Welcome to United States of America
The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States (U.S.) or America, is a constitutional federal republic composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. Forty-eight of the fifty states and the federal district are contiguous and located in North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Nine time zones are covered. The geography, climate and wildlife of the country are extremely diverse. At 3.8 million square miles (9.8 million km2) and with over 324 million people, the United States is the world's third- or fourth-largest country by total area, third-largest by land area, and the third-most populous. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, and is home to the world's largest immigrant population. Urbanization climbed to over 80% in 2010 and leads to growing mega regions. The country's capital is Washington, D.C. and its largest city is New York City; the other major metropolitan areas, all with around five million or more inhabitants, are Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Houston, Miami, and Atlanta.
The cuisine of the United States reflects its history. The European colonization of the Americas yielded the introduction of a number of ingredients and cooking styles to the latter. The various styles continued expanding well into the 19th and 20th centuries, proportional to the influx of immigrants from many foreign nations; such influx developed a rich diversity in food preparation throughout the country.
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 American Cuisine. 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 British cuisine. The American colonial diet varied depending on the settled region in which someone lived. Commonly hunted game included deer, bear, buffalo, 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 and did not have a central region of culture.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, Americans developed many new foods. During the Progressive Era (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 Food Network.
Weather varies widely across the continental USA, as well as in Alaska and Hawaii.
In general terms, summers are hot and humid in the plains and southern states, while the southwest is very hot and quite dry. Endless summers are southern California and Florida trademarks, while in the Pacific Northwest and New England states, summers are warm with cool mornings and pleasant evening conditions.
Winters in the southern states are mild, while in the north, northeast, plains states, and in the western mountains, conditions are often quite cold with heavy snow and sub-freezing temperatures.
Severe weather in the form of thunderstorms is a normal spring and summer occurrence; devastating tornadoes are also common in the spring and summer months, especially in the central part of the U.S.
Hurricanes occasionally strike the eastern coastline and Gulf of Mexico states from June through October.
|Capital:||Washington, D. C|
|Currency:||United States dollar (USD)|
|Time zone:||UTC -4 to -12, +10, +11|
|Drives on the:||right|
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