Friday, March 20, 2009

'Chinese' Food

Some time ago, we all went to a local Chinese buffet on the recommendation of our pastor, who said it was a good place to get sushi.

The first thing I noticed when I stepped into the restaurant was that it was full of Mexican families.  About half of the customers were speaking Spanish, and I heard a lot of little kids babbling happily.

The restaurant had made a couple of menu adjustments to cater to this clientele.  There were Chinese tacos and tortillas on the buffet.  The tacos were basically chicken stir fry in a taco shell, and the tortillas were basically Chop Suey with lots of sauce between tortilla shells.  Both of them were good.

Also on the menu were apple pie, peach cobbler, pizza, and the kinds of simple meats and vegetables you might expect to find in a traditional Southern buffet. (This is actually the mainstay of traditional Chinese food from the northern and central parts of China.)  And of course, sushi is Japanese.

So the 'Chinese' restaurant ended up selling a combination of Mexican, Japanese, Italian, European, and Southern American food, in addition to food from all of the regions of China.  If this trend continues, 'Chinese' buffet restaurants will end up selling popular foods from all over the world.

This actually makes sense.  The Chinese have always been traders, and their culture readily incorporates outside influences.  They are the natural people to create these kinds of fusion dining experiences.

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