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I missed it.. but love the words of Anthony Bourdain - Page 2

post #31 of 55
Me American, me spells it flavored. I also spell it theater, apologize, center. Let's not fight (or row as you might say) 💟

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #32 of 55

Who is rowing? I didn't even see a boat! Me spell it lighthearted but also thought provoking. After that, it is out of my hands. Your mileage may vary.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #33 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post
 

Gyros are totally different in Greece than they are here.  Here they gyrate compressed meatloaf that they describe as "beef and lamb" but in Greece gyro is thinly sliced pork butts.  


I also remember Gyros in Greece being tiny inexpensive sandwiches, you could eat 2 or 3. Here in America a single Gyro sandwich can last for 2 or 3 meals. 

 

Now here's a French Hamburgé:

 

post #34 of 55

,Quote:

 Me American, me spells it flavored. I also spell it theater, apologize, center. Let's not fight (or row as you might say) 💟

And me Canadian - flavour or flavour, either way so long as it tastes good!

post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post

An example of something "popping out of nowhere" and becoming wildly popular (but misattributed) is fajitas. Not Mexican but a Texas creation. Not a short term fad though.
 

 

Oh man...  don't get me started on fajitas.

Once upon a time.....lol.

I remember when my dad and his compadres would get together and help each other butcher.

This "trash" cut (skirt) was saved from the grinder and tossed into a pickle bucket along with a lime based marinade.

That evening they would grill them and we would have tacos.

Sliced onion and ripe avocado on the side.

 

Trash to treasure....

mimi

post #36 of 55

Is it wrong that I love fajitas?  And general tso chicken?  I even like american gyros.  Don't hate me.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post
 

Is it wrong that I love fajitas?  

 

Not at all !

Fajitas are just tacos and I love me some tacos.

Had leftover smoked brisket yesterday and on the way home I stopped by my fave TexMex place and picked up sides of refried beans and pico and the sautéed onions usually served with fajitas.

Chopped up the meat added the onions and some water then slapped a lid on the (cast iron) skillet.

Whipped up some tortillas and sliced an avocado and ate like it was my last meal lol.

 

mimi

post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

Is it wrong that I love fajitas?  And general tso chicken?  I even like american gyros.  Don't hate me.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving these items, when prepared well. The only issue I have with them is people thinking that they are "authentic" ethnic foods when they are really Americanized zersions of ethnic dishes or concepts. Personally, I love General Tsos Chicken and Gyros. Fajitas Im not so fond of but thats just a personal thing with bell peppers. I dont care if they are authentic or not.
post #39 of 55
Me too Koukouvagia! Personally speaking I couldn't care less if they are authentic or not.
post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post


There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving these items, when prepared well. The only issue I have with them is people thinking that they are "authentic" ethnic foods when they are really Americanized zersions of ethnic dishes or concepts. Personally, I love General Tsos Chicken and Gyros. Fajitas Im not so fond of but thats just a personal thing with bell peppers. I dont care if they are authentic or not.

 

By my count, all the mexican restaurants I have ever been to serve fajitas.  And all Chinese restaurants serve General Tso's chicken.  How are we supposed to know they're not authentic, if they are served to us in the very restaurants that presumably want to serve ethnic cuisine?  Why should we be held accountable for that knowledge?  

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #41 of 55

I LOVE Americanized gyros. The last time I was in Greece I never saw a "pork" anything. 

post #42 of 55
Thread Starter 

I feel like at the end of the day, the types of foods we eat boil down to the culture that we live in. I am from generation X, the latch key kids which for those that may not be familiar, here's some info from wikipedia:

 

Quote:
The term latchkey kid became commonplace to describe members of Generation X, who according to a 2004 marketing study, “went through its all-important, formative years as one of the least parented, least nurtured generations in U.S. history.” Latchkey kids were prevalent during this time, a result of increased divorce rates and increased maternal participation in the workforce, at a time before childcare options outside the home were widely available.

 

The result of both parents working full time? Or maybe worse, a single mom working to make ends meet? Ultimately a push for fast meals. My mother would get home from working an assembly line all day and need to feed four starving children. Foods like "Hamburger Helper" were shelf stable, go-to items to give a comforting, relatively inexpensive meal to the household in about 30 minutes. Women in the workforce would often trade recipe clippings for things like "corn bread tacos", "crock pot chili", etc. When there wasn't time to pick up hamburger, sometimes it was just a Kraft macaroni and cheese night. Taking the health concerns of these types of foods out of the picture they were for all intents .. tasty.

 

The reason I feel this is important, is that in my opinion this necessary push towards quick, processed, shelf stable foods that also conceivably tasted good to the kids forced ethnic groups that wanted to target these families to provide something which we are now considering "Americanized". What kid that is used to eating hamburger helper wouldn't absolutely freak out when a corn tortilla with spicy pork, onions and cilantro is place in front of them. Sorry, offering Johnny a lime wedge and some radish slices isn't winning any points either.

So we ended up with the wonderbread equivalent of a tortilla, hamburger helper "taco" seasoned ground beef, and of course we need to slather some sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese on there. Now we're talking! Mexican food is awesome mom!

 

This doesn't inherently make Americanized foods bad, but part of what I think Anthony was talking about was a need to swing the pendulum back a little. Appreciate some of these beautiful cuisines; maybe be willing to pay just a little more for quality ingredients and time and effort in the kitchen instead of a bowl of yellow number 3 cornstarch egg soup from the local "China King". Hopefully share those experiences with our children - the earlier the better. I have seen countless households that continue the latchkey menu items and it damn near ruins the kids because most of us enjoy eating because it brings us comfort, and when mom sets down hamburger helpers beef stroganoff one night and plops out a can of chef boyardee raviolis the next, how can we expect them to appreciate what a fine pecorino is? And more, as adults why would they ever pay MORE for such a monstrosity?

post #43 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by IceMan View Post

I LOVE Americanized gyros. The last time I was in Greece I never saw a "pork" anything. 

I don't even know what to say to that. It's like saying you went to manhattan but there weren't any tall buildings there. Uhm ok.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #44 of 55
@eastshores we have come a long way from that style of food. Sandra Lee persisted for a while but ultimately I see people making better choices in food everyday. Maybe it's because I'm in NYC and restaurants here are pretty spectacular but you can see this also by how supermarkets have evolved. They have huge produce sections, growing organic sections, and attention is paid to marketing foods that are grown or raised well. People really are looking for better options. When I grew up the only restaurants available to go to were chain restaurants. That has all changed now. There is hope.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #45 of 55
Thread Starter 

@Koukouvagia without a doubt there has been a significant change in food consciousness in the last 15 or so years. I purposely excluded the health aspects of food in my post because that had little to do with why ethnic dishes became Americanized (in my opinion). To me it was all about the culture of quick, convenient, affordable food for parents that were pushing themselves to the limit. I don't think parents purposely selected meals for their kids that would harm them, but the FDA didn't pass the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act until 1990! So yes, from a health standpoint we've come a long way and there is hope. Now if we can just get Timmy to try some Goan shrimp curry :D

post #46 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post
 

 

By my count, all the mexican restaurants I have ever been to serve fajitas.  And all Chinese restaurants serve General Tso's chicken.  How are we supposed to know they're not authentic, if they are served to us in the very restaurants that presumably want to serve ethnic cuisine?  Why should we be held accountable for that knowledge?  

 

Because in this day and age there is no excuse not to know that these bastardized foods are really American inventions (although made by those of ethnic descent, sometimes because they lacked ingredients found in their native lands and sometimes as a concession to American tastes) and the consequences of not knowing can not only make you look stupid but can help perpetuate the stereotype that Americans are culturally stupid, insensitive people.  Here's a great a example:  I live in Wisconsin where the Old Fashioned (the cocktail) is made like in no other place in the country.  First, unless specified, here in Wisconsin the drink is made with Brandy.  The drink is also made in a double rocks glass or a pint glass so that after the bartender mixes the brandy with the bitters, sugar, and fruit, they then drown the whole thing in soda.  When my buddy was in Chicago he ordered an Old Fashioned and got one like the rest of the country knows them.  He then berated the bartender for not knowing how to make an "Old Fashioned" making not only himself but, by proxy, all of us "rubes" in Wisconsin look like idiots.  And that's not the only story; living in the Midwest I hear stories from people, not regularly, but often enough, along similar lines.  Mind you never one about General Tso's Chicken or Gyro's but yes, I have heard people complain that they went to Mexico and those stupid restaurants don't even have Fajitas.

post #47 of 55
There is an excuse: some people don't care about food the way we do. Frankly I think there is no excuse to not be more familiar with Beethoven's 2nd symphony but that's because people are not cultivated to care. It's my job, I have to know it but typical people don't. Same thing with food. I recently asked my BFF why she stopped following me on Instagram and she told me it's because she has no interest in food pictures. She probably doesn't give much thought into what Bourdain has to say about Mexican food either.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #48 of 55

There is a 'food is fuel' guy at work who eats sliced bread wtih peanut butter every day at work for lunch.  He's an idiot in all aspects and he's getting fatter. 

 

“People who love to eat are always the best people.” -Julia Child

post #49 of 55
Thread Starter 

I think one excuse that we have to be at least welcoming to is the idea that children are very impressionable when it comes to food. I was lucky to grow up in a household where at least my mother did use a stove, and she enjoyed food so she did her best to make tasty things for us. Her mother taught her to make chicken and dumplings "from scratch" and to this day she made the best chicken and dumplings I've ever had.

 

For those kids who got to choose between frozen pizza, PB&J, mac & cheese, or CHINESE!! they very well may have asked for Chinese and the takeout their parent brought back was general tso's chicken. Now as they grow into adults, unless they did some form of cultural studies or were fortunate enough to encounter a Chinese family that shared their culture through food, how would they ever know that what they ate as a child isn't what Chinese people eat?

post #50 of 55

China has McDonald's. They probably think it is a represenative of an American hamburger, whether they are off base or not is a whole nuther discussion; but is it all a hamburger can be? Is it a hamburger taken to it's highest or best culinary level. Does a hamburger have to be taken to it's highest or best culinary level or just done simply well with quality ingredients? Does it matter when eating, where the idea for the dish originated? Does it matter if it is authentic or if it tastes great?

 

I have spent a lifetime borrowing ideas and ingredients from different cultures, countries, and ethnic groups. I am always tempted when putting a dish on a menu, to call it Larry so that I don't agitate the naysayers of the food police. :~)

 

It is a sticky wicket for a chef.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #51 of 55

more Bourdain http://www.sacbee.com/food-drink/article103459602.html

 

an excerpt and the reason I like Bourdain

Quote:

 

Although Bourdain can cause a commotion in public, thanks to fans who have watched his shows for years and/or plan their vacations inspired by his travels, he doesn’t ruminate on his success - even about his presidential visitor, as he emphasizes that he and Obama just talked like two everyday guys having dinner.

“I did not wander outside my area of expertise, let’s put it that way,” Bourdain says. “I spoke to him as a fellow father, as somebody who loves Asia, as a guy who likes food and cold beer, and that’s it.”

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #52 of 55

I guess my flavoured/flavored comment was taken without the appropriate humo(u)r  :)

 

I personally have no qualms with cultures appropriating dishes/recipes/cuisines and adjusting to the local taste and culinary philosphy, although I fully understand the resulting frustration of someone who grew up with the original and is made to endure the modified version, especially if passed off as "authentic" etc. Although, being of a live-and-let-live persuasion, I tend to not get worked up about such matters and watch without horror as non-Italians cut up their long pasta, put cheese on fish/seafood-based dishes, and other such abominations!

 

I think [we] Italians in particular as so pedantic about every detail of how a dish is cooked, using the correct ingredients, and so on, that any slight variation is a seen as a personal, unforgivable insult. But mostly we're so used to tasting things in a particular way that any variation is instantly detected. But then there's such culinary homogeneity (with regards to lack of foreign cuisines etc) in Italy, due to the dominant nature of the local cuisine, and of the culture itself - as well as a reluctance to even sample foreign cuisines (this seems to have been changing in the last few years), typically asserting the superiority of the national cuisine - that in a way I think they're worse off for it.

post #53 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by smyrf View Post
 

...put cheese on fish/seafood-based dishes, and other such abominations!

 

 

This is funny because I recently watched an episode where Anthony was in Naples. He had lunch with chef Rocco Lannone at his restaurant Pappacarbone where one of the dishes he served was fried octopus with tomato sauce and cheese :D

 

 

And it's not like he is setting out to redefine Italian cooking, quite the opposite from the translated mission statement:

 

Quote:
The Rocco Iannone kitchen is an ongoing encounter with nature, its products and its seasons.

It is an incessant rediscovery of the ancient flavors of the tradition when home cooking was the realm of mothers and grandmothers:

wisdom, care and dedication are the secret ingredients added to every dish.

The most important thing is the knowledge of the products that nature has to offer, so that they can enhance without corrupting or impoverish.
post #54 of 55
Quote:

Originally Posted by smyrf View Post

 

I fully understand the resulting frustration of someone who grew up with the original and is made to endure the modified version, especially if passed off as "authentic" etc.

 

I could be wrong but still feel fairly confident that most of whoever was the "first person" to make whatever particular dish is long gone and that by the very nature of human beings being what it is the "first person's" recipe got modified just a tad bit when made by the "second person" who then passed it on someone else who modified it just a tad bit etc. etc. etc.

 

Authentic (or not) is a word people throw out there when discussing food/cuisine, in order to validate, reinforce, and or certify their opinion. I take it with a grain of salt :~')

 

If in doubt start a thread on authentic bechamel (bechamelle, bechameil, balsamella, etc.) Let me know how that works out for you!

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #55 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post
 

 

I could be wrong but still feel fairly confident that most of whoever was the "first person" to make whatever particular dish is long gone and that by the very nature of human beings being what it is the "first person's" recipe got modified just a tad bit when made by the "second person" who then passed it on someone else who modified it just a tad bit etc. etc. etc.

 

Authentic (or not) is a word people throw out there when discussing food/cuisine, in order to validate, reinforce, and or certify their opinion. I take it with a grain of salt :~')

 

If in doubt start a thread on authentic bechamel (bechamelle, bechameil, balsamella, etc.) Let me know how that works out for you!

 

Hehe I'm quite sure I read that bechamel (as balsamella) came from the royal courts of Italy though apparently that's disputed so I won't take it any further. :)

 

I actually agree with you, to a point, but I think there's more to it: on one hand you have recipes that were developed somewhat in parallel, in neighbouring countries sharing similar cultures and cuisines; in that case, yes, it's sometimes difficult (if not pointless) to try to determine its precise origins. But you then have recipes that are borrowed (or are imported with immigrant populations) that are quickly adapted to available local ingredients and tastes; for me this is something different entirely. And again I don't necessarily have a problem with this, it's simply an observation. I see an example of this with Italian-American cuisine which is something that's quite foreign to me, but apparently there were very specific and valid reasons for the transformation it underwent.

 

Being more than a bit interested in linguistics, I sort of see a parallel with the different ways that words are transmitted from one language to another; ie. a word that's naturally been absorbed by another language through geographic proximity and continuous mutual contact, and through the natural evolution of dialects etc, as opposed to words which are "artificially" borrowed and retain the status of a borrowed word (like a lot of the French words/phrases we have in English).

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