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Re: CHAT: American Cuisine (Was: Re: Homonymy -- Hot Stuff Dept.)

From:B. Garcia <madyaas@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 22, 2005, 6:17
On 6/21/05, Tom Chappell <tomhchappell@...> wrote:

> Well, I grew up in southeast Texas, which lies right at the confluence > of the TexMex and Cajun food-cultures, both of which are spicier than > the cuisines they stem from (Mexican and French respectively), and also > spicier than the stuff Yankees eat :) >
For Tex-Mex vs Mexican: Spicier = hotter? Not really Spicier = flavorful? I'd agree. Here, we haven't really developed a regional fusion of Mexican, only probably because we've only had an influx of Mexican Immigrants since the 1960's or so, so whatever cuisine we have is all regional or what they make at home, rather than being adapted and fused. Mexican culture seems a bit slow to really do a lot of the incorporation and experimenting the East Asian cultures here have done.
> (Europeans I've met have often remarked that 'America has no cuisine', > which is true, but only superficially so. The problem is that America > is not a nation in the sense that European countries are; America has a > number of regional and local cuisines, but no cuisine that every part > of the country shares.)
America is like a bunch of smaller nations united under one flag, in the cuisine sense. Sort of like saying "Europe has no cuisine". California cuisine is typically defined as old world and Asian cooking techniques with the ingredients available in California, with an emphasis on fresh, lean ingredients. Euro/Asian blends seem to be popular, as well as a bent towards either something French or Italian. Seafood is particularly popular. Rice and pasta are the main grains. East Asian, Indian, and South East Asian spices tend to figure into a lot of the dishes called "Californian" .Mexican ingredients are beginning to figure into Californian cuisine also. Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in Berkeley is credited for starting it, and Wolfgang Puck for popularizing it. I think one thing that is truly Californian in origin is the Cobb Salad. -- Remember Kids, only you can prevent misdirected replies! Pay attention to the "send to" line! Sig: Well, it's not my purpose to break your spirit I'm not really interested in what's in your heart I don't want you to fall in love now, so please don't start