a sausage in a bun with ketchup and/or mustard. Maybe onions. But don’t forget, this is America’s biggest contribution to street food, and there’s a reason that people are still eating something so simple so often. And, though it’s far behind burgers in this regard, Shanghai has found a way to go gourmet with. Take Doghouse in the SOHO complex down near Xintiandi. If you haven’t tried their spicy Sichuan Dog at yet, you’re seriously slacking.
Pair with… Dry Rosé, Prosecco
Beef Ribs, Pork Ribs, Baby Back Ribs. When it comes to American BBQ, ribs are rivaled only by burgers as the quintessential food. They are just as versatile in their own way too. It all comes down to the sticky glaze; honey mustard is a favourite, but you can always go even more indulgently sweet with glaze ingredients like brown sugar, bourbon and apple sauce.
Pair with… Chianti, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon