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Not to repeat myself, old bean, but the reason we know you are wrong is that people obsess over many different cuisines of South and Central America (look at the forums here), and do pay fancy money to eat it in posh restaurants.

 

They don't happen to do so in London. And I offer a pint of warm bitter to anyone who can tell us why.

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No. Nobody will pay ANYTHING for S. American cuisine in London (apart from the places I've mentioned). And people will and do pay top dollar for Indian cusine, so wrong on both counts, I'm afraid Glynn

So your argument is that only London matters? Or is it that Indian is a world class cuisine in London but not in New York and South American is world class in New York but not London?

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Not to repeat myself, old bean, but the reason we know you are wrong is that people obsess over many different cuisines of South and Central America (look at the forums here),

Gerroutofit. I just had a look. Take away the Mexican threads from that forum and what have you got (Mexican doesn't count)?

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I agree that Mexico isn't part of South America, but since you don't seem to be making any distinctions within the continent itself, it hardly seems to matter. Are you saying Mexico does have a cuisine, but Brazil and Argentina don't? :lol:

 

The fact is that immigration from South and Latin America to the UK is vanishingly small (in some years, net negative); in the States the situation is the opposite, and the food is wildly popular.

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Not to repeat myself, old bean, but the reason we know you are wrong is that people obsess over many different cuisines of South and Central America (look at the forums here),

Gerroutofit. I just had a look. Take away the Mexican threads from that forum and what have you got (Mexican doesn't count)?

Not enough, for many reasons.

 

But would you reject the claim that it's possible to compose a Brazilian meal that's better than 99% of the Indian meals served in London?

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Are you saying Mexico does have a cuisine, but Brazil and Argentina don't? :lol:

 

Yes-in the sense that Morroco has a cuisine, and Kenya and Tanzania don't.

We're not talking about "food". Take the comparison with Indian. The best Indian restaurants may not be in New York (although I'm sure there are some fine ones) but everyone with the slightest interest has heard of Madhur Jaffrey. People buy Indian ingredients and cook Indian dishes at home. People are interested in Indian food.

 

OK, I accept that in NYC they may be equally interested in Peruvian or Srgentinian cuisine. people may say "let's go out for Brazilian food" as much as they say it for Chinese or Thai or Mexican

 

But not in London. Nowhere near. And I don't think that has only to do with the low number of S.Americans in London. There is not a huge Thai or Japanese population in London either, but they are fantastically developed cuisines. On the other hand there are loads of African Carribean people in London-but its still a third rate cuisine.

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The lack of (large numbers of) South American restaurants in London is so transparently a demographic phenomenon I don't think it needs to be argued about. BUT even here I think they may be becoming more popular - Gaucho Grill is a highend example I yet again haven't eaten at but believe is very popular, presumably with genuine English patrons handing over actual pounds for what is i think largely Argentinian food. There's a place called la Piragua in Islington that is cheap and cheerful and very busy to accidentally veer on topic again... As I say though, I don't think this has much anything to do with the 'validity' of the food or tradition. Where I lived before - the Mission in San Francisco - there were, of course again for demographic reasons, very very many. They ranged, again of course, from cheap and bad to cheap and very good to very expensive and bad and very expensive and very good. Some of the best meals I had in California were Latin American (mostly the current slightly overfashioned hybrid nuevo latino), that people in europe haven't quite caught on to the food yet is a shame, but hardly surprising....

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Alex-sorry but I do not count The Gaucho Grill as "cuisine". It is food. It's a steakhouse chain which sources its meat from Argentina (and charges extra for the sauce, I might add). There is nothing "Argentinian" about the cooking as such.

 

Orik-I'm sure you can find a cookbook on every cuisine in the world. It does not make them all of equal value.

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Yes-in the sense that Morroco has a cuisine, and Kenya and Tanzania don't.

 

But this just tells us you don't know about the cuisines of Argentina and Brazil. As you might expect from two countries where the cultural heritage is a mixture of European and indigenous, and where - more so than Mexico, I suspect - good ingredients are plentifully available - the cuisines are rather refined.

 

We're not talking about "food". Take the comparison with Indian. The best Indian restaurants may not be in New York (although I'm sure there are some fine ones) but everyone with the slightest interest has heard of Madhur Jaffrey. People buy Indian ingredients and cook Indian dishes at home. People are interested in Indian food.

 

OK, I accept that in NYC they may be equally interested in Peruvian or Srgentinian cuisine. people may say "let's go out for Brazilian food" as much as they say it for Chinese or Thai or Mexican.

 

But not in London. Nowhere near. And I don't think that has only to do with the  low number of S.Americans in London. There is not a huge Thai or Japanese population in London either, but they are fantastically developed cuisines. On the other hand there are loads of African Carribean people in London-but its still a third rate cuisine.

 

Right, so what's the explanation, then? Americans don't have palates?

 

Note: alexhills, thanks for the memories - years since I've been to La Piragua, but that's a fun little place.

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Right. You can even find books about British cuisine, although it's well established that it has negative value. In fact [1], in a recent survey conducted in Paris, respondents said they were willing to spend minus fifty Euros on a British meal, but only on condition that they don't actually have to eat it.

 

[1] made up

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I wonder if Tuckerman knows anything about beef butchery in Argentina and Brazil, some of the cuts they use that we (Americans/English don't), the range of garnishes for grilled beef, and how seriously it's taken in those countries. I don't claim that any of this is true of Gaucho Grill, but I think one walks out of a Brazilian churrascaria wiser about beef then when one entered. Also fatter.

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yeah - with respect to the gaucho grill i wasn't saying whether or not it was cuisine, or praising it, obviously. i was saying that in countries where there are more Latin American people, there are more examples of the food and it can be VERY advanced. As for ethnic cuisines that are 'developed', the vast majority of Thai or Chinese food in London is not derived from the royalcourt traditions as far as I understand it... I'm personally willing to concede some types of food tradition are better than others to my palate, but whether that makes them 'worthless' is another question. However, Latin American food is not one of those I will concede that for, I can't say I enjoy all of it equally - obviously I'm not going to an Argentinian restaurant for the vegetable preperations - but I can't imagine anyone eating at Alma in SF and saying 'this is not a cuisine'....

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Note: alexhills, thanks for the memories - years since I've been to La Piragua, but that's a fun little place.

 

the first time I went there, I sat next to Alexi Sayle, who was very clearly a VERY regular. The second the steak I had was so vast I was very nearly defeated, which is not a common occurance...

 

how about starting an actual thread on traditions we haven't enjoyed so Tuckerman doesn't feel we are all politically correct and incapable of negative judgement. My votes - Dutch and Icelandic (well OK, my only experience of fully Icelandic food is fermented shark, but that was ENOUGH).

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