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May 19, 2008 02:46 PM

is it un-chowish to mix cuisines in one meal?

For some reason, I always wonder about this when i have one dish from one region, alongside one from another.

Example, sort of, is my casual supper tonight. I made a veggie burger wrap with mushrooms, seasonings and cheddar, topped with jalapeno mustard (Beaver brand btw...yum!)...but I had already made a side dish of kohlrabi and carrot salad, which in addition to peanut butter, included rice vinegar and sesame oil in the dressing...pretty much asian. It was a pretty good meal, all told. No one ate it but me.

Am I doing my food a disservice when i do stuff like this? It's not very often , and the above example is not totally distinct, but it has happened. Like when i've had friends over and made crab rangoon as a pre-dinner snack (on the request of a friend, who loved them), with dinner being lasagna and salad.

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  1. I wouldn't get as hung up on mixing cuisines as just making a few bad choices of combos, which you already fessed up to doing. That said, if you are deliberately going to mix cuisines, it certainly shows your guests that you put some thought into it if you stick with a geographical region or something that either thematically or historically ties the cuisines together. For example, when I do Spanish tapas, I don't hesitate to include many middle-eastern dishes since there is a heavy Moorish influence on Spanish cuisine.
    BTW, my choice for a dish to follow Crab Rangoon would be MORE Crab Rangoon. Can't get enough of that heart-stopping appetizer.

    5 Replies
    1. re: HSBSteveM

      just curious....what's the bad choice? Neither made the other taste weird, i dont think.

      I love the rangoon too....but i typically make it for crowds who are likely to hoover it quicker than i can get many down in me too. The meal i mention above was, overall, a heart stopper minus the salad. The lasagna in question is the artichoke and mushroom lasagna from which i tend to add even more cheese to, along with the bechamel. I don't even want to think about the calories, never mind the fat in that baby. The meal finished with La Bete Noir from the same site...WITH cream. yikes.

      1. re: im_nomad

        I was joshing a bit, but if there was a bad choice, it was the Rangoon with cream cheese, followed by Lasgna, presumably with Ricotta. That's a dairy O.D.. It would sit like a lead balloon. But I pretty much agree with everything posted below.

      2. re: HSBSteveM

        Agreed.... deliberate thought overcomes any resistance to fusion in my mind.

        1. re: HSBSteveM

          Crab rangoon. Oh my. I had never tried it until recently when I came across a thread dedicated to it on, of all places, a cat board.

          I thought I'd died and went to heaven. I don't know how I'd missed it all these years. SO bad for you, and SO tasty!

          1. re: Catskillgirl

            It is really good and addictive. Lucky for me i have all the ingredients on hand to make my favorite "ealthy" bastardized baked version so I will be getting my fix soon.

        2. I don't think so! Isn't discovery the better part of chowhounding?

          1 Reply
          1. re: tatamagouche

            This is what being a Chowhound means to me. Occasionally you will mix something that doesn't work on any level, but they you have that rare EUREKA synthesis when it seems so obvious but nobody understand.

            Those are the moments when culinary trends are born.

          2. I wouldn't worry about it being unchowish. But I do find that mixing cuisines can be a little jarring. I eat a lot of mixed cuisines, and on leftover days, I can have very odd dinners. It doesn't always do the food justice to throw it together. So kimchi and hummus and mac and cheese and thai curry - not so magical. But sometimes that's what you got left in the fridge!

            1 Reply
            1. re: moh

              Right, it may not always work—plenty of ill-considered fusion in the world. But there's only one way to find out!

            2. This one is easy -- no, it isn't!

              1. I don't think it's a problem as long as the dishes don't hamper each other. An example, the combo moh mentioned, hummus, kimchi, and thai curry. Eesh.
                I think I personally may be a little apprehensive to do it in any big way for a dinner party, but I unashamedly will drink lassi alongside most spicy food whenever I am at home, regardless of the cuisine.
                Fusion can be a wonderful thing. If you ever make it to Biloxi you'll have to visit the Thai Po'Boy shop that's up the street from my house =)