The Culinary Industry both in the United States and worldwide is reflective of thousands of cultures around the globe. Food is attached in many ways to culture. The blending of cuisines and the importing and exporting of concepts, ideas and ingredients have helped to create a diverse culinary landscape. The migrating peoples around the globe bring traditions and cultural practices beyond borders.
The United States is the most diverse country in the world in terms of culture, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation. We are a melting pot for people from all over the globe. This variety has created a unique culture that is unlike anywhere in the world. And this divergence is especially reflected in our cuisine where it promotes tolerance, acceptance and understanding of the cultures, people and places that have affected it.
Our influx of immigrants has shifted populations from rural areas into cities because immigrants tend to inhabit urban areas. Want to experience cuisine from another country? In New York City for example, you can find South African, Scottish, Serbian, Swiss, and Yemeni restaurants to name a few. In San Francisco, there’s Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Vietnamese and more. Here in South Florida, where Chefuniforms.com is headquartered, we can enjoy Cuban, Puerto Rican, Brazilian, Japanese, Haitian, Jamaican, Greek, Peruvian and the list goes on. Traveling to Portland, Oregon? You can find Argentinian, French, Irish, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurants.
The food truck craze has also lent itself to this culinary diversification. There are food trucks serving gourmet dishes, tacos, pizza, gyros, sushi and pad thai along with hot dogs and philly cheese steaks.
In the last few decades the hodgepodge that is America has produced fusion cuisine – that is cuisine that combines elements of different culinary traditions – taco pizza, Korean tacos, sushi rolls combining ingredients like basmati rice and curry with traditional nori and raw fish or vegetables.
Many of the tools now used in professional kitchens originated in other countries: woks, bamboo steamers, fondue pots, tagines and copper cataplanas for example. Newspapers and magazines publish global recipes. Television cooking and travel shows expose those not living in urban areas to food from around the globe.
Some culinary schools are actively recruiting instructors, staff and students internationally. Universities, nutritionists and home economists are teaching a new approach to the foods of the world.
The love of food has become a building block for a tolerant, civil and inclusive environment that celebrates our diversity and the culinary industry is a shining example.
Here are a few articles to demonstrate our diversity:
Huffington Post, March 28th, 2014: 10 Black Chefs That Are Changing The Food World As We Know It
Hopper.com’s Blog: The Ten Best Cities for Food Trucks in the United States
Today.com, July 8th, 2005: 10 foods that make America great
Nation’s Restaurant News, July 17th, 2013: 3 emerging cuisines
Zagat.com, September 9th, 2013: The 10 Most Exciting Emerging Cuisines Nationwide
USTranslation.com Blog, October 15, 2014: Are you missing out on 20% of your potential American customers?
What is your take on our culinary hodgepodge?