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What are you favour 3 cuisines?

I am sort of curious about what peoples favourite cuisines are, for me the top 3 would be:
Thai Food (real - not imitation :o)
Italian
Mexican

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  1. In no particular order:

    Mexican (Tex-Mex and New-Mex inclusive)
    Italian
    Indian

    16 Replies
    1. re: Perilagu Khan

      The more I think about it, the more I realize I like American just as much as Mexican, Italian and Indian. I don't have a Top 3; I have a Top 4.

      1. re: Perilagu Khan

        Your first posting sort of indicated it - Tex-Mex is american :o

        1. re: cacruden

          It's very much a fusion cuisine, but I think it has more affinities with south rather than north-of-the-border fare.

          1. re: Perilagu Khan

            Food does not maintain borders - China has many cuisine, Thai has at least 5 - America has many as well. Tex Mex foundations use a fraction of the total that makes up Mexican cuisine.

            1. re: cacruden

              Thank you Elie Wiesel. The point is that Tex-Mex employs ingredients and flavorings that migrated--along with people--from Mexico and one (or more) of Mexico's many cuisines.

              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                They didn't migrate to America - they were incorporated into America, parts of Mexico became parts of the United States :o

                1. re: cacruden

                  What would you call my wife's parents who came here from Guadalajara?

                  1. re: James Cristinian

                    And they cooked Tex Mex for there children?

                    1. re: cacruden

                      Uh no, they did not cook Tex-Mex for their many children. What is your point?

                      1. re: cacruden

                        It may be a small difference. I believe we were talking about Tex-Mex cuisine which was not creation of mexican immigrants into the United States, but of colonial immigrants to the Texan territory -- which would become a state in the United States (the process of incorporating Texas into the US means that those that were already of that territory are Americans by birth - not by naturalization).

                        The Mexican government has gone to great lengths to distance mexican cuisine from that of "Tex-Mex"....

                        These two points make me consider "Tex-Mex" an American regional cuisine (just like Cajun is an American cuisine) and not an imported cuisine.

                        1. re: cacruden

                          Whether or not they were American by birth is beside the point. Their food was much more heavily inflected by ingredients and methods south of the border than north. Outside of the various "Mexes," there is no regional cuisine in the US remotely like Tex-Mex, yet Tex-Mex is very similar to the cuisine you'll find in northern interior Mexico.

                    2. re: cacruden

                      Migrated, moved, turned up, acquired, replanted, incorporated = same thing.

                      1. re: scoopG

                        Nope, not the same thing.
                        If you migrated (or immigrated) from one place to another, it was a conscious, voluntary and deliberate decision on your part.
                        If you were acquired or incorporated into an entity whereby you had not made any conscious or deliberate decision to do so it was involuntary and not the same thing as the preceeding.

                        1. re: huiray

                          Yup. Semantics here, not pedantry. Food moves, seeds scatter, winds blow, continents drift, people carry.

          2. Do you distinguish sharply between Thai food and other similar SE Asian foods? If you do, I find it interesting you prefer Italian and Mexican over any other SE Asian foods. :-)

            9 Replies
            1. re: huiray

              Yes, I spent 4 days in Cambodia and after that I was missing my Thai food a lot. Just seemed to be missing something. I do like the pho beef noodles from Vietnam, but I have not the depth of knowledge on it. I probably eat 90% Thai food, 4% Italian, 2% Mexican. I eat at hawker stands in Singapore monthly.... And enjoy the food. Italian I eat is mostly pasta and Italian style pizza (homemade).... I have a pasta machine.

              1. re: cacruden

                I'm a strong believer that many cuisines just can't be replicated in places that have no similarity in climate to the mother country. I don't think it's any fault of the many chefs who are otherwise capable but just can't replicate the real deal. Cuisines like Thai and others from SE Asia can be so complex in sourcing ingredients - fresh or otherwise - that are typically not found in places like the US. Another factor - a big factor to me - is the environment to which it is sourced, prepared, served and eaten. The climate, the settings, the smells - all smells.

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  The exact same ingredients maybe not, but the flavour profile can be. When I was working for 11 months in San Diego there was a hole in the wall (cheap) diner that did a reasonably good job - even had the condiments on the table including fish sauce and chilis.

                  Toronto has maybe one or two good Thai restaurants, and a bazillion poor ones. They all would have to source stuff in the same manner. A lot of herbs are that are sold locally are grown in greenhouses (and if necessary and high power supplementary lighting system). I could source high quality Thai basil for a price. What you put on the menu would have to depend on what you can source - but with such a diverse number of thai dishes - it should not be a problem (fish vs meat etc.).

                  I learned to cook Thai food for the sake of survival :o

                  The problem is that most of the Thai restaurants are run by non-thais (Chinese/Westerner) without a proper foundation. Had many pad thais at different locations - it ranged from 0 to 2.5 out of 5. After two weeks of obsessing in getting it right, I was able to make a pad thai that might have been 4 or 4.5 out of 5 (sometimes I get obsessed and do the same thing over and over until I get it right - then don't have it for a loooong time :o). The "Pad Thai ranged from just noodles fried (and that was the better end) to a "special pad thai" which I took one taste of and it and had to spit it out (and that is not something I do often) -- I am sure they just used Chinese Sweet and Sour sauce as the sauce to fry the noodles in.

                  Toronto has a very diverse population, but only around 2,000 people (out of 4 million) from Thailand (larger populations are Chinese - 300K to 500K, Vietnamese 60K+ Indians 200K+, Philippines, Bangladeshi.

                  1. re: cacruden

                    You're describing Toronto, I'm viewing this from LA. We have a relatively large Thai community in LA. I've visited Thailand and although I don't consider myself to be an expert, even with the places that have a strong Chow creed in LA (Jitlada, Ruen Pair), there's a dimension missing (the same goes for Malaysian and Singaporean food in LA). I forgot to specifically mention humidity - I feel it not only sets the mood, but also is a great enhancer of aromas. In my mind, environment plays such an important role.

                    1. re: bulavinaka

                      If you have a large Thai community in LA, where do Thai's eat? Do they eat at the same restaurants as the "chow creed" -- maybe your following the wrong crowd :o

                      In Toronto we have some very good Chinese restaurants - but - then most of the customers are Chinese at those restaurants. Of course there are a large number of crap chinese restaurants too...

                      From what your standards are -- it would be pretty well impossible to find a good Thai restaurant outside of Thailand.

                      BTW, Have you ever been to Terroni's. LA apparently has a copy of a restaurant I am very fond of in Toronto. There are 4 or 5 in Toronto and one in LA, the one in Toronto that I like (which is closest to me) is located in a huge old courthouse (also suppose to be one of the most haunted buildings in Toronto -- probably because of all the people hanged in the back yard there).
                      I do adjust my standards based on

                      1. re: cacruden

                        >>If you have a large Thai community in LA, where do Thai's eat? Do they eat at the same restaurants as the "chow creed" -- maybe your following the wrong crowd :o<<

                        LA has a "Thai Town" in the Hollywood area, which then loosely extends into North Hollywood (it's actually in an adjacent valley known as San Fernando Valley). Yes, Thais eat in Thai town, and those two I list are among the many they eat at.

                        >>From what your standards are -- it would be pretty well impossible to find a good Thai restaurant outside of Thailand.<<

                        r.e. Terroni - I'm not an avid Italian fan and haven't been but might this be the one?

                        http://terroni.com/

                        Just trying to be honest about the experience and how the total package plays into one's memory of taste/smell. I think if a Thai community were to set up in the Southern states instead of LA, the experience might be much closer.

                        1. re: bulavinaka

                          That is the restaurant. I always thought it funny that they had 4 in Toronto and 1 in LA - I can only guess that some relative lives in LA :o. It is one restaurant from Toronto that I miss, but some people are put off by their "attitude" :o

                          1. re: cacruden

                            Cacruden, nice job hyjaking your own thread!

            2. Chinese (in general)
              SE Asian
              Italian

              1. I know this is going to get incredibly pedantic, so I'll just leave this here:

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/353002

                But I'll play along for fun. My favorites
                Mexican
                Indian
                Thai

                1 Reply
                1. British
                  Eastern Mediterranean/Middle Eastern
                  South Asian