viernes, 23 de abril de 2010

The Kitchen: A Neutral Zone

By Fabiola Jiménez
Translated by Jenny Marie Forsythe

Despite attempts to defend claims on the origin and authenticity of ingredients, food travels through space and becomes part of many identities, transforming itself according to the customs of different regions and becoming part of the diet of many communities.
Since the time of the first great civilizations, people have travelled, explored and attempted to conquer new territories. Provisions have been exchanged across borders, a factor which has certainly influenced the evolution of gastronomy.
Today, this phenomenon remains unchanged. People migrate, start restaurants which serve their regional cuisine in their second homes and, in this way, preserve part of their identities. This is how fusion cuisine is born: as a mixture of cultures to be enjoyed in a dish and a combination of flavors which knows no boundaries.
Nationality may be a concept firmly rooted in our everyday lives, but it is not necessarily rooted in our palettes, where borders should prove no obstacle.
It is a pleasure to combine and enjoy familiar and unfamiliar ingredients in a single dish. When local and imported ingredients come together, new culinary traditions, whose flavors, aromas and experiences transcend a single geographical or political situation, are born.
The kitchen ought to be a neutral zone, where flavors denote no particular identity or religion and strive to conquer only our delighted palettes. After all, who cares whether pisco is from Peru or Chile as long as we can enjoy drinking it?

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