More than ever, the food we eat is an expression of cultural globalization, a reflection of our diversity and interconnectivity.
Take tacos, for example. They aren’t just filled with the flavors of Mexico. These days, they are getting stuffed with the far-reaching flavors of Korea, Thailand, Hawaii and the Middle East. Our taste buds can experience the delicious intermingling of Cajun and Vietnamese cuisine when we bite into a blackened catfish banh mi, or peel crawfish that hold the aromatics of lemongrass. We’ve seen myriad ways that East can meet West in something as basic as a bowl of noodles.
We’ve broadened our horizons about the possibilities of cooking with quintessential Southern ingredients such as collards. Why should the staple vegetable of this region only get slow-simmered with fatback in a stockpot when it can feel some Italian amore, as in a collard green and ricotta fritter, or be given a Mexican makeover in a collard quesadilla?