As an English teacher, I love to talk about food because, well… it’s food. It’s the stuff of life! What also makes it a great topic for English lessons, is that it’s polarizing which really gets students talking. And when they do, you can get them to discuss the flavor, smell, texture, sound and look of a dish along with how it’s made and how the ingredients are sourced. It’s a beefy topic you can milk to the max.
While not everyone has a position on food, many do. In fact, there are entire populations of people who have sworn off things like tomatoes, mushrooms, various forms of protein or anything at all that comes from the sea. As I am from the US, whenever I talk about food, I have to defend American cuisine with Jedi-like mastery.
People often parrot that American food is bad quality, disgusting food that makes people fat. Wrong! American food is the best food in the world. Who else has a restaurant that can boast, over six billion served? Why is it that the most ubiquitous eatery in the whole of China called KFC? Have I got your goat yet? OK. I, like you, know that industrial sales profits have little to do with whether the food is good or not. And that’s why I say that it is unfair to compare the food that comes from these corporations to anything at all that you’re calling good food. If you like a tasty home-cooked healthy meal, chances are that according to Wall Street, your favourite place to eat $ucks! So, since we’re not talking about McDonalds, let’s talk about real food.
This week, I propose three great American foods (not the three best, just three of the many).
Sour Dough Bread – San Francisco
This bread is made the old fashioned way – allowing the natural yeast to rise in order to give it a slightly sour taste. A typical way of serving this bread up is to hollow out the center and use it as a bowl, filling it with soup (tomato soup or clam chowder). This way you eat the soup and then you eat the bowl. Nice. No washing up.
General Tso’s Chicken – Chinatown, NYC
“Isn’t that Chinese?” you ask. Well, it’s about as Chinese as burritos and chimichongas are Mexican. As it is a long story, I invite you to check out The Search for General Tso, a documentary which gets to the bottom of it, detailing exactly how this great plate came to be and where it comes from. Now, back to food talk. This dish involves crispy ever so sweet, tangy breaded chicken pieces coated with a lovely spicy red pepper sauce which is eaten with either rice or broccoli or both. It causes an explosion of flavor in the mouth and it will have you coming back for more before you even know it. Careful! You have been warned.
Pumpkin Pie – New England
What can be said about pumpkin pie that hasn’t been said about heaven already? In its many different versions, it can be made semi-sweet, sweet, or downright melliferous. With its blend of pumpkin, cream, cinnamon, ginger, whisky, rum, and maple syrup, pumpkin pie is one of those things that makes the world a better place.
So, if you find yourself going to United States any time soon. Be sure to skip the big bright signs that are sure to ensure that whatever complaints you have about American food are validated. Instead, seek out one of the delicious dishes mentioned above. That’s it for now. See you next week with more talk on tasty treats.
So which dishes would you like to talk about? Leave a comment below.
For a list of adjectives which describe food, click below.