You don't need a PhD in history to know that the United States is a melting pot of different cultures.
This means that pinning down a rigid definition of traditional "American" food isn't the easiest task.
1. "S'mores. I've traveled the world and no one knows what s'mores are besides Americans. With something like burgers, everyone everywhere knows what they are."
3. "Definitely the blooming onion. ... Hawked by a restaurant chain that pretends to be Australian, at that!"
4. "Ranch dressing/dip. I don't think anyone else eats or uses Ranch like us Americans. We eat it with everything. Salads, fries, pizza, wings, burgers..."
5. "The family I stayed with in Poland was so confused by peanut butter. I had my mom send it to me in a care package when I was there for a summer. I ate it with crackers, sandwiches, and apples. It absolutely blew their minds. Hilarious."
6. "Cranberries. One of the few fruits native to North America. We may champion apples here, but cranberries have been here longer, and I think they're underused."
7. "As a Southern man, I consider good fried chicken, collards, and corn bread to be about as American as it gets."
8. "Clam chowder and lobster rolls feel very representative of the Northeast."
9. "I'm Puerto Rican, and many of the foods we eat come from the American influence in our culture. Potato salad, turkey, and most breakfast foods are among the American foods we eat. The notion of what counts and doesn't count as 'breakfast food' is also a very American concept."
10. "I don't think anything will ever be as quintessentially American as a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise (and perhaps onions and/or pickles depending on taste), french fries, and a milkshake."
11. "When I think of American food, I picture anything being cooked on one of those round charcoal barbecues. And whatever is being cooked is probably REALLY big."
12. "When I think of American food, the first thing that comes to my mind are pancakes — really fluffy ones with blueberries."
13. "Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Nobody that I know who doesn't live in the United States knows what they are. And when I tell them what they are, they get very disgusted."
14. "Chocolate chip cookies. I remember my old boss told me he made them for his friends in France and their minds were blown by those hot, fresh cookies."
15. "That bright yellow plastic processed 'cheese' made of something that's definitely not cheese."
16. "Bacon seems to be a defining add-on to everything that makes it feel American."
Some submissions have been edited for grammar and/or clarity.