Canusamex - Life ... It's Why We Cook. Blog at - 263315

Life ... It's Why We Cook.

Jan. 7, 2012 10:39 am 
Updated: Jan. 26, 2012 1:32 am
On his post, a while back, Chef John asked, what is our favorite ethnic cuisine. …  (< ) ) As I read several interesting comments and I began thinking about all the ethnicities that make up this continent and wondered how I could pick only one ethnic cuisine and not short another that I liked also. I was ready to answer his question with German. Then changed my mind to Italian. Then Mexican. Then East Indian. Then Chinese.  I soon relented and decided to not answer his question at all.
However, his question stayed with me. I had cooked several ethnic dishes in the past which were well received and complimented. Then it occurred to me that each time an ethnic food is served in North America to a person of that ethnicity, that person is critical (or even indignant) that the food was not prepared correctly and deemed it inferior. Why deem it inferior? HMMMMmmmm.
Rather than believe the critique to be an obnoxious, arrogant, fastidious, and condescending report from a puffy, self-serving, conceited, and egotistic sack of sh**, I chose to analyze it closer. The conclusion I made is, this is The New World. We don’t follow the rules of the old country. We follow our gut and not some established bull from across the water. We do the same in our cooking. If we like authentic, we’ll cook it. If not, we’ll change it to suit our tastes. If the wannabe queen of Peukola doesn’t like it, what can she do? Will she starve herself? That would be my preference but we all know she won’t.
What can be done to avert the over sensitive taste buds of a narcissistic denigrator?
My answer is easy. We won’t change anything except leaving ourselves open for those superiority seeking shadows of slurry. Instead of saying, “I prepared this Peukolan recipe in your honor”, I will say, “I prepared this Canusamex recipe with Peukolan influence to honor our nations.” Then, if it is deemed inferior, the natural rejoinder would be, “I knew I shouldn’t have put those Peukolan parts in there!”
Canusamex. Canada, USA and Mexico.  An unique cuisine of North America that subscribes to it’s own palate without regard to ethnicity.  As a word, it has a neat way of leaving the tongue. As a food it has a neat way of pleasing the tongue. As a cuisine, its unspoken message to food snobs is, “Like it or leave it”.
I answered Chef Johns question with Canusamex!

Jan. 7, 2012 10:54 am
Canusamex, love it! A few years ago my Uncle Bill was visiting from the UK. He wanted to take us to dinner. I asked if he liked Mexican. No. Italian? No. Chinese? No. "Don't you have American food?" NO! We ended up going to a steak house and he was very happy. As much as I like Asian food and love to try new flavors and ingredients - the reality is, I want Westernized Asian food. So, Canusamex it is! Perfect!
Jan. 7, 2012 10:55 am
Love the blog, Mike! Agree whole-heartedly with you; like it or leave it.
Jan. 7, 2012 11:24 am
LOL! Excellent!!! great blog mike :P
Jan. 7, 2012 11:27 am
Oh man Nana, the last people on earth who have earned any right to critisize food is people from the UK. My experience is limited, admittedly, but my one trip to England was so much less than stellar when it came to food. Holy Moley. Mike, Canusamex works for me, just so long as we can squeeze some French influence in their somewhere lol
Jan. 7, 2012 11:54 am
"Canusamex" with emphasis on the "Mex" by adding some yee-haw (hot sauce) on it.
Jan. 7, 2012 12:05 pm
Mike, I loved it in Chef John's blog, and love it even more in yours. So well said!
Jan. 7, 2012 12:06 pm
Randy, I believe you get the French part in the "Can".
Jan. 7, 2012 12:20 pm
Great blog!
Jan. 7, 2012 2:59 pm
Sis, french Canadians cook buffalo and stuff, they like their meat pies. They are to the french from France like black folk in the US are to folks in Zimbabwe. An ancestral bond to be sure but beyond that, not so much.
Jan. 7, 2012 3:00 pm
LOLOL, I didn't even read that blog cause being landlocked and Middle Midwestern blocked, I figured my thoughts on ethnic cuisine were, hmm, let's say lacking! How ethnic could meat and potatoes be? Then any "ethnic" food I've had, being this far in the middle how ethnic could it be? Love it Mike! Canusamex! Perfect!!
Jan. 7, 2012 4:23 pm
B'Nana, I have been priviledged to have hosted a few Brits and, like your uncle Bill, they wanted a steak- fatty and bloody. Oh yeah. Budweiser beer, too!
Jan. 7, 2012 4:37 pm
Thank you, Mother Ann! I have heard so much from "experts" and "chefs" from other countries about the food here in North America. There's one from India and another from France that no body on this continent can give them a meal that passes their dainty tasters. Then there are others in the wannabe group that only think they are experts and follow the lead of their mentors.
Jan. 7, 2012 4:39 pm
Helllllooooo, Gitano! Thank you!
Jan. 7, 2012 4:42 pm
Hey, Randy! Canuasmex is as much French as anything else. With Canusamex you can have Escargot with your chili and a bourbon chaser.
Jan. 7, 2012 4:45 pm
Well, bd, I suppose that yee-haw sauce would set pretty good on eggs benedict, right?
Jan. 7, 2012 4:46 pm
Thank you very much, Duffy!
Jan. 7, 2012 4:47 pm
Thanks for commenting, Marie C!
Jan. 7, 2012 4:53 pm
Thank you, Cat! You can explore lots of etnic tastes right here on AR and have a tasty trip across all the continents. Except Antarctica. Only thing there is ice with penguin poop.
Jan. 7, 2012 5:54 pm
OMGoodness, how cool, Canusamex-love it Mike. I have tried many cuisines and have yet to hear someone say that is was not ethnic or original enough for them. Perhaps the frying pan sitting on the stove deters them from pi$$ing off the cook. So this means beer and cheese is acceptable? My wine vocabulary is limited to white or red, really don't care much beyond that. My jambalaya made with risotto is OK, and I buy 4 types of beans-red, black, white and kidney and somehow this works. I hae 3 vinegars and 3 oils in the house and that is only recently due to are. Thanks for accepting the cook.
Jan. 7, 2012 5:55 pm
...LMAO penguin poop on the rocks, now there is a great name for a new drink....thinking something with whiskey as everything tastes better with rye whiskey
Jan. 7, 2012 7:10 pm
Randy, you are right on the money. I spent a lot of time in Quebec when I was younger and the food there resembles nothing you'd find in France. It leans more toward the British fare you spoke so fondly of. Mike, I love the Canusamex concept. I've always wondered, if I ever get to Thailand, would I like the food there as much as I like American Thai food? How different is it really? For example, I love Chinese food. Love it. Worked in a Chinese restaurant kitchen all through high school as a part-time job. My Dad spent time teaching school in Hong Kong and his stories about the food make me want to wretch! I think we have the best of both worlds here in America.
Jan. 7, 2012 7:29 pm
Can't wait till I can get some canusamex take-out! Oh....I bet I already can! I remember a few years back a new Chinese restaurant opened in our town. It would be the fourth one and hopefully the first one to be any good. Lo and behold....the food was the best Chinese I'd had in a long time. We ate there several times and got take-out once or twice a month over a year or so. Then things changed....the food started to go 'downhill'. We thought everyone has an off night and gave them another chance. I went to pick up dinner one night and while I was waiting, I went down the hall to use the restroom. I took a peak in the kitchen. Imagine my surprise to see the cooks working furiously...and speaking Spanish to each other!
Jan. 7, 2012 7:32 pm
Here's how it is with me, Gramma. My daughter had exchange students for several years. Of the nine students only three never complained about the food. A wonderful German girl and two Japanese girls. I was expecting the Japanese girls to complain but they were the ones to eat like they had just discovered food. ... The others have been on cooking shows and display such a thick spread of snobbery that I have to change the channel.
Jan. 7, 2012 7:53 pm
Hi, Nancypants! Japan is the only country in the orient that has acceptable sanitary practices to keep their food and customers safe. I trust none others.
Jan. 7, 2012 7:54 pm
Canusamex takeout, Wyatt???? Of all the ... uh... Forget it. Take out is purely America, too! Guess it had to happen sooner or later. ... There's a Chinese Buffet in Battle Creek that has Chinese frfont people and Mexicans in the kitchen. It's the best Chinese food in Battle Creek!
Jan. 7, 2012 11:01 pm
Great blog and quite a few chuckles. My MIL was Norwegian, from Norway just after WWII. She was often frustarted because thing she bought here were called the same as things she had grown up using, but they were just slightly different. Right here in the US there are huge differences in some things. You can not buy a hard roll (Kaiser to you purist) in Florida and the bagels sold anywhere but NY just are not the same. I used to Fedex both to my friend when she first moved. I have had good Italian food in both the midwest and California, but it just doesn't taste like what I can get in NY. I couldn't even cook it the same myself so I came to the conclusion the local water makes a big difference. I also can't make sour dough bread here that tastes as good as what I made in CA. Personally, I love all the differences, but not everyone does.
Jan. 8, 2012 6:02 am
Penguin Poo on the Rocks, that's a great idea for a drink. Yeah, I know why the sourdough is different-wild yeast in the air. You are absolutely right, Mike. AR is a great place for getting "round the world" recipes. My favorite thing, though, are the experienced cooks who will kindly give much needed advice for those of us trying non meat & potato recipes!
Jan. 8, 2012 8:23 am
Mike, I like the term CanUSAMex. Especially when it comes to chili on the menu in different states-it could taste completely different. I tried chili in New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, and Virginia. They were world's apart in flavor and ingredients.
Jan. 8, 2012 3:31 pm
I had a similar problem as your MIL, BigShotsMom! I've always had really good ground beef here. When I went to TX the ground beef was also really good. But, along the gulf coast it was borderline horrible. In CA it was good but viciously expensive.
Jan. 8, 2012 3:35 pm
Penguin Poo on the Rocks. Hmmm. How about a gin martini, crushed ice and garnished with chopped Kalamata Olives? Will that work, Cat?
Jan. 8, 2012 3:40 pm
Chili is a creation of the the SW USA, Lela. There are no standing recipes and no claim of ownership so it is wide open for interpretation. In keeping with the spirit of Canusamex, it should stay that way!
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Mike Harvey, daPITA

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About Me
At age 16, I began cooking when my mother was injured in an accident that kept her off her feet for five weeks. At first, my repertoire was fried hot dogs with pork and beans, boiled hot dogs with macaroni and cheese or pizza from a box. After a couple weeks of this, my younger brother was the first to protest and demand variety and my dad was quick to support him. That was my first cooking challenge, learning to plan a meal. About that time, mom returned from the hospital and from her bed, began teaching me things like roast beef, fried chicken, stews and all the sides and trimmings. In 1967, I married and my wife designated herself as the cook and this continued until 1999. It was then that I (voluntarily) began cooking again. At some point, I realized that I was having fun and began searching for recipes that were more challenging and interesting. I found AR and used it's recipes for a long time before registering and later becoming an active member.
My favorite things to cook
Soups. How can I go wrong? They are a great way to use up leftovers and those veggies that are approaching the end of their usefulness. They are always an original recipe. Roasts and steaks are favored, also. Getting the right "doneness" and choosing appropriate sides for a tastey and attractive meal is a continuing and always evolving menu.
My favorite family cooking traditions
If creating impulsive menus and recipes is a tradition then, (I guess) we have a tradition. A new tradition is developing. I have a fruitcake recipe that, I believe, is near perfection. I make it just before Thanksgiving so it is aged enough for the Christmas/ New Year holidays.
My cooking triumphs
Without a doubt, my own recipe for a Reuben Sandwich. It has been a demanded item for many years and I shared it in my AR blog.
My cooking tragedies
Too many. I have been able to throw them out and have something new before my wife gets home. Most of the time, anyway.
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