food

Pleasant Ramblings: Foreign Foods

by / 0 Comments / 31 View / April 19, 2015

Mark Magnan

Have you ever wondered what things are different in other countries and different cultures? Today we live in a much smaller world than just a few years ago. We can see other cultures and diverse locations around the world, either on TV or with just a click of our mouse. Years ago it was up to National Geographic magazine to bring us the strange habits of other people. Now it seems like we can cross those borders with ease and experience different lifestyles, rather easily. Also we have access to more authentic foreign cuisine in the form of local restaurants.

However with all that we still are not certain just how daily life is in those other countries. I mean Italy obviously has pizza, but do they have New York and Chicago style pizzas? Do they have “Italian” sausage on their pizzas? Does Pizza Hut or Papa Johns have stores in Rome? What do Italians have for fast foods? I mean everyone in Italy can make a pizza, so what do they go out for on “pizza night”?

Which brings up Chinese food. That is a staple in our culture here. Do people in China go to buffets for all they can eat Chinese food? Or do they have buffets with all American foods like fried chicken and, well, pizza? If they go out to eat do they get the little wooden chop sticks in the paper wrapper like we do or does the restaurant have better utensils?

Here, especially in Texas, we assume that anything with rice is Chinese food, unless the rice is next to refried beans. So we would probably like some of the spicier foods from the south, or perhaps some dishes with seafood, but we just don’t know the difference.

Does Beijing have an “America Town”, like New York and San Francisco have a “China Town”?

Why do Canadians roll their ham up into a tube and call it Canadian Bacon? I mean that is quite the insult to real live bacon! The term bacon should only be used to describe real bacon that comes in strips and is made here in the good old USA!

Do the British have English Muffins? Why do they call their cookies, “biscuits”? Now I have not had to deal with that confusion, but it could be quite the culinary mishap should a Texan want real biscuits and gravy. Couple that with someone trying to substitute Canadian bacon for real bacon and it could start a international crisis, just over breakfast.

Speaking of breakfast, do they serve French Toast in France?

Is that where French Fries originated?

And do they use French Dressing? Are they offended at the sandwich named “French Dip”? If there is sliced bread in France, is it called “American bread”?

Do Russians use “Russian Dressing”?

What do they call “chili” in Chile?

Are “hamburgers” served in Hamburg?

It might be interesting to experience the differences in other cultures, there may be things that are much different than we know them now, given the changes we have made here. Of course we may not like all the foods or traditions of other countries. For one, I really don’t think we will ever warm up to “snail nuggets”, as our fast food version of escargot. Perhaps we will just leave things as they are.