Six Ethnic Foods That Were Once Rare But Are Now Ubiquitous in America

One wonderful thing about living in America today is the food. I don't just mean burgers and other American fare. I mean incredible ethnic food. Over the years, I have lived in different parts of the country and have always been impressed with my ability to find wonderful, culturally diverse restaurants. Whenever I find a great Thai or Indian restaurant I enthusiastically offer to take family visiting from out of town to check it out. But what I soon realized was that my parents' generation wasn't really a fan of any of it. They hadn't grown up with the option to choose the type of cuisine they ate. There was American food, plus whatever their mothers cooked, and that was pretty much it.

But my peers and I have had the good fortune to be surrounded by delicious food from all over the globe. Now, the idea of having something like sushi doesn't even get a second thought. I crave different cuisines probably more often than I crave typical American dishes. And the same goes for my friends.

Here are some ethnic dishes that are so commonplace in America that one could find them almost anywhere — at least in big cities across the country. These very foods would have been considered eccentric not too long ago, but now they're in a constant rotation in the homes of countless Americans.

6. Báhn mi sandwich

(Wikipedia - Nsaum75)

When I first tried this unbelievable plate of Vietnamese food at the mature age of 32, I was appalled that I hadn't had it sooner. Mostly because I had missed years of enjoying this salty/sweet/spicy/crunchy combination of baguette, grilled pork, pickled carrots and jalapenos, cilantro and spicy mayonnaise. (There are several ways to prepare it, but this is my favorite.) The words "báhn mi" actually mean "sandwich" in Vietnamese, and this combo has become an indulgent treat in my home.