James Beard Foundation Finds That American Food Exists, But Nobody Knows What It Is
What they could do, though, was what Americans have always done when faced with the problem of defining their national character, without the help of a single language, religion, or ancient tradition: They reached for the most grandiose, flattering language possible. “American cuisine is straightforward and honest,” wrote one respondent. Another opined that “The synergistic fusion of the world’s cultures with our unique soils and species has produced a moving, multifaceted cuisine, constantly changing, constantly improving, superior to any other in the world.” The one thing Americans can agree on is Americanism and its general awesomeness; for the American mind, now as ever, that's the real essence of American cuisine, far more than burgers or burgoo.
The State of American Cuisine [James Beard Foundation]