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Changing cuisine

December 2, 2018

I was in grad school before I ate sushi or had a curry at a Thai restaurant. International cuisine in my hometown was the Chinese restaurant that served Americanized dishes like sweet-and-sour chicken and pork. So it’s interesting to contemplate how much things have changed since then.

Now we can often find ingredients like lemongrass and tomatillos at our local farmers market, and if we can need something more unusual we can swing by 99 Ranch or one of several small Indian grocery stores. Our daughter has lamented that she might have to leave good Mexican food behind, depending on where she goes to college (of course, that depends on where she actually decides to go).

Our weeknight dinners have also exposed her to a much wider variety of dishes as well, more than I ever experienced growing up. I mentioned previously that we’d been cooking more from Milk Street Magazine, Chris Kimball’s latest venture. Just this weekend we made their caramel-braised chicken and their ginger-beef with rice noodles, and she enjoyed both of them. Of course, while her palate may have experienced much more than mine did at her age, she still exhibits some of the pickiness that I did at her age. To this day I cannot understand how she has no issue eating raw fish, but turns her nose up at risotto (all of whose constituent ingredients she likes).

Given how international our cuisine has become in the last 30 years, I’m really curious as to where it will go in the next thirty. What new international foods will become more commonplace? Or will we see a pullback to more traditional cuisine, as people rediscover “the basics” after branching out to many new foods and ingredients?

From → Culture, Musings

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