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Old 11-24-2012, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Here in the U.S., you can find restaurants from all over the world. Italian food, Mexican food, and Chinese food (though mostly Americanized) can be found all over and is eaten by many people in their homes.

I was wondering if any foreign cuisines have been introduced to Asian countries and how often people eat them both in their homes and out at restaurants.

For example, I'm wondering how common it is to see a family in Thailand eating spaghetti at their dinner table or some other foreign food.

I have a Korean friend who said that growing up the only food he ever ate was Korean food with the exception of American fast food and Korean-style curry (integrated into Korean cuisine from Indian influences)

Thanks
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveUrban View Post
For example, I'm wondering how common it is to see a family in Thailand eating spaghetti at their dinner table or some other foreign food.
It's not common to see a family in Thailand serving spaghetti for a family dinner, that is if you mean Italian dishes. On the other hand, it's more common to see rice or vermicelli-type noodles served, usually in a broth, so it's more like a noodle soup. Very tasty. Although they're called noodles, many are very thin, sort of like spaghetti. In the northeastern part of the country, especially near Laos, some noodles are wrapped around as a serving, and a sauce, such as curry, poured on top. They look a lot like spaghetti, except instead of adding a tomato-based sauce, a curry sauce is used.

You don't see Thais serving many other foreign foods at the dinner table either. A lot of tables I've seen in Thai homes tend to be used to stack things on, like an extra shelf. Most often, the traditional "dining table" is a good-sized matt placed on the floor. It depends though. Middle to upper class folks may use a table and chairs when eating. However, the food is still more likely to be Thai than foreign.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Shaw.
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Italian food is quite common in restaurants in Japan, but it's often been Japanified. Japanese people also eat spaghetti with meat sauce in their homes. It's not quite authentic, but neither is the version most Americans eat. Versions of Chinese food (e.g. fried rice) is pretty common. Other things are probably rarer in homes, but are easy to find in restaurants. Curry is one of the most popular foods in the country, but the Japanese version is more common than the Indian version (but there are Indian and Thai restaurants).
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Shaw.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveUrban View Post
I have a Korean friend who said that growing up the only food he ever ate was Korean food with the exception of American fast food and Korean-style curry (integrated into Korean cuisine from Indian influences)
Korean curry actually came to Korea by the way of Japanese imperialism. It came to Japan by way of the British. So, it's a long and interesting road from India. I like Korean/Japanese curry, but many people find it too sweet.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:15 AM
 
Location: Saudi Arabia
376 posts, read 536,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveUrban View Post
Here in the U.S., you can find restaurants from all over the world. Italian food, Mexican food, and Chinese food (though mostly Americanized) can be found all over and is eaten by many people in their homes.

I was wondering if any foreign cuisines have been introduced to Asian countries and how often people eat them both in their homes and out at restaurants.

For example, I'm wondering how common it is to see a family in Thailand eating spaghetti at their dinner table or some other foreign food.

I have a Korean friend who said that growing up the only food he ever ate was Korean food with the exception of American fast food and Korean-style curry (integrated into Korean cuisine from Indian influences)

Thanks
I've lived and worked in China & Korea and my perspective is that they don't venture much beyond their local cuisine as far as in their kitchens (and btw, they don't have big kitchens and often no oven). You are seeing more and more restaurants in China and Korea with different cuisines such as Italian, American, other Asian, Middle Eastern, Indian, etc. Seoul has everything you can imagine and they do a very good job preparing the various types of food. However, Chinese adaptations of Western foods has been very bad from my perspective. Thailand also does a great job at the various cuisines not common to their own very excellent cuisine. I thought Malay food was the best do to their multi cultural society and the excellent effect that has on the food variety.

I also lived and worked in Mongolia but even though I loved my time their, the local food was pretty bad and their adaptations of various other cultures is so so...jmo
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:10 AM
 
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I love a good Japanese curry! And in China I would say Italian is the cuisine best represented wherever I have gone. They call it 'Italian noodle' though wherever it is spaghetti, penne, fusili etc.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
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Foreign food tends to be imported, and thus more expensive, and thus not as popular in Asia. Here in the United States, we have giant factories turning out "Italian" pastas, sauces, and all sorts of raw and pre-packaged foods of an "international" bent; mainly because we are a nation of immigrants. Not many adhere to the local diet of Maize, venison, etc. that the natives ate. So it's cheap and easy to make international dishes here.

While you'll find international fare on the table (or in resturants) in developed Asian nations like Taiwan, Japan, and Singapore, it will be in smaller amounts than you would see in the United States. Even these developed nations still have a strong agricultural base (or have one nearby) and because it is more efficient (read: cheaper) to be a locavore, locals stick to the staples that are grown and processed nearby rather than flown in from halfway around the world.

I'm sure someone is growing Wheat in Japan and turning out risotto packets in Taiwan, just not in such great quantities as the food conglomerates do here in the US.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:38 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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I was thinking of this too, actually. I commented to a few people that I could find a lot of American-type foods in Taiwan, like a really good Philly cheese-steak I had or Creole foods, that I can't get in Australia, or cheap German food in Thailand (thanks to German tourists) that I couldn't get in Australia. In some respects it's better than Oz.

In Singapore and Malaysia, the countries I'm most familiar with, Western food is commonly eaten both out and at home, depending on how 'Westernized' that family is. The Western food in Singapore, whether it just be burgers, fries, Italian, or French, German.etc is generally of a good quality. Of course a lack of Italian immigrants means that most Italian places are chain places, but you could say the same over much of the US where there aren't many Italians. As far as burgers.etc they too are more chain-dominated, Singapore has almost every major US chain you can get, I first tried Taco Bell, Chilis, A&W, Carl's Jnr in Singapore/Malaysia long before I went to the States. KFC is particularly popular in all of Asia, with some local adaptations. McDonald's tastes the same everywhere in the world and is always crowded.

As for other countries, the situation is obviously a lot different. In Vietnam, there is some French influence, baguettes, banh mi sandwiches, some pastries, french fries, but Western food is limited and generally not authentic. The exception is French food, there are more French restaurants in Vietnam than Australia and probably much of the US and many are very good. Many, especially in the hotels, have French chefs or French-trained chefs. I had a really good meal at the Sofitel Metropole in Hanoi.

Thailand's tourist centres have Western food catering to tourists, it varies in quality a lot. In all the major cities in East Asia you can find basic fast food and western cuisine, but once you go into the rural areas it becomes a lot scarcer.

Aside from Singapore and Malaysia to an extent, however, I don't think western food is really a staple at home. Even in Singapore it's more the exception than the norm for most families. I hear in Japan western style breakfast isn't usually eaten, imagine eating rice for every meal, almost every day!
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:10 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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I have visited many countries/cities in Asia (China, Singapore, S. Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand) and in the cities, there are generally a lot of international cuisines. The quality varies and the prices are high. The cuisine is usually (but not always) modified to suit local tastes and customs.

I have eaten Italian food in Hong Kong, steak in Japan, KFC in China, Mc Donald's in Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Japan.
Mc Donald's tastes exactly as it does in the US, except that the portions are usually smaller (about 20% smaller in Japan, from what I recall).

When traveling to Asia and when I am tired of the local cuisine, I often seek out Western and European food. Mc Donald's is usually a good standby for breakfast (I won't eat it every day though, for fear of weight gain).
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:07 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
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Funny that Trimac should mention French food in Vietnam. Here in Seattle there's a particular French pastry place that used to be run by a French woman, but handed it down to a Vietnamese guy. Wretched pastries, but still funny to see the parallel.

Anyway, at least in Japan, there's a large number of foreign foods available in restaurants or in some cases the supermarket, but it is rare to find authentic versions of it. Pretty much only high end restaurants have authentic foreign foods. Other foods have been Japanified. Like curry (it's more savory than spicy) and pizza (Pizzala, nasty, ugh!). Of course there's also fast foods (McD's, etc). Some of the local chains and some of the "gourmet" hamburger places have decent burgers. Donuts have also been made in Japan (pretty tasty), and the some of the best coffee I ever had was in Hakone.
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