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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Foreign Food

eating food from home in foreign countries

15 comments:

  1. In the '60s, when my parents lived in Afghanistan, they witnessed many hippies getting very sick on their way to find a guru in India precisely because they insisted on eating western foods. Eating salad made with washed lettuce can give you cholera if the water wasn't clean, and ice cream, when re-frozen every time the power comes back on is not safe to eat.
    Their rule of thumb then, and it works for anywhere in the world, is to wait until the locals stop to eat, and then pick the busiest place in town for your meal. It will be the best food around, and as probably the only tourist(s) in the place, you are more likely to connect with locals.

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    1. That's definitely the best way - eat where the locals eat. Another good reason to do so is that they've generally had hundreds if not thousands of years to perfect a cuisine using what ingredients are available to them from their surroundings - ingredients which will be fresh, cheap, and tasty. So you're much better off having whatever the local specialty is, even if it's weird, because it'll taste way better, and be healthier, than whatever pizza or hamburger you've ordered.

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  2. That's so funny. Me and my husband don't particularly enjoy waiting in the line, especially if we are hungry, so we usually pick the hawker stall with the shortest line or no line. But that's not what the Singaporeans do, they pick the stall with a line or the longest line---that food must be good if so many people want to wait for it!!!

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    1. I feel like a lot of places in the States do this. They stay small so the line has to go out the door, and people implicitly think it must be better. I mean, you can't be serving garbage, but it's definitely a sales tactic in some places...

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    2. I have also read that some hawkers in Singapore actually hire people to stand in lines.

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  3. I don't know, the Indian food I get here in NE Wisconsin tastes pretty much the same as I would get in the Emriates (plenty of Indian ex-pats there), the only difference being I can get a beer or a glass of wine with my meal here and I pay a lot more for it here as well. However, the joints I go to are Indian owned and staffed so they know how to cook their food. In the UAE our cafeteria was also run by Indians and their attempts at Western dishes were not bad but the taste was not quite the same, I suppose my attempt at cooking chicken saag would taste just as funny (the chicken part of it definitely was off, but I thought the saag itself was yum!)

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    1. Well, just because Indians are cooking it doesn't mean they're doing an authentic job! Sometimes they'll cook what they wouldn't actually eat at home, but what the locals in their new country expect. This happens a lot more with Chinese food, I suppose.

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    2. You are so right! When I go to an Indian restaurant with my Indian friends in Czech Republic, they often talk to the chef so they are sure to get what they want and not the "czech" version :D.

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    3. That's a good idea - maybe I should talk to the chef about how I want my burgers!

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    4. Have you seen http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/12/275628045/cornell-pair-introduce-american-chinese-food-to-shanghai ?

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  4. Well the Indian food I ate in Al-Ain and here in NE Wisconsin are pretty much the same, the joints I ate at in Al-Ain ranged from well known to not so well known. However, I agree with your point, in the Indian restaurant I eat at around here has beef on the menu, not very authentic but certainly catering to the local tastes. I'm torn between trying that and not, I fear it might not be that good, but I will not know until I try, eh?

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