the great american dessert

Courtesy of Posted by Hello

A recent email discourse with an acquaintence:

She: What are some “great American desserts?”
Me: Hmm… well,
A). Fruit Pies (apple, cherry, peach, blueberry, keylime, lemon meringue…I could go on forever…) [Edit: Frequent Citations reminds me that I should have included non-fruit pies – most notably pumpkin and pecan pies – both are personal favorites, so I don’t know why I was remiss. Thanks Frequent Citations!]
B). Boston Cream Pie
C). Brownies
D). Funnel Cakes.
E). The ubiquitous yet hard-to-find-good Lemon Bars
F). Garishly large amounts of Ice Cream in many forms: scoops, banana splits, sundaes and bars.
G). Cookies (different from biscuits and scones) – this includes a large variety – the most famous of which is the Tollhouse Chocolate Chip – but other favorites include peanut butter, snickerdoodle, sugar, and oatmeal varietals. Girl Scouts have also found their special niche.
H). Anything Sweet, Prepackaged and has a Silly “Only-An-American-Could-Come-Up-With-It” Name. This family of desserts includes Ho Ho’s, Ding Dong’s, Little Debbie’s, Whoppers, Jawbreakers, Honey Buns, Oatmeal Cream Pies… etc…)
I). S’mores (another one of my favorites)
J). Do Donuts count?
K). Bananas Foster (yuck) You set anything on fire – even bananas, and Americans (and the French) go wild. Go figure…
L). Cheesecake – okay, so they borrowed from the Italians, but they have made a fine version for themselves…
M). Pound Cake
N). Any Other Culture’s Desserts – Battered and Deep Fried
O). Candied Apples (in my opnion, one of the worst creations).
P). Pralines (one good product of the South, although I personally hate pralines).
Q). Whipped Cream Salads – the kind with canned fruits and marshmallows.
R). Anything Instant, or “Just Add Water” Family – this includes puddings, muffins, cakes, cookies and Jell-O.
S). Is that enough, or shall I keep going?

~ by ulterior epicure on April 20, 2005.

5 Responses to “the great american dessert”

  1. You left out cakes that are not instant! Otherwise, great list!

  2. u.e.,

    You’ve covered almost everything from the inedible to the sublime. I would say that pumpkin pie wins for the most American of American desserts, even though I don’t care for it.

  3. 1. Kris: cakes are a great American dessert – but they’re not “especially American.” Almost all of the European cultures have some version of non-instant “cakes.”

    2). Citations… good point, I guess I just subsumed pumpkin and pecan pies under “pies” – except i put “fruit pies.”


  4. Very bad post. Bad, bad post. Desserts? You post about desserts when I’m trying to prepare for finals? What’s wrong with you?

  5. denise.

    sorry… yeah, i guess this is that time of the year for you students! well, i do hope that you treat yourself out to something *sweet* to celebrate your much more important mental happiness through the horrible stresses of exams.


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