American cuisine reflects the history of the United States, blending the culinary contributions of various groups of people from around the world, including indigenous American Indians, African Americans, Asians, Europeans, Pacific Islanders, and South Americans. Early Native Americans utilized a number of cooking methods in early American cuisine that have been blended with early European cooking methods to form the basis of what is now American cuisine. The European settlement of the Americas introduced a number of ingredients, spices, herbs, and cooking styles to the continent. The various styles of cuisine continued expanding well into the 19th and 20th centuries, proportional to the influx of immigrants from many different nations; this influx nurtured a rich diversity in food preparation throughout the country. When the colonists came to the colonies, they farmed animals for clothing and meat in a similar fashion to what they had done in Europe. They had cuisine similar to their previous Dutch, Swedish, French and British cuisines. The American colonial diet varied depending on the region settled. Commonly hunted game included deer, bear, bison, and wild turkey. A number of fats and oils made from animals served to cook much of the colonial foods. Prior to the Revolution, New Englanders consumed large quantities of rum and beer, as maritime trade provided them relatively easy access to the goods needed to produce these items: rum was the distilled spirit of choice, as the main ingredient, molasses, was readily available from trade with the West Indies. In comparison to the northern colonies, the southern colonies were quite diverse in their agricultural diet; the growing season was longer. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Americans developed many new foods. During the Progressive Era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, circa 1890s–1920s, food production and presentation became more industrialized. One characteristic of American cooking is the fusion of multiple ethnic or regional approaches into completely new cooking styles. A wave of celebrity chefs began with Julia Child and Graham Kerr in the 1970s, with many more following after the rise of cable channels such as the Food Network and Cooking Channel in the late 20th century.
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