I’m looking for answers.
There are "good even if you didn't grow up with it" dishes like lechon (suckling pig), pork & chicken adobo and halo-halo, and some of the modern/upscale/fusiony places in Manila are amazing, but it would still be hard to have a Filipino place that's authentic and appealing to non-Filipino palates at the same time.
Also every mentioned country commonly used fermented fish/shrimp paste. The smelly “pla ra” is part of som tam but restaurants in the west probably don’t offer it at all.
Phở is famous but bulalo (oxtail bone marrow soup) is not, yet the two are comparable. The latter has a large piece of oxtail that would make it a delicacy on its own, and it’s good-looking too.
With a set of base dishes that taste good and look good for westerners, I’m not sure the taste is what’s keeping Filipino cuisine a secret.
Ethiopian food is “common” in Los Angeles, but I wouldn’t say it’s particularly varied or spiced.
While surely every country and culture offers some tasty dishes I think there is a reason we see so many Italian, Thai and Japanese restaurants everywhere and so few German, Phillipine or Peruvian restaurants.
I am German myself and I am sure you can find more Italian than native restaurants in Germany, simply because it makes for a better dining experience. Not everything needs to be socially constructed.
I doubt that. Every eating place where you can get a bratwurst or a currywurst would count as a German restaurant as everyplace where you can get only pizza would count as Italian restaurant.
If we look at higher priced restaurants it gets fuzzy anyway as those restaurants in Europe are more influenced by French cuisine than the native ones and this wouldn't be any different in Germany or Italy as the influence of French culture was pretty dominant in the past centuries.
"Thailand, to combat bad Thai food around the world, creates robot ‘e-delicious’ tasting machine"
I also wonder if it has to do with segregation when arriving - if the Chinese on the railroad had to cook their own food it would be different than if they just ate whatever everyone else was eating.
Some cuisines have "brand appeal", some of it deserved, and that makes business sense for restaurant owners - and at least here in the far north, a chef's training includes the basics of the distinguished European traditions. Those who want to perfect it will obviously make the pilgrimage.
I'd like to think I would probably like his Albanian cuisine as well, but admitted to myself I probably wouldn't have tried it in the first place. People don't usually try out things for a nice evening they have no clue how it would taste like.
Cooking takes experience and effort, not some weird genetic memory.
Genetics has little to do with that, though: lots of ITALIAN pizzerias IN ITALY now hire Egyptian citizens to prepare and (most importantly) cook their pizzas. And nobody has any problem with the way the pizza comes out.
My point is: if you are in the place where a specific dish was "invented", you have access to appropriate ingredients and lots of know-how from the locals.
If you grew up in a culture were the dish is available only through ethnic restaurants, proper ingredients might be difficult to find, and most importantly, your own taste (to judge if the food is "correct" or if one of the ingredients is "good enough") is somehow distorted because you are too far from the originals.
Source: currently live in Tokyo, have also lived in Korea (Seoul) for years, and I eat everything.
There are exceptions (I know of a place where they make excellent Espresso in Berlin, and neither the owner/store manager nor the baristas are of Italian descent) - but the rare times I had decent Espresso outside Italy itself it was almost invariably prepared by an Italian.
I suppose that this could apply to other specialties from different cultures: I am no Sushi snob for example, nor a Croissant Connoisseur... but I would expect that Sushi prepared by a Japanese chef, or French Pastry made by a French person could be a bit more faithful to the "platonic ideal" so to say.
Similarly, I've never heard of an Algerian restaurant. But Moroccan or Lebanese ones are quite common (and the relationships of France with Morocco and Lebanon much better and less contentious).
My theory is that all of Scottish cuisine is based on a dare.
I guess Americans are just generally squeamish when it comes to food. ;)
> sheep instead of pigs doesn't make a whole lot of difference.
Oh it sure as heck does to me. Pig in all forms is heavenly. Sheep is almost always way too gamey for me, although I did have some killer lamb chops in South Africa once. But the flavor of the meat and dairy products reminds me of the smell of the sweat from the various goats I grew up with. No thank you.
without that being added, you really sounded like a sensitive plant.
I recently brought some lamb chops to a barbecue at friend's (Its the only meat my little daughter wants to eat) and my friends had a try and also seconds. They were somewhat surprised they like it.
Personally, I don't care if people don't like a food or poke fun at a dish I'm familiar with. But some people get sensitive about cuisine even if they themselves don't like those dishes because they take it as a personal affront.
My grandma used to cook them in the summer with tomatoes and onions in a little clear soup.
In Apulia you might find Municeddhe, which are just cooked with oil and butter and maybe herbs (as far as I know). They’re amazing.
Translation: if you snails on Saint John's Eve (June 23rd), you'll have money all year.
It's illegal because it is considered potentially dangerous, but its dangerousness has never been proved, of course it's safer to simply prohibit it, it's quite popular in Sardinia, but not many even on the island eat it and in Sardinia people keep making it anyway, so I think it was the right decision.
Someone feeling sick after eating it in France would be very bad PR for such a small, local, traditional food.
I know of people that went to Sardinia only to taste it, exporting it doesn't make much sense both economically and beaurocracy wise.
Sometimes I think they keep making it just for the tourists.
And it's anything but weird. It's likely that this is how cheese was originally discovered: in the fourth stomach (the abomasum, the "true stomach") of an unweaned ruminant slaughtered for food.
The stomachs of unweaned ruminants are also the traditional source of rennet ("callu" means rennet and callu de cabreddu doubles as rennet). Why unweaned ruminants? Rennet is made of two proteolytic enzymes, chymosin and pepsin, that break apart milk proteins (specifically, caseins) by hydrolysis and cause them to coagulate and turn milk into curd. Chymosin has the strongest clotting power whereas pepsin has the strongest proteolytic power. Stronger proteolysis breaks proteins down into smaller peptides and amino acids and it turns out that those register to our sense of taste as bitterness.
Chymosin has strong clotting power at a pH of 6.2 to 6.4, close to that of fresh milk (around 6.8), whereas pepsin clots milk best at a pH of 1.7 to 2.3 which is way too acidic for cheese and basically impossible to get with the usual way to acidify milk for cheesemaking, fermentation of lactose by Lactic Acid Bacteria. LAB generally don't develop at a pH below 4.6 so I don't think milk can even get to the ideal pH for pepsin just from fermentation (pepsin is probably fine-tuned for the very acidic environment of a mammal's stomach).
So basically, to get the same clotting power with pepsin as with chymosin one would have to make a cheese so tangy and bitter that it would be inedible, if it could even be made in the first place.
Now, the age thing. Both chymosin and pepsin are produced in the stomachs of ruminants, young and old, but younger animals produce more chymosin while older animals produce more pepsin. I think it's something like 75/25% chymosin/pepsin for unweaned animals and the opposite for adults, I don't remember. So, to have maximum milk clotting power with slower proteolysis, and less chance of developing bitter tastes, you need to use the rennet from a young animal, preferrably one that hasn't yet eaten grass. It appears that eating grass is what triggers the mechanisms that start producing more pepsin than chymosin. Don't ask me why because I have no idea.
It should be Peruvian. I’m Brazilian and never heard about this dish here.
It wouldn't be anywhere near my top list of disgusting foods though
I took some pictures, if you want to have a look:
Context from 8:40
Note that even if it's a traditional dish here, only a minority of people are OK to give it a try. Often to impress other people around the table.
My grandmother used to prepare it. It's quite simple to make. Put the right kind of cheese in a pot, cover it with a green cabage leaf, cover and wait for a week.
> You have to drink wine when eating this, like stroooong red wine.
You know, I don't generally associate "you'd have to be dead drunk to eat this" with "it's not so bad".
It's just a matter of knowing what pairs best, or get rid of aftertaste if the food is peculiar.
If you translate « pair with a strong red » to « get dead drunk » it’s on you and you should get it fixed, it has nothing to do with Gp.
Sounds like there is less protein rich ways of eating the cheese as well.
You know cheese is mostly protein, right? If you took out the protein, it would be butter, not cheese.
Please tell me you've read "Asterix in Corsica". Goscinny makes at least a couple of jokes about Corsican cheese, and in one of them it's called "some kind of demented cheese" :P
Because the larvae in the
cheese can launch themselves
for distances up to 15
centimetres (6 in) when
disturbed, diners hold
their hands above the
sandwich to prevent the
maggots from leaping.
Here is an (italian) article about it https://www.onaf.it/index.php?c=index&a=schedaformaggio&id=3...
Google Translate version: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=it&tl=en&u=https:/...
Remarkable. It joins fugu on a very short list of "things that are lethally poisonous, but also food".
Wikipedia even has a category for this!
Casu Martzu, tempeh bongkrèk, fugu are all on there. But I think it's missing a couple interesting ones: raw cassava root (glycosides that are metabolized to cyanide) and rhubarb (oxalic acid (which is also the toxic metabolic product of ethylene glycol, the antifreeze fluid)).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxalic_acid#Occurrence_in_food... (several other obscure foods)
Contains solanine, especially concentrated in sprouts and green sections, which is toxic.
Also produces a gas which can be lethal. See this  article about a girl who was left orphaned after her parents, brother, and grandmother were killed by a sac of potatoes left too long in the cellar.
The answers tends to be either finding a way to eat the inedible (because there are times where calories > no calories regardless of the source of calories), or finding a way to conserve it somewhat / somehow. Even ignoring its use in creating alcohol from sugars, fermentation can do both (separately or at the same time) and more.
Often these become typical delicacies (the flavors can be intriguing or interesting, or "interesting" in the case of some like Hákarl and possibly the Hongeo-hoe you're talking about).
For Casu marzu, it's probably either finding a way to control spoliation such that the result is still edible, though it's also possible that uncontrolled spoliation simply resulted in something those adventurous (or desperate) enough to try eating it took a liking to.
I'd expect the latter to be the story here: hard cheeses like Pecorino keep a while until they're "open" and you start eating them, and it's not a huge cheese (I believe pecorino wheels are under 2kg, we're not talking the 30+ wheels of a parmesan or comte).
Or maybe sardinia regularly has conditions where the cheese can't be kept and so a controlled decomposition was superior to just losing the cheese.
I have a friend who was in a forced-labor camp and this pretty much sums it up. I recall him describing that the "meat" they were given was usually so rotten than the only way they could stomach it was to basically cover it in chili peppers to mask the taste and smell. But it kept them alive.
These weird foods probably have concentrations of various things that you simply won't see in anywhere else. Salt appetite is a proven and understood phenomenon but i bet there's similar things going on in all of these foods. You try it once and probably don't like it then and there and then one day your brain brings up the memory of that food and tells you to go eat it again.
That's how "acquired tastes" develop physiologically and culture takes care of passing it down the generations.
A basic cheese doesn't involve any fungus...?
Maybe it helps that I never licked a urinal, so I have no idea what a urinal tastes like.
Monggae bibimbap had a lot of ammonia, but there were some pleasing elements. I can't remember if I've tried hongeo hoe, but I can imagine it could have some appeal.
Of course, all of these things are insane to the average Midwestern US person that I might encounter.
Thanks for teaching me something new.
To me it’s like a strong creamy cheese. But I could see how some people find it unappetizing.
I can’t stand jackfruit any more. I used to love it, but now it just smells like the fake lemon smell of soap.
But many people don't like it indeed, so I must accept this as a fact.
Most of the food we eat have come to be through centuries of iterations to make it better tasting, safer, easier to preserve, etc. or simply edible.
For example olives taste really bad in nature, to make them tasty there are different ways, including immerse them in a solution of water and caustic soda or water and burnt lime, which are highly toxic substances.
I can't even wrap my head around how someone thought it was a good idea, but however the procedure was invented, it worked and we can now experience the amazing taste of sweet olives.
Or think about meat hanging (dry aging) where meat is aged for weeks before being eaten.
Greenland has its own fermented cartilaginous fish, Hakarl. At least twice in culinary history, someone decided that letting a shark or skate sit somewhere long enough to get WEIRD and start reeking of piss so badly that it hurts wasn't such a bad idea and eating it might be okay. Crazy.
There’s definitely a story of desperate starvation in there somewhere.
I desperately need to know this, because if I ever travel to Sardinia I will definitely try this unless there's a chance of getting infested by flesh eating maggots.
What you can do to make sure they die: Schnaps will cause more stomach acid to be released. And as always, chew properly.
It is interesting though why we, humans, haven't got to regularly eat the insects, snails, frogs, etc. (except for a few cuisines) - i mean until the 2nd half of the 20th century the malnutrition was very widespread, and so you'd expect that all the possible cheapest ways of food production would have been utilized. I wonder are there any hidden aspects which would naturally select out people/communities who would go that way in any substantial ways (say high risk of mistakes leading to poisoning? though we do eat mushrooms and fish then why not say frogs? the frogs for example were eaten only during famines in Russia, yet not in normal times).
Not sure if it's more or less appetizing than Hakarl (I guess it smells better).
Still better than Balut though. That's definitely a no for me.
Looks like that’s an option!
>Some who eat the cheese prefer not to ingest the maggots. Those who do not wish to eat them place the cheese in a sealed paper bag. The maggots, starved for oxygen, writhe and jump in the bag, creating a "pitter-patter" sound. When the sounds subside, the maggots are dead and the cheese can be eaten.
The original film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wR2DystgByQ
Warning: It might actually put you off cheese
This cheese is illegal for a reason!
a traditional Sardinian sheep milk cheese that contains live insect larvae (maggots).
Noooooope nope nope nope nope.
Noooooooooooooope nope nope nope.
As a wise man once said: “Casu Martzu may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherf*er.”*
Guess Casu Martzu must be the secret ingredient.