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What is your adopted culinary "nationality"?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

The thread about pesto americano got me to thinking. Although my roots are in Cajun and Creole (they are not the same) foods, I tend to find myself cooking a lot of Caribbean foods. I realized that I have almost adopted the collective foods of the tropics. So my question to everyone is this: what kind of food do you relate to (other than your heritage) and what is your adopted culinary nationality?

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #2 of 22

I have rather eclectic tastes. But if I had to choose it would most likely be North African, with eastern Medditaranian equal to, but under, it.

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post #3 of 22

Really hard to pin it down, Tyler. 

 

Like a lot of cooks, I tend to look at cooking more through French eyes and operate more with French technique than anything else.  When you combine an accepting outlook with a very flexible bag of tricks, good things happen. 

 

I enjoy cooking and eating a variety of styles, national and ethnic cuisines -- regional American, barbecue, California, Cambodian, Chinese, classic and modern French, German, Italian, Indian, Japanese, Korean, all different sides of the Mediterranean, Mexican, "New American Bistro,"  Spanish, Thai, etc; admittedly not doing a great job on all of them.

 

If you're going to make me pin it down to one, it would be "New American Bistro." It's so eclectic it's cheating, but there you go.

 

BDL

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post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerm713 View Post

...what is your adopted culinary nationality?

Why "adopt a culinary nationality"?

 

First, I do not see a connection between a "nation" and a "culinary style". Regional possibly.

 

Second, why should I "adopt" any particular "culinary style", thus restricting myself to a limited subset of the culinary universe?

 

Now, if the question were to be something along the lines of: "What regional culinary style influences your choice of dishes you prepare?", there might possibly be some merit in asking.
 

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post #5 of 22

I too cook eclectically, but if I had to pick one, Chinese.

 

You  might also find this past thread interesting where I asked a different but related question:

 

http://www.cheftalk.com/forum/thread/38675/one-cuisine-to-eat-for-the-rest-of-your-life

post #6 of 22

I think most of us do tend to adopt a lot of ingredients and methods from a variety of cultures. I do think that I adopt a lot from Italian cooking, probably because I love pasta.

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post



Why "adopt a culinary nationality"?

 

First, I do not see a connection between a "nation" and a "culinary style". Regional possibly.

 

Second, why should I "adopt" any particular "culinary style", thus restricting myself to a limited subset of the culinary universe?

 

Now, if the question were to be something along the lines of: "What regional culinary style influences your choice of dishes you prepare?", there might possibly be some merit in asking.
 


Well, I never said you had to, only that I noticed that I had, and wondered if other people had as well.

 

There are strong ties between nations and culinary styles. Remember, a nation is a group of people. A state is a country. We're talking about cultures here, not borders.

 

If you want to reinterpret the question into something more pleasing for yourself, go for it. I think everyone knows where I was going with this.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #8 of 22

I am Scots.

 

I suppose, given a choice, I'd elect to choose French or Italian as my 'other' cultures.  I also visit Greece regularly and enjoy the culture of the Greek islands (note:  Not 'Greek'!)

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post



Why "adopt a culinary nationality"?

 

First, I do not see a connection between a "nation" and a "culinary style". Regional possibly.

 

Second, why should I "adopt" any particular "culinary style", thus restricting myself to a limited subset of the culinary universe?

 

Now, if the question were to be something along the lines of: "What regional culinary style influences your choice of dishes you prepare?", there might possibly be some merit in asking.
 


 

  If one feels so passionately about a cuisne that there's a  need to dig deeeper and deeper into it, to really understand and absorb it. Then I reckon you've adopted it - When you're planning Sunday lunch around a chinese buffet, or christmas dinner with a north Indian theme... then you're...Me.

 

I adore Asian cuisine and love the balance, the understated passion, the simplicity.

 

I'm a Scot through and through. But I dont feel a passion for the food (For the most part) ...Well maybe a wee bit.

 

I spent a week in Bordeaux this month and truly tried to absorb the cuisine... but nothing.  (4 years at college left me cold for French cuisine) Twice i had confit of duck, and twice they deep fried the poor thing... The saving grace culinary-wise was the oysters... I shall forever remember Arcachon for that. (Plus the fab ceramic garlic grater i bought there... Really, I've be after one for years.

 

So, Asia

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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #10 of 22

i adore spain for the same reasons. the food there is a way of life... not to mention the love of the pig. hearty flavorful dishes with distinction... like i said any culture that embraces food as a way life i can identify with since i do the same unfortunately america doesnt quite have that yet and possibly never will and thats why i think alot of chefs look back to traditional food cultures (asia, france, italy, spain, greece etc.) because they have so many simple things with simple variations that are fun to play with

post #11 of 22

 

Good point.

 

Seems America is such a culinary melting pot. That makes it exciting too of course.

 

Not sure exactly what American cuisine is really...Any ideas?

 

I do look forward to trying out Spain sometime...I do love pig meat. But I'd want to go there with someone who could guide me...New territory.  You free in November Rusandreas?   smile.gif

"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rusandreas View Post

unfortunately america doesnt quite have that yet and possibly never will

 

While I think that's the case in most parts of America, that definitely isn't true of Louisiana. The food is as much a way of life as a means for nourishment. That's one of the things that I love so much about it, and I think that's also what draws me to Caribbean food.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #13 of 22

Tylem - So Carribean is your favouriteI take it?  Was just reading thru this thread and was about to ask that question of you

 

What is it that particularly inspires your love of that food?

 

For me,  I guess we just travel the world food wise in any given week.  It might be China, Indian, Thai, Aussie (which is *really hard to define), German, British, Italian, French....nothing I can see a a definite pattern.  So, as most above, I can't say.  And I believe that's the joy of cooking - travel where you can cuisine wise with what you have.

 

Oh, btw, you should see my spice cupboard and sauce drawer - now they are  full of all sorts.  Most actually get used before their use by date too!

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #14 of 22

I have to disagree that America doesn't embrace food as a way of life.  I love the culture of american food... meatloafs, specialty burgers, chili, chowders, bread, and most importantly BBQ among many other foods and traditions.

 

My primary culture is greek of course, but my adoptive culture is italian and american cuisine.  I enjoy these the most.  I like eating asian food, but I don't like making it at home.  French is ok 3-4 times a year otherwise I don't want much to do with it.

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post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC Sunshine View Post

Tylem - So Carribean is your favouriteI take it? What is it that particularly inspires your love of that food?

 

 

 For one, I spent a good deal of time in different parts of the Caribbean when I was younger. I have two aunts that live in Miami, one also has a house in the Berry Islands (Bahamas) and the other also has a house in Islamorada (Florida Keys). I love how incredibly simple and fresh Bahamian food can be. It's wonderful, but impossible to find unless you go straight to the source. An older Bahamian lady often cooks for my aunt and her family when they are there, and there are few meals I have ever had that were better than what she could cook. Fresh spiny lobster legs poached in butter, pan fried hog snapper (the little known and much tastier cousin to the red snapper), and grouper sandwiches (all caught, speared or trapped just that afternoon). 

                                                                 

 

                                                                      The aforementioned hog snapper

                                                n10600636_32568063_3555.jpg

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

I have to disagree that America doesn't embrace food as a way of life.  I love the culture of american food... meatloafs, specialty burgers, chili, chowders, bread, and most importantly BBQ among many other foods and traditions.



 

     I agree K, there's lots of good cuisine that the young US is "known" for.

 

 

    Adopted cuisine?

 

   I love eating all food.  But when it comes to cooking I look to the the flavors of Spain, Italy, southern U.S. states and the wonderful mix of flavors that come from Louisiana.

 

   gosh do I love food!

  dan

post #17 of 22

Ever since I worked in a restaurant that served Israeli dishes, I've loved all middle-eastern cuisine, so I guess that would be mine.

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerm713 View Post



 

 For one, I spent a good deal of time in different parts of the Caribbean when I was younger. I have two aunts that live in Miami, one also has a house in the Berry Islands (Bahamas) and the other also has a house in Islamorada (Florida Keys). I love how incredibly simple and fresh Bahamian food can be. It's wonderful, but impossible to find unless you go straight to the source. An older Bahamian lady often cooks for my aunt and her family when they are there, and there are few meals I have ever had that were better than what she could cook. Fresh spiny lobster legs poached in butter, pan fried hog snapper (the little known and much tastier cousin to the red snapper), and grouper sandwiches (all caught, speared or trapped just that afternoon). 

                                                                 

 

                                                                      The aforementioned hog snapper

                                                n10600636_32568063_3555.jpg


Awesome looking fish!  Thanks for sharing the memories - I believe it is the influences in our childhoods and/or travels that make the choices for what we prefer and enjoy the most.  Food is, to me, comfort. and the closer we get to our roots, the better the eating gets.
 

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #19 of 22

I'd have to say I'm somewhere between French Country and pan-European. I think I was from Provence in another life!

 

-Becky

post #20 of 22

I'm still pretty young(25), so I can't really give a firm description of what my style really is like. I love classical French cooking(and thats probably where I'm most comfortable), but I also dabble in pan-asian quite a bit as well. Since I live in the South, it pays to be comfortable with some southern cooking, too(yeah, I can make grits with anybody), and I also thoroughly enjoy middle eastern/north african, and also like to incorporate a full spectrum of mediterranean elements during the spring/summer. All in all, I think its pretty important to be pretty comfortable using a variety of ingredients, cooking techniques and presentations from a variety of different ethnic backrounds- the best cooks can always put it all together and make it flow very well(for example, Michael Voltaggio- he can cover all 4 corners of the globe in a single meal). 

post #21 of 22

I like cooking cuisines from all over the world.  Having been all over Asia, I do have a particular fondness for Asian cuisine. ( I love my hand hammered carbon steel wok) But, I also love European cuisine.  Alas, so much food, so little time.  ;-)  But, I suppose if I had to pick a culinary homeland, it would be Italy.

"J'aime cuisiner avec du vin, j'ai parfois même mettre dans les aliments je suis cuisson. ""Mi piace cucinare con il vino, talvolta ho persino messa nel cibo sto cottura. ""I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking." - Julia Child 
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"J'aime cuisiner avec du vin, j'ai parfois même mettre dans les aliments je suis cuisson. ""Mi piace cucinare con il vino, talvolta ho persino messa nel cibo sto cottura. ""I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking." - Julia Child 
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post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by savingtaste View Post

I'd have to say I'm somewhere between French Country and pan-European. I think I was from Provence in another life!

 

-Becky



Hi Becky, food from the Provence I can understand, living in the Provence even more. "French country" is a little too generalistic IMO. Culinary France could be divided in dozens of regions, each having their very own specialities. There's a cooking competition on a French TV channel where past week, a cook from Marseille was asked to do "anguilles au vert"; ...he had never heard of it because it's a plate from the very north of France (...and even more of my very own country). On the other hand, a bouillabaise, which originates from the Marseille area cannot be made as good as with fresh fish from the Marseille area.

Sorry, but I have to say there's -for the same reason- no such thing as pan-European cuisine.  Also, IMO, the same goes for "Asian" cuisine, even "Italian" and "Spanish" cuisine...


Edited by ChrisBelgium - 10/31/10 at 9:27am
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