On Friday I had the amazing opportunity to be a guest on the Italian national TV talk show “A Conti Fatti” on RAI UNO with the presenter Elisa Isoardi. They invited me on the show to talk about American food and whether the American food found here in Italy was the “real American food” that we eat in the USA.
The display table was lined with hamburgers, hot dogs, onion rings, french fries, steaks, potatoes and sauces. This is the same food found in almost all the American restaurants here in Italy. In the eyes of Italians (and probably many other countries around the world), American food is fast food. The only food Americans eat is fried and unhealthy.
What a horrible stereotype! Of course, America has many fast food restaurants, but in a country composed of 50 states with almost 320 million people, it also has an expansive and multiethnic gastronomy that includes numerous healthy options that are made with fresh produce and high quality artisanal products.
For instance, I brought a salad, homemade tomato soup and dill and lemon salmon on the show to talk about healthier dishes that many foreigners don’t know about. When I told the TV presenter that fish was an important part of our diet, she looked at me like I was crazy… yet, the U.S. has over 95,000 miles of shoreline and numerous inland rivers, lakes and streams.
I hope that my blog can contribute to breaking down this stereotype of a “Fast Food America.” There is so much more to discover.