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Fourth Of July

Fourth Of July

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updated 12:40 p.m.

ET July 2, 2009TOKYO - The menu at this year's Fourth of July party in Japan went healthy — in honor of the Obamas.The U.S.

Embassy, which played host to the Independence Day celebration, highlighted first lady Michelle Obama's advocacy for healthy diets, rich in fruits and vegetables.

As part of her push, she has planted a vegetable garden at the White House.Guests got a taste of President Barack Obama's favorites dishes, including California green gazpacho made from the kind of vegetables grown in the garden.Story continues below â†"advertisement | your ad hereA chili served, meanwhile, was a lighter version — made with American turkey — that Obama himself likes to cook, according to the embassy.

One salad used wild rice harvested in the American Midwest, while another tossed Alaskan crab and California rice."I love to eat, and so I always look forward to this kind of event," said Jim Zumwalt, charge d'affaires, who is filling in until the newly appointed ambassador John Roos arrives.But the annual event, which also serves as a showcase for American exports to Japan, offered plenty of other kinds of food, including McDonald's cheeseburgers, Domino's pizza and Krispy Kreme doughnuts.Japan imports more than half its food.

Much of that comes from the U.S., including vegetables, beef, M&M's chocolate candies, California wines and Oregonzola, America's answer to Italian Gorgonzola blue cheese.Yukio Hattori, commentator on the "Iron Chef" TV show, who was a guest at the party, said the popularity of "fusion cuisines" in the U.S., which brings together various food cultures, has given opportunities to Japanese chefs."American food is now more than just hot dogs and hamburgers," he said.More in Food and WineBack to basics: Tyler Florence's BBQ chickenFinger-licking good! Malaysian spring rolls Images: Celeb chefs heat things upMore from TODAYMakeover! Wife renews vows — and her looksJermaine Jackson: 'I wish it was me' Exclusive look inside Jackson's NeverlandGallery: Your latest recession splurges Animal Tracks: Trio of foxes, monkeys and moreCopyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.Discuss Story On Newsvine Rate Story:View popularLowHighEmailInstant MessagePrint MORE FROM FOOD & WINE Food & Wine Section Front Fuss-free festivities for the Fourth A taste of the Obamas at Japan's July 4th partyCelebrate the 4th with Nigella's yummy dessertsTry a classic American red wine for July 4thFinger-licking good! Malaysian rib spring rollsBack to basics: Tyler Florence's BBQ chickenDid the fry die when trans fats got the boot?Red, white and blue drinks for July 4thHeat up the grill with some steak and musselsNo joke! Eat your way to a bikini bodyFood & Wine Section Front Add Food & Wine headlines to your news reader:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/31709861/ns/today_food_and_wine/
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