kaigou: Internet! says the excited scribble (2 Internet!)
[personal profile] kaigou
A year (or two?) ago, there was a conversation online about the experience of growing up as an immigrant, with Mom's homefood for lunch and the reactions of (native-born, white) Americans to seeing the unfamiliar food. I cannot recall where that conversation occurred (community? someone's journal?) but if you do, pass along this link.

Is it Fair for Chefs to Cook Other Cultures’ Foods?, Francis Lam and Eddie Huang. Two immigrant sons hash out what it’s like to have your food shunned and celebrated in America

Some interesting, err, food for thought, in terms of how that childhood experience bears on the adult experience of two non-white American chefs/foodies and the question of -- when a non-American cuisine becomes 'popular' -- who has the right to cook it.

Date: 6 Jan 2013 05:21 am (UTC)
mishalak: Mishalak reading a colorful book. (Reading Now)
From: [personal profile] mishalak
My perspective is that I grew up often eating hippy health food. Other kids mocked me for this (and many other things), but I reveled in being different. In being "special". Now that people are coming around to more of my mom's way of cooking it makes me happy because I can more easily get food that satisfies my inner child. But then I never felt possessive of health food, like it belonged to me, since it was a creation of this community that I was not precisely part of. I suppose this is rather like someone who was in the health food movement for the save the earth back to nature part hating when corporations move into doing organic because they want only people who are pure enough to take part. Since I was never part of the purest set adulteration cannot upset me.

Date: 6 Jan 2013 05:30 am (UTC)
okaasan59: (Default)
From: [personal profile] okaasan59
One of them commented about being made fun of for bringing "stinky" lunch to school. That reminded me that when I was in middle school there was a Japanese-American boy who brought his lunch which included seaweed - a fact the rest of us managed to endlessly point out and gag over. I wonder how many of us now eat sushi?

Date: 6 Jan 2013 05:52 am (UTC)
majoline: picture of Majoline, mother of Bon Mucho in Loco Roco 2 (Default)
From: [personal profile] majoline
I dunno. One of the food cultures I really grew up with was Mexican and watching everyone both love it and also "remake" it is really interesting (and annoying).

As an example: for years, I've tried to get a good concha (sweet bun) recipe, because it's such a part of the culture. I couldn't find it until recently. When people weren't trying to tell me it was slang for vagina, they were trying to sell me on "authentic" seafood recipes. :/

No one's ever told me my food was stinky or was ick, but the number of people who invent something on a tortilla and call it "tacos" or "burritos" is uncomfortable. You can call things whatever you want! No one is policing your food to make sure it's my aunt's recipe.

But it's like calling a hot pocket a vol-au-vent. I guess you can? They share superficial broad characteristics. Just don't expect me to be happy about it.

Date: 6 Jan 2013 08:10 am (UTC)
esmenet: Scar frowning (:[)
From: [personal profile] esmenet
It's been a while since I read that article, but my thoughts in a nutshell: you can cook whatever food you want for yourself, but white people getting super rich off of other culture's food is skeevy no matter how you slice it. Also, calling other people's food 'gross' is not cool. (...unless it's obviously made by white people trying to make 'ethnic' food 'palatable', e.g. those Victorian recipes for curry. That is not only okay but also really, really funny.)

Date: 6 Jan 2013 04:17 pm (UTC)
ratoncito: cheesus (Default)
From: [personal profile] ratoncito
It amuses me to see what the yuppies are putting in their tacos (the idea of Asian Tacos is hilarious), but it doesn't particularly bother me. Growing up, we used corn tortillas to make taquitos out of all kinds of leftovers, including beanie weenies or fish sticks- sort of poor folks' fusion cuisine, I guess, because what we ate was a mix of our cultural heritage with what we were given at the food bank. I find it more annoying when people want me to go try some new restaurant and then ask me if I think it's authentic, because the only authentic I know might have a pig foot floating in it, or spam chunks in the pozole. In other words, Diana Kennedy may be an Brit, but I've learned more about Mexican regional food from her writing than I ever learned at home.

Date: 6 Jan 2013 11:29 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] dsgood
There's a food truck in Minneapolis which sells pasties: brought to the Upper Midwest by Cornish miners, adopted by other miners, now a regional food and a Finnish-American food.

Among the pasties offered: Thai vegetable.

Date: 6 Jan 2013 11:34 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] dsgood
Should Americans refrain from cooking pizza, saurkraut, frankfurters, Welsh rabbit, etc.?

Not to mention such West Indian dishes as chop suey and curry.

Date: 8 Jan 2013 01:17 pm (UTC)
billie: (Pippin - People of intelligence)
From: [personal profile] billie
Super interesting article, thanks for sharing! As for the conversation you mentioned, I believe it might have been on your blog, including a discussion of the way calling food different names changes people's opinion of said food? I particularly remember you talking about being a Southerner and chitterlings (sp?), but other than that, I'm drawing blank (apart form where I remember reading it).