America!

Picture from Facebook, story from Ricochet.

 

English

And:

The Burrito:  Quintessential American Food.

 

Now, I happen to agree greatly with the first, though humorously, and disagree with the second on the same grounds.

America’s food is kind of like English language.  “Ooh, that word looks good… and I like that turn of phrase… And we’ll steal this saying, but use it a bit differently… and let’s take their name for this specific group or philosophy, but broaden it out to everything like that.”

The burrito is just another example of the difference between, say, American pizza and what you’d get in Italy these days, or Chinese food (chop suey!”), or the German dishes we don’t even notice. (Dad still misses the “sausage and a bun” meals he got in Germany during Vietnam—nothing like a hot dog.)

Part of the changes are to folks’ taste, part of the changes are based on what’s around—can someone make a definite difference between the American forms of goulash, pan surprise, chop suey, and “I haven’t done shopping this week and we need to finish this stuff before it goes bad”?—and, just to make things more complicated, WE ARE NOT A PLANET OF HATS!  Dishes are different from cook to cook, let alone between families, and when you get to entirely different populations that just happen to vaguely share some culture, the type of food available and some cooking techniques.  Is a dish less “authentic” if new ingredients are introduced?  Where’s the tipping point?

 

Food isn’t a very good spot for scientific levels of precision. ^.^

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6 thoughts on “America!”

  1. italian, mexican, and chinese food even changes vastly from region to region within their native lands… and again, regionally, when transported to the USA.

    1. Oooh! Shorter version of my point!
      American versions of stuff are more a regional thing than an “inauthentic copy.” The region just happens to be on the other side of the world…..

  2. I would be very happy to taste test different ethnic forms of sausage for the rest of my life. As long as it’s not Ankh-Morpork sossidge inna bun.

    We had our local World A’Fair festival this weekend, and it was pretty much non-stop yum. I am now in a position to tell you that a “sambusa” from Burundi is tasty stuff. (Ground beef, onions, and spices in a triangular egg roll-ish wrap. Sort of like the Lebanese version of spanakopita, except much much meatier, or like Indian samosas except greasier and beefier.

  3. After years of searching for American bratwurst that matched my memories of the original German version, I realized that what I was really missing was the mustard.

    A friend brought back a jar of real German herbal mustard and I went through it in a week. On American brats, it tasted like heaven. (albeit, a heaven where everyone switched their “v”s and “w”s and the women didn’t shave their armpits)

    1. A friend brought back a jar of real German herbal mustard and I went through it in a week. On American brats, it tasted like heaven. (albeit, a heaven where everyone switched their “v”s and “w”s and the women didn’t shave their armpits)

      That makes crazy sense, really.

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