So, should we? Really, Americans snatching up the cuisine of other cultures and turning them into something new, is nothing new. America has always had a voracious appetite for culture snatching. If you don’t believe that, how do you think stuffed crust pizzas evolved? Native American “inspired” shirts and sweaters? The obsession with Native American headdresses? The “new phenomenon” of cornrows? ? Even this blog which focuses around matcha, sushi, yoga, and fasting (which are from different cultures, by the way). Why do I list fasting in that list? Because, in America, not eating for a day or several days is not something that anyone does by choice. It’s a sign of not having enough, of poverty, or, to go in the other direction, of an eating disorder, but more on that later.
I think we can all agree that we have already done some pretty interesting things to sushi: making it with cooked fish, then meat, slathering it with delicious cream cheese, and even deep-frying it. One of my new favorites includes the addition of slices of sweet potato. We are a culture of innovation that never observes rules or limitations to creating or improving upon something that has existed before (or so people must tell themselves to silence their inner-angels and consciences).
Of course, eating foreign food in America is also nothing new. This country prides itself on being a melting pot while also treating its immigrants as lower-class citizens, in fact, all of America’s minorities are lower-class citizens but apparently not so low that their tasty new foods, clothing styles, and way of life are safe from cultural appropriation or gentrification.
Have you seen the restaurants that sell Chinese food that are actually run by Chinese people as opposed to those “Chinese” restaurants that are white-owned? Same rice, high price. Though this idea may not apply to sushi, which, as far as I’ve seen in the many sushi places I’ve eaten, generally sits in the same price range, what will these sushi burritos do to more traditional sushi restaurants? Shouldn’t we be trying to support America’s immigrants who have contributed so much in cuisine and culture? The outright disrespect that current Presidential Donald Trump has shown to immigrants, Hispanics specifically is not only appalling, but contradicts the ideal of making America “great” again. I wonder how he feels about building borders between us and Mexico when he’s chowing down on burritos at his local Chipotle.
By mixing these two very different cultures, have we taken dining too far? Is smashing two very different delectables into this new thing good? Should we be embracing innovation despite the damage it is doing to the influencing cultures? What do you think? Tell me your opinion below.