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Old 11-11-2011, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,652 posts, read 17,169,342 times
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What "foreign" foods are popular in your country?

How open is the citizenry to foods from other cultures?

In the U.S., some items from Mexican (tacos), Italian (pizza), Greek (gyros), Yiddish (bagels), and Chinese (lo mein) cuisines have been Americanized and integrated into our food culture. They are often distinct from their original form, and some pseudo-ethnic dishes have been invented by restauranteurs or immigrants (e.g. Chinese Chicken Salad). No American would feel exotic eating spaghetti or tacos. In almost every town there are Chinese, Mexican, and Italian restaurants patronized by the general public.

Some other cuisines, such as Indian and Japanese, have also been adjusted to the American palate, and are widely consumed at restaurants, but not at home. Often one will speak of going for curry or sushi as if it were an event in itself. Others will steadfastly refuse to eat the stuff, claiming that curry stinks and sushi is bait. This sort of food appeals most to young, educated, and middle/upper middle class Americans, who tend to be more curious and adventurous in their culinary tastes. It is also much more popular in urban areas, which often have a large amount of immigrants from several different nations, and more high-income and childless couples who tend to dine out more frequently.

Finally, some restaurants (and dishes) are sometimes widely available in large cities, but remain the domain of immigrants from dishes and restaurants culture of origin. These include restaurants of cuisines from countries less famous for their foods, such as Somalia or Cambodia, as well as restaurants serving authentic Mexican, Indian, and Chinese cuisine prepared to fit the tastes of immigrants. Nevertheless, there is a sizable minority of adventurous non-immigrant eaters who pride themselves on trying exotic dishes. They usually are white (or Asian), from my experience, well travelled, and more educated than the average American. One cuisine that is becoming particularly popular and has sufficient penetration in some areas to be placed with Indian and Japanese food is Ethiopian cuisine.

All in all, I would say that Americans are receptive to foreign influences in food, particularly those who are upper/middle class, young, and educated. Some foreign dishes have made such incursions into American cuisine as to become part of the latter, and are eaten widely by everybody. Even on the menus of chain restaurants such as Applebee's - stereotypically patronized by the "average Joe" - "Asian" and Mexican-influenced dishes are often seen.

What's the situation in your country?
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:34 AM
 
Location: Ohio
668 posts, read 2,094,113 times
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The problem with foreign foods, is that they dont permeate all factions of the American Cities.

Take a small City, your going to find Hambuger joints all around, but, you have to go to a rather large City (mainly cities over 100k people) before you even get to find resturants of ethinic origins, to sample and enlighten our taste buds.

We need more ethnic foods in 'Small Town America'...

I wish you well...

Jesse
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:39 AM
 
Location: Brisbane
4,610 posts, read 6,603,254 times
Reputation: 3806
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
What "foreign" foods are popular in your country?

How open is the citizenry to foods from other cultures?

In the U.S., some items from Mexican (tacos), Italian (pizza), Greek (gyros), Yiddish (bagels), and Chinese (lo mein) cuisines have been Americanized and integrated into our food culture. They are often distinct from their original form, and some pseudo-ethnic dishes have been invented by restauranteurs or immigrants (e.g. Chinese Chicken Salad). No American would feel exotic eating spaghetti or tacos. In almost every town there are Chinese, Mexican, and Italian restaurants patronized by the general public.

Some other cuisines, such as Indian and Japanese, have also been adjusted to the American palate, and are widely consumed at restaurants, but not at home. Often one will speak of going for curry or sushi as if it were an event in itself. Others will steadfastly refuse to eat the stuff, claiming that curry stinks and sushi is bait. This sort of food appeals most to young, educated, and middle/upper middle class Americans, who tend to be more curious and adventurous in their culinary tastes. It is also much more popular in urban areas, which often have a large amount of immigrants from several different nations, and more high-income and childless couples who tend to dine out more frequently.

Finally, some restaurants (and dishes) are sometimes widely available in large cities, but remain the domain of immigrants from dishes and restaurants culture of origin. These include restaurants of cuisines from countries less famous for their foods, such as Somalia or Cambodia, as well as restaurants serving authentic Mexican, Indian, and Chinese cuisine prepared to fit the tastes of immigrants. Nevertheless, there is a sizable minority of adventurous non-immigrant eaters who pride themselves on trying exotic dishes. They usually are white (or Asian), from my experience, well travelled, and more educated than the average American. One cuisine that is becoming particularly popular and has sufficient penetration in some areas to be placed with Indian and Japanese food is Ethiopian cuisine.

All in all, I would say that Americans are receptive to foreign influences in food, particularly those who are upper/middle class, young, and educated. Some foreign dishes have made such incursions into American cuisine as to become part of the latter, and are eaten widely by everybody. Even on the menus of chain restaurants such as Applebee's - stereotypically patronized by the "average Joe" - "Asian" and Mexican-influenced dishes are often seen.

What's the situation in your country?
Sounds a lot like Australia, except mexican/south american food is vey hard to find, and not very good anyway. We also have pretty tight import restrictions on food hear, finding some common ingredients used in other parts of the world is sometimes difficult.

Last edited by danielsa1775; 11-11-2011 at 01:03 AM..
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:45 AM
 
Location: Macao
16,268 posts, read 40,548,769 times
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I agree with the person about the U.S., but not being everywhere in the U.S.

I've spent many years outside of the U.S. I've noticed that in most of Northeast Asia, it's not as easy to get foreign foods, but they are certainly around as well. Just not anywhere near the numbers that you'd see in the U.S.

However, in Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand or Malaysia, you'll see all kinds of foreign foods absolutely everywhere. I think since they are easy places to visit, and cheap to spend a lot of time in, that a lot of people from around the world setup restaurants in those places.

I found a lot of foreign foods while I was in South America, to be much harder to find. But, not a whole lot of people from all over the world can get to South America so easily.

One of the most interesting restaurants I've found was in Tokyo. It was an American Restaurant, filled with 100s of dishes from all the different regions of the States. New England Lobster, Louisiana Gumbo, Steak-Potatos-Green Beans, and on and on. It was all the stuff that Americans eat at home, but are often difficult to actually find in restaurants! Oddly enough, never seen a restaurant of that type with 100s of items like that in the States, but saw it in Tokyo.
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Old 11-11-2011, 02:21 AM
 
Location: Sweden
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Swedes can be very open to foreign foods, some even seem to look down on domestic cuisine, imo.
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Old 11-11-2011, 02:56 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
2,942 posts, read 4,961,047 times
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I think that the Netherlands is quite open to foreign foods but you won't find the kind of diversity that exists in places like the US or Australia. Certain dishes are so integrated into Dutch cuisine that no one considers them 'exotic' anymore, such as bami and nasi (originally from Indonesia, a former Dutch colony), pasta, pizza, egg rolls, hamburgers, French fries, sateh, rice and chicken, lasagna, shoarma, etc. You can also buy paella, goulash, gyros, kebab, doughnuts, etc. at any supermarket. Most people are familiar with tacos, burritos, sushi, etc. although these dishes are considered more exotic. Indo-Chinese and Italian restaurants are very popular and Turkish and Greek restaurants are common too. Restaurants from other countries are significantly less common, particularly African and South-American restaurants are very rare (I have never seen one). Supermarkets sometimes have special weeks when they offer a selection of foreign foods of a certain country (e.g. "American Week" or "Mexican Week"). There's a popular brand here that sells so-called "Wereldgerechten" ("World Dishes"), which is like a kit that makes it easy to prepare the more exotic dishes like chicken tandoori, burritos, bobotie, etc. I always have a huge stash of them at home Here's my current collection



As you can see, I have Mexican tacos (2x, I love them ), Nasi Special, South-African chicken palava, Chinese beef Shanghai, Thai chicken siam, Greek kofta and Indian chicken madras. So I guess you could say I'm open to foreign foods (I have no other choice, Dutch cuisine sucks ).
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Old 11-11-2011, 02:59 AM
 
39,637 posts, read 39,670,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
I agree with the person about the U.S., but not being everywhere in the U.S.

I've spent many years outside of the U.S. I've noticed that in most of Northeast Asia, it's not as easy to get foreign foods, but they are certainly around as well. Just not anywhere near the numbers that you'd see in the U.S.

However, in Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand or Malaysia, you'll see all kinds of foreign foods absolutely everywhere. I think since they are easy places to visit, and cheap to spend a lot of time in, that a lot of people from around the world setup restaurants in those places.
In the big cities in China, I think one can find in the newer shopping malls various Western style food chains as well as other Asian food without problem.

In Israel in the main cities, one can now find Chinese food (kosher & non-kosher) which was much harder to find years ago. In Israel like in China you find Western fast food chain restaurants without problem in major shopping malls.

Of course in the USA in major big cities you can usually find a variety of non-American food/restaurants. But I agree that probably in smaller towns across the country it would be harder to find non-American food (with exception of Chinese food which I believe you find all over the USA).
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:00 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSwede View Post
Swedes can be very open to foreign foods, some even seem to look down on domestic cuisine, imo.
I love Swedish meatballs in tomato sauce
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:34 AM
 
Location: Macao
16,268 posts, read 40,548,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
In the big cities in China, I think one can find in the newer shopping malls various Western style food chains as well as other Asian food without problem.
it's been about 10 years since I was last in china, but Ive heard that.

Within the expat scene, apparently it is very easy to legally start a restaurant business in china, unlike Korea or Japan.

Probably one of the expat differences is that people who come to japan/Korea, usually remain teaching english for many years. Those who start teaching in china, usually end up getting into all kinds of other endeavors beyond teaching English.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Argentina is mainly composed by Spanish and Italian inmigrants, so our cuisine haves a LOT of influence of this. But much more of the italian than the spanish (I wonder why that is), so much that Pizza or spaghetti or any italian food are SO common in argentina, than a lot of people must think they are argentinians food. Pizza is everywhere, so is pasta in all forms (Sunday is an obligatory day for pasta, 29 everyone haves the gnocchis, and the noodles and all that are one of the main composers of any argentinians diet), and ice cream, well, i heard people saying argentinian ice cream is better than italian (i heard this about pizza as well). Anyways, pizza must be the most popular meal here right after "asado" (the typical argentinain dish: barbecued meat). ANY restaurant serves all kinds of italian food like it was argentinian, then you have the italian restaurant that sell more variety of the same things.

About the rest of the cuisines, i live in Buenos Aires so i reckon this must be very different than from the rest of the country, but i must say this city is very open to foreign food. You can find food from almost everywhere, from american dinings ambiented in the 50s that serve milkshakes and all typical of USA foods, to everything asian (chinese, japanese, are VERY popular, but theres also thai for example), arab (shawarmas are getting popular too), indian, spanish, german (many beer bars with typical german food), greek, and of course all of latinamerica: mexican being the most popular, but also a lot of peruvian restuarants, some brazilian, some venezolanos, etc. Anyway, i think you can find food from almost everywhere if you search carefully here in BA.
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