Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ethnic food cornucopia

Senegalese food served up in Portland
Mom once told me that she did not know what a taco was until she was in college.  I was a kid at the time, born of a Mexican father, and I found her revelation to be hilarious and inconceivable.  But, as she pointed out, there just weren't many Mexican restaurants in the Willamette Valley in the 40s and 50s.

People my age, of course, grew up with a plethora of ethnic foods available.  Well, it seemed like a plethora.  Specifically, there were three:  Chinese, Mexican, and Italian.

My, my, how times have changed!  The three varieties of ethnic food I knew as a boy are so integrated into American culture that they're hardly considered ethnic any more.  Who doesn't know what a taco is today?  Or an egg roll?  Or chicken parmigiana?

Ethnic food today is much more diverse.  Indeed, within walking distance of my home in Portland there are half a dozen Thai restaurants, several Indian restaurants, a sushi house, a couple Mediterranean places, an Ethiopian place, a Korean barbeque, and a couple Vietnamese pho houses.

Just another benefit that comes from ethnic diversity here in the land of plenty.  It's a good thing I have such an iron will when it comes to dietary restraint.  (Er --strike that --heh.)

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