Two friends have traveled together to a new city, and are wandering the streets looking for somewhere to eat. One is a self-proclaimed “foodie,” the other is no such thing, but does harbor an appreciation for quality consumables. At some point during the search the two pass a local franchise of a national chain of Chinese fast-food, well-known for its signature dish – orange chicken. Friend number two suggests stopping for lunch, the foodie is appalled, labeling the chain “inauthentic” and suggesting a nearby food truck as a more palatable alternative. The food truck is eventually located, and the two friends gorge themselves on burritos, topped with sour cream and salsa and filled with Korean-style barbecue short ribs and kimchee.
The scenario is as puzzling as it is likely. Why would the foodie reject the “inauthentic” orange chicken for a hybrid meal authentic neither to the Korean cuisine from which it derives its content, nor the Americanized version of Mexican cuisine (itself of dubious authenticity) from which it derives its form?