Sunday, February 1, 2015

eenie meanie chili beanie

On the question of whether beans do not belong in chili I do not know; this is not my ethnicity.

I can say, however, on the righteous grounds of my own ethnicity, that I am continuously irked by the sale of things that are called bagels but are not bagels; they're bread in the shape of a doughnut. I don't mind the existence of these things; what I mind is that they're falsely called bagels and falsely touted for their authenticity.

Of course, as was pointed out to me, many things are done under the name of foods that exist more purely somewhere else. What we call curry or pizza in the US or UK bear little resemblance to those foods in India or Italy. Should Indians and Italians protest?

In my opinion as an appreciative outsider, they should. I won't speak to curry, which again I know little of, but I have had pizza in Italy as well as all over the US and even in the UK, and I'm grateful for the modifiers like "Chicago-style pizza" that let you know what you're getting is not pizza as anybody else understands it, but a separate kind of dish inspired by and derived from pizza.

I'd appreciate it if such modifiers were more widely-spread. It would enable me more easily to avoid versions I don't like, such as "toppings-on-a-cracker fast-food-chain American pizza" or "vilely soggy undercooked English pizza."

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