The Pros of Foodie Nation
Thanks to The Food Network, Hell’s Kitchen, Master Chef, and Top Chef; America has become what I like to call…..Foodie Nation. This comes with pros and cons, as a chef here are what I consider the pros.
One of the biggest pros is the ability to get international ingredients easily. Several years ago you had to go to a specific international market if you wanted farro, (a very common grain in Italy, you could only find in an Italian market), or if you needed Kasha (also known as buckwheat, you had to go to a Japanese or Asian market). Now these ingredients are readily available at local grocery stores; this saves time and the added bonus of gasoline. Also, being able to walk around a grocery store and be able to incorporate these international ingredients in a menu at the drop of a hat has been a great way to experiment.
Another pro is with all these shows showcasing different or unusual ingredients, the more restaurants are using them as well. This is because we, the watchers and consumers, want to try and eat these ingredients. We want to know what these Chefs and contestants are working with and the flavor combinations they are working with. Believe me the next time I see finger limes (from Australia, they have little pearls in where their tangy juice stems from) or Black Chicken (also called Silkie, is very common in Asian and European dishes, has black flesh a much gamier flavor) I will be buying some to do my own experimentation!
Black Chicken/Silkie Rambutan Finger Limes
The last pro, is that while adults are getting excited about different food….so are children. It used to be difficult to get children to eat broccoli (if you have a picky eater please refer to my previous blog “Getting your Children in the Kitchen”) now they want to eat broccolini, my 4-year old niece favorite fruit is rambutan (native to Malay-Indonesia, it reminds me of a less acidic grape) over previous generations whose favorite fruit might be apples.