Travel the world in your neighborhoodDining Thursday, October 20th, 2011
Through the years, I have been fortunate to travel the world. My goal in life is to get to as many countries as I can. Nothing is more thrilling for me than to deplane and be greeted by a culture different than the American one I know so well.
Asia also offers something similar to Europe with the mélange of cultures, and happens to be the largest of all the continents. Ancient beliefs of religion and spirituality are still practiced to this day, and taken very seriously. Food is regional, and yes, you can tell the difference between Thai, Chinese and Korean dishes. Although their names maybe similar, each offer their own unique flavor and the preparations differ vastly.
Throughout the world, no matter where you are, food and the celebration of it is profound. You have areas that differ so much that you can tell immediately; others make you think where you are and where you have come from. It is amazing to see how all the same ingredients are available all over the world, but the use of such ingredients seem to reveal their birthplace.
Galangal, Fish Sauce, Tamarind are classic staples in Asian cuisine. Butter, cream, deep rooted organ meats as the heart and liver are used throughout the provinces of Europe. While over in America, despite the fact that we are known for having more fast food restaurants than anywhere in the world, we use our coastal bounties to create apple pies, clam chowders, jambalayas and the best barbecue. We have even created a cuisine within a cuisine with the emergence of the California cuisine.
In San Diego, as well as in many cities, we have the best of all worlds. Every neighborhood is a perfect example of this; you can see it just by walking down our streets. It is one of the most fortunate aspects of living in America.
I always tell my friends to branch out and try something new. How boring is it to go to the same place over and over. I equate it to seeing the same movie fifteen to twenty times. After a while you get to know all the words.
Restaurants are the same. Everyone tells a story, has a plot, main characters and brings something different to the table. We see some succeed with awards and accolades, while others flop right from their release.
I encourage everyone to take a walk on Friday night down University Avenue and stop into a world of culture that is unfamiliar to you. Believe me, it is a lot cheaper than a plane ticket to Bangkok.
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