Originally posted by chef marty
Before I moved to D C in '85, I used to enjoy the dozen or so Cuban/Chinese restaurants in NYC. (Big Chinese labor population brought to Cuba the last few centuries- some moved to NY and took both cuisines with them.) Not fusion, but two separate sides of the menu. Also there were a few upscale French-Japanese places starting then; some with better ideas than others.
In this week's City Paper food section there was an article about our ubiquitous Mexican/Salvadoran restaurants. A contention is that many of the Salvadoran refugees who came here to escape the violence were quite poor and didn't really know anything of own their country's food culture other than eating what they raised locally on their subsistance farms, so they adopted the cuisines from the restaurants here in which they got jobs and added the pupusas that they knew.
A happy trend that I see in a few metropolitan areas is Indian restaurants serving Chinese food the way it is prepared in India. It gets a little confusing here, but chili chicken (Indian style) has become one of my favorite dishes.
We read the ongoing complaints from Japan about the lack of authenticity by so many Korean restaurants serving sushi. Traditional Greek run diners in the Northeast have served some of the best "American" comfort food for 100 years. Inner-city Chinese takeout places serve as much pizza, fried chicken, and hero sandwiches as anything else on their menus. To get along in many upscale restaurant kitchens you need to be able to speak at least three of four languages and swear in a dozen. For decades we refered to the food at many
fine dining establishments as "Continental"; usually a blend of French and Italian, but now a good question often may be, "Which continent?" What will we think of next, naming ground beef patties and sausages after cities in Germany and claiming them as America's national foods?
We are no longer a melting pot, but a stock pot that has been simmered and stirred to the extent that it is impossible to tell where some foods originated and of what some cuisines are composed. I try to sample it all and enjoy every minute of it!!!!!!
Happy eating, Chef Marty
PS. If you are in D C Easter Sunday, Join with the folks from The D C Dining Society For a banquet of $200 worth of foods and wines for the member price of $50 + t&t. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
for details, menu, and wine list.