Some Foods from Buffalo in particular, and America in general:
offered by the students in Buffalo to the Turkish students, as topics for their study:
I have retained all the topics suggested by the Americans for the Turkish students, links go to those where students in Turkey collaborated with Americans to create an essay:


Ted's Hot Dogs


1. Spaghetti and Meatballs- Lauren W, Shaunna S, Finesse M

2. Mighty Taco and tacos - it's a Buffalo based enterprise. Lindsay D.and Ashley L. Mighty taco is a Mexican style food resturant. It is a privately owned corperation. It first opened in Buffalo in August 1973. It operates 16 resturants in the Buffalo area.

Tacos - (author's name removed)

What makes the American Dream more bearable under today's circumstances? Does America's multi-ethnic structure have any effect on this, or, as a small detail, does the fact that each person from different ethnicities has their own traditional foods render life more interesting so that people can -at least- eat whatever they want? Therefore, a meal's price, ingredients or its attainability make it worthy of eating. That is the reason why Tacos in America have become so popular. In America, they are not only a type of fast food which anyone can buy easily with their fair price, but also they have turned into a kind of homemade snack/meal cooked by both youth and adolescents. Consequently, this acceptance of this Mexican food shows us that Tacos predominantly have positive effects on both American culture and society in terms of offering a new kind of food that they are not used to eat, and the opportunities rose with this becoming fast food.
Although Mexicans and the Mexican-American people have not been received well in America for many years, their well-known food, Tacos, could overcome this prejudice, and have become one of the most consumed fast foods there. Even when the debates about who those Mexicans came to the United States are, how they fit in their country, or whether their activeness in economy hurts American people/workers or not keeps going, the amount of consumption is remaining the same except for some exterior reasons such as economic crisis as we all have faced with nowadays (Wilk). Steven W. Bender points out this unwelcoming attitude toward Mexicans in his book with a “joke” told by a Texas judge in court: “How do you make a Mexican omelet? Well, first you steal three eggs” (30). It sounds like those kinds of Americans were even looking down on their foods, as well: “... [they] had to overcome immense distrust and prejudice among consumers against Mexican restaurants, believing them to be dirty” (Hogan). That brings us, again, to how tacos became a popular type of fast food. In an interview, the Medaille College student Elyse Cammarano explains this situation from the American youth perspective: “I don't think prejudice has much to do with it. We will eat their food, because it tastes good. That does not mean we are going to get along with their people and culture any more.” If we assume that it is a general idea of Americans in today's world, we can clearly see that attaining different kinds of foods is more significant than where they are belong to. Thence, as another student, Lindsay Delano, mentions in her interview that “now America and Buffalo have all the fast food taco places like Mighty Taco and Taco Bell.” It is also obvious from that Taco Bell, for instance, is a widespread fast food restaurant chain: “ The fastest growing fast-food category is Mexican. Taco Bell is the foremost fast-food restaurant chain in the Mexican food category, with more than 6,800 units. Approximately 40 percent of these 6,800 outlets are franchised. Ninety percent of Taco Bell’s restaurants are freestanding, but the company is investigating alternative formats. ...Taco Bell, which is owned by Pepsi-Cola, serves Mexican food and operates more than 5,000 units throughout the United States” (Michman 44-174). In that sense, now, Americans are accepting tacos more, and making them Americanized with those restaurant chains; it is what it should be because their food culture is already based upon its multi-ethnic and multicultural structure, and so, Elyse Cammarano believes that “the exchange in food does have a great deal of contribution to that”. “Many American consumers still believe that eating at Taco Bell is to be adventurous experimentation with exotic 'foreign food' ” (Hogan). With this fragment, David Gerard Hogan indicates that, just as other foreign based foods, tacos also give people the possibility of taste of other food cultures/cuisines.
Moreover, one of the most significant reasons of this changing into fast food and being preferable to eat of this Mexican food is that, in terms of its shape and the way of making with different types of ingredients, it is like sandwiches which Americans are used to eat in any time. The contents of a taco or a sandwich depend on the person who will eat it; they might be both simple or complex according to the consumer's wants and imagination. Moreover, after you buy your taco, you can also do totally different things at the same time because its shape allows you to hold it easily and, for instance, call someone by your mobile-phone. Some celebrities whose photographs were taken when they were eating their tacos, and driving their cars can be an example of this desire/obligation for fast-living. This being hand-held type of food can be considered as some of the opportunities of that tacos bring us. When “the basic idea is grabbing the food with one’s fingers, without the need of cutlery,” eating gets less effortful, and life gets easier for them (Bhat 10). R.V. Bhat also points out this subject some more in the very continuation of that sentence: “Tacos are flat round corn tortillas, the size of the palm of the hand or a little bit larger, with food placed in the middle. They are rolled with a certain technique and eaten without the need for a plate or a fork” (139).
Their moderate price, attainability for people, and facility of cooking it at home is other reasons of why the American people now consume this food: it shows us how tacos affect the U.S. society in addition to how the society have an impact on this food by embracing it as an addition food to their culture. As Elyse Cammarano says, “[they] can make them at home just as easily as they do at restaurants” if they know its process of cooking. As opposed to ordering them and moving away from the place where you buy your tacos, making them yourself is quite different experience. Margaret Randall mentions this experience from the perspective of the Mexican people:
Homemade tortillas usually eaten with butter and salt, but sometimes your grandpa would get fancy. And you give me two recipes from that time, poor people's recipes, you say. One is for Peanut-Butter Tacos, their two ingredients flour tortillas –never corn!-- and peanut butter, any brand. You heat up your tortilla on a griddle if you want it crispy, in the microwave or over the range if you like it soft. Spread peanut butter while the tortilla is hot, fold in half,
eat, and then say 'Ay, que rice!'“ (23).
So, this being convenience makes tacos more possible to be involved in the American food culture.
On the other hand, there is interaction between the U.S. society and tacos in the light of the opportunities –for Americans- which can be taken thanks to tacos. Considering the interview with, again, Lindsay Delano, we can say that “tacos affect them positively because they feed into [their] culture; those places such as Taco Bell and Mighty Taco, the famous fast food restaurant in Buffalo, give the society venue to go and spend their time with their family or friends.” However, she also reports that, “with there being so many different choices of fast foods and places to go out to eat, tacos are not necessarily a main choice because most families usually would choose a fast food restaurant like McDonald’s which has hamburgers, salads, chicken sandwiches.” In that case, those fast food restaurants fall into a kind of competition. Hence, they have to call on some tactics which might be beneficial for people. The one can claim that it is not a tactic; but, knowing that, for example, “Taco Bell’s Foundation For Teens” , which provides career experiences, educational experiences or community experiences, gives you a reason to go and eat in Taco Bell instead of Burger King in order to support this foundation. Furthermore, in addition to the ones who want to go these fast food taco chains/restaurants, and spend their time, they also provide young people job opportunities. So, the youth can work while they are studying, and like those two young girls from Buffalo do (despite of not being in taco restaurants), they can work in their spare times, and can nearly live without any support from their families. As a result, the presence of these fast-food restaurants provides the youth extra places to work.
Consequently, being in a mutual relation, tacos and American society feed into one another because tacos take its place among the cuisine of the United States while people are taking all of its opportunities. David Gerard Hogan indicates that “the period between 1960 and 1990 was the heyday of fast food” (157). Hence, one can say that tacos are so integrated to American people's lives that those fast food restaurant chains have been saving their place and importance among them with the need of more restaurants.

Works Cited:
1. Bender, Steve W. Greasers and Gringos : Latinos, Law, and the American Imagination. New York, USA: New York University Press, 2003: 30.
2. Bhat, R.V., ed, Street Foods. Basel: Karger Publishers, 2000: 10-139
3. Cammarano, Elyse. Personal interview. 1 April 2009.
4. Delano, Lindsay. Personal interview. 27 March 2009-1 April 2009
5. Hogan, David Gerard. Selling. New York, USA: New York University Press, 1997: 157-164.
6. Michman, Ronald D. Food Industry Wars : Marketing Triumphs & Blunders. Westport, CT, USA: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated, 1998.
7. Randall, Margaret. “Poor People's Recipes” The Women's Review of Books Vol. 14, No. 7 (1997): 23
8. Wilk, Richard. Fast Food / Slow Food: The Cultural Economy of the Global Food System. New York: Altamira Press, 2006.

3. PIZZA- Leah, Sean & Matt

4. Ted's Hot Dogs- Elyse Cammarano & Emily Herr
Ted's first opened in 1927 in a small shack near the Peace Bridge (the bridge linking the United States and Canada). There are only 9 locations in the United States, 8 of them being in Western New York. Ted's is famous for its hot dogs and hamburgers. They also serve delicious french fries and onion rings as well as thick milkshakes! To get a better look go to Ted's!

Ted’s Hot Dog - (author's name removed)
When we think about a country, firstly its culture attracts our attention. The cuisine of a country is important in a cultural way because it gives clue about culture of this country. Sometimes just looking one food, we understand where it can be from. Ted’s Hot Dog is one of these foods which represent culture of America. Ted’s Hot Dog not only reflects Americans’ palate but also Americans’ bad habits about eating. Although Ted’s Hot Dog affects social lives of people in a good way, it damages people’ lives in terms of health.
Ted’s Hot Dog was opened by a Greek, who came to America in 1913. Theodore Spiro Liaros did not know English when he came to America but he did not lost his hope. He worked so hard then he established Western New York Tradition. Nearly 80 years and three generations later, Ted’s Hot Dog’s fame spread throughout Western New York. “The Western New York locations are run by the founder's grandson and namesake so there's still a Ted in charge of Ted's”.
Ted's Hot Dogs restaurants are considered a fast food restaurant similar to McDonalds, which says a lot about American culture in itself. Americans are fast paced and want things done quickly. They often go to fast food restaurants to receive their food within 5 minutes. They are eating it within the next 10 minutes. Ted’s Hot Dog’s menu includes the kinds of hot dog, sandwiches, side orders, burgers, and beverages which can be eaten very quickly. We see that the quick way of life in New York reflects Ted’s Hot Dog.
The food helps us understand cultures. Claude Levi- Strauss remarks that “food is not only to eat but good to think”. Ted's is also American because it is a hot dog. It is a tradition that they are eaten at baseball games which is a very American sport. However, Ted's uses the best brand around which are Sahlen’s Hot Dogs. They are only found in Buffalo, but Emily Herr thinks that they are the best. “I'm not sure what makes them so good to eat, but they are never "rubbery" or weird tasting”. She also adds that “Because we as consumers do not really know what is in a hot dog, some hot dogs do not very good taste”. She advises Ted’s Hot Dog because it is delicious.
America has a multicultural society. In this society, every group generally owns its cuisine such as Mexican cuisine or Chinese cuisine. But some foods are shared and liked by all people who live in America. Hot Dog is one of these foods. The city of Virginia hosts every year West Virginia Hot Dog Festival. Many people flock this festival. They buy the Hot Dogs to help children who suffer from cancer. In this aspect, we see that the Hot Dog improves relations among people. Ted’s Hot Dog is a kind of hot dog so it is also served in festivals.
“In U.S. popular culture men eat red meat and potatoes and avoid white meats and quiches. There is some indication that these ideas go back to nineteenth- century associations between red meat, blood, and strength”. Judith Goode wants to explain that eating habits go back to history. In fact, Ted’s Hot Dog is the part of American history. Because of this, Ted’s Hot Dog addresses every gender and every age in America. It has important place in Western New York cuisine. Jonathan C. tells the importance of Ted’s Hot Dog by saying “I love watching the Food Channel when I'm bored. One day I'm watching the 10 best hotdogs in the US and Ted's lands in the top”. After tasting Ted’s Hot Dog, Jonathan makes his comment. “Well deserved Ted in your honor of making our nation's best hot dogs”.
Although Ted’s Hot Dog is a kind of fast food, it is separated from McDonald’s or Burger King in some aspects. The most important difference among them is that in Ted’s Hot Dog restaurants, hot dogs are served with delicious sausage. Wendy B. touches on this subject by saying “The hot dogs are charbroiled over coals right in front of you - you can get foot-longs, regular size, or all-beef franks. You can also get chicken or hamburgers - but why? If you want one of those, go to McDonald's”. This quotation proves that Ted’s Hot Dog is not an ordinary food chain. It surprises its hosts by serving fresh french fries with the hot dog.
The last but not least reason that makes Ted’s Hot Dog popular is its money. Generally people find its menus cheap. People come to Ted’s Hot Dog restaurants from all of the regions of America to taste this delicious. Paul B. is one of them. He thinks that if one goes to the Buffalo, s/he should not complete her/his trip without a Ted’s Hot Dog. Many people love Ted’s Hot Dog because of their great food, fast service, very inexpensive menu and convenience.
While Ted’s Hot Dog is a perfect choice for American’s palate, it has bad effect on people who are fond of it. First of all, it is a kind of fast food.
The real risk is the fried meat itself, which contains heterocyclic amines. Heterocyclic amines are documented mutagens and carcinogens in animal models (Nagao and Sugimura 2000; Weisburger 2002), and for which there is human evidence not only of several types of high-incidence cancers, such as colon, breast, and prostate, but which also affect the heart muscle.
In the article "Another Fast-Food Fear," John Weisburger (2003) discusses the hazards of fast food. When we look at this quotation from the article, we perceive how fast foods damage our health by containing harmful ingredients. Being a kind of fast food, Ted’s Hot Dog threats our health.
The second reason why hot dog is unhealthy is that while preparing it, it is passed several steps. Because of this, its nutrition reduces or totally disappears. Besides it, hot dog is not served alone. It is served with French fries and coke. Besides them, sweet relish, mustard, ketchup, hot sauce, diced onions, tomatoes, peppers and pickles are used for options.
The last but not least reason which make hot dog unhealthy that people begin to addict to fast food. If they keep on eating hot dog constantly, they increase their rate of being ill. The most striking effect of hot dog is obesity from which many people suffer. But why people become obesity because of the hot dogs? The answer is in fact easy. With the addicting to fast food, people begin to consume more calories and fewer fruits and vegetables. This led overweight and obesity among people which eat fast food. When we look at the America, we see that obesity is one of the most important health problems. The twenty seven percent of American population suffers from obesity. Obesity causes heart disease and diabetes. Because of these reasons, while consuming fast food, we must be careful.
In conclusion, Ted’s Hot Dog keeps more important place in Western New York cuisine. It represents the culture of America. Especially, in Western New York the quick way of life is reflected in the fast food. And Ted’s Hot Dog is a kind of the fast food, which enable to quick service to people. While people benefit from it, it can damage their health. While consuming Ted’s Hot Dog, we should not forget that it is a fast food. The culture of fast food spread the entire world and it represents America. But in today, when we think fast food, first of all obesity comes to mind. The obesity reflects both the culture of fast food and America.
Word Cited:
  1. Goode, Judith. Folklore, Cultural Performances, and Popular Entertainments. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
  2. Source:
  3. Interview: Herr,Emily. On Facebook. 31 March 2009
  4. Source:

5. Buffalo Chicken Wings - Danielle S. Nicole LP

6.) Soul Food-Darius S. Tiffany S. Antasia J. The term soul food was made popular in the 1960s, when "soul" became used as a way to connect African American culture to the rest of society. Soul food can be represented through a multitude of dishes. It can stem from mixed greens (collard, mustard and turnip greens whcih are basically cooked plant leaves flavored and boiled in their own juices) to candid yams (sweetend sweet potatoes). The most famous side dish of Soul Food is Macoroni and Cheese. However there are many more dishes to soul food.

7. Gnocchi: a type of pasta made from either potatoes, or in my family, ricotta cheese. Andrea

8. General Mills - A large food company with one of the major headquarters in Buffalo - Darrell C. and Dante T.
General Mills is a large food company that markets some of the world's best loved brands, including Betty Crocker, Hamburger Helper, Häagen-Dazs, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso and Cheerios. Their brand portfolio includes more than 100 leading U.S. brands and numerous category leaders around the world. Many of our nations most popular cereals, frozen foods, baking products, bread products, fruit snacks, grain snacks (granola bars, chex mix), canned foods, pastas, soups, and yogurts are made by General Mills. A link to the webiste :

9. Pasta Carbona John Sindoni

10. Bacalao/Bacalaitos (spanish cod fish meals) Antasia J

11. Pastelles Antasia J

12. Arroz con Gondules/Habicuelas/Sachicas (various rice combinations) Antasia J

13. Malta - spanish drink Antasia J