What Makes a Classic?

Have you ever wondered how a particular dish became a classic? The process from introduction to fame and notoriety is sometimes obvious and other times mind-boggling. Understanding how a dish becomes a classic quenches your thirst for knowledge and helps you see how to take your own unique dishes from novelty to classic status.

To reach classic status, a particular dish has to be widely valued and loved. With millions of people in America, how is it possible that any dish can be widely valued and loved? The answer might be simpler than you think. If you compare famous American classics, they have a couple things in common.

First off, they all feature simple, yet bold flavors. Classics don’t get bogged down with a long list of ingredients and flavor profiles. The ingredients are pretty easy to find no matter where you live and cooking techniques aren’t complicated. Instead, these dishes use a few ingredients and show each one off. While exact recipes vary by restaurant and home, the basic sentiment remains intact even for reinventions of classics. The idea is to take an ingredient and cook it well, that’s why everyone loves classics.

The second common feature is most classics are easy enough for any home cook to make and allow for creativity in serving. Think about apple pie. People like to use different kinds of apples or different kinds of fats in the crust, but anyone can make a pie at home. Some people like to serve their apple pie with vanilla ice cream while other prefer a slice of cheddar cheese.

Other American classics include:

  • Buffalo Wings
  • Roasted Chicken
  • Hamburgers
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Hot Dogs
  • Grits
  • Meatloaf
  • Pizza

Now that you’ve thought more about what makes a dish classic, it’s time to grab your chef coat and start creating. Make your mark on the culinary world by cooking up the next great staple of every American diet.

Posted in Chef Coats

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