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American Cuisine - Page 5

post #61 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanC
Southern food might not be 'cuisine', but give me some chicken fried steak and gravy, okra, cornbread and some blackberry cobbler for dessert, and I'm a happy man. I'll even wash it down with some syrupy sweet tea.


mmmmmmm.......
post #62 of 82
there's no doubt that america has its own cuisine. i think what the original poster meant was, "does america have an haute cuisine?"

italy has gourmet food that goes above and beyond pizza or spaghetti & meatballs. does america have food that goes above and beyond fried chicken and peach cobbler?

my guess is yes, though i've never had it (unless we count "fusion" as american.)
post #63 of 82
Well, there's always going to be a question about what can be called American cuisine, since many of America's food traditions were imported. It's an argument over whether or not it's actually American then - not whether or not it's cuisine.

But America has taken a number of these imported traditions and refined them with an American style, particularly traditions from Europe. Does that mean that anything that involves deglazing is necessarily not American? I say no.

Take French Laundry and Charlie Trotters. I would venture to say that these restaurants are two of the best in the world, and both serve "American" cuisine. Yes, the cuisine is rooted in Western European cooking, but the food served at these restaurants is quite different from what you would find at a Ducasse restaurant in France. It is very much a distinct style.
post #64 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by matadorpoeta
there's no doubt that america has its own cuisine. i think what the original poster meant was, "does america have an haute cuisine?"
Some call it New American. It's a rather nebuluous term and most if it is heavily influenced by French haute cuisine. There certainly are some aspects of it that are uniquely American, such as those with Californian and Southwestern influences. A good example -- though hardly pre-eminent in the field -- that comes to mind is David Bull at the Driskill Grill here in Austin. A look at the dinner menu will give you an idea of what I mean, especially: Texas Chop Salad - Maytag Bleu Cheese, Smoked Bacon, Avocado, Crisp Plantains Baby Octopus Chimichuri - Granny Smith Apples, Chile-Orange Vinaigrette
post #65 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Wang
Texas Chop Salad - Maytag Bleu Cheese, Smoked Bacon, Avocado, Crisp Plantains Baby Octopus Chimichuri - Granny Smith Apples, Chile-Orange Vinaigrette
this is what i call 'fusion': chimichurri is not american food, but to make it with those ingredients is uniquely american. americans also put jalapenos in chimichurri, which would only happen here. avocado and fried plantains don't coexist in mexican or cuban food (okay, maybe veracruz). only an american dish would put those 2 together. mango chutney anyone?
post #66 of 82
If its not ingredients or cooking methods, it has to be portions... The 72 oz Porterhouse... mmmm. This thing would kill most europeans.
post #67 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim
This thing would kill most europeans.
You are right. In Russia we have lots of chains of American restautrants, it is not unique. But we also think that an american food is a food for american . Russian food is a specific food and our guys eat drinking vodka. I am a vefetarian so I don't visit restaurant like Friday's etc.
post #68 of 82
Thread Starter 
Certainly the basis of a cuisine comes down to ingredients and preparation, but that does little for the examples posted here, such as the "fried chicken" and "okra" among the other non-descript "dishes" noted by Ken. I have to ask if these two items would even be considered official dishes in other countries, certainly not okra which is only a raw ingredient. Fried chicken standalone I suppose could be compared to some tapa found in Spain, or a singular type of taco offered in Mexico but where there are over a dozen distinctive varieties of tacos and hundreds of different tapas, how many ways can you list to prepare fried chicken in a truly American style, or other comparative sub-dishes ("starters" if you happen to frequent TGI Fridays)? Do you really think that putting fried chicken on the forefront of an argument for an American cuisine is particularly effective?

If Doc could specifically address my commentary on "soup beans" and "red eye gravy" I would greatly appreciate it; as I would hate to be accused of being like Neil Young in my improper address of southern culture.
post #69 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by matadorpoeta

mango chutney anyone?

Mango chutney made its way from India to the UK in the 1600's, while it took to the 1990's to arrive here.
post #70 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archibald
If Doc could specifically address my commentary on “soup beans” and “red eye gravy” I would greatly appreciate it; as I would hate to be accused of being like Neil Young in my improper address of southern culture.

Certainly: What you seem to miss about these two dishes is that both are the result of specific cultural circumstance. Your stated objection to soup beans is that bean dishes are common, and done much better elsewhere. But the former implies that bean soups can never be representative of a specific cuisine, which is nonsense, and the latter is purely your subjective personal opinion. Soup beans and red-eye gravy reflect a common-sense approach to food, one that maximizes limited available resources by using small amounts of exceptionally flavorful ingredients. This is one of the key identifiers of Southern food -- cuisine, if you will.

Take, for example, cornbread. Lots of cultures have some version of it. But most Southern cornbreads are savory, not sweet, like versions found elsewhere in the U.S. This is a direct reflection of the society that produced it. Sugar was expensive, and unavailable, so the people made do with what they had. Similarly, cornbread is a staple on Southern tables because corn could be produced by even the smallest farms. It is true home-grown food, and I have yet to find an identical version elsewhere.

Southern foods, in general, show remarkable adaption in the face of adversity. They are simple, and their hallmark is that a few ingredients are made into something delicious and filling. You dismiss them for this reason, but I salute them for it. If anything, that you and others do not share the "taste" for these foods reflect just how unique they are. They are very much a product of their place and time; and what better definition of a cuisine?
post #71 of 82
I love Southern cuisine and I've decide to have chicken fried steak(with mashed potatoes, broccoli and corn on the cob) for Sunday dinner.
post #72 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHolliday

Southern foods, in general, show remarkable adaption in the face of adversity. They are simple, and their hallmark is that a few ingredients are made into something delicious and filling. You dismiss them for this reason, but I salute them for it. If anything, that you and others do not share the "taste" for these foods reflect just how unique they are. They are very much a product of their place and time; and what better definition of a cuisine?

Absolutely.

And the same could be said about the traditional dishes from Québec. Ingenius use of what happened to be on hand. Now, Québec these days. Wow.
post #73 of 82
Fried chicken variations, and fried pork chops etc. are all elements of Asian cuisine as well with the latter very present in Japanese food.
post #74 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing
Fried chicken variations, and fried pork chops etc. are all elements of Asian cuisine as well with the latter very present in Japanese food.

tonkatsu? mmmmmmm... tonkatsu...
post #75 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archibald
Mango chutney made its way from India to the UK in the 1600's, while it took to the 1990's to arrive here.

and now it is on every trendy menu in america. fusion baby, fusion.
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