Cooking question for our global family

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babetoo

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
14,336
Location
escondido, calif. near san diego
i have noticed that many of you come from countries other that the u.s.a.

my question is do u make american dishes. are they exotic to you as many of you dishes are for us.

if u do, could u tell us what you make and any changes you make to them

babe:question:
 

Bilby

Executive Chef
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
3,270
Location
Perth, Western Australia
Hi Babe! I've only been on this site for a few weeks and am yet to make anything from here so far, although I do have the ingredients for Katie E's Green Salad waiting in the wings. So far, the biggest reason why I haven't tried anything is for the most part the meals are aimed at the cooler weather, where as here it is all summer foods and minimalist preparation and cooking. Come winter, I expect I will be looking further into the recipes at DC.

And yes, I find some of the dishes very baffling! Sometimes the ingredients themselves are confusing and sometimes it is just very hard imagining how something is meant to taste to know if you fancy giving it a go! Packet mixes also can complicate things as a lot of items aren't readily available over here.

I really just enjoy reading the site and being part of the community at large. I take away some tips and info and store them in the back of my mind for future use.
 

wysiwyg

Senior Cook
Joined
May 18, 2007
Messages
446
Location
Michigan
babetoo,
I was born abroad (South America) and living in Michigan for the last 20 yrs.
Back home, people doesn't make a lot of American food other than burguers and hot dogs. American dishes that come from Europe are popular (Pizza, etc.) but things like ribs w/bbq sauce, cheesecake or gumbo are not known. Some American chain restaurants like TGIF opened in Argentina and Brazil, I'd imagine they will offer American menus and this trend may change.
 

Bilby

Executive Chef
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
3,270
Location
Perth, Western Australia
Just picture me, Pacanis, on the recipe treadmill like a hamster, always trying to catch you guys up!!! I'll become a bilby in a spin!!! ROFL
 

miniman

Executive Chef
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Messages
4,687
Location
Basingstoke, England
I do some American dishes, but have rather a mixed cuisine - I was born in Africa and now live in England.

I would also say that we are in a much more multicultural world and a lot of dishes are becoming universal - even the classic American dishes are based on dishes from other parts of the world that the original settlers & later immigrants took with them.

My main "problem" is the measurements when using recipes from elsewhere -0 I have always used weights and get a little confused when the recipe asks for cups of things.
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
49,803
Location
Massachusetts
...My main "problem" is the measurements when using recipes from elsewhere -0 I have always used weights and get a little confused when the recipe asks for cups of things.


Globalization of recipes on sites such as this underline the need for a common measuring system. The metric system should be adopted worldwide.
 

2belucile

Senior Cook
Joined
Dec 4, 2006
Messages
153
Location
Colombia, South America
I think sometimes the dishes only have a different name, sheppard´s pie become pastel de papa and meatloaf is rollo de carne. Its just that sometimes the seasonings are a little different. That`s why I love to hear of the recipes in Discuss cooking, to prepare things in a different way, and learn new things, always delicious!
 

AllenOK

Executive Chef
Joined
Aug 25, 2004
Messages
3,463
Location
USA, Oklahoma
Globalization of recipes on sites such as this underline the need for a common measuring system. The metric system should be adopted worldwide.

And what most folks don't realize, is that it's easier to work with, as well! Especially when you have to scale recipes up and down for different yields.
 

YT2095

Executive Chef
Joined
Aug 26, 2006
Messages
3,875
Location
Central UK.
what is an "American" dish?

since almost Anything I can think of originates somewhere else, well.... KFC may be an exception :P
 

MexicoKaren

Head Chef
Joined
Jun 28, 2006
Messages
1,914
Location
Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico
I'm not sure if I fit in this category, because I am an American, but I have been living in another country (Mexico) for almost two years. I find that the longer I am here, the more I begin to rely on simple Mexican ingredients, e.g., we eat more tortillas than bread as time goes by. Some ingredients are hard to find, but we get hungry for old fashioned potato salad sometimes and I scour around searching for sweet pickles, black olives, and mayo that does not have lime juice in it. I tried making some beef stroganoff the other night, but could not find the right kind of egg noodles, and the beef I used (arracherra - sliced thin for carne asada) just didn't make the transition very well. All in all, the availability of good fresh food here outweighs any disadvantages, but we still miss a few of our favorites.
 

Michael in FtW

Master Chef
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 5, 2004
Messages
6,592
Location
Fort Worth, TX
LOL - other than Native North American dishes using totally North American ingredients ... what "American" dishes are truly and totally originally "American"?
 

Bilby

Executive Chef
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
3,270
Location
Perth, Western Australia
Same can be said really for Australian dishes too, other than some of us eat our native marsupials and other animals. Most of our cuisine is European or Asian based. Most of the Aboriginal dishes aren't served outside of Aboriginal communities/families, although some native fruits are making their way into the supermarket shelves in the form of chutneys and jams
 

Claire

Master Chef
Joined
Sep 4, 2004
Messages
7,967
Location
Galena, IL
Michael, FtW really hit upon it. We are such a diverse country that it is almost impossible to say something is "American" food. I've travelled the entire country, by truck, and you simply cannot say that New England Boiled Dinner is "American", or Gumbo, or Santa Barbara Barbecue is more American than South Carolina Barbecue. How about Hawaiian Chili Rice? I make Tourtiere every holiday season. Many of these foods are derivative of the countries our great-grandparents. Many of us don't even really know where our great-grandparents emigrated from. If you visit Boston, you're likely to get an entirely different flavor of "America" than if you visit San Francisco or San Antonio. But all are American. Yumm yumm, what a rich history!
 

urmaniac13

Executive Chef
Joined
Sep 7, 2005
Messages
4,764
True, what exactly is "american food"? Quite vague, as most of them borrow the idea from the cuisines elsewhere.

did you know "Fetuccini alfredo", "Chicken parmesan", "Spaghetti with meatballs", "caesar's salad" and such are rather American than Italian (these dishes won't be recognised in Italy and if you order them here they wouldn't know what you are talking about!) ?

Anyhow I have made blueberry and banana nut muffins, peanut butter cookies and brownies which are probably typically american, they all went over very well with my Roman partner and his friends.
 

GotGarlic

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
27,086
Location
Southeastern Virginia
Michael, FtW really hit upon it. We are such a diverse country that it is almost impossible to say something is "American" food. I've travelled the entire country, by truck, and you simply cannot say that New England Boiled Dinner is "American", or Gumbo, or Santa Barbara Barbecue is more American than South Carolina Barbecue. How about Hawaiian Chili Rice? I make Tourtiere every holiday season. Many of these foods are derivative of the countries our great-grandparents. Many of us don't even really know where our great-grandparents emigrated from. If you visit Boston, you're likely to get an entirely different flavor of "America" than if you visit San Francisco or San Antonio. But all are American. Yumm yumm, what a rich history!

To me, that makes them *all* American :) Local variations turn into new dishes. As an example, southern European stuffed cabbage rolls are just stuffed grape leaves using local ingredients, but I wouldn't call them a Middle-Eastern food.

However, I think it's more common for Americans to make foods from other countries than for non-Americans to make American food, because most of us are descended from immigrants and our newly America forebears brought their cooking traditions with them.

I was having lunch at a Greek festival with work colleagues several years ago and someone wondered if people overseas have similar American festivals. I said I didn't think so because the Greek festival was put on by the members of the Greek Annunciation Church as a celebration of their heritage. Except for military bases, I don't know of anyplace overseas with large concentrations of Americans who would feel they need to remember their heritage with a festival. Or, for those of you who live or have lived overseas, am I wrong about that?
 
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Claire

Master Chef
Joined
Sep 4, 2004
Messages
7,967
Location
Galena, IL
I couldn't agree more. Right now in my fridge you'll find leftover beef stroganof, coq au vin, and a giant bowl of kimchee. Good all-American fare! I once live for the better part of a decade in Hawaii, where a local (Korean-) American family made, of all things, potato kimchee. It was delicious, but I rather doubt anyone in Korea would recognise it. This is what makes American food what it is; that is taking native ingredients and ethnic methods and turning it into something entirely different. Cincinnati chili tastes remarkably like Greek spaghetti sauce in Virginia, but nothing at all like Texas chili, which tastes nothing like green New Mexico chili. No one of them is better. They are all great in their own way.
 

expatgirl

Master Chef
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
5,584
Location
Texas girl living in Kazakhstan
since I live most of the time in K. and part of the time in TX I'm slowly learning to convert between the US (imperial system, I believe is what it's called) and the metric system. An electronic scale that measures in grams and oz at the same time has really been a time saver as well as owning a large measuring cup that reads both in oz and ml. And I've finally learned how to eyeball a kilo of meat and veggies (2.2 lb---6 cucumbers 1 kilo :) My biggest complaint, too, is not being able to find everything but it's still an adventure to try new things
 

MexicoKaren

Head Chef
Joined
Jun 28, 2006
Messages
1,914
Location
Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico
GotGarlic - I'm not sure if this answers your question, but there are a few hundred Americans and Canadians who live here in Bucerias, MX. We have an annual "Rhythmn and Ribs" festival that is held in the town plaza and attracts both expats and locals. We use it to raise funds for local charities. There is also an annual chili cook-off, where everyone brings their own recipe - also a fundraiser. There is lots of wonderful Mexican food available here, but we also have a Chinese restaurant, a few Italian restaurants and even a German restaurant - all owned by people from those countries. There is a restaurant in Vallarta that serves "American comfort food" and last year I went to a restaurant in Beijing called Grandma's Kitchen that serves grilled cheese sandwiches, meatloaf, hamburgers, fries, milkshakes, etc. Most of the patrons were Chinese, of course. Americans crave "American" food wherever they are, even if it is derivative.
 
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