Friday, February 22, 2013

Lunch Hour International Mall

I'm having lunch at the International Mall. It's just one of those modern phenomena we take for granted. Normally I eat at the Chinese buffet, sometimes the Thai. I'm right now having fish and chips from the Mediterranean cuisine. I've eat Japanese, Vietnamese and Indian here too. Foods from around the world but all the 'fast foods' of those fairs.

When I was growing up a cafe had 'american' food and the great variation was the Chinese American smorgs. I even remember as kids loving the first 'all you can eat' place where the food quantity was the attraction. Now every nations competes in these food malls. As I say we take it for granted.

There are thousands of MacDonalds overseas. Canadian poutine is on the rise internationally.

And we take it for granted. When I worked up north near the arctic the cost of transport made a tomato precious and appreciated. My friend told me about eating her first orange in 5 years after WWII. Many places in the world are still 'solely local'. The foods served in their diners are 'local' only. As urban Canadians we have access to the culture of the world because the finest people of the world have emigrated here bringing their cuisine.

When I travel I am most fascinated with geography, architecture, museums and art galleries. I like to sit and watch people too. I'm occasionally interested in the 'food' I encounter but less so that decades ago. The finest sashimi I've ever known was in Tokyo. In Hong Kong I ate at a restaurant where the menu was a veritable encyclopedia of food stuff. But the truth be told my favourite Won Ton soup was here in Vancouver.

I remember fondly fish and chips served in newspaper beside Picadilly Square but to date my favourite fish meal was at a little cafe on a beach in Mexico. More often than not when I think of a particular food 'stuff' my favourite meal was one I had made at home for me by the women and men in my life, or by myself that is.

My ex wife made remarkable sushi we all loved after she took a course locally from a newly emigrated Japanese chef. I can't think of pork chops without thinking of a particularly beautiful woman who somehow imbued her simple cooking with love.

My father comes to mind when I think of pickerel. He pan fried fresh fish my brother and I caught in Northern Saskatchewan. Mother baked a mean turkey which we enjoyed eating for days after as kids. Her wild duck which my father and brothers shot was something to be enjoyed too. When I think of home made pizza I think of my brother Ron.

Personally I've felt I did the most that could be done with moose, venison and elk, especially if I shot, dressed and butchered it myself.

Now I've known rare and wonderful delicacies from the world over, sometimes due to my travels but as often as not thanks to those who come here to live and bring their incredible culinary skills with them.


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