General Discussion

What's authentic?


General Discussion 37

What's authentic?

Lina | May 6, 2007 01:23 PM

I recently moved to Dublin, Ireland from the Bay Area. Since being in Dublin, I have had very few meals that were both good and what I consider to be appropriately priced. (Meals that are just pretty good are at Chez Panisse prices.)

One of the things I've been annoyed by is the lack of "authenticity" in the food here, particularly Asian food. The more thinking I do, though, makes me wonder if I have the right to gripe about this.

One of the things that bothers me here is the Indian food--it's not spicy, the color of tikka masala is a color that couldn't possibly have been created by nature alone, the vegetables are so mushed/overcooked that they are unidentifiable, and the yogurt used in raita is just *different.*

Every Asian restaurant offers french fries on the menu, and generally has some sort of curry, regardless of whether it originates in their culture. The Chinese food I've had has been bland, boring and overpriced (once I paid nearly 50 euro for 1 starter and 2 mediocre entrees that would have been no more than $15 in the States).

But I know (at least, I've heard) that the Asian food in the US is not actually authentic to what is actually eaten in these countries. So is my assumption that the food in the Bay Area is more authentic than the food in Dublin wrong? Is it just as authentic but adjusted to fit the taste of the population (ie not spicy, etc)?

And assuming that the food is made by natives of the country they are representing (which generally appears to be the case), why would the food here be any less authentic or tasty?

I've been rolling this around in my head for a while, and would love any feedback you have.

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