If you had to choose one national cuisine...
... for the rest of your life, which would it be?
This has been a point of discussion amongst our circle of friends, and it comes up regularly.
Personally, I'd have to go with Italian: it includes many of my favorite foods -- such as pasta, salads, seafood & meat dishes, great cheeses, an abundance of vegetables & fruit...
I'd miss good bread, but could probably deal. How about you other hounds?
I also vote for Italian. I'd miss dessert, though. Italian desserts aren't my cup of tea. Too sweet, too complicated, and sometimes just too weird.
I'm following you by saying that for the rest of my life I could eat Italian food. Although I love eating food from other countries and in other countries, and can honestly say I have not had anything I didn't enjoy, I would rather have Italian food. Such a variety of fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood, not to mention the macaronis, cheeses and wines. The Pastries!!!! The way herbs and spices are used, the simplicity of recipes, the variety of the regions... OH yes, I could eat Italian food forever. As for the bread, there are some wonderful breads to be had; crusty loaves, perfect for soups, and mopping up sauces.
Mine would be Acadian(french colonists who settled in canada & were deported in the 1700's & settles in Louisiana) food or better known as Cajun cuisine.
With cajun food you have it all in my opinion:
bbq, grilling, smoking, stewing, deep frying, boiling
the holy trinity(bell pepper, celery, and onion)
lots of rice, fish, pork, chicken, crawfish, shrimp, alligator, sausage, dark roux
and dont forget about the heat of the cayenne pepper & hot sauces.
I could live on the above items as well as jambalaya, gumbo, & etouffe
Yeah, I would totally miss the heat I love so much in SE Asian or Indian foods... but I make a mean spicy tomato sauce ;-D that would have to do.
Another reason for my choice, and Giovanna brought that up, is indeed the variety of regions -- so many different styles of cooking, so many different ingredients.
For me this is an easy one: Chinese. For starters there are just so many parts to it, but also it has the heat, the noodles and the meat, all three componants of my diet, but also great veggie dishes. If you were to make me choose a specific area of China, I could never do it and would probably end up jumping the water to Japan for the great noodles, still getting the dumplings, and of course lots of fish...
Ha -- I used to ask my sister this question when we were kids. She thought I was obsessed with food! I agree with you about China. It's such a large country that there are so many different types of food I would be able to eat -- seafood, rice noodles, vegetables, rice, meats, spicy food, blander food. I would only miss my French and "American" desserts as Chinese desserts are not my thing. Could never get that excited about mochi and those fluffy cakes.
My wife and I both immediately said "Italian or Japanese." I'm very torn. My initial impulse is Italian but I kind of think that the more I think about it the more I'm going to lean toward Japanese with the array of noodles, soups and broths, fish (both sushi and not) and rice.
Really great question linguafood!
Interesting. I thought "Italian" right off the bat. (Thank you Lidia Bastianich, Mary Ann Esposito, Lynne Rosetto Kasper.) But lately, I have been getting interested in Japanese. Sushi was my obvious starting point. But then I heard an interview with a cookbook author on "The Splendid Table" about Japanese home cooking, and I read an account of eating in Japan in Jeffery Steingarten's "The Man Who Ate Everything" and I'm feeling very, very intrigued.