Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular


Posted by Foxfier on 2012/05/20

Picture from Facebook, story from Ricochet.




The Burrito:  Quintessential American Food.


Now, I happen to agree greatly with the first, though humorously, and disagree with the second on the same grounds.

America’s food is kind of like English language.  “Ooh, that word looks good… and I like that turn of phrase… And we’ll steal this saying, but use it a bit differently… and let’s take their name for this specific group or philosophy, but broaden it out to everything like that.”

The burrito is just another example of the difference between, say, American pizza and what you’d get in Italy these days, or Chinese food (chop suey!"), or the German dishes we don’t even notice. (Dad still misses the “sausage and a bun” meals he got in Germany during Vietnam—nothing like a hot dog.)

Part of the changes are to folks’ taste, part of the changes are based on what’s around—can someone make a definite difference between the American forms of goulash, pan surprise, chop suey, and “I haven’t done shopping this week and we need to finish this stuff before it goes bad”?—and, just to make things more complicated, WE ARE NOT A PLANET OF HATS!  Dishes are different from cook to cook, let alone between families, and when you get to entirely different populations that just happen to vaguely share some culture, the type of food available and some cooking techniques.  Is a dish less “authentic” if new ingredients are introduced?  Where’s the tipping point?


Food isn’t a very good spot for scientific levels of precision. ^.^

2 Responses to “America!”

  1. Dana Pico said

    Oh, surely, surely! you recognize that food is a political weapon, whether it is being wielded by the not-exactly-skinny First Lady, in attempts to control people’s caloric and transfat and salt intake, or in determining whether someone is really who he says he is. John Kerry was ridden mercilessly in 2004 for ordering a Philly cheesesteak — a substance that some people think is actually food, but I certainly do not — with Swiss cheese, and one brand of salsa advertises itself as being made in El Paso, while a competitor is made in New York City.


  2. Foxfier said

    Amusingly, my brother recently visited NYC. Sent a picture of the skyline with the text “Note: don’t buy salsa here.” (Get a rope!)

    I do notice that bullies will take any weapon at hand to do damage. Attacking food as insufficiently “latin” has no more impact on me than when the wanna-be thugs tried to tease me because my pants were “too tight.” (standard levi fit– not the fashion ‘how does blood move’ fit, but the one where you can jump, run, crouch, kneel and jump to your feet with only your own joints as a limit, rather than the denim. Lest anyone think I wore tight fitin’ jeans.)


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