Friday, November 20, 2015

Asian flavors come to America

Two-thirds of people eat a wider variety of cuisines compared with five years ago. Check out the Food Network--often weird (to us) spices and fruits and veggies are included in the ingredients on CHOPPED, sprinkled into dishes even on an Oklahoma ranch on PIONEER WOMAN, and thrown in with almost every dish made on THE KITCHEN.

I even make a weird Thai-sort-of spaghetti that includes rice vinegar , soy sauce, peanut butter, and a spice called Chinese Five Spices (groc store).

According to a story in Food Technology mag, here are some Asian influences mainstreaming here.

--Filipino food. This, in turn, is influenced by Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian, and Spanish flavors.  The result is such things as lumpia, banana ketchup, adobo, and halo-halo.

--Gochujang. A fermented chili paste used in Korean food.,

--Korean BBQ. Tabletop grilling, with garlic, veggies, and assorted spices.

--Asian citrus. Calamansi lime (mandrarin orange meets a kumquat) gives meat a sharp acid flavor.

--Fish sauce. This is a popular Asian condiment made of fermented anchovies and salt.

--Region-specific chili peppers.

--Ramen. No longer the province of poverty-stricken students, this is now featured,

--Soy sauce. Cures bacon, adds complexity to cookies and cakes, and enhances choc syrup.

Are you going to be adventuresome? Check out the weird, gnarled fruits and veggies on the shelf above the iceberg.

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