In the United States, July 4th marks the holiday we call Independence Day. Traditional celebrations of the Fourth of July, or Independence Day, involve parades, fireworks, and picnics.

There are some foods which are associated with summer celebrations in the United States, foods you might enjoy as well. Unlike in some cultures and traditions, these foods are not served exclusively at this holiday, but enjoyed at any time during the year.

Lemonade is one of the most popular summer beverages. It’s sweet, yet tart and refreshing taste is perfect during the long, hot days of summer. Lemonades with added fruit, such as raspberry or strawberry, are also popular choices.

Limeade is popular in Florida and California where these fruits are plentiful. Beer is also a traditional celebratory beverage served at picnics and outings.

Barbecues usually involve actual barbecued meat, although the term “barbecue” can be used any time food is cooked and served outdoors. Popular meats for barbecuing include beef in Texas, pork in the Carolinas, chicken almost everywhere, and fish and seafood along the coast.

The types of barbecue sauces vary greatly, from tomato based sauces to mustard based sauces. Some traditions call for rubbing the meat before cooking it and serving it with no sauce; this is called a dry rub, and “dry Q.”

Other traditions call for basting the meat frequently with barbecue sauce and serving it with additional sauce; this is called mopping the meat. Recipes and techniques to produce the perfect barbecue are much debated and usually tightly held family secrets. One thing they all have in common is that they are usually very delicious.

Corn on the cob is a popular vegetable to toss on the grill and serve at picnics and barbecues. Other foods traditionally served include baked beans, cole slaw, and potato salad. Cole slaw is a salad made of shredded cabbage with a mayonnaise or vinegar based sauce.

Potato salad consists of cubes or slices of cooked potatoes in a sauce that is based on either mayonnaise and mustard, or bacon. Like everything else relating to American independence, there are as many ways of approaching these side dishes as there are families.

The expression may “as American as apple pie,” but apple pie is a fall dessert, not one for the Fourth of July. Desserts served at Independence Day include cookies, cakes, and ice cream.



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