MLK Day Faces Racial Challenges

In 2016, a woman, a Jew, and two Latinos are some of the most likely candidates to succeed America’s first black president, yet the nation is on the cusp of another civil rights movement as it struggles with the same problems King’s generation dealt with in the 1950’s and 60’s. With tensions running especially high this holiday weekend, commemorations honoring the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. arrived amid serious progress and regress.
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Orange Chicken Needs Rebranding

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?
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It’s no secret that over the last couple years food fusions have been the biggest thing for the food/restaurant industries.  In Los Angeles the Kogi Truck and their menu has become a sought after commodity as crowds find the trucks and crowd them.  This craze spawned similar trucks to emerge as well.  As different cultures bring in more and more influence to the commercial kitchens, odd pairings and exotic dishes are becoming more of the norm.  So seeing how that is a growing theme we were wondering what we should be on the lookout for as 2012 keeps rolling forward and ended up coming across this article on Restaurant Hospitality.  The article says more fusions, Korean entrees becoming more mainstream as well as more pickled foods because of the rising Asian and Latin influences on food.  To see all the interesting details go here.