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Old 04-22-2012, 10:02 PM
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,639 posts, read 18,125,272 times
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In the United States, three "ethnic" cuisines have really worked their way into the heart of the national culture: Italian, Chinese, and Mexican.

The Italians brought their cuisine and cooking methods with them in the early 20th century and adapted their native foods to local ingredients. Since then, such dishes as spaghetti (usually with meatballs) and pizza have become fully Americanized and are almost inseparable from other American dishes. Italian restaurants are common and usually mid-priced to expensive. Numerous famous "Italian" chain restaurants with hundreds of outlets, such as the Olive Garden, Romano's Macaroni Grill, and The Old Spaghetti Factory exist. The first is probably the most one of the most popular chain restaurants with Americans and serves dishes that would be quite alien to Italians. This excludes pizzerias, which are very widespread and usually low- to mid-priced. Several local variations on the pizza exist as well: Chicago-style (deep dish); New York-style; and California-style pizza are the best known.

Spaghetti and meatballs (http://www.flickr.com/photos/anemoneprojectors/3804354337/ - broken link) by anemoneprojectors (back soon??!) (http://www.flickr.com/people/anemoneprojectors/ - broken link), on Flickr

Domino's Deep Dish Pizza (http://www.flickr.com/photos/slice/488417840/ - broken link) by Adam Kuban (http://www.flickr.com/people/slice/ - broken link), on Flickr

Fettucine Alfredo with Grilled Chicken (http://www.flickr.com/photos/chapstickaddict/2195148533/ - broken link) by chapstickaddict (http://www.flickr.com/people/chapstickaddict/ - broken link), on Flickr

Chinese restaurants seemed to expand into the mainstream around the same time as Italian restaurants, but Chinese food is generally taken out rather than cooked at home. Chinese-American food is primarily influenced by Cantonese food, although most Cantonese would probably be surprised to see what was done to their cuisine. Some popular Chinese dishes include egg foo young, fried rice, Kung Pao chicken, General Tso's chicken, orange chicken, sesame chicken, and pepper steak, invariably served with a fortune cookie. Chinese-American restaurants are an institution in the U.S., and usually feature minimalist (or gaudy) ornamentation to help save on costs, almost identical menus, and are normally oriented towards take-away, usually having minimal indoor seating. Chinese buffets are common and offer perhaps the cheapest per-calorie eating experience in the U.S.

VIP Chinese Cuisine (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kingstonist/6238440195/ - broken link) by Kingstonist.com (http://www.flickr.com/people/kingstonist/ - broken link), on Flickr

Take Out (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nomadic_lass/5766995864/ - broken link) by Nomadic Lass (http://www.flickr.com/people/nomadic_lass/ - broken link), on Flickr

* (Chinese food in the U.S. is usually eaten with a fork and spoon)

Chinese Restaurant, DC (http://www.flickr.com/photos/xtopher1974/2441537815/ - broken link) by xtopher1974 (http://www.flickr.com/people/xtopher1974/ - broken link), on Flickr

More authentic Chinese restaurants is available in most major cities and perhaps smaller cities and suburbs where there is a large Chinese population. Regional Chinese restaurants have also popped up in larger cities.

Mexican restaurants serving Mexican (and Southwestern American) food adapted to mainstream American tastes are also ubiquitous, existing in virtually every city and large town, even those without a substantial immigrant population. Burritos, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, chimichangas, fajitas, nachos, and salsa are foods popularly recognized as Mexican by most Americans. They are generally inexpensive. Combo dishes (e.g. one burrito, one enchilada, one chimichanga) are very common on Mexican restaurant menus.

Many foods popularly called "Mexican" are actually indigenous to the Tex-Mex (Texan) or Southwestern cuisine. Compared to real Mexican food, Mexican-American food uses much more sour cream and cheese.

Recently, a chain called "Chipotle" has become very popular, particularly among college students, serving tremendous burritos, which actually have their origin in San Francisco, California (or so I hear):

Chipotle Burrito (http://www.flickr.com/photos/compujeramey/51922135/ - broken link) by compujeramey (http://www.flickr.com/people/compujeramey/ - broken link), on Flickr

The swarm of Mexican immigration to every region of the country has resulted in the establishment of a multitude of restaurants serving more genuine Mexican cuisine, as well as those specializing in seafood, tacos, pozole, etc., plus grocery stores, markets, and bakeries to cater to the immigrant population.

Chicken Chimichanga @ On The Boarder Mexican Grill & Cantina (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rmpenguino/5933754017/ - broken link) by Roger Penguino (http://www.flickr.com/people/rmpenguino/ - broken link), on Flickr

Taco and Enchilada Combo at Superior Grill, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tacosporvida/3146297244/ - broken link) by Tacos Por Vida (http://www.flickr.com/people/tacosporvida/ - broken link), on Flickr

Extra Cheesy Nachos (http://www.flickr.com/photos/pamelasvoboda/1888419405/ - broken link) by pamelasvoboda (http://www.flickr.com/people/pamelasvoboda/ - broken link), on Flickr

Greek, Thai, Japanese, and Indian food are also popular in the U.S., but nearly as much so as the three I mentioned. Ethiopian food seems to be popular among the hip set.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:20 PM
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
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I tend to agree with the above assessment of what cuisines have really worked their way into the American psyche. There's regional favorites ... like here in the Pacific NW where half the nation's seafood goes through, we get awesome salmon and mussels and yes, even geoducks. All fresh and all very tasty, and so seafood in many ways supplants what would otherwise be easy pickings. There's also an abundance of teriyaki places here ... seriously, imagine mid-town America and McDonalds, but instaed of mcdonalds, imagine teriyaki joints. It's like that.

But by and large, italian, chinese, and mexican have dominated America's restaurants outside the major urban centers, and even in them, have a sizeable presence.

I would argue that "American" food is even more dominant. Burgers. Ribs. Hot dogs. Steak. Basically in every city and every town there's "American" joints, and it's been successfully exported around the world. I once saw an ad for St. Louis style ribs (which is a misnomer, btw) in Switzerland. Odd.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:34 PM
14,725 posts, read 33,371,861 times
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Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
In the United States, three "ethnic" cuisines have really worked their way into the heart of the national culture: Italian, Chinese, and Mexican.
I'll give you that, my friend, with Italian leading by a wide margin. If you are ever in Reno NV on a Tuesday night, try the Italian themed buffet at the Eldorado. (They also have Chinese and Mexican themed nights, IIR). They have tortellini with peas and ham, ravioli in a mushroom sauce, lasagna, and chicken and beef prepared with Italian recipes. If one loves Italian food, they will need to be wheelbarrowed out of that place after a few trips through the line!

Cantonese Chinese and mild Mexican can also be prepared in an interesting manner...and can be delicious.

Two observations:
1) I only wish that Greek food was more prevalent, being my second favorite popularly-priced cuisine, and
2) I agree that Ethiopian (and Thai and Indian) seem to be popular with the hip set, almost like a badge of "je ne sais quoi" (and neither do they). I actually had a co-worker stop having lunch with me because I wouldn't go for Thai food at this place he liked and he would say "c'mon, but the spices, the flavors...." and I'm thinking "but how about my not being able to get anything done after lunch because it makes me sick to my stomach..."
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:55 PM
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:56 PM
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:00 AM
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
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Originally Posted by artemis agrotera View Post
Based on your country's most popular cuisines and you living on a island i'm guessing you live in Australia.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Davy-040 View Post
Based on your choices and you living on a island i'm guessing you live in the UK.
Close. Their colony. ~ Australia
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:39 AM
Location: Canada
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I've lived in two cities in Canada which had all the same ethnic cuisines, but where different ones dominated.

In Montreal, Lebanese/general Arab, Greek, Thai, and Chinese were most popular.

In Vancouver it was Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Indian.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:11 AM
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In the UK the top three ethnic takewaway food are probably -




Mexcian food is also becoming increasingly popular in the UK.

You can find the following countries and cultures cuisine represented in London -

London Restaurants Cuisine Lists

Afghan, Egyptian, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Ghanaian, Iranian, Lebanese, Mauritian, Mongolian, Moroccan, Nigerian, Persian, Sri Lankan, Tunisian, Turkish, Azerbaijani, Bengali, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Georgian, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Keralan, Korean, Malaysian, Nepalese, Pakistani, Polynesian, Singaporean, South African, South Indian, Taiwanese, Thai, Ukrainian, Uzbekistani, Vietnamese, Albanian, Armenian, Austrian, Belgian, Czechoslovakian, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Jewish, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Scandinavian, Spanish, Swiss, Hawaiian, Australian, New Zealand, Argentinean, Brazilian, Caribbean, Colombian, Cuban, Peruvian etc

London Eating - London Restaurants Guide

Restaurants in Manchester

India (Curry) and Hong Kong (Chinese) were once part of our Empire and are especially popular.

Scandanavian Food also seems to be quite trendy in the UK at the moment, particuarly Danish food.

BBC News - Scandinavian food: Why is it becoming popular in the UK?

Scandinavian food and drink | Life and style | The Guardian

KRO Bars Manchester

Last edited by Mulhall; 04-23-2012 at 03:35 AM..
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:26 AM
355 posts, read 1,190,239 times
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In Spain, there's a reaction in favour of local cuisine with local products (Cocina de mercado). The best restaurants are based in local gastronomy and local products. There's a lot of ethnic restaurants and "ethnic" trash food, but not considered mainstream.

I guess than in Spain, an "ethnic restaurant" is a restaurant specialized in the cuisine of other Spanish regions. There's a lot of variations and the local cuisine changes dramatically every 30 or 40 miles.

Many Italian dishes are considered "national" dishes in Barcelona because northen Italians were the first to open restaurants almost 200 years ago. There's also certain influence from neighbouring France.

There was a fad for Japanese, Hindu, etc, food years ago, now all those fads are falling into oblivion but have influcend local cuisine to a certain degree.

There are millions of Chinese restaurants and Pakistani restaurants, etc, but must of the owners are not cooks and they use the restaurants to obtain residency permits, bring relatives, etc, so their food tends to be real bad.

Last edited by Cocoricoco; 04-23-2012 at 03:41 AM..
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