It's safe to say America has influenced the world: our products have travelled overseas, our Western lifestyle has become universal, and our fast food restaurants are found on every block in almost every country.

But what stuff is actually ours and what stuff is "made in China?"

What have Americans genuinely created, and what have we taken over?

We've pilfered plenty of products and put our own spin on them.  Let's take a look at some of the most "Americanized" items around today.

1. Food

  • Sushi: traditional sushi contains few other ingredients besides raw fish.  America has "Americanized" sushi by adding beef, chicken, avocado, cream cheese... Even tempura-fried sushi is an American creation!
  • Orange Chicken: a completely American creation.
  • Cheeseburgers: based on the "meat patties" from Mongols (think Genghis Khan) in the 12th century.
  • French Fries: created in Belgium, who originally fried the potatoes in the shape of small fish.
  • Egg rolls: in China, spring rolls are light and the skin is thin.  In America, the skin is thick and deep-fried.
  • Pizza: In America, pizza is often thick-crusted and smothered with canned tomato sauce and loads of cheese.  In Italy, pizza crust is thinner and topped with fresh ingredients, like tomatoes, dabs of fresh mozzarella, and olive oil.
  • Peanut butter: This Americanized food was first coined by the ancient empires of South America (the Aztecs and Incas), who ground peanuts into paste.

2.  Traditions:

  • The Star Spangled Banner song: it was based off a poem written by someone in England.
  • Democracy: George Washington based democracy off of a democratic constitution created in Athens, Greece in 508 BC.
  • Television: The Russians and British first had a hand in creating the TV before America brought it to the fore-front of culture.
  • Cowboys: The word "cowboy" derives from the Spanish word "vaquero," and Mexican vaqueros brought cattle-herding to Texas, where the famous "cowboys" thrived.
  • Blue Jeans: These were created by Levi Strauss, who was born outside of America in Bavaria.  So are these famous jeans entirely American? Not so much.

3.  Here are some places American culture has basically taken over:

  • Toronto, Canada
  •  Sydney, Australia
  • London, England
  • Frankfurt, Germany

4.  And finally, here is some "American" stuff that is not actually made in America:

1. American flag

  • Made in China.

2.  Baseballs

  • Made in China and Costa Rica.

3.  Hot dogs

  • Originated in Germany in the 13th century.

4.  Statue of Liberty

  • A gift from the French built entirely in France.

5. Fireworks

  • Made in China.

6.  Kit Kats

  • First created in England in 1935, then exported to America in the 1970s.


Crazy right?!

Do you know of any other things that aren't truly "American"? 

Let me know below!



PS: Check out my latest YouTube video!  


Published by Gigi Nally