I missed it.. but love the words of Anthony Bourdain

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I'm not sure if this is ok.. but I think it's worth copying. He wouldn't have put it out there if he didn't want it copied since an AMA on reddit is not an advertising driven venue. His last remarks.. Mexican and Indian cuisine are the two most trashed and under rated cuisines in the USA. It is SAD that we open a pizza place on every corner and yet people can't appreciate true Mexican and Indian cuisine and spices.. they are freaked out.. from their kraft macaroni and cheese coma.

Anthony Bourdain:
 

"I would like to see the pumpkin spice craze drowned in its own blood. Quickly. Juice--I don't understand the juice cleanse. I mean, if you've ever had a colonoscopy, the doctor gives you something that will cleanse you right quick, so I don't really understand juice cleanses. I believe celiac disease is a very serious ailment, and if you're diagnosed with it, I'm pleased that there are now gluten-free options, but these people who are treating gluten as, you know, an equivalent of Al Qaeda are worrying to me. So, I'm uneasy about that.

Also, overuse of the word "artisanal". You know, an artisanal potato chip? What does that mean other than it's an expensive potato chip? Oh, I'm also no big fan of the judgmental barista and beer nerds. I mean, I like a good craft, but don't make me feel bad about my beer choices. You know what kind of beer I like? I like cold beer.

I would like people really to pay more for top-quality Mexican food. I think it's the most undervalued, underappreciated world cuisine with tremendous, tremendous potential. These are in many cases really complex, wonderful sauces; particularly from Oaxaca, for instance, that date back from before Europe. I'm very excited about the possibilities for that cuisine, and I think we should pay more attention to it, learn more about it, and value it more. This is frankly a racist assumption that Mexican food or Indian food should be cheap. That's not right."
 
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He certainly does have a lot of opinions.  Look, I love autumn and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING is a major reason.  I love pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cheesecake, I love it all and I won't apologize for it.  If someone doesn't like pumpkin spice then don't eat it, don't order it, and don't cook it.  Why so much contempt for a trend that really doesn't impact you if you don't want it to?  

Everything else I pretty much agree with, except for the juice thing - I don't believe in juice cleanses but I certainly enjoy a bright green juice or smoothie a few times per week.  Yummy and full of good stuff that my body seems to like. Living in NYC there are plenty of great options for real mexican and indian food nearby.  I don't find them "cheap."  Certainly not comparable to what I pay for french food, but it's not cheap.  Especially Indian food.
 
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I pretty much don't like the "pumpkin-anything/everything" stuff. ... BUT ... many of my customers ... who pay me good $$$ do. I'm not in any hurry to change that. As for cheap Mexican food ... What the hey is wrong with you?!? ... I LIKE GOOD CHEAP MEXICAN FOOD. ... Shut up about making it more expensive. I've seen skirt and flank steak priced as if it were rib-eye. What the what is up with that?!? 
 
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Pumpkin spice isn't completely worthless.   With a few additions you can turn it into a jamaican jerk or chinese 5 spice blend.
 
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Bouts ain is a typical talk show host - he talks a lot and sometimes doesn't seem to listen too much about what he's saying until it's already out of his mouth. In general I agree with the sentiment about pumpkin spice but if folks like it good for them... They deserve to get what they enjoy.

The dumbing down of Mex and Indian food, though, he's completely off the mark. It's not an American thing... It's what immigrants in many other countries have done to fit in with their new host nation. Often they do it to themselves.

In my city there are dumbed down ethnic foods and there are authentic. It's often less comfortable going to the authentic restaurants because he tend to focus on serving their ethnic kin. As an outsider it is like being an outsider in their midst. Turnaround is fair play!

But both Mex and Indian cuisine are largely the domains of poor folks. Poor folks who know how to cook good food. What he speaks of is more exploitation of poor folk food by converting it to a rich mans pleasure.

In My city we have all sorts of Mex and Indian - both cheap and expensive. Generally the most authentic and good is cheap. So be it. It is what it is. But keep talking Tony.
 
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We do? Who is "we" because it certainly isn't me.

So Bourdain reads the Washington Post and repeats it.... Or takes it to heart. Hmmmm.
 
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But there is a certain truth to the thesis. A lot of people love a bargain or are just cheap.

I'm eating a $15 pastrami sandwich (yes, for breakfast) and about 2% of the Yelp reviewers for this place would prefer the $8 factory made pastrami from a market over this house cured and smoked in a real deli. People are weird!
 
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thoughts or comments...cassoulet, roots in peasant cooking...recently seen on a lunch menu for $25.00
 
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Thank Julia Child for popularizing french cuisine.  Thank the japanese ministry of culture for their plan to popularize japanese cuisine through sushi and anime that's why they can charge more for japanese food.  Thailand is trying to do something like that http://thaiselect.com/main.php?filename=index  surprisingly few things happen by accident.  there's always someone behind a curtain
 
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Thank Julia Child for popularizing french cuisine.  Thank the japanese ministry of culture for their plan to popularize japanese cuisine through sushi and anime that's why they can charge more for japanese food.  Thailand is trying to do something like that http://thaiselect.com/main.php?filename=index  surprisingly few things happen by accident.  there's always someone behind a curtain

This! What do you expect us to do? Walk into our local Mexican restaurant and demand to pay more?
 
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Hah I'm not even sure what side of this I fall on, the bourdain quote just reminded me of this article.  I think I'm okay with paying more for better stuff, but of course paying more doesn't guarantee better anything as we all know.  Regardless of cuisine I always analyze how much product costs and how much labor goes into it.  The curse of knowledge!
 
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Note that Bourdain says 'Top quality' mexican food. I think he's just saying that people in general need to be more open to treating it the way we treat european cooking. After all, you can get fine dining italian & you can cheap shaghetti... Right?
 
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Define "top quality" please. That's the problem I have with many of his opinions... The lack of criteria. I've eaten some of the best Mex and Indian food in the dankest of dives. The Indian was cooked by a Pakistani so I suppose maybe it wasn't as authentic as humanly possible. I've also paid a lot of money for Mex and Indian... The environment was nicer but the food not so much. Too Americanized for the yuppie types, or whatever they're called today. Or as I call them: Kardashian wannabes.

But if the bulk of his thought is for folks to get away from Combo plate #7 and try something different even though it costs a bit more than I get it!
 
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I think it sounds like what he's saying is that he doesn't like fads in food. And there seem to be a lot of them, particularly in the US, many of which eventually filter through and arrive in Europe.

One thing I've noticed (maybe this is scope for its own thread) is a lot of trends appearing, often bringing eg. traditional European dishes or ingredients to the forefront, and they become the "next big thing".

For a lot us over here, we might be so familiar with them that it seems like making a big fuss of something quite unspectacular. Recipes are analysed and dissected in order to improve on and formulate the best possible version of said dish, which probably was cooked for centuries in its home country, largely unchallenged (if not outright protected as almost sacred). An example of this would be seriouseats.com. (Btw, my aim is not to be facetious or condescending in all this; just putting in words something I've noticed and thought about recently.)

I think it has to do with the often much older and much stronger culinary traditions in many of these countries, and the penchant of Americans to want to make everything bigger, faster, better :) Ironically, more than once I've discovered relatively unknown Italian ingredients through American channels!

But somehow it lacks an element of authenticity when it pops up out of nowhere, in the form of a short-lived fad, with no real roots in the host country. And I see food as part of a larger cultural context, and somehow it's not as easily appreciated in its simplicity when taken out of this context.

And the whole point of this is that when you bring a product to market like "bone broth", previously unknown by that name, but with a host of supposed health benefits, you can charge a premium for a product which in essence is flavoured water!
 
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I agree with many of the comments in this thread so far.

The words "fine dining" and "quality" are ambiguous and subjective.

That's why so many people would not be able to tell the difference between authentic and Americanized.

The overused comment about Mexican or Indian foods being cheap to make is a misnomer.

Ingredients are as ingredients are needed.
The cost is irrelevant.

Food, labor, and overhead are configured for profit.
What it takes to cook international cuisine vs.
American are the same process.

Rick Bayless takes Mexican ingredients and raises them to new levels.
Do the people whose plates he emulates cook this way?
I doubt it.

Bourdain? He wears a disguise when he dines at Popeye's.
He loves their Mac n' cheese.
 
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Bayless is a great example of elevating peasant food. I was just in Chicago airport where folks are lined up to buy a $12 torta. Sure, he names the source of the ingredients but it's still a $6 sandwich. And how about those molletes - bread roll smeared with refried beans with a bit of cheese melted on it. That's what we ate on the last few days of the month while waiting for the next welfare check to arrive! Bayless elevates them by a spritz of pork or mushrooms... But this is half of a 39 cent roll with about a tablespoon of beans and a pinch or two of cheese. Six bucks! I love the guy, but love Diana Kennedy more... She elevates the food not by making it trendy or more expensive but by making it known as it exists in its native state.
 
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Oh, but I'll be buying a Frontera torta if my connection isn't too tight! I'm not complaining... Just sayin
 
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I think it sounds like what he's saying is that he doesn't like fads in food. And there seem to be a lot of them, particularly in the US, many of which eventually filter through and arrive in Europe.

One thing I've noticed (maybe this is scope for its own thread) is a lot of trends appearing, often bringing eg. traditional European dishes or ingredients to the forefront, and they become the "next big thing".

For a lot us over here, we might be so familiar with them that it seems like making a big fuss of something quite unspectacular. Recipes are analysed and dissected in order to improve on and formulate the best possible version of said dish, which probably was cooked for centuries in its home country, largely unchallenged (if not outright protected as almost sacred). An example of this would be seriouseats.com. (Btw, my aim is not to be facetious or condescending in all this; just putting in words something I've noticed and thought about recently.)

I think it has to do with the often much older and much stronger culinary traditions in many of these countries, and the penchant of Americans to want to make everything bigger, faster, better :) Ironically, more than once I've discovered relatively unknown Italian ingredients through American channels!

But somehow it lacks an element of authenticity when it pops up out of nowhere, in the form of a short-lived fad, with no real roots in the host country. And I see food as part of a larger cultural context, and somehow it's not as easily appreciated in its simplicity when taken out of this context.

And the whole point of this is that when you bring a product to market like "bone broth", previously unknown by that name, but with a host of supposed health benefits, you can charge a premium for a product which in essence is flavoured water!
Can you give an example besides bone broth?  That is an american-coined term and has no basis in european culture as far as I can tell.  

There is fashionable food and food fashions.  It's only natural when you pair a society's lust for good food with a profit-making business.  It's like the British Bake Off for example, a beautiful show that celebrates baking has now moved to a different channel because the BBC did not want to pay the astronomical money hike.  When there is a good thing happening everyone jumps on it to make money.
 
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The name bone broth may be newly coined but the concept is a retread. It was very popular in the mid to late 1800s. Alexis Soyer was a big promoter. He's was French. there was vast trade in this product between Argentina and Europe. They used a slightly more "medical sounding" name for it but I can't recall at the moment. The 19th century was a long time ago. I'll bet it was just as annoying a trend then as it is now, but the nutritional aspects seem worthwhile.
 
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