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Ethnic food

4 May
4 May 2016. Italian food is fabulous: fresh ingredients, few preservatives, simple flavors, regional specialties, lots of vegetables, fish, olive oil. And wine.
In London, we indulged in ABI: Anything But Italian. Our “ethnic” eating included
  • Sunday Roast at a London pub complete with Yorkshire Pudding and goose fat roast potatoes (a vegetarian’s nightmare)
  • Mexican street food at Wahaca which was noisy, but fun for lunch
  • An incredible hamburger at a brasserie in London, with chips of course
  • Indian City;  Great food but noisy. What is with British restaurants being noisy?
  • Pad Thai and calamari at Busaba Thai (also noisy, BTW)
  • Steak & Ale pie at a 300-year-old pub in Windsor with an ancient fireplace and low clearance (mind your head!)
    My Sunday roast for lunch. Note the enormous and perfect Yorkshire Pudding.

    My Sunday roast for lunch. Note the enormous and perfect Yorkshire Pudding.

    Cute little pub in Windsor., the Horse and Groom. First licensee on the site was in 1719.

    Cute little pub in Windsor, the Horse and Groom. The first licensee on the site was in 1719. The door was clearly made for short people. 

We wrapped up this trip in Dijon. No light cuisine there! For lunch in Beaune we enjoyed a very traditional Burgundy meal during a wine tour day. Boeuf Bourguignon for me and lapin for Ric. Ouefs en Meurette for an entreè were excellent! I may like lardons even better than pancetta.
Just writing this has me pondering the meaning of “ethnic food.” Is it “ethnic” when you eat something in one country not native to your own? Is a hamburger ethnic cuisine if you eat it in France? How about French fries? If an Indian eats tandoori in London, is it “ethnic?” I might consider eating an Italian meal in Portland “ethnic” dining, but I certainly don’t consider Italian food in Italy “ethnic.” Unless, of course, you are eating Ligurian food in Abbruzzo or bistecca Fiorentino in the Alto Adige.
Scallop with roe (or coral) included. I had no idea they were sold this way, but leave it to the French to use every edible part. The roe is supposed to be delicious!

Scallop with roe (or coral) included. I had no idea they were sold this way, but leave it to the French to use every edible part. The roe is supposed to be delicious! From out food tour in Paris, which was very educational.

A Bresse chicken is the most expensive chicken in the world, so we are told. It has appellation d'origine contrôlée status,. We did not eat any. Retail price, uncooked, about $25/pound.

A Bresse chicken is the most expensive chicken in the world, so we are told. It has appellation d’origine contrôlée status. We did not eat any. Retail price, uncooked, about $25/pound.

Our final night in Dijon, as we wandered around looking for a light supper (having gorged at lunch), nothing really looked good. It all seemed the same: hearty Burgundian cuisine and burgers. I turned to Ric and said, “If we were in Italy we wouldn’t have a problem picking a place to eat. They may all have the same menus but we like everything on the menu.” Yup, Italy has the best overall food in Europe. Italy just doesn’t have much “ethnic,” that is, non-Italian. 
Tuesday we returned to the land of lighter cuisine and inexpensive wine. I think I need a salad.

 

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11 Responses to “Ethnic food”

  1. Chloe Erkenbrecher May 6, 2016 at 08:02 #

    We have one good Italian restaurant in Sacramento: Bibba’s, but it is Northern Italian and not to my liking as much as the food from the south. Guess I’ll just have to keep cooking Italian myself.

    Like

  2. apollard May 5, 2016 at 23:08 #

    I’m feeling a bit traumatised by the poor chickens heads, do you have to cut them off or is it pre-detached? …i enjoyed your processing around whats ethnic, in New Zealand where i live possibly everything is ethnic ? Pre 1840 all food was fish and kumara (sweet potato), thereafter, early settlers food, farmed meat and veg, then recently all things asian, european and western…

    Like

    • gooddayrome May 6, 2016 at 08:39 #

      Much poultry in Europe is sold with some “parts” attached. I believe in this case, in particular, it is to demonstrate the chicken is actually this expensive and distinctive breed. You should have seen my face the first time I bought ground lamb. The butcher brought out a whole, skinned lamb and proceeded to take the meat off the bones then grind it for me.

      You make an interesting point about “native” cuisine. We think of sweet potatoes as distinctly American. They are clearly “ethnic”
      food in Italy as they are called “patate americane.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Chloe Erkenbrecher May 5, 2016 at 07:04 #

    Is Wahaca the phonetic spelling? I love the roast and Yorkshire pudding. Yum. I don’t blame you for being happy to be back where the food is almost always superior to all others. Why can’t most restaurants in other countries get Italian food right? I think it’s because they can’t believe anything can be that simple to cook and try to add too many needless ingredients. Our granddaughter is in Rome at the moment, visiting her cousin and she loves it.

    Like

    • gooddayrome May 5, 2016 at 13:26 #

      Yes, I guess. Wahaca is how the location in Mexico – Oaxaca – is pronounced. I know the reason Italian food in America can be a “fail” is the Americanization of it. We know a couple of more-or-less authentic places in Portland, but I am certain we will miss Italy’s cooking enormously when we decide to go back. But then an annual trip could help…. Glad your granddaughter is having fun! The weather is incredible!

      Like

  4. Marcia Kakiuchi May 4, 2016 at 18:06 #

    Just reading about your food selections makes my mouth water!

    Like

    • gooddayrome May 4, 2016 at 18:31 #

      We thoroughly enjoyed eating “ABI” for a few days, but are happy to be back in Italia where, as Ric says, “There are no bad meals; Some are just better than others.”

      Like

  5. ckleonard May 4, 2016 at 17:08 #

    Hi! Well of all, the Steak & Ale Pie would have been my favorite! Sounds like you had a very good trip! I, too, love that door!

    Like

    • gooddayrome May 4, 2016 at 18:30 #

      Thanks, Carolyn! It was a fine pie with a lard crust. Evil!

      Like

  6. Nigel May 4, 2016 at 14:16 #

    I will have to find that door in Windsor so my wife can get all smug again…

    Like

    • gooddayrome May 4, 2016 at 14:42 #

      Carol would sail right through, Nigel, as did I! Cute place!

      Like

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