I went to an Indian restaurant this weekend and knew what style of food I would get and the kind of ingredients that would be used. I realize India is an enormous country with thousands of languages and cultures and probably styles of food, but at least in terms of Indian restaurants in the U.S., I know what to expect.
As an American, I find it hard to define "American food" beyond things like hamburgers and southern cusine like fried chicken and mac and cheese. I'm not suggesting American food is low-brow just that the other dishes are combinations of dishes from elsewhere or updated versions. I'm not a cook and don't work in the food business. Are there styles of cooking, ingredients, preparations that are now considered "American"? How would you describe "American food" to someone from overseas who was visiting and hadn't had it before?