Monday, March 23, 2009
Food for Thought--Kimchi Tacos and Other Cross-Cultural Culinary Collisions
“It’s like this Korean Mexican fusion thing of crazy deliciousness.”
These were the words used to describe the latest culinary craze to hit Los Angeles, Korean tacos. To be more specific, "spicy bites of pork, chicken or tofu soaked in red chili flake vinaigrette, short ribs doused in sesame-chili salsa roja or perhaps a blood sausage sautéed with kimchi, all of it wrapped in a soft taco shell." The brain child of two chefs, these delectable Korean tacos are sold out of truck that roams around the city, alerting hungry fans of its location through Twitter messages.
Does anything sound more delicious than a Korean barbecue taco? My mouth is just salivating over the thought. And what's more, the Meltingpot in me is loving the implications of the cultural cross-pollination occurring on the streets of LA. You can read the whole story of the Kimchi Taco craze here.
Of course there's nothing new about fusion cuisine, and in places like Los Angeles where there is a thriving food culture and a gazillion different ethnic communities, there's bound to be untold examples of cultural co-mingling taking place on the plate.
And once it occurs on the plate, how long does it take to soak into daily life?
Some of my favorite culinary culture combinations include:
Bayamo: Chino/Latino (A Cuban/Chinese restaurant in Soho)
Two Boots: Cajun/Italian restaurant pizza chain in NYC. Crawfish pizza anyone?
Sushi Samba: Peruvian/Sushi It was all about raw fish, with ceviche and sushi
Bagels with cream cheese and pesto
Tortilla Espanola and Collard Greens
Corn beef and kimchi
What are your favorite fusion foods? Made up or sampled at a restaurant? Please share. And thanks to Roseanne for the tip on the tacos.