On the Menu, Off the Menu

The big news here is my publication yesterday of a piece about the history and current status of Asian cuisines in the United States: http://foodthinkers.com/articles/no-more-column-a-and-column-b/.

There is such a lengthy pattern of separation of gastronomies based on artificiality: As if cuisines are hard facts, features of nature, measurable, rather than artifacts of nationality, class, and race.

I mean, face it: What makes a good chicken is a good chicken, and if ingredients, like peppers, are thought to make a dish from India, thank the Portuguese instead for introducing peppers to India.  Likewise tomato sauce in Italian food, by way of the Americas, or burgers, by way of Germany.  Etc.

The division of food comes about chiefly through styles of preparation and ways that it served, but this being 2014, it seems likely that the layers of perception can be stripped away to reveal the simplicity and importance of what’s on the plate.

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