We have Chinese-American cuisine, Mexican-American cuisine, Peruvian-American cuisine. So why don’t we hear much about French-American cuisine? “All these versions of immigrant cuisines come about because of substantial concentrations of immigrants who 1) can’t get the ingredients they’d have had access to in the home country and 2) (and more importantly) get assimilated to one degree or another and adopt American ingredients and methods as well as adapting their home country cuisine to America,” says Masonville. “But the key factor is a substantial ethnic concentration. Since the 18th century, there’s simply never been any major French immigrant community in the U.S.”

“How about the overstuffed omelet (i.e., Denver omelet) versus the classical French version with just cheese and some herbs?” suggests ipsedixit. “And what about the American version of pepper steak (a.k.a. steak au poivre)?”

“French cuisine’s impact on American cooking is sort of an on-again/off-again relationship, and dishes people think of as old-fashioned might have climbed out of a French stew pot in the first place!” says lunchbox. Any time that “we create by marrying aromatic with savory, perfumed with sweet, and take joy in food that is appealing to the eye as it is to the mouth, we’re paying tribute to classical French cuisine.”

Discuss: French-American cuisine

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