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Multiculturalism: pros and cons

 
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Originally Posted by Azar View Post
Here's another clear-cut example of how things differ: Taco Bell versus actual Mexican cuisine.
What most people consider to be Mexican cuisine, is actually a fusion of American and Mexican cuisines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyJaeger View Post
What most people consider to be Mexican cuisine, is actually a fusion of American and Mexican cuisines.
And most ethnic cuisines that aren't some variation of "American" -- remember the example I gave of Italian and "Italian" (as in Italian-American) -- are in fact, regional. It's sooooooo typically an American trope to think of say, for instance, Chinese food as "all the same" -- as if a nation that comprises 25% of the world's population could be reduced to a collection of dishes off the back of a menu. Or Italian food. Or Japanese food. Or French food. Even American food; it might surprise you to know that at one time this country had an amazing variety of regional cuisine but most Americans' awareness of such gradually disappeared over time, particularly during the 20th century. So when you ask an American what is American food, they might say "hamburgers, hot dogs, fried chicken". But if you had asked the same question of an American from say, a century ago, they might say "shoofly pie (Pennsylvania), jambalaya (Louisiana), pickled kelp rings or geoduck clam steaks (Washington state)". They might have given an answer that varied depending on the part of the U.S. that they came from.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azar View Post
Here's another clear-cut example of how things differ: Taco Bell versus actual Mexican cuisine.
Yes, but I'm not sure it is the word "Mexican" it fails on...
I mean it doesn't qualify as Mexican food if it doesn't qualify as food...

though honestly anything "Mexican" with lettuce in it is a joke... lettuce is ot indigenous to North America

It's true: in the future all restaurants wil be Taco Bell.

Cuisine evolves, it always has. What people call Chinese food in America bears little to no resemblance to any food in China. Chinese immigrants who open restaurants here for Americans have to cook different food from what they actually eat. But that doesn't mean that American Chinese food is a sham. It is the evolution of food coming from Chinese railroad workers who had no access to the ingredients they knew and developed recipes based on what was available. As they migrated to places like San Francisco, they set up restaurants and served the food they could, introducing Americans to the food developed in work camps. That was AMerican's exposure to Chinese people and Chinese cooking and it stuck.

'Mexican' food is the same way. It's Tex-mex. you have a conflation of northern Mexican food from the poorest people's of Mexico running into immigrants from Ireland, Poland, Germany and Slavik people. This turned into a new regional cuisine which was then spread and marketed abroad.

But this isn't just an American thing. It's a human thing. We just have had the benefit of a wide variety of cultures and cuisines to work with. You can get pizza in most countries around the world. It often doesn't bear close resemblance to New York pizza, which is arguably the source of American style pizza (though Chicago has their own take). Just think: the world believes that American Hamburgers are accurately represented by McDonalds. Not In'n'out, not Big Boy, not Whataburger, or Crystals, or Redline. McDonalds.

I remember going down to Juarez with a group and spending the day there. On the ride back, we saw a Taco Bell sign and we had to stop because one guy was disappointed that the whole day he didn't get to have any 'Mexican food'. BTW, I don't know about now, but 20 years ago the pizza in Juarez was pretty excellent.

Yes, American-Chinese food is now a specific type of Chinese cuisine, unique to the U.S.

It has evolved into its own food culture, and bears very little resemblance to its parent.

And some of it is even delicious.

Anyhow, Taco Bell is barely even American Mexican. Every place I've ever been in the US in the past 20-30 years, there is an abundance of "Mexican" restaurants, mostly small local places and they all serve a very similar menu (though not as similar as Chinese takeout, where I swear they not only all use the exact same menu (though the actual food varies in quality a bit), half of them have the same tables and chairs) which, aside from having burritos and tacos is only vaguely similar to what you'd get at Taco Bell. And then there's the whole issue of the taqueria, which are a lot rarer in the Midwest at least, but most of them are significantly different from the "Mexican" restaurants (and apparently at least marginally closer to actual Mexican food, but who cares when it tastes this good). Still not anything like Taco Bell.

Confession, I actually like the occasional Taco Bell lunch, but it's definitely not something I'd be eating every day, or even every month.

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though not as similar as Chinese takeout, where I swear they not only all use the exact same menu
They're mostly de-facto franchises of the same company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solo View Post
They're mostly de-facto franchises of the same company.
Likely. I worked for a Chinese company for a while and they had an interesting approach to their national business structure. This was a computer hardware company, but I think the model holds. Each location is a separately incorporated business with the manager listed as the owner. This lets each one operate with less than 50 employees and as a small business. They look like independent franchises on paper but each manager knows they answer to HQ.

I'd just like to throw out a kudos on the bitchin' Demolition Man allusion, Penchant. Well played.





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