America The Melting Pot Of Food
American offers opportunity to all and with that many of our foods have become an American staple. As new immigrants have come in recently they have brought their own food cultures and cuisines and many of these dishes are new so to start a new life in America they have opened restaurants as a source of income. Not so bad so far, right? With income they pay their share of taxes and in the long run they will make a profit and afford all the possibilities offered to them in our great country. If you had the opportunity or having a daring palate, have you been to these ethnically designed cuisines recently. I know the pandemic has limited us in turns of scope of our choices. Early in our nation almost all American staples have come from all over Europe. and slowly as new immigrants from Asia, Latin America and Southern portions of Europe, their only way of communicating was not learning English but still on their wish list but using food as a way of communicating kindness with a smile and making them happy. As Americans we were looking at trying different cuisines which stayed within their communities. It wasn't until some of us were looking to try a different foods that word of mouth travelled and their friends told their friends and word finally spread throughout the community and as became popular, other immigrants that have settled in other parts of the state then the trend continues like a vine plant spreading like fire to the enthusiasm of inquiring palates. Let's face it we are all looking to try different cuisines but we are reluctant because its a new taste or texture but once we cross that line of hesistency, you'll never look back. Obviously the major cities offer a buffet of variety of cuisines but once we leave the big city. But once we leave the big city for whatever reason, whether its for a better life or a job relocation, its a whole new world out there.
In New York City and the suburbs and the tri state area, Chinese food was king just as apple pie. It was cheap, tasty and filling and yes after 30 minutes you get hungry again. Back in the day, fried rice, lo Mein, egg drop soup and wonton soup was a common staple. The majority of the immigrants that came to the U.S originated from Canton and brought regional Sothern Chinese cuisine called Cantonese food. Hot climate temperatures and lots of vegetables brought a kind of bland taste in food, not spicy at all. The food then was further developed to appease to the majority, Chicken Chow Mein, (using the local vegetables, celery, lettuce, onions), spareribs, shrimp toast, Chop Suey, Egg Foo Young became widely accepted, then wide rice noodles became popular "Chow Fun", then the ultimate General Tsao's Chicken, deep fried dark meat with a special sauce but soon the meat was changed to breast a white meat that the majority of customers preferred. Then Szechuan Chinese cuisine, hot and very spicy, coming from the North and West of China. Temperatures there were cold so alot of meats, scallion pancakes and less so rice. Meat provided warmth, spiciness provided additional warmth The rend continued with Japanese sushi a fairly new concept of eating raw fish started with a California Roll )cucumber, crab stick, avocado, wrapped in a sushi rice treated with a little vinegar and wrapped in seaweed. Seaweed? Avocado? covered in flying fish eggs? Well, it became a sensational hit and envolved into all sorts of maki rolls, nigiri rolls, sushi cone wraps, sashimi, raw without the rice, wow! raw fish? Come on raw tuna, raw salmon, raw anything? I new approach to eating healthy but when prepared correctly, its really not fishy. Popularity was at a all time high. then Thai food with new ingredients like fresh basil, mint leaves, authentic curry, coconut milk, fish sauce? What the heck is fish sauce? It's made from fermented fish and is very salty and in Thai cuisine its used instead of soy sauce. A very pungent salty flavor. Hot & Spicy dishes, lighter in terms of lighter fare not heavy .
Then Vietnamese and their famous Pho, pronounced "Pha", a beef broth made by simmering beef bones for 12 hours, (today, the broth being sold is now offering beef bone broth) adding various type of beef, brisket, bean sprouts, Thai basil, scallion, hot peppers and rice noodles with hoisin and Sririacha hot source offered as a condiment.
Now I'm talking Asian cuisine but we have Latin American cuisine, South Asian food, Indian food. Indian food has so many components of Indian curry like Turmeric, cumin, which offer healthy qualities that help alleve joint pain.
The bottom line is without immigrants, what interesting things would we have to eat and explore?
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
#immigrantcuisine, #Foodbringsusalltogether, #historyofasianfoodtrends,