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Are there countries other than America that "-ize" ethnic cuisines?

ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 06:26 PM

We have "Americanized Chinese" and "Americanized Italian" and etc.

You get the picture.

Are there other countries that "-ize" ethnic cuisines? For example, is there such a thing as "Germanized Chinese"? Or "Mexicanized Italian"?

I mean I suppose there's fusion, but fusion cuisine (say, Korean-Mexican with Bulgogi tacos) is akin to a creative marriage of two disparate cuisines whereas "Americanized ___" is really a transformative cuisine where American cultural viewpoints of food and taste takes a cuisine and sort of makes it red, white and blue.

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  1. c
    Chowrin RE: ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 06:41 PM

    Chifa Cuisine?
    Indo-chinese cuisine?
    Don't forget Japan, for goodness sakes! (christmas cake!)

    1. v
      Violatp RE: ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 06:44 PM

      Sure. One example is Polish zapiekanka. Sort of an open faced French bread pizza (a la Stouffer's) with melted cheese and mushrooms.

      1. s
        small h RE: ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 07:02 PM

        How about Chinese style Japanese-Italian food?


        Here's the menu:


        1. paulj RE: ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 07:09 PM

          I've heard that India likes to adopt the form of foreign food (say, pizza), but apply familiar Indian flavors.

          Jjajangmyeon is a Chinese black bean noodle dish - Koreanized.

          Korea also has it version(s) of Japanese maki rolls.

          Chifa is Peruvian-Chinese cooking. Chifa that I had in Ecuador used bias cut celery as its primary vegetable.

          Look up a dish like Stroganoff or Schnitzel on Wiki to see how it has been adopted in countries around the world.

          3 Replies
          1. re: paulj
            KaimukiMan RE: paulj Jul 13, 2013 08:10 PM

            Or does Japan have it's own version of KimBap?

            One of the things that the PBS series Chan Can Cook liked to show was the chef traveling around the world to different Chinese communities and showing their version of Chinese cooking. Things varied depending on the region of China that the people there descended from and the food available in that region. Fascinating stuff.

            1. re: KaimukiMan
              paulj RE: KaimukiMan Jul 13, 2013 08:24 PM


              1. re: paulj
                KaimukiMan RE: paulj Jul 13, 2013 10:04 PM

                yes, most likely brought to Korea during the Japanese Occupation (1910-1945)

          2. k
            klyeoh RE: ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 07:16 PM

            When I was first went to New Delhi, India, back in 1991-92, I came across "Chicken Manchurian", which was invented by a Kolkata-born ethnic Chinese restaurateur-chef, Nelson Wang. This Indianized-Chinese dish did not *exist* outside India at the time: stir-fried chicken & vegetables, with a heady infusion of chillis and Masala spices to satisfy the Indian palate.

            Since then, I've discovered a whole new world of Indianized-Chinese cuisine - now collectively called Sino-Ludhianvi cuisine by Hindustani Times' editor and food critic, Vir Sanghvi. There are restaurants in India which specialized in this cuisine, whilst many Indian family restaurants will have a separate section on their menus for these dishes.

            In India, when families eat out, many preferred to go "Chinese". By this, they really meant Indianized-Chinese food - *not* the authentic Cantonese or Sichuanese which are also available in major Indian cities these days.

            As Indian (IT) professionals moved overseas: Silicon Valley, Canada, Germany, UK, Australia, Singapore, etc. - the "Chicken Manchurian" and other Indianized-Chinese food started appearing in Indian restaurants there, catering to the Indian diaspora.

            The first place outside India where I saw "Chicken Manchurian" being served was in Bangkok, at a Copper Chimney branch there, about 10 years back. These days, I can pop down to Little India in Singapore and get "Chicken Manchurian" at most Indian restaurants there.

            6 Replies
            1. re: klyeoh
              Perilagu Khan RE: klyeoh Jul 11, 2013 07:28 PM

              I love Indo-Chinese food just about as much as pure Indian food. And fortunately, my favorite local Indian restaurant sports several tasty Indo-Chinese dishes.

              1. re: Perilagu Khan
                klyeoh RE: Perilagu Khan Jul 11, 2013 07:40 PM

                My fave cuisine in the world is Indian, but not every Chinese-Singaporean share my passion.

                During a business trip to Mumbai a few years back, we stayed at the Leela Hotel which has a very popular Chinese restaurant called the Great Wall. After two weeks of Indian meals, my two Chinese-Singaporean colleagues out-voted me to dine at the Great Wall, which has an authentic multi-regional Chinese menu, but *no* Desi-Chinese. However, the waiter assured me that they can do "Chicken Manchurian" for me off-menu.

                They did a marvellous rendition. My two Chinese-Singaporean colleagues also had their first taste of the dish that evening, and loved it.

                We did go back to the restaurant again a couple of times for the "Chicken Manchurian". One piece of trivia, the Great Wall also happened to be the fave Chinese restaurant in Mumbai for Bollywood star, Amitabh Bachchan. We saw him there on one occasion, and the service staff there told us that he's a regular since he owned a beach mansion at Juhu beach nearby.

                We later found out the executive chef of the Great Wall at the time was a Chinese-Singapore!

                1. re: klyeoh
                  Perilagu Khan RE: klyeoh Jul 12, 2013 08:04 AM

                  Your ecstatic praise of Chicken Manchurian has made me want to try this dish. I've obviously never had it, but that can and will be swiftly remedied.

                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                    AmyH RE: Perilagu Khan Jul 12, 2013 06:08 PM

                    Gobi (cauliflower) Manchurian is also delicious. I didn't even realize they made a chicken version.

                    1. re: AmyH
                      klyeoh RE: AmyH Jul 12, 2013 06:15 PM

                      It started off as a chicken dish, but became *so* popular, the repertoire extended to all types of meats and vegetables. Nowadays, it's become such a common dish, you can find "Manchurian" renditions done by street vendors like the bhelpuri-wallahs, McDonalds India, hotel coffeehouses, everywhere in India!

                      1. re: AmyH
                        modthyrth RE: AmyH Jul 12, 2013 09:57 PM

                        I've also only had Gobi Manchurian. Utterly delicious!

              2. h
                haichowhai RE: ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 07:18 PM

                Yep, in Paris you can find Frenchified Mexican food or Frenchified Chinese food (among other things). I think all countries modify recipes, either to match the local palette or to accommodate ingredients that are cheaply available in local grocery stores.

                4 Replies
                1. re: haichowhai
                  sunshine842 RE: haichowhai Jul 11, 2013 09:17 PM

                  and Frenchified American food.

                  The French-anised version of other culture's foods are just as dire as Americanised versions.

                  1. re: sunshine842
                    Chowrin RE: sunshine842 Jul 12, 2013 06:55 AM

                    What pray tell is frenchified american food?
                    ... I'm interested in what kind of dishes...

                    1. re: Chowrin
                      sunshine842 RE: Chowrin Jul 12, 2013 06:31 PM

                      an "American" pizza with hamburger, diced potatoes, oregano, and a raw egg cracked in the middle of it....

                      ...the thought that we eat nothing but hamburgers every day....

                      I've never kept a list, but it seems that at least one restaurant in every town has a dish listed as "americain" that just leaves Americans looking at each other, thinking "what the what?"

                      1. re: Chowrin
                        Bada Bing RE: Chowrin Jul 14, 2013 05:27 PM

                        Funny, but one of the pictures I've used as an Icon on this site was taken in a Venice, Italy, window for a pizza place. For them , Pizza Americana involves bacon and eggs, something I think you'd look a long time for to find in America

                  2. s
                    Steve RE: ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 07:46 PM

                    The Chinese are very good at adapting their cuisine to the local palette. That's how we get to ramen, jja jiang mien, and lomo soltado.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Steve
                      ricepad RE: Steve Jul 12, 2013 01:20 PM

                      Ramen (the noodles, more specifically), are Chinese in origin, borrowed and adapted by the Japanese.

                      1. re: ricepad
                        K K RE: ricepad Jul 12, 2013 03:31 PM

                        Yes but ramen gets "ized" and turned into BS even in metropolitan USA. The same thing happens in Hong Kong and Taiwan, although at times differently, and others to a significantly lesser degree of douchebaggery.

                        1. re: ricepad
                          Steve RE: ricepad Jul 12, 2013 05:47 PM

                          Are you saying the first people to make ramen were the Japanese? Because that's not what I understand. I though it was initially Chinese immigrants to Japan.

                          1. re: Steve
                            ricepad RE: Steve Jul 12, 2013 07:06 PM

                            Uh, no.

                            1. re: ricepad
                              Steve RE: ricepad Jul 12, 2013 09:27 PM

                              Well, I am no expert on the subject, but everything Iv'e read so far indicates Chinese ingredients and Chinese cooks, especially since the Japanese detested the idea of eating pork and though it was beneath them, and they had a rice based society. The first to put the pork, wheat noodles, and soup together in Japan were Chinese cooks as far as I can tell.

                      2. cookie monster RE: ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 07:59 PM

                        Brazilian pizza for sure. And while I have no first hand experience, I understand that Japan and Korea are also big on local adaptations of pizza.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: cookie monster
                          Perilagu Khan RE: cookie monster Jul 12, 2013 08:05 AM

                          The Russians also do a version of pizza. I've never tried it, but it sounds horrid.

                          1. re: Perilagu Khan
                            alliegator RE: Perilagu Khan Jul 12, 2013 09:40 AM

                            It's horrid.

                            1. re: Perilagu Khan
                              sunshine842 RE: Perilagu Khan Jul 12, 2013 06:31 PM

                              there's a Sbarro pizza at Domodedovo airport.

                              1. re: sunshine842
                                Perilagu Khan RE: sunshine842 Jul 13, 2013 06:53 AM

                                Probably the best pie in all of the Russes. And that's saying very little.

                            2. re: cookie monster
                              jgg13 RE: cookie monster Jul 12, 2013 06:45 PM

                              There's a Brazilian run pizza shop near me which has Brazilian pizzas on the menu. What I don't know is if they're Americanized brazilianized Americanized Italian pizza or just brazilianized Americanized Italian pizza

                            3. girloftheworld RE: ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 08:01 PM

                              McDonalds is different in all countries according to tastes???

                              12 Replies
                              1. re: girloftheworld
                                sunshine842 RE: girloftheworld Jul 11, 2013 09:19 PM

                                to a degree. In beef-eating countries, there are some common themes.

                                I have to confess to having developed a serious crush on a limited-time special in France -- a slab of Camembert on a burger. Damned tasty.

                                1. re: sunshine842
                                  biondanonima RE: sunshine842 Jul 12, 2013 08:13 AM

                                  Yes, when we were in Prague we went into a McDonald's just to see what was on the menu and were sucked in by some camembert-type cheese, deep-fried in a crust that had all sorts of grains and seeds, with some type of creamy dipping sauce. It was fabulous. Too bad it would NEVER sell in the US!

                                  1. re: biondanonima
                                    ferret RE: biondanonima Jul 12, 2013 09:00 AM

                                    That damn fried cheese pops up everywhere, and I mean everywhere.

                                    1. re: ferret
                                      alliegator RE: ferret Jul 12, 2013 09:55 AM

                                      Really? Huh...

                                2. re: girloftheworld
                                  klyeoh RE: girloftheworld Jul 11, 2013 09:30 PM

                                  Usually, McD will have some "local items" besides the usual suspects. No beef is served in McD India, so the Big Mac is replaced by the Big Maharajah Burger, with chicken patties.

                                  1. re: klyeoh
                                    Terrieltr RE: klyeoh Jul 12, 2013 09:46 AM

                                    Ronald McDonald -- creepy no matter what country you're in.

                                    1. re: klyeoh
                                      jpc8015 RE: klyeoh Jul 12, 2013 04:41 PM

                                      The Middle East has a huge Indian population so their McDonalds sell the chicken big mac as well. It is glorious.

                                    2. re: girloftheworld
                                      Bkeats RE: girloftheworld Jul 12, 2013 05:28 AM

                                      McD's adjusts for local tastes. I remember when I first got to London in the mid 90s and walking down the street, I came across a McD and in the window was a poster advertising something like a chicken korma sandwich. Never tried it.

                                      1. re: girloftheworld
                                        Chowrin RE: girloftheworld Jul 12, 2013 06:55 AM

                                        Lemon pie!

                                        1. re: girloftheworld
                                          LMAshton RE: girloftheworld Jul 14, 2013 05:50 PM

                                          They serve rice dishes in Sri Lanka, which is a rice and curry country. And spicier versions of burgers and sandwiches than in Canada. Oh, and while they have ketchup, they also have the more popular chilli garlic sauce. Which is really really good.

                                          1. re: girloftheworld
                                            Nudibranch RE: girloftheworld Jul 14, 2013 06:50 PM

                                            In Korea they had squid burger. I mean, it was a patty so the flavors were indistinct, so meh. The best thing was a version of patbingsoo, which just about every fast food joint carried.

                                            I tried a paneer burger in McD's in Delhi. It was...pretty delicious.

                                            1. re: Nudibranch
                                              klyeoh RE: Nudibranch Jul 14, 2013 08:07 PM

                                              I had a vegetarian burger at Hard Rock Cafe Bangalore last year, and it was "pretty" tasty, though there's no beating a real beef burger.

                                              BTW, the Heinz sauces available from the shops there are quite interesting, too.

                                          2. s
                                            sueatmo RE: ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 08:21 PM

                                            The only time I've watched Nigella was in an episode where she made chili! She used no ancho or chili powder, but jarred red peppers. I'd say that was Anglo style chili.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: sueatmo
                                              Perilagu Khan RE: sueatmo Jul 12, 2013 08:07 AM

                                              Shiver me timbers, but I bet it was ghastly. About like the Yorkshire pudding in Blytheville, Arkansas.

                                              1. re: sueatmo
                                                Harters RE: sueatmo Jul 12, 2013 10:03 AM

                                                "I'd say that was Anglo style chili"

                                                No it isn't. Although we'd spell it "chilli"

                                                1. re: Harters
                                                  512window RE: Harters Jul 13, 2013 11:19 AM

                                                  I've seen Jamie Oliver make chile con carne and he used real chile peppers and chili powder. So the side has been kept up.

                                                  As popular as hot curries are in England, I'd expect that a hot chile dish would be equally popular.

                                                  1. re: 512window
                                                    paulj RE: 512window Jul 13, 2013 11:57 AM

                                                    In another thread we discussed chilli competitions in the UK. There is a group that sanctions them, and has sample recipes. The obvious difference, compared to US Texas 'bowl-of-red' is that the UK rules allow beans and vegetables.

                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                      Harters RE: paulj Jul 13, 2013 01:36 PM

                                                      UK chilli usually includes red kidney beans and green or red peppers, as well as garlic and onions.

                                              2. deet13 RE: ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 08:30 PM

                                                Hell yes...

                                                Almost all South and Central American nations have their own versions of Chinese-style dishes. Just down the road from my house, we have a couple of Peruvian and Cuban restaurants which serve their own style of Chinese dishes.

                                                Cantonese style cooking has traveled up and down the length of the American Continents.

                                                Then there's any of the British and French versions of any of their former colonial foodstuffs and vise-verse.

                                                Also the Japanese, Taiwanese, Koreans, and the Singaporeans can be as enthusiastic about adopting foreign foods into their daily menu as we Americans are.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: deet13
                                                  klyeoh RE: deet13 Jul 11, 2013 09:13 PM

                                                  Even "authentic Cantonese" tend to adapt itself to the different taste-preferences of the Chinese in different countries, hence the same Cantonese dishes taste saltier in Hong Kong, sweeter in Malaysia and less greasyy/blander in Singapore - even when the diners are Cantonese-Chinese in all three countries!

                                                  In Thailand, where the majority of their Chinese populace are of Taechew (Chaozhou) descent, Cantonese "dim sum" items usually taste (and smell) strongly of fish sauce, much loved by the Thais and the Taechew-Chinese, but definitely *not* used in such amounts in HK/South China where "dim sum" originate from.

                                                  1. re: klyeoh
                                                    luckyfatima RE: klyeoh Jul 12, 2013 02:17 PM

                                                    Funny but due to childhood connections, the Chinese food I feel most "at home with" in restaurants is Chinese from Vietnam. I speak a bit of Vietnamese, enough to hold simple conversations, and can read the menu (expert in food words, of course :D) and so I feel better navigating things than I do at Chinese-Chinese restos, but also I know all of my favorite dishes and what tastes to expect. My favorite Chinese restaurants are owned by Chinese from Vietnam.

                                                    But I have met some people, non-Chinese Chinese food connoisseurs, as well some some ethnic Chinese from China who look down on Chinese from Vietnam.

                                                    What is your impression of Chinese food in restos owned by Chinese from VN? Or the "rep" of these kinds of restos?

                                                    I don't notice the food having any heavy fish sauce flavor, myself.

                                                    1. re: luckyfatima
                                                      klyeoh RE: luckyfatima Jul 12, 2013 06:29 PM

                                                      I'd only had Vietnamese-style Chinese food in Ho Chi Minh City itself. Southern Chinese, and also Chinese-Singaporeans or Chinese-Malaysians, will not experience any "culture shock" with regards to Vietnamized Chinese food - sure, the renditions may be sweeter for the braised dishes (e.g. there's this popular caramelised pork stew dish served in a claypot that we kept running into), and spicier for some others, but generally, the Chinese food in Vietnam are very much similar to those we get at home.

                                                      I can't speak any Vietnamese but could actually converse in Teochew or Hokkien dialect with the street vendors and shopkeepers in Cholon (Chinatown) district and other parts of Saigon. Early Chinese migrants to Indochina came from the same parts of China as those who went to other parts of South-east Asia like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia: mainly Teochews and Hakkas from Guangdong, and Hoklo/Hokkiens from Fujian. They assimilate local products and taste preferences into their cuisine.

                                                      When I first encountered "Hu Tieu Nam Vang" (which, as its name suggests, was actually introduced by Chinese-Cambodians from Phnom Penh to the Vietnamese) tasted 90% similar to Penang "koay teow Th'ng" and Ipoh "hor fun" from Malaysia.

                                                      "Banh Uot" is similar to Cantonese "cheung fun", and "banh uot dac Biet"'s incorporation of various Vietnamese-style charcuterie to an essentially Chinese-style flat rice pasta dish is almost like a different rendition of Kuala Lumpur-style "chee cheong fun" which combined the "cheung fun" with various morsels using fish-based forcemeat.

                                                      Personally, I really, *really* liked Vietnamese-style Chinese food: its robustness and assertive flavours are similar to Chinese cuisine in Singapore and Malaysia. Plus, the freshness of ingredients used in Saigon is amazing. Like the Japanese, I think the Vietnamese there eschew refrigeration, preferring to make do with the freshest produce from the markets that day.

                                                      1. re: klyeoh
                                                        MVNYC RE: klyeoh Jul 13, 2013 07:56 AM

                                                        Is this the caramel hot pot you saw?


                                                        I was under the impression that it was a Royal Hue dish. Did the style originate in China?

                                                        1. re: MVNYC
                                                          klyeoh RE: MVNYC Jul 13, 2013 07:08 PM

                                                          I believe the caramelisation technique was learnt from the French. It's become part of Vietnamese cooking culture now, and even the so-called Chinese restaurants in Vietnam have assimilated this into their cooking. True Vietnamized Chinese food, as this technique does *not* exist in China.

                                                2. k
                                                  klyeoh RE: ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 09:27 PM

                                                  British take on Southern BBQ:

                                                  1. chartreauxx RE: ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 09:32 PM

                                                    pretty much every country does this, i think - it's a combination of local tastes/preferences, local techniques/cooking styles, and available ingredients/appliances/implements.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: chartreauxx
                                                      ferret RE: chartreauxx Jul 12, 2013 07:00 AM

                                                      That pretty much covers it. I've had some stunningly oddball dishes abroad in overly ambitious restaurants (Mexican, Chinese) in Eastern Europe where authentic ingredients were limited and the cooks had only a passing familiarity with the cuisine. It's a natural desire to have something new and different and unless you have a practitioner who's skilled, plentiful ingredients and willing diners you're going to have some adaptation to local tastes.

                                                      1. re: ferret
                                                        Perilagu Khan RE: ferret Jul 12, 2013 08:11 AM

                                                        Heck, you don't even have to travel to different countries to encounter spectacularly failed attempts at non-local cuisine. Hence, I've never encountered Tex-Mex north of the Red River that wasn't at best mediocre, but more frequently, wretched.

                                                        1. re: ferret
                                                          paulj RE: ferret Jul 12, 2013 08:13 AM

                                                          A lot of 'mexican' food around the world is an adaptation of Mexican American. It's come via corporations like Old El Paso or Taco Bell, or introduced by individual Americans (e.g. free spirits in Amsterdam trying to make a living).

                                                          When talking about 'izations', it is useful to distinguish between cooking in immigrant populations that has to adapt due to different food supplies, and cooking that is marketed to the native population from the start.

                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                            ferret RE: paulj Jul 12, 2013 09:11 AM

                                                            The exposure I've had is from locals trying to exploit an untapped niche in the market and it's been consistently bizarre. It's primarily people who've never experienced the real thing serving people with even less exposure to the cuisine. Sort of like learning to dance from a book. You may know how many steps to take forward, backward and side to side, but if you've never seen it performed fluidly it's just a mechanical exercise.

                                                      2. paulj RE: ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 11:03 PM

                                                        The early English colonists 'Americanized' their cooking. They added Indian corn (maiz) to the diet, making various sorts of corn cakes and mush, to replace the wheat they had trouble growing.

                                                        1. linguafood RE: ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 11:11 PM

                                                          Of course. Is this even a serious question?

                                                          56 Replies
                                                          1. re: linguafood
                                                            ipsedixit RE: linguafood Jul 12, 2013 06:39 AM

                                                            Yes, it is.

                                                            The question is really do other countries when they "-ize" an ethnic cuisine tend to view it derogatorily the way some Americans do with, say, Americanized Chinese or Americanized Chinese, etc.

                                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                                              linguafood RE: ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 08:33 AM

                                                              Depends on who you're talking to.

                                                              Plenty of Germans are happy with "chop suey" in Chinese restaurants or "carbonara" made with cream in Italian restaurants, or Thai food lacking in any detectable hotness, and "Mexican" is the worst possible rendition of "tex-mex".

                                                              That said, there are of course plenty of people who know better, and who are always on the search for the holy grail of more authentic offerings, much as I hate using this word.

                                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                chowser RE: ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 10:38 AM

                                                                This is what I was thinking, too. I'd guess some countries think they've improved the cuisine by "ize"ing it.

                                                                1. re: chowser
                                                                  ipsedixit RE: chowser Jul 12, 2013 11:05 AM


                                                                  1. re: chowser
                                                                    Steve RE: chowser Jul 12, 2013 02:13 PM

                                                                    I am confused by the idea that entire 'countries' are doing this.

                                                                    It is the struggling immigrant population which does this to attract business. Not some kind of bizarre American takeover. It is the worldwide You No LIke Syndrome which knows no borders.

                                                                    I am guessing that in most cases, their business sense is right. People will not acquire new tastes without some motivation and willingness to challenge themselves.

                                                                    1. re: Steve
                                                                      chowser RE: Steve Jul 12, 2013 05:34 PM

                                                                      It was cell phone shortened speak, wasn't artfully stated. I meant people in those countries, not the country themselves. Generally the immigrants make it to suit the local population, although sometimes it is the natives who might have enjoyed it and try to bring it back. "Americanized" foods are often looked down on, sometimes for the addition of sugar. But, if the Frenchified foods are done using more butter, it can be lauded. Why is sugar bad, but butter good, as taste goes?

                                                                      1. re: chowser
                                                                        Steve RE: chowser Jul 12, 2013 05:56 PM

                                                                        Adapted Chinese food certainly has its place in the world, but after trying straight up Chinese food, I can see how unsatisfying the bastardization can be.

                                                                        I didn't mention butter..... I've had Chinese food in France, and my impression is that it's lighter tasting than Chinese-American, not served in such enormous portions, and not quite as salty or fatty but with an uncomplicated sweetness. Much more likely to be artfully plated.

                                                                        1. re: Steve
                                                                          chowser RE: Steve Jul 12, 2013 06:00 PM

                                                                          American Chinese food is different. I don't think of them as substitutes but there are times when I just want mu shu pork.

                                                                          No butter in French Chinese food. But, if the French took American food and made it more "french"-like by adding butter, people wouldn't roll their eyes as much as they do when Americans add sugar to match their palate. Why is an affinity for butter considered superior to an affinity for sugar?

                                                                          1. re: chowser
                                                                            Steve RE: chowser Jul 12, 2013 09:09 PM

                                                                            I am not sure I understand your point - can you give me a concrete example you know about where adding butter is a way of making a dish more accessible to an unfamiliar public??

                                                                            1. re: Steve
                                                                              ipsedixit RE: Steve Jul 12, 2013 09:50 PM

                                                                              ... can you give me a concrete example you know about where adding butter is a way of making a dish more accessible to an unfamiliar public??

                                                                              Paula Deen on line 1.

                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                Steve RE: ipsedixit Jul 13, 2013 06:30 AM

                                                                                What does Paula Deen do? Add butter to SIchuan Shredded Beef? Or perhaps barbecued cuy? Or cassava leaf stew?

                                                                                1. re: Steve
                                                                                  ipsedixit RE: Steve Jul 13, 2013 10:27 AM

                                                                                  Don't give her any ideas.

                                                                                  Apparently, she has a lot of time on her hands.

                                                                      2. re: Steve
                                                                        sunshine842 RE: Steve Jul 12, 2013 06:36 PM

                                                                        Nope. Old El Paso is considered really good Mexican food in France. It's even more horrid than Old El Paso in the US.

                                                                        The French (with the exception of piment d'espelette in the Basque region) don't eat anything with even a hint of heat...and still want to use Emmental cheese.

                                                                        Burritos with no heat and Emmental cheese with cardboard tortillas are vile...but I've seen French people diving in like it was haute cuisine.

                                                                    2. re: ipsedixit
                                                                      hyperbowler RE: ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 12:00 PM

                                                                      Are we talking about concepts or terminology? Anyone who uses the term "Americanized Chinese" or "Britishized Indian" (Betty Davis-ize?, anyone?) implies one has knowledge of a traditional cuisine from somewhere else, and that it's been modified for local tastes.

                                                                      I'm not sure I've heard people used the word "Americanized" to convey superiority. I've definitely heard it to convey an alternative, as in Danny Bowien's overly aware “Americanized Oriental food," or as a derogatory term.

                                                                      "I'd guess some countries think they've improved the cuisine by "ize"ing it."

                                                                      Countries might think that, including America, but is it commonly referred to as "ized" cuisine or simply by the name of the cuisine is it derivative of?

                                                                      Edit: I think I may have answered my own question. On the Bay Area board, I think California-ized gets used when someone wants to give a hat tip to fusion, and Americanized get used when someone wants to insult fusion or imply that the food has been watered down.

                                                                      1. re: hyperbowler
                                                                        chowser RE: hyperbowler Jul 12, 2013 05:39 PM

                                                                        "I'm not sure I've heard people used the word "Americanized" to convey superiority. "

                                                                        Exactly. Americanized is almost always looked down on. However, when food in other countries are made w/ their slant (just read this thread), it's not met w/ the same eye rolling. People WANT to try that version.

                                                                        "Countries might think that, including America, but is it commonly referred to as "ized" cuisine or simply by the name of the cuisine is it derivative of?"

                                                                        In general, I think most people think of it just as the cuisine, in all countries. We distinguish it here because we're the food geeks discussing details.;-) I don't think most Americans care that General Tsao's chicken isn't chinese. They think it is.

                                                                        1. re: chowser
                                                                          ipsedixit RE: chowser Jul 12, 2013 09:53 PM

                                                                          Exactly. Americanized is almost always looked down on. However, when food in other countries are made w/ their slant (just read this thread), it's not met w/ the same eye rolling. People WANT to try that version.

                                                                          It's almost (stressing *almost*) like when other countries take their slant on a foreign cuisine it's romanticized and sometimes, glibly, just called fusion.

                                                                          Whereas "Americanized ___" is culinary rape.

                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                            sunshine842 RE: ipsedixit Jul 13, 2013 05:12 AM

                                                                            yes -- even though other versions of "ized" are just as vile and just as much a travesty (in terms of staying true to the original) as anything we've ever dreamt up here.

                                                                            1. re: sunshine842
                                                                              Steve RE: sunshine842 Jul 13, 2013 10:26 AM

                                                                              I'm not sure that Franco-Chinese, Franco-Thai, or Franco-Mexican food is romanticized on Chowhound.

                                                                              1. re: Steve
                                                                                ipsedixit RE: Steve Jul 13, 2013 10:28 AM

                                                                                That's because the crowd here is largely from (or in) in the U.S.

                                                                                All a matter of perspective.

                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                  Steve RE: ipsedixit Jul 13, 2013 11:25 AM

                                                                                  So what are you basing your assumption on? We already know the average person in France has little knowledge of Mexican food. I'm not expecting them to have anything other than a romantic notion of what the food must be like.

                                                                                  It's mostly when you get to a site like Chowhound that you get the strong reactions. After all, a Chinese person looking for a taste of home is not going to be amused when they travel across the city for Manchu Wok or similar.

                                                                                  1. re: Steve
                                                                                    ipsedixit RE: Steve Jul 13, 2013 06:50 PM

                                                                                    We already know the average person in France has little knowledge of Mexican food.

                                                                                    Really? And you know this .. how?

                                                                                    (And, please, feel free not to include me in the "we" part.)

                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                      sunshine842 RE: ipsedixit Jul 13, 2013 07:35 PM

                                                                                      Ipse, really -- all it takes is a visit to most of the "mexicaine" restaurants in Paris, or a trip down the international food aisle to provide more than enough evidence that the average person in France has almost no knowledge of Mexican food. (but, hey -- the average person in the US doesn't have a really clear grasp of Mexican or French food, either....)

                                                                                      There are some exceptions -- Candelaria off of Richard Lenoir is run by a lady from Oaxaca, and she puts out some pretty badass food, and Epicerie Bruno on Rue Tiquetonne has chiles and masa and tortilla presses...but they'll both tell you that other than some isolated bright spots, Mexican food in France typically ranges from dire to nearly inedible. (there's been a recent uptick in new restaurants, so this may change, but at the moment? Not much knowledge. Kinda like thinking Americans eat potatoes and eggs on pizza.)

                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                        ipsedixit RE: sunshine842 Jul 13, 2013 07:39 PM

                                                                                        Having "knowledge" of a cuisine, and having access to it are to two different things.

                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                          Steve RE: ipsedixit Jul 13, 2013 09:56 PM

                                                                                          Knowledge and access may be different things to a highly motivated individual, but to a population as a whole the French are too far removed from Mexican food to have an inkling. So are most Americans, of course, but there is a subset here who have that knowledge. The French don't have all the books, tv shows, the amount of travel to Mexico, and the immigrant population that might expose people through other means that we have here..... and even then most people here don't get much past tacos.

                                                                                          I worked for the French Government for 15 years with a very well traveled part of the population. Their knowledge and interest in Mexican food doesn't add up to much.

                                                                                          1. re: Steve
                                                                                            sunshine842 RE: Steve Jul 14, 2013 07:26 AM

                                                                                            What Steve said...times 100.

                                                                                            So they create Mexican food to match their ideal of what they *think* it should be....minus anything resembling heat, because the French simply don't DO spicy. (Piment d'espelette, yes, but that's a pretty gentle heat.)

                                                                                            Kind of like the "American" things that none of us Americans have ever seen anywhere in the US.

                                                                                            (but as I mentioned...if you ask most folks what French people eat, snails, frogs' legs and offal will be at the top of the list...and while they exist, they're certainly not everyday fare)

                                                                                      2. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                        Harters RE: ipsedixit Jul 14, 2013 03:04 AM

                                                                                        Why would anyone be surprised that the French (and others, of course) might have little knowledge of Mexican food (and others, of course)? Cuisine follows migration patterns and, as far as I know, there has been little Mexican immigration to France.

                                                                                        A similar lack of knowledge would apply in my country, where what little "Mexican" food exists is usually a bastardised version of American Tex-Mex food. We have had little immigration from Mexico - our 2001 census showing just over 5000 people of Mexican birth living here (of which nearly half are students).

                                                                                        1. re: Harters
                                                                                          bagelman01 RE: Harters Jul 14, 2013 03:15 PM

                                                                                          True, that there was little immigration to France from Mexico, but many French served in Mexico when the Mexican Emperor was a Napoleonic stooge. These troops, bureaucrats, clergy and merchants were exposed to Mexican Food. Some married Mexican Natives and returned to France as families and others brought Mexican servants back with them.

                                                                                          The culture and food of a colony can reach the mother land without mass immigration of colonial subjects.

                                                                                          1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                            Harters RE: bagelman01 Jul 14, 2013 03:25 PM

                                                                                            "The culture and food of a colony can reach the mother land without mass immigration of colonial subjects."

                                                                                            Indeed it can. Britons were eating south asian food well before the mass immigration from the sub-continent in the 1970s. Our oldest surviving Indian restaurant dates to 1926. It just didnt become a mass appeal cuisine until after those arrivals and restaurants became more wide-spread.

                                                                                            1. re: Harters
                                                                                              Perilagu Khan RE: Harters Jul 14, 2013 03:31 PM

                                                                                              Harters, do you know to what extent British functionaries in the Raj "took" to Indian cuisine? I know there is a dish called Chicken Jalfreezi, which is a corruption of General Frazier, and I believe there are pickles and chutneys named after Brits. This suggests to me that many Brits who spent time in India came to appreciate Desi cuisine.

                                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                Harters RE: Perilagu Khan Jul 15, 2013 09:17 AM

                                                                                                PK - yes folk generally took to local cuisine, even if some dishes were Anglicised to fit in with the British, rather than Indian style of eating. One example would be mulligatawny soup.

                                                                                                And it wasn't just the middle class administrators of the Empire. The other large group of Britons in India was the army. Although quite a late document, I have a copy of the Army's field service book for 1914, which includes a number of recipes for men to cook. It includes curry, chapattis and kebabs.

                                                                                                With the former group, these were men (and their families) who were making a career there and would have been staying long-term, probably until retirement. The soldiers, also, were posted to overseas duty for several years at a time.

                                                                                                Jalfrezi is a sauce style very common in south asian "curry house" restaurants in the UK, where it's served with all the usual restaurant proteins, not just chicken. It's usually one of the hotter preparations. I think it is an Anglo/Indian dish - Wiki suggests the name comes from "jhal" (Bengali for spicy) and "parhezi" (Urdu for suitable for a diet)

                                                                                                1. re: Harters
                                                                                                  paulj RE: Harters Jul 15, 2013 10:36 AM

                                                                                                  4:50 from Paddington
                                                                                                  By Agatha Christie
                                                                                                  features a curry laced with arsenic. And the cook's plans to use the leftovers in a mulligatawny soup.

                                                                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                                                                    klyeoh RE: paulj Jul 15, 2013 08:52 PM

                                                                                                    Off-topic here, paulj, but even Agatha Christie would not have been able to conceive a story as morbid as this real "Curry Murder" which happened here in Singapore:

                                                                                                    1. re: klyeoh
                                                                                                      paulj RE: klyeoh Jul 15, 2013 09:18 PM

                                                                                                      It's a small step from a fish head curry to a head curry! :)

                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                        klyeoh RE: paulj Jul 15, 2013 09:46 PM

                                                                                                        LOL! They never found the body, nor the murder weapon. The true story came out because one of the killers had an attack of conscience (and persistent nightmares) and went to the police to confess.

                                                                                                        BTW, fish-head curry is *one* of my fave dishes in Singapore. In a way, it's Singaporean-ized Indian food, because I've yet to come across a similar dish in all my travels to India.

                                                                                                      2. re: klyeoh
                                                                                                        LMAshton RE: klyeoh Jul 16, 2013 01:57 AM

                                                                                                        I think I'd heard vague references to it before, but wow, what an oddly interesting story!

                                                                                                    2. re: Harters
                                                                                                      JMF RE: Harters Jul 24, 2013 07:03 AM

                                                                                                      Interesting to hear that the Jalfrezi is one of the hotter dishes. Just like how the British Asian Indian curry Phaal is one of the hottest curries around.

                                                                                                    3. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                      JungMann RE: Perilagu Khan Jul 15, 2013 10:33 AM

                                                                                                      The story of General Frazier sounds apocryphal to me. Jalfrezi seems very much a native South Asian technique for dry-frying meats or proteins. On the heat spectrum I have always found it sweet-spicy, like a hotter dopiaza.

                                                                                                      1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan RE: JungMann Jul 15, 2013 10:41 AM

                                                                                                        Apparently so. I read of this etymology in a couple of places, but there doesn't seem to be any real proof of its accuracy. And in my cursory research, I haven't even been able to find evidence that a General Frazier served in the Raj.

                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                          Harters RE: Perilagu Khan Jul 15, 2013 12:40 PM

                                                                                                          I hadnt heard the Frazier reference before. I'd treat it like I treat the sotry that it was the Earl of Sandwich who "invented" the sandwich. Whilst I'm sure his decision to ask for some meat between two slices of bread, so he could continue gambling, certainly popularised it, I find it incredible to think that no-one had thought of it before. Not least as bread was the staple before potatoes came to Europe.

                                                                                                      2. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                        paulj RE: Perilagu Khan Jul 15, 2013 11:24 AM

                                                                                                        Tikka masala out, jalfrezi is UK’s No. 1 dish

                                                                                                    4. re: bagelman01
                                                                                                      sunshine842 RE: bagelman01 Jul 14, 2013 03:36 PM

                                                                                                      Not really. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the fact that a significant number of the troops who fought in Mexico under Napoleon never made it back to France.

                                                                                                      There just aren't many Mexican immigrants in France (the Oaxacan lady I mention elsewhere being a notable exception). Plenty from Asia and Africa, though.

                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                        paulj RE: sunshine842 Jul 14, 2013 05:33 PM

                                                                                                        Planet Taco has good material on the interaction of French and Mexican cooking. There were Mexican diplomats in France who occasionally tried to recreate tastes from home, but other wise there wasn't much influence in that direction. However French cooking did significantly influence Mexican cooking. In part is was the brief occupation. But perhaps more important was the fact that France was the country to imitate in the 19th c if you wanted to be cultured and urbane.

                                                                                                        In modern taco trucks, tortas the the most obvious evidence of a French influence.

                                                                                                        1. re: paulj
                                                                                                          Veggo RE: paulj Jul 14, 2013 05:56 PM

                                                                                                          Are there bollos in France?

                                                                                                          1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                            paulj RE: Veggo Jul 14, 2013 06:00 PM

                                                                                                            "A bolillo (Spanish pronunciation: [boˈliʝo]) or pan francés (meaning "French bread") is a type of savory bread traditionally made in Mexico, where it originates, and Central America. It is a variation of the baguette, but shorter in length and is often baked in a stone oven."

                                                                                                      2. re: bagelman01
                                                                                                        Steve RE: bagelman01 Jul 14, 2013 05:13 PM

                                                                                                        There is one Mexican restaurant in the city of Bordeaux. It's known for its fajitas.

                                                                                                        Apparently the great Franco-Mexican culinary transfer of the Napoleonic Era has long since diminished.

                                                                                              2. re: Steve
                                                                                                sunshine842 RE: Steve Jul 13, 2013 04:50 PM

                                                                                                My comment wasn't referring to "on Chowhound". It always made me chuckle to be invited to someone's home for dinner, and they'd trot out the awful Old El Paso because, you know, it's American/Mexican food!

                                                                                                We thanked them profusely, and ate our dinner and enjoyed the company....truly a case of "it's the thought that counts".

                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                  paulj RE: sunshine842 Jul 13, 2013 06:25 PM

                                                                                                  Norway website

                                                                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                                                                    sunshine842 RE: paulj Jul 13, 2013 07:30 PM

                                                                                                    I realize there's no logical reason why, but that makes me giggle. Mexican food in Norway?

                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                      paulj RE: sunshine842 Jul 13, 2013 07:35 PM

                                                                                                      In Planet Taco I read about 'Taco Friday' in Norway.

                                                                                                      "I would wager that every family in Sweden has tacos at least once a month, and maybe a third eats them every week," Anne Skoogh, a local food blogger, told me. "It's a Friday night come-home-from-work-relax-thing," she said. "It's really popular."

                                                                                                      A debate as to whether Tex-Mex is the most popular 'ethnic' food in Sweden

                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                        sunshine842 RE: paulj Jul 13, 2013 07:39 PM

                                                                                                        Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti night in the US - why Taco Friday in Norway? (still makes me giggle)

                                                                                                      2. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                        Veggo RE: sunshine842 Jul 14, 2013 09:45 AM

                                                                                                        Swedes have been enjoying Mexican holidays for years. Norwegians feel somewhat superior to Swedes, and are now visiting Mexico to see what they have been missing. I have had spirited debates with travelers from both countries, all in good fun, with 'ritas in hand and toes in the sand.

                                                                                                    2. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                      bagelman01 RE: sunshine842 Jul 14, 2013 03:20 PM

                                                                                                      My father was in the children's clothing business in the 50s and 60s. One of our biggest suppliers made the boys play clothes branded "Billy the Kid." They were manufactured in El Paso. Every year at Christmas a gift from the owners of the factory would arrive at our home, a carton packed with the bright yellow boxes and cans labelled Old El Paso. We NEVER opened this stuff, we had been warned how bad it was. When we visited the factory in 1961, we were taken across the river to Juarez for 'real' Mexican food. My father asked why they kept sending the annual goft of Old El Paso and were told it was subsidized the the local business association to promote the local economy. In 1968 my parents sold theior house and we discarded cases of Old El Paso that had mee laying in the basement for years.

                                                                                                    3. re: Steve
                                                                                                      Lizard RE: Steve Jul 14, 2013 01:58 AM

                                                                                                      Didn't you just romanticise it here? ["I've had Chinese food in France, and my impression is that it's lighter tasting than Chinese-American, not served in such enormous portions, and not quite as salty or fatty but with an uncomplicated sweetness. Much more likely to be artfully plated."]
                                                                                                      Clearly you've been selective about the restaurants.

                                                                                                      1. re: Lizard
                                                                                                        sunshine842 RE: Lizard Jul 14, 2013 07:28 AM

                                                                                                        While I have never seen the "more likely to be artfully plated", I would file Steve's post as an observation -- yes, the portions are smaller, yes they're less salty and greasy.

                                                                                                        My own personal theory is that Chinese in France is heavily influenced by the former French possessions of southeast Asia - Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam -- so the Chinese food there tends to "lean" toward southeast Asia, rather than mainland China.

                                                                                                        It's quite tasty, for the most part. (yes, I've had utterly horrid "Chinese" food in France)

                                                                                                        1. re: Lizard
                                                                                                          Steve RE: Lizard Jul 14, 2013 08:33 AM

                                                                                                          I do not consider lighter tasting, less salty, or less fatty to be better, so no romanticism intended. The selection of Chinese food in France is more on the part of the restaurants themselves.

                                                                                                          As sunshine842 said, part of that is probably the influence of the Vietnamese, Lao, Cambodian and others. Straight up Chinese is harder to find in France, especially outside Paris. "autres spécialités asiatiques" is a common catchphrase.

                                                                                                          1. re: Steve
                                                                                                            Lizard RE: Steve Jul 14, 2013 10:10 AM

                                                                                                            The difference in flavour, yes-- although I've certainly encountered heavy and too sweet dishes in France (Chinese) and did not notice a penchant for artful arrangements.

                                                                                                            But it's ok to prefer France. I certainly do. :)

                                                                                          2. h
                                                                                            hankstramm RE: ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 11:13 PM

                                                                                            Yup, try Chinese food in Mexico. Not sure what is different about it, but it is definitely not what we have in San Francisco.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: hankstramm
                                                                                              klyeoh RE: hankstramm Jul 12, 2013 12:11 AM

                                                                                              LOL! Reminded me of the tale recounted by two Brazilian colleagues from my company's Rio de Janeiro office. They were in Mexico City last year and were brought out for a meal one evening. After dinner, they thanked the Mexican colleagues for a delicious Mexican meal. The Mexican colleagues were flabbergasted and said, "Oh, but this is Chinese!" :-D

                                                                                            2. l
                                                                                              Lizard RE: ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 12:17 AM

                                                                                              Of course other countries do. Why wouldn't they? Or is it that you elevate other nations' takes on dishes as somehow a culinary gift whilst the U.S. can be only 'destructive'?

                                                                                              Others are giving examples, but this question seems predicated on a prejudice and something potentially ineffable: What do you mean by 'makes it red, white, and blue'? It seems that even within the U.S. there are regional takes on various cuisines.

                                                                                              1. t
                                                                                                tastesgoodwhatisit RE: ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 01:05 AM

                                                                                                Definitely. I think pretty much any culture has a tendency to adapt other culture's cuisines to local ingredients, preparation techniques, and tastes.

                                                                                                Chinese food in India is quite different than Chinese food in the US. I've had Taiwanesed Italian, Japanese and American food, and of course there's Japanese Curry (take Indian food, run it through Western culture and import) and of course, the Okinawan specialty of taco rice.

                                                                                                For lunch today, I had a Caesar salad naan. A nan-like flat bread, topped with a hot dog, shredded lettuce and bottled caesar dressing. Accompanied by spicy fries and a glass of drinkable jelly. (This was at a Japanese burger chain (Mos Burger) in Taiwan).

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit
                                                                                                  Tripeler RE: tastesgoodwhatisit Jul 12, 2013 03:46 AM

                                                                                                  Mos Burger's Caesar Salad Naan his a fairly big hit in Tokyo.
                                                                                                  I see posters for it often.

                                                                                                  1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit
                                                                                                    Perilagu Khan RE: tastesgoodwhatisit Jul 12, 2013 08:14 AM

                                                                                                    Bloody hell. Sounds like a cultural Tower o' Babel.

                                                                                                  2. h
                                                                                                    Harters RE: ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 03:05 AM

                                                                                                    I'm not sure I'm completely understanding the OP - but, on the assumption that it's asking if "foreign food" is adapted to a host country's taste and expectations, then I'm sure of it. Not least, as logic says it's bound to be. There will be different ingredients available, different presumptions about what food should be like.

                                                                                                    For example, as I understand matters, much Chinese food in America is Cantonese in origin. Similarly, much Chinese food in the UK is Cantonese in origin. But the food is often very different - dishes common in the States are unheard of here. Dishes with the same name taste different.

                                                                                                    With significant exceptions, "Indian" food in the UK bears little resemblance to food in India and could be regarded as almost a separate cuisine. Not least as it is usually a Bangladeshi take on Punjabi dishes. It would be interesting to see if South Asian food in America has a significant different take to that in the UK - or, as I suspect may be the case, that its Americanised "British South Asian"

                                                                                                    We also have Anglicised American food - leaving aside fast food chains, it is very sterotypical. Places near me offer BBQ - but the style of the restaurant is a take on an American chain BBQ restaurant set-up. Nor is it done very well, even at that level.

                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Harters
                                                                                                      Bkeats RE: Harters Jul 12, 2013 05:51 AM

                                                                                                      All my english colleagues complain that you can't get good indian food in nyc.

                                                                                                      1. re: Bkeats
                                                                                                        Harters RE: Bkeats Jul 12, 2013 07:50 AM

                                                                                                        Ah. Now indicates two possibilities. Firstly that Americanised "British Indian" isnt done very well. Or, second, that South Asian food in America is coming from another route and is therefore just unfamiliar to your colleagues.

                                                                                                        Without wishing to be overly pedantic, is it just your English colleagues who complain and other folk from the UK don't - or are you using "English" instead of "British"? There is a reason for asking - it's that the Scots tend to think they have the best South Asian food in the country.

                                                                                                        1. re: Harters
                                                                                                          stilldontknow RE: Harters Jul 13, 2013 06:51 AM

                                                                                                          > There is a reason for asking - it's that the Scots tend to think they have the best South Asian food in the country.<

                                                                                                          With some justification, although I do offer up apologies for Chicken Tikka Masala. Vile stuff.

                                                                                                          I like this place at the moment. It's very, very good.


                                                                                                          And on the theme of "ized" food the Babu Bombay Street Kitchen does some brilliant Scottish Indian mixes that work surprisingly well.


                                                                                                          1. re: stilldontknow
                                                                                                            Harters RE: stilldontknow Jul 13, 2013 07:49 AM

                                                                                                            Apology accepted. We all make mistakes :-0

                                                                                                            My only recent experience "up north" was at Mitha's in Edinburgh a few weeks back. One of those places that tries to put a westernised spin to the food and, like most, ends up being neither good western food, or good south asian.

                                                                                                            1. re: Harters
                                                                                                              DeppityDawg RE: Harters Jul 13, 2013 08:53 AM

                                                                                                              The Indian in Glasgow's miles better.

                                                                                                    2. Peg RE: ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 03:08 AM

                                                                                                      Of course, but in Britain we "-ise" things, not "-ize",

                                                                                                      1. alliegator RE: ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 09:43 AM

                                                                                                        The one that stands out to me, because my friends often wanted to go out for it is what we called Czinese.
                                                                                                        Chinese in the Czech Republic. Keep the meat, rice, some veg and the gloopy sauce and take away any and all spice. And you have Czinese.

                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator
                                                                                                          Perilagu Khan RE: alliegator Jul 12, 2013 09:44 AM

                                                                                                          Sounds like czit.

                                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                            alliegator RE: Perilagu Khan Jul 12, 2013 09:45 AM

                                                                                                            It was some awful czit. But beer has a way of making things better.

                                                                                                          2. re: alliegator
                                                                                                            ferret RE: alliegator Jul 12, 2013 10:18 AM

                                                                                                            I'm veering off-topic but we recently experienced the oddity that is Budapest. I had some really fantastic meals there but also noticed that "goulash" is on every menu, even in Chinese restaurants. It turned into a game for the kids, they rushed to every restaurant menu display to "spot the goulash." I'm pretty certain their success rate was 100%.

                                                                                                            1. re: ferret
                                                                                                              alliegator RE: ferret Jul 12, 2013 10:34 AM

                                                                                                              Interesting. I was only there once for a long weekend, but I did notice it was goulash-heavy. Beautiful city, but it is sort of an odd bird.

                                                                                                              1. re: ferret
                                                                                                                Perilagu Khan RE: ferret Jul 12, 2013 11:12 AM

                                                                                                                I believe Budapest's airport is Goulash International.

                                                                                                                1. re: ferret
                                                                                                                  shoo bee doo RE: ferret Jul 14, 2013 05:10 PM

                                                                                                                  Goulash and/or goulash soup are on most German, Austrian, Swiss, Slovenian, Croatian menus. It's one of my favorite foods and I try it in every country I visit. In Vienna, there is a wonderful restaurant devoted to goulash called the Goulashmuseum.

                                                                                                                2. re: alliegator
                                                                                                                  MVNYC RE: alliegator Jul 12, 2013 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                  This is funny as it is the first thing I thought of when I saw the title. Czech Chinese is definitely geared towards the local tastes. I have to say though it was a nice change of pace when you've been eating Czech food for months.

                                                                                                                3. a
                                                                                                                  AAQjr RE: ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 11:20 AM

                                                                                                                  David Rosengarten has a great book called "It's all American Food" in which he covers both regional American cuisine and 'Americanized' ethnic cuisine with recipes and history. He includes places from all over the globe- starting with Chinese-American and going on from there.

                                                                                                                  Don't think the book had big sales like his Dean and Deluca cookbook, but it was interesting and his recipes work IME.

                                                                                                                  1. Veggo RE: ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 12:07 PM


                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                      ipsedixit RE: Veggo Jul 12, 2013 09:53 PM


                                                                                                                    2. bagelman01 RE: ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 01:54 PM

                                                                                                                      I have run into Turkified German food. There have been so many Turks who were employed as guest workers in Germany, that they have opened 'German' restaurants here in the states. BUT, it is not 'authentic" German food that is served, but German food with a Turkish nuance. the spicing and sauces are slightly off. It may have been acceptable to serve to the thousands of ex-pat Turks in germany, but doesn't work for Americans seeking German food.

                                                                                                                      Similarly, the diner business here in Connecticut for the past 50 years is predomiantly Greek owned. For years, my late father always warned, NEVER order Italian food in a Greek diner. The sauce was always off, spices that were Greek were added where they didn't belong. So you got Greco-Italian food. It is even worse not that these Greek-American (next generation) owners have predominantly Mexican kitchen help. The cooks are being trained by those who really don't know how to cook the 'Italian' cuisine yielding "Greco-Mexican-Italian" garbage.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan RE: bagelman01 Jul 12, 2013 02:11 PM

                                                                                                                        I wonder if all the Egyptian pizzaiolis in Italy have in any corrupted the pies there?

                                                                                                                      2. v
                                                                                                                        vonshu RE: ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 06:03 PM

                                                                                                                        every country does it...

                                                                                                                        1. jgg13 RE: ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                          Once went to a Chinese resto in the termini district of Rome. Noodle dishes were much more pasta-y than I'm used to as an American. Instead of soy sauce they had balsamic at the table. Etc

                                                                                                                          1. f
                                                                                                                            fara RE: ipsedixit Jul 13, 2013 03:00 PM

                                                                                                                            This post brings back memories for me of "foreign food" served in Andalucia Spain in the 1990's. specifically the Chinese restaurants which all looked the same and had many variations of greaseless moo shu filling as entrees. Also a slightly upscale cafe that served "Cuban rice" consisting of baked beans, a side of rice covered in tomato concentrate, a fried egg and fried regular bananas cut in half. The mcds appeared to have the same menu but had quite delicious cheeseburgers. There were also a good number of North African tea houses that were delicious but quite overly romantic as far as casbah goes.

                                                                                                                            1. p
                                                                                                                              pippimac RE: ipsedixit Jul 14, 2013 01:51 AM

                                                                                                                              Edinburgh, Scotland has an 'isation' of what I'll call 'American-Elvis': a variety of astonishing battered and deep-fried concoctions.
                                                                                                                              Mars bar? Don't mind if I do. Crunchy with a hint of fish on the outside, searing hot magma in the middle...
                                                                                                                              Not your thing?
                                                                                                                              How about a frozen wedge of industrial pizza encased in the aforementioned fishy batter? Some places batter-fry-batter-fry the slice for maximum cardiac distress.

                                                                                                                              14 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: pippimac
                                                                                                                                Lizard RE: pippimac Jul 14, 2013 02:03 AM

                                                                                                                                Really, pippimac?
                                                                                                                                My impression is that the act of battering all in sight is considered Scottish, and not an adoption of American practice. (The Mars bar, some argue, is a concoction developed from the stereotype that the Scots batter and fry everything.)
                                                                                                                                Sometimes, I fear that the attempt to account for America and American exceptionalism leads to an exceptionalism of its own.

                                                                                                                                Also, why are you identifying Edinburgh alone?

                                                                                                                                1. re: Lizard
                                                                                                                                  Harters RE: Lizard Jul 14, 2013 03:09 AM

                                                                                                                                  IIRC, the deep fried Mars bar was invented in the mid-90s at a chippy in Aberdeen. As Lizard indicates it's popularity is because it is exactly the stereotype of the Scottish diet (accpeted to be generally the poorest diet of the regions of the UK)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                    JMF RE: Harters Jul 24, 2013 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                                    By the way... the Mars bar in the UK is what is called a Milky Way in the US. And the European Milky Way is like the US 3 Musketeers. The US Mars bar is different altogether.

                                                                                                                                    Although things may have changed the last few years. I am basing this on my work consulting with the Mars company in the late '90's. (Not food related consulting.)

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Lizard
                                                                                                                                    chowser RE: Lizard Jul 14, 2013 08:26 AM

                                                                                                                                    This is my thought, too, about battering--kind of a fusion of technique w/ American food, like A Salt and Battery in NY. It's not an "American" food restaurant.


                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                      Harters RE: chowser Jul 14, 2013 09:06 AM

                                                                                                                                      The Scottish penchant for deep-frying things, such as Mars bars and pizza, is simply an extension of the range sold in fish & chip shops.

                                                                                                                                      Britons have been battering and deep-frying fish since, at least, the middle of the 19th century. Our first fish & chip shop opened (some 20 miles from where I live) in 1863. The process of battering and frying fish pre-dates that and is presumed to have brought here by Jewish immigrants - the first significant immigration to our part of the UK was in the early 1840s (although immigration had started much earlier, with the first synagogue opening in the city in 1825)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan RE: Harters Jul 14, 2013 09:50 AM

                                                                                                                                        Very interesting. And surprising! I'd always assumed ol' Julius C. brought over a Presto Fry Daddy back about the time of our savior.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                        paulj RE: chowser Jul 14, 2013 09:11 AM



                                                                                                                                        The UK Mars Bar is different from the US one. It's closer to the US Milky Way. It's been produced in the UK since 1932.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                          chowser RE: paulj Jul 14, 2013 09:35 AM

                                                                                                                                          Quite a few of their candy bars have the same name as ones in the US but aren't the same. Regardless of what the names are, I don't think of the battering/deep frying as a strictly "American" thing any more than deep fried pizza is an Italian thing.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                            Harters RE: paulj Jul 14, 2013 09:58 AM

                                                                                                                                            A melted down Mars Bar (use a double boiler) makes agreat sauce for ice cream

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                              gaffk RE: Harters Jul 14, 2013 03:58 PM

                                                                                                                                              You can get the same effect without dirtying the pans: http://www.keyfood.com/pd/Smuckers/Mi...

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                Violatp RE: Harters Jul 14, 2013 04:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                We don't have Mars Bars anymore. :-( Snickers makes an almond version that's pretty close, but not quite it.

                                                                                                                                                I suppose it's well enough. I don't need to be eating candy bars!

                                                                                                                                              2. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                JMF RE: paulj Jul 24, 2013 07:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                I didn't see this reply when I wrote mine...

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Lizard
                                                                                                                                              pippimac RE: Lizard Jul 14, 2013 08:23 PM

                                                                                                                                              Apologies; I got caught up in a bit of an OT internal riff on 'the international language of junk food'. Or something.
                                                                                                                                              Lizard, I'm very much not defending my silly post, but it may or may not be relevant that I'm not from the USA.
                                                                                                                                              Why Edinburgh? I lived there for a couple of years, and there just seemed to be some especially creative battering and frying going on!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Lizard
                                                                                                                                                antimony RE: Lizard Jul 15, 2013 07:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                And many of the regions where I expect batter-fried everything at country fairs have major Scottish, Scotch-Irish, and Welsh ancestry.

                                                                                                                                            3. s
                                                                                                                                              shoo bee doo RE: ipsedixit Jul 14, 2013 05:19 PM

                                                                                                                                              Everyone (especially the expats} in Ljubljana, Slovenia during the late 90's was anticipating the new Mexican restaurant. It was an oddity. For instance, they made guacamole at your table, but at the end, put this huge dollop of sour cream in it. It was just strange tasting. The cheese they used was odd and I couldn't place it. Some things were pretty good, but it did not feel Mexican. It was actually a 2nd restaurant from Munich, Germany, so it was probably Germanized food first, then Slovenia-ized.

                                                                                                                                              It never satisfied my cravings for Mexican food. The Maximarkt had Rosaritos corn chips and salsa though and I made my own guacamole. My landlady let me grow cilantro in her garden, but couldn't understand why I would eat such vile tasting stuff.

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: shoo bee doo
                                                                                                                                                JMF RE: shoo bee doo Jul 24, 2013 07:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                It may have just been your landlady since Slovenia imports 10-20K lbs. of coriander seed a year. Or maybe they only use the seed in cooking and not the fresh coriander/cilantro herb (svež koriander.)

                                                                                                                                              2. LMAshton RE: ipsedixit Jul 14, 2013 05:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                Sri Lankan Chinese food is the best Chinese food I've ever had. Really. Much better than the Canadian or American versions, spicier than normal Chinese, and much more suited for our palates.

                                                                                                                                                1. b
                                                                                                                                                  bob96 RE: ipsedixit Jul 14, 2013 06:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Try what passes for Italian food in most French provincial cities--it's not "francophized" as such but takes on a blah, transalpine tastlessness that's neither here nor there. Just looks like pasta.

                                                                                                                                                  1. ElsieDee RE: ipsedixit Jul 14, 2013 09:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Trip to Barcelona circa 1996:

                                                                                                                                                    * "Hamburger" ordered in a restaurant (it was late and all that I recognized on the menu). Received ground ham - on a baguette - with aioli. It was actually good, if very odd.

                                                                                                                                                    * Chinese food - no idea what was ordered or what we received; food was good / fresh, but didn't not taste like Americanized-Chinese or what I think of as being San Gabriel Valley Chinese (meaning, it didn't seem to be indicative of a certain region or cooking style). Just a mish-mash of vegetables and sauces that didn't seem Spanish, Catalonian, or Chinese.

                                                                                                                                                    * Hosts asked if I'd make Mexican food for them. We went to the grocery. Fine with the fresh veggies, had to make the flour tortillas from scratch (my first attempt at that), and the only things close, spice-wise, that I could come to were cayenne and cumin. Did break down and buy a can of Old El Paso (predominantly featured in their equivalent of the "ethnic food aisle") to see how it was. It was bad.

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ElsieDee
                                                                                                                                                      klyeoh RE: ElsieDee Jul 15, 2013 01:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Once, I asked the General Manager of Thai Airways' Madrid office (she was sitting next to me during a flight from Bangkok to Madrid) where I could find the *best* Thai restaurant in Barcelona, where I was heading. She recommended Thai Garden, now called Thai Barcelona (http://www.thaibarcelona.es/). Unfortunately, when I finally tried that one evening (needed something spicy after 10+ days of Catalonian cuisine), I found the Thai dishes there watered down to suit local tastes. Even the Thai green curry was cooked using capsicums rather than spicy green chillies. Obviously, the Thai Airways GM had been in Spain for too long.

                                                                                                                                                      The spiciest cuisine I tried in Barcelona was at Betawi Indonesian Restaurant (https://plus.google.com/1108069164474...) on Carrer de Montsió, 6. But that's because a Singaporean colleague and I spoke in Indonesian to the waiters to make sure we get authentic food. We finally got our chilli fix that day - but I actually wished we'd gone to the legendary El Quatre Gats instead, which was right across from Betawi at Carrer de Montsió, 3.

                                                                                                                                                    2. j
                                                                                                                                                      jpc8015 RE: ipsedixit Jul 24, 2013 04:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                      The link below is a website for a place in Dubai that bills itself as an Indianized-Chinese restaurant. I might just go and check it out.


                                                                                                                                                      1. RUK RE: ipsedixit Jul 24, 2013 04:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                        We ate at a Chinese restaurant a couple of weeks ago in Macas/Ecuador! My dish came screaming hot temperature-wise and was quite delicious and well spiced. According to the Chinese proprietor we ate Cantonese. I am not an expert, so I have no idea if it was Cantonese! Somehow the taste seemed to have a bit of an "Ecuadorean twist", if that was possible. Pictures included.
                                                                                                                                                        And in a different town in Ecuador we went to an Italian place and ate a decent Pizza, reminiscent of Pizza Margherita, it had a nice crispy crust!
                                                                                                                                                        Years ago we ate Chinese in Barranquilla/Colombia, I remember it very distinctly being Colombian/Chinese.
                                                                                                                                                        Btw in Iceland you can eat "American food": Mexican, great looking Hamburgers and better Pizza than in many Italian eateries here in NJ/USA.
                                                                                                                                                        Now eating German in the United States, I must say I have never seen so much Sauerkraut on any German table ever!! :-)

                                                                                                                                                        1. b
                                                                                                                                                          BuildingMyBento RE: ipsedixit Jul 29, 2013 11:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Rice patty burgers in Japan, or octopus burgers at MOS Burger (unless I completely misread it).

                                                                                                                                                          The chocolate shake I had in Jakarta. Liquid sugar was served separately.

                                                                                                                                                          Condensed milk and/or brown sugar on pasta in the Philippines. Gross, and gorss.


                                                                                                                                                          1. breadwinner RE: ipsedixit Aug 2, 2013 12:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                            From watching Korean drama and from my brother who taught English in Korea for a few years, I learned that pickles are often served with Italian pasta to cut the richness. And pastas tend to be saucier as well.

                                                                                                                                                            There's actually an episode of the Korean drama "Pasta" where a chef in an Italian resto banned pickles and it was scandalous to the guests! It was a fascinating watch.

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