Traditional recipes

Best Ethnic Food Neighborhoods in America

Best Ethnic Food Neighborhoods in America

Sure, it'd be nice to score a table at the city's hottest restaurant when in town for a long weekend, but some of the most memorable meals can be had for a lot less cash and a much more adventurous ambience. For that, we look to the many deeply entrenched ethnic neighborhoods across the country for that authentically garlicky Polish sausage or that plate of gnocchi alla Romana good enough to pass muster in Rome.

From New York to Los Angeles (and everywhere in between), everyone has their favorite hole-in-the-wall spot for those must-have Greek gyros or memorable Korean barbecue. Yet, there are many ethnic neighborhoods that have fallen under the radar — ‘til now. We’ve paired up six of our favorite ‘hoods for good ethnic food (and where to go, of course) and paired them up with their lesser-known sibling.

Is there a neighborhood we’ve missed, or a restaurant we must try? Share your recommendations and comments with us below!

Italian

Been There, Done That: Little Italy, Chicago

From Ashland Avenue on the west and Morgan Street on the east, Harrison Street on the north and Roosevelt Road to the south, lies Chicago’s Little Italy. Running through the heart of this Italian community is Taylor Street, the place to go to for any Italian foodstuff you could need.

Don’t miss:

Under-the-Radar: South Philly

In the heart of historic Philadelphia, the Italian Market is an area filled with Italian markets, cafes, bakeries, and more. While the area along 9th Street between Christian Street and Washington Avenue is still the market’s center, the term 'Italian Market' is now used to describe the surrounding neighborhood, as well. Whether you’re in the mood for a sit-down Italian meal, some cheese and antipasto to go, or an authentic cheesesteak, the Italian Market has it all.

Don’t miss:

Dante & Luigi's

Villa di Roma

Polish

Been There, Done That: Little Poland, Chicago

Craving authentic kielbasa? Head to Chicago, thought to be home to the largest Polish and Polish-American population in the U.S. While there are numerous authentic Polish restaurants and markets scattered throughout the city, don’t miss the area along Pulaski near Archer and 50th, fondly known as Little Poland to many. It’s also worthwhile to check out North Milwaukee near Belmont and Logan Square and stop in at one of the many Polish delis and restaurants.

Don’t miss:

Kurowski’s Sausage Shop, 2976 North Milwaukee Avenue. (773) 645-1692

Under-the-Radar: Little Poland, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Since the early 1900’s, Polish immigrants have gravitated to the area along Manhattan Avenue in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn. While there are now other Little Polands in the Tristate area, this part of Greenpoint remains a favorite destination for those in and around the city looking for sausages, babkas, sauerkraut, and more.

Don’t miss:

Kiszka Meat Market, 915 Manhattan Avenue. (718) 389-6149

Ethiopian

Been There, Done That: Little Ethiopia, Los Angeles

Since the 1990’s, the Ethiopian population along South Fairfax between Olympic and Pico Boulevards has been steadily growing. Officially recognized as Little Ethiopia in 2002, the neighborhood is filled with markets, cafes, and shops where you can eat with your hands using injera, a spongy bread, instead of a utensil, or enjoy the rich coffees that are so important to Ethiopian culture (coffee was thought to be discovered there).

Don’t miss:

Rosalind’s Ethiopian Restaurant

Off-the-Radar: U Street/Shaw, Washington, D.C.

Our nation’s capital is home to the largest Ethiopian population outside of the country itself. It’s no wonder that there is a rich concentration of shops and cafes, each with its own set of followers, within the 1900 block of 9th Street near U Street.

Don’t miss:

Queen Makeda, 1917 9th St NW. (202) 232-5665

Greek

Been There, Done That: Greektown, Detroit

Named for the large Greek population that moved into the area in the 1900s, Greektown is one of Detroit’s more lively neighborhoods. The once-residential area is now predominantly commercial, with an array of authentic Greek restaurants and shops (even a casino) lining the street.

Don’t miss:

Off-the-Radar: Baltimore, Md.

While this once-industrial area along Baltimore’s waterfront, south of Lombard, has been home to a Greek community since the 1930s, it is now known as a more up-and-coming area. Whether you’re looking for authentic gyros, fresh fish, or other Greek specialties, there are a large number of Greek restaurants, coffee houses, and bakeries, many concentrated along Eastern Avenue.

Don’t miss:

Korean

Been There, Done That: Koreatown, New York City

In the heart of New York City, along 32nd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, lies K-Town, as Koreatown is affectionately called. With both sides of the street lined with Asian markets and Korean restaurants of all kinds, it’s hard not to be beckoned in by the mouth-watering aromas of barbecue, or the bustling shoppers frequenting Hanareum (the Asian market).

Don’t miss:

Madangsui

Kunjip Restaurant

Off-the-Radar: Annandale, Va.

This suburb of Washington, D.C., is home to the nation’s third largest Korean population (just don’t call it Koreatown — it’s a divisive topic). In addition to a myriad of good Korean restaurants, the surrounding area has not one but two excellent Asian markets: Grand Mart and Super H Mart.

Don’t miss:

Honey Pig Gooldaegee Korean Grill

(Photos courtesy of Flickr/Shelly Panzarella (top) and Flickr/NYCUrbanscape)


Eat Your Words

The "best cheap eats in your city." This time of year, it feels like every food publication—this one included—puts out at least one of these curated lists. Though they may seem harmless, these roundups featuring what tends to be meals fit for a hangover ringing in at less than ten dollars are also fertile ground for problematic discourse.

Take this quote from one such list that states "immigration only enriches the cheap-eats catalogue."

At first glance, you might gloss over the statement without pause, but most people of color, like myself, readily recognize this coded language, which implies food produced by immigrants is inherently cheap. The optimist in me believes the authors have no ill will and probably even think they are doing good by showcasing the value immigrants bring to our country. But as a racial minority, I can't help but take an exacting eye to the words used to discuss different groups of people.

And at a time when America is particularly divided and food has the power to serve as a great uniter, we need to be more thoughtful about how we speak.

Consider the term ethnic . Now think about the countries whose food you describe as such versus those you do not. You'll start to notice a pattern. Do you usually label French and Japanese as ethnic ? Or do you call them international cuisines?

Historically, the term e thnic has been used to categorize people and cultures "outside the norm," and it's precisely this otherization that's dangerous. As Lavanya Ramanathan states in her piece on "calling immigrant food 'ethnic,'" "Immigrants' identities are deeply tied to the foods we bring with us. When we hear our cuisine described as exotic, hodgepodge, greasy or cheap, you might as well be remarking disdainfully about our clothes or skin color." Just so, when cheap-eats lists are riddled with predominantly "ethnic" cuisines, as even Tasting Table 's own lists tend to reflect, we unwittingly perpetuate differences in worth.

Associate professor of food studies at New York University Krishnendu Ray gets to the root of the matter in his book, The Ethnic Restaurateur. He explains that diners aren't willing to pay a high price for food they consider "ethnic," but instead reserve their wallets for so-called "international" dinners, like Japanese omakase. "We want 'ethnic food' to be authentic, but we are almost never willing to pay for it," he says in an interview with The Washington Post. For example, two similar menu items, steak frites and carne asada, typically demand very different price tags, he later points out.

And ethnic isn't the only loaded term we need to use with caution. Another common trope that warrants speculation is the supposed elevation of foods. It implies that the subject was inferior before some catalyst improved its standing. But according to what measure? The speaker might reference rare ingredients or sophisticated tools and techniques, but it's dangerous to applaud the so-called "improvement" of a cuisine just because chefs are applying certain (often Western) techniques. (Sequentially, who assigns value is an integral part of this conversation, but the lack of diversity in food writing is a whole different story.)

Look closely, and you'll see implicit bias loaded in our go-to lexicon, whether it's the sudden trendiness of a global cuisine that millions of people already consume every day or, even worse, if someone claims to have "discovered" said cuisine.

Luckily, there are chefs and food writers moving the needle. Edouardo Jordan from JuneBaby in Seattle, for one, has dedicated an entire section of his restaurant's website to an encyclopedia of terms related to Southern food, so that his customers will be more educated about his food before they even enter the restaurant. He doesn't just describe the food itself, but he also defines relevant terms some diners might misunderstand. In doing so, he not only contextualizes his food and mission at JuneBaby, but he contributes to a larger conversation, too.

He's not alone in putting his words where his mouth is either. Take food writers like Toni Tipton-Martin and her compilation of The Jemima Code, Mayukh Sen and his long-form stories for Food52 , and Michael Twitty and what seems to be the entirety of his being. They're all examples of people using their words to protect, preserve and champion diversity in the culinary world.

Even if we're just describing a taco, the language we use to talk about food culture needs recalibrating to factor in more than what the majority finds familiar. Because in the end, we're not just talking about a taco—we're talking about a greater experience reflective of people, cultures and food.


Eat Your Words

The "best cheap eats in your city." This time of year, it feels like every food publication—this one included—puts out at least one of these curated lists. Though they may seem harmless, these roundups featuring what tends to be meals fit for a hangover ringing in at less than ten dollars are also fertile ground for problematic discourse.

Take this quote from one such list that states "immigration only enriches the cheap-eats catalogue."

At first glance, you might gloss over the statement without pause, but most people of color, like myself, readily recognize this coded language, which implies food produced by immigrants is inherently cheap. The optimist in me believes the authors have no ill will and probably even think they are doing good by showcasing the value immigrants bring to our country. But as a racial minority, I can't help but take an exacting eye to the words used to discuss different groups of people.

And at a time when America is particularly divided and food has the power to serve as a great uniter, we need to be more thoughtful about how we speak.

Consider the term ethnic . Now think about the countries whose food you describe as such versus those you do not. You'll start to notice a pattern. Do you usually label French and Japanese as ethnic ? Or do you call them international cuisines?

Historically, the term e thnic has been used to categorize people and cultures "outside the norm," and it's precisely this otherization that's dangerous. As Lavanya Ramanathan states in her piece on "calling immigrant food 'ethnic,'" "Immigrants' identities are deeply tied to the foods we bring with us. When we hear our cuisine described as exotic, hodgepodge, greasy or cheap, you might as well be remarking disdainfully about our clothes or skin color." Just so, when cheap-eats lists are riddled with predominantly "ethnic" cuisines, as even Tasting Table 's own lists tend to reflect, we unwittingly perpetuate differences in worth.

Associate professor of food studies at New York University Krishnendu Ray gets to the root of the matter in his book, The Ethnic Restaurateur. He explains that diners aren't willing to pay a high price for food they consider "ethnic," but instead reserve their wallets for so-called "international" dinners, like Japanese omakase. "We want 'ethnic food' to be authentic, but we are almost never willing to pay for it," he says in an interview with The Washington Post. For example, two similar menu items, steak frites and carne asada, typically demand very different price tags, he later points out.

And ethnic isn't the only loaded term we need to use with caution. Another common trope that warrants speculation is the supposed elevation of foods. It implies that the subject was inferior before some catalyst improved its standing. But according to what measure? The speaker might reference rare ingredients or sophisticated tools and techniques, but it's dangerous to applaud the so-called "improvement" of a cuisine just because chefs are applying certain (often Western) techniques. (Sequentially, who assigns value is an integral part of this conversation, but the lack of diversity in food writing is a whole different story.)

Look closely, and you'll see implicit bias loaded in our go-to lexicon, whether it's the sudden trendiness of a global cuisine that millions of people already consume every day or, even worse, if someone claims to have "discovered" said cuisine.

Luckily, there are chefs and food writers moving the needle. Edouardo Jordan from JuneBaby in Seattle, for one, has dedicated an entire section of his restaurant's website to an encyclopedia of terms related to Southern food, so that his customers will be more educated about his food before they even enter the restaurant. He doesn't just describe the food itself, but he also defines relevant terms some diners might misunderstand. In doing so, he not only contextualizes his food and mission at JuneBaby, but he contributes to a larger conversation, too.

He's not alone in putting his words where his mouth is either. Take food writers like Toni Tipton-Martin and her compilation of The Jemima Code, Mayukh Sen and his long-form stories for Food52 , and Michael Twitty and what seems to be the entirety of his being. They're all examples of people using their words to protect, preserve and champion diversity in the culinary world.

Even if we're just describing a taco, the language we use to talk about food culture needs recalibrating to factor in more than what the majority finds familiar. Because in the end, we're not just talking about a taco—we're talking about a greater experience reflective of people, cultures and food.


Eat Your Words

The "best cheap eats in your city." This time of year, it feels like every food publication—this one included—puts out at least one of these curated lists. Though they may seem harmless, these roundups featuring what tends to be meals fit for a hangover ringing in at less than ten dollars are also fertile ground for problematic discourse.

Take this quote from one such list that states "immigration only enriches the cheap-eats catalogue."

At first glance, you might gloss over the statement without pause, but most people of color, like myself, readily recognize this coded language, which implies food produced by immigrants is inherently cheap. The optimist in me believes the authors have no ill will and probably even think they are doing good by showcasing the value immigrants bring to our country. But as a racial minority, I can't help but take an exacting eye to the words used to discuss different groups of people.

And at a time when America is particularly divided and food has the power to serve as a great uniter, we need to be more thoughtful about how we speak.

Consider the term ethnic . Now think about the countries whose food you describe as such versus those you do not. You'll start to notice a pattern. Do you usually label French and Japanese as ethnic ? Or do you call them international cuisines?

Historically, the term e thnic has been used to categorize people and cultures "outside the norm," and it's precisely this otherization that's dangerous. As Lavanya Ramanathan states in her piece on "calling immigrant food 'ethnic,'" "Immigrants' identities are deeply tied to the foods we bring with us. When we hear our cuisine described as exotic, hodgepodge, greasy or cheap, you might as well be remarking disdainfully about our clothes or skin color." Just so, when cheap-eats lists are riddled with predominantly "ethnic" cuisines, as even Tasting Table 's own lists tend to reflect, we unwittingly perpetuate differences in worth.

Associate professor of food studies at New York University Krishnendu Ray gets to the root of the matter in his book, The Ethnic Restaurateur. He explains that diners aren't willing to pay a high price for food they consider "ethnic," but instead reserve their wallets for so-called "international" dinners, like Japanese omakase. "We want 'ethnic food' to be authentic, but we are almost never willing to pay for it," he says in an interview with The Washington Post. For example, two similar menu items, steak frites and carne asada, typically demand very different price tags, he later points out.

And ethnic isn't the only loaded term we need to use with caution. Another common trope that warrants speculation is the supposed elevation of foods. It implies that the subject was inferior before some catalyst improved its standing. But according to what measure? The speaker might reference rare ingredients or sophisticated tools and techniques, but it's dangerous to applaud the so-called "improvement" of a cuisine just because chefs are applying certain (often Western) techniques. (Sequentially, who assigns value is an integral part of this conversation, but the lack of diversity in food writing is a whole different story.)

Look closely, and you'll see implicit bias loaded in our go-to lexicon, whether it's the sudden trendiness of a global cuisine that millions of people already consume every day or, even worse, if someone claims to have "discovered" said cuisine.

Luckily, there are chefs and food writers moving the needle. Edouardo Jordan from JuneBaby in Seattle, for one, has dedicated an entire section of his restaurant's website to an encyclopedia of terms related to Southern food, so that his customers will be more educated about his food before they even enter the restaurant. He doesn't just describe the food itself, but he also defines relevant terms some diners might misunderstand. In doing so, he not only contextualizes his food and mission at JuneBaby, but he contributes to a larger conversation, too.

He's not alone in putting his words where his mouth is either. Take food writers like Toni Tipton-Martin and her compilation of The Jemima Code, Mayukh Sen and his long-form stories for Food52 , and Michael Twitty and what seems to be the entirety of his being. They're all examples of people using their words to protect, preserve and champion diversity in the culinary world.

Even if we're just describing a taco, the language we use to talk about food culture needs recalibrating to factor in more than what the majority finds familiar. Because in the end, we're not just talking about a taco—we're talking about a greater experience reflective of people, cultures and food.


Eat Your Words

The "best cheap eats in your city." This time of year, it feels like every food publication—this one included—puts out at least one of these curated lists. Though they may seem harmless, these roundups featuring what tends to be meals fit for a hangover ringing in at less than ten dollars are also fertile ground for problematic discourse.

Take this quote from one such list that states "immigration only enriches the cheap-eats catalogue."

At first glance, you might gloss over the statement without pause, but most people of color, like myself, readily recognize this coded language, which implies food produced by immigrants is inherently cheap. The optimist in me believes the authors have no ill will and probably even think they are doing good by showcasing the value immigrants bring to our country. But as a racial minority, I can't help but take an exacting eye to the words used to discuss different groups of people.

And at a time when America is particularly divided and food has the power to serve as a great uniter, we need to be more thoughtful about how we speak.

Consider the term ethnic . Now think about the countries whose food you describe as such versus those you do not. You'll start to notice a pattern. Do you usually label French and Japanese as ethnic ? Or do you call them international cuisines?

Historically, the term e thnic has been used to categorize people and cultures "outside the norm," and it's precisely this otherization that's dangerous. As Lavanya Ramanathan states in her piece on "calling immigrant food 'ethnic,'" "Immigrants' identities are deeply tied to the foods we bring with us. When we hear our cuisine described as exotic, hodgepodge, greasy or cheap, you might as well be remarking disdainfully about our clothes or skin color." Just so, when cheap-eats lists are riddled with predominantly "ethnic" cuisines, as even Tasting Table 's own lists tend to reflect, we unwittingly perpetuate differences in worth.

Associate professor of food studies at New York University Krishnendu Ray gets to the root of the matter in his book, The Ethnic Restaurateur. He explains that diners aren't willing to pay a high price for food they consider "ethnic," but instead reserve their wallets for so-called "international" dinners, like Japanese omakase. "We want 'ethnic food' to be authentic, but we are almost never willing to pay for it," he says in an interview with The Washington Post. For example, two similar menu items, steak frites and carne asada, typically demand very different price tags, he later points out.

And ethnic isn't the only loaded term we need to use with caution. Another common trope that warrants speculation is the supposed elevation of foods. It implies that the subject was inferior before some catalyst improved its standing. But according to what measure? The speaker might reference rare ingredients or sophisticated tools and techniques, but it's dangerous to applaud the so-called "improvement" of a cuisine just because chefs are applying certain (often Western) techniques. (Sequentially, who assigns value is an integral part of this conversation, but the lack of diversity in food writing is a whole different story.)

Look closely, and you'll see implicit bias loaded in our go-to lexicon, whether it's the sudden trendiness of a global cuisine that millions of people already consume every day or, even worse, if someone claims to have "discovered" said cuisine.

Luckily, there are chefs and food writers moving the needle. Edouardo Jordan from JuneBaby in Seattle, for one, has dedicated an entire section of his restaurant's website to an encyclopedia of terms related to Southern food, so that his customers will be more educated about his food before they even enter the restaurant. He doesn't just describe the food itself, but he also defines relevant terms some diners might misunderstand. In doing so, he not only contextualizes his food and mission at JuneBaby, but he contributes to a larger conversation, too.

He's not alone in putting his words where his mouth is either. Take food writers like Toni Tipton-Martin and her compilation of The Jemima Code, Mayukh Sen and his long-form stories for Food52 , and Michael Twitty and what seems to be the entirety of his being. They're all examples of people using their words to protect, preserve and champion diversity in the culinary world.

Even if we're just describing a taco, the language we use to talk about food culture needs recalibrating to factor in more than what the majority finds familiar. Because in the end, we're not just talking about a taco—we're talking about a greater experience reflective of people, cultures and food.


Eat Your Words

The "best cheap eats in your city." This time of year, it feels like every food publication—this one included—puts out at least one of these curated lists. Though they may seem harmless, these roundups featuring what tends to be meals fit for a hangover ringing in at less than ten dollars are also fertile ground for problematic discourse.

Take this quote from one such list that states "immigration only enriches the cheap-eats catalogue."

At first glance, you might gloss over the statement without pause, but most people of color, like myself, readily recognize this coded language, which implies food produced by immigrants is inherently cheap. The optimist in me believes the authors have no ill will and probably even think they are doing good by showcasing the value immigrants bring to our country. But as a racial minority, I can't help but take an exacting eye to the words used to discuss different groups of people.

And at a time when America is particularly divided and food has the power to serve as a great uniter, we need to be more thoughtful about how we speak.

Consider the term ethnic . Now think about the countries whose food you describe as such versus those you do not. You'll start to notice a pattern. Do you usually label French and Japanese as ethnic ? Or do you call them international cuisines?

Historically, the term e thnic has been used to categorize people and cultures "outside the norm," and it's precisely this otherization that's dangerous. As Lavanya Ramanathan states in her piece on "calling immigrant food 'ethnic,'" "Immigrants' identities are deeply tied to the foods we bring with us. When we hear our cuisine described as exotic, hodgepodge, greasy or cheap, you might as well be remarking disdainfully about our clothes or skin color." Just so, when cheap-eats lists are riddled with predominantly "ethnic" cuisines, as even Tasting Table 's own lists tend to reflect, we unwittingly perpetuate differences in worth.

Associate professor of food studies at New York University Krishnendu Ray gets to the root of the matter in his book, The Ethnic Restaurateur. He explains that diners aren't willing to pay a high price for food they consider "ethnic," but instead reserve their wallets for so-called "international" dinners, like Japanese omakase. "We want 'ethnic food' to be authentic, but we are almost never willing to pay for it," he says in an interview with The Washington Post. For example, two similar menu items, steak frites and carne asada, typically demand very different price tags, he later points out.

And ethnic isn't the only loaded term we need to use with caution. Another common trope that warrants speculation is the supposed elevation of foods. It implies that the subject was inferior before some catalyst improved its standing. But according to what measure? The speaker might reference rare ingredients or sophisticated tools and techniques, but it's dangerous to applaud the so-called "improvement" of a cuisine just because chefs are applying certain (often Western) techniques. (Sequentially, who assigns value is an integral part of this conversation, but the lack of diversity in food writing is a whole different story.)

Look closely, and you'll see implicit bias loaded in our go-to lexicon, whether it's the sudden trendiness of a global cuisine that millions of people already consume every day or, even worse, if someone claims to have "discovered" said cuisine.

Luckily, there are chefs and food writers moving the needle. Edouardo Jordan from JuneBaby in Seattle, for one, has dedicated an entire section of his restaurant's website to an encyclopedia of terms related to Southern food, so that his customers will be more educated about his food before they even enter the restaurant. He doesn't just describe the food itself, but he also defines relevant terms some diners might misunderstand. In doing so, he not only contextualizes his food and mission at JuneBaby, but he contributes to a larger conversation, too.

He's not alone in putting his words where his mouth is either. Take food writers like Toni Tipton-Martin and her compilation of The Jemima Code, Mayukh Sen and his long-form stories for Food52 , and Michael Twitty and what seems to be the entirety of his being. They're all examples of people using their words to protect, preserve and champion diversity in the culinary world.

Even if we're just describing a taco, the language we use to talk about food culture needs recalibrating to factor in more than what the majority finds familiar. Because in the end, we're not just talking about a taco—we're talking about a greater experience reflective of people, cultures and food.


Eat Your Words

The "best cheap eats in your city." This time of year, it feels like every food publication—this one included—puts out at least one of these curated lists. Though they may seem harmless, these roundups featuring what tends to be meals fit for a hangover ringing in at less than ten dollars are also fertile ground for problematic discourse.

Take this quote from one such list that states "immigration only enriches the cheap-eats catalogue."

At first glance, you might gloss over the statement without pause, but most people of color, like myself, readily recognize this coded language, which implies food produced by immigrants is inherently cheap. The optimist in me believes the authors have no ill will and probably even think they are doing good by showcasing the value immigrants bring to our country. But as a racial minority, I can't help but take an exacting eye to the words used to discuss different groups of people.

And at a time when America is particularly divided and food has the power to serve as a great uniter, we need to be more thoughtful about how we speak.

Consider the term ethnic . Now think about the countries whose food you describe as such versus those you do not. You'll start to notice a pattern. Do you usually label French and Japanese as ethnic ? Or do you call them international cuisines?

Historically, the term e thnic has been used to categorize people and cultures "outside the norm," and it's precisely this otherization that's dangerous. As Lavanya Ramanathan states in her piece on "calling immigrant food 'ethnic,'" "Immigrants' identities are deeply tied to the foods we bring with us. When we hear our cuisine described as exotic, hodgepodge, greasy or cheap, you might as well be remarking disdainfully about our clothes or skin color." Just so, when cheap-eats lists are riddled with predominantly "ethnic" cuisines, as even Tasting Table 's own lists tend to reflect, we unwittingly perpetuate differences in worth.

Associate professor of food studies at New York University Krishnendu Ray gets to the root of the matter in his book, The Ethnic Restaurateur. He explains that diners aren't willing to pay a high price for food they consider "ethnic," but instead reserve their wallets for so-called "international" dinners, like Japanese omakase. "We want 'ethnic food' to be authentic, but we are almost never willing to pay for it," he says in an interview with The Washington Post. For example, two similar menu items, steak frites and carne asada, typically demand very different price tags, he later points out.

And ethnic isn't the only loaded term we need to use with caution. Another common trope that warrants speculation is the supposed elevation of foods. It implies that the subject was inferior before some catalyst improved its standing. But according to what measure? The speaker might reference rare ingredients or sophisticated tools and techniques, but it's dangerous to applaud the so-called "improvement" of a cuisine just because chefs are applying certain (often Western) techniques. (Sequentially, who assigns value is an integral part of this conversation, but the lack of diversity in food writing is a whole different story.)

Look closely, and you'll see implicit bias loaded in our go-to lexicon, whether it's the sudden trendiness of a global cuisine that millions of people already consume every day or, even worse, if someone claims to have "discovered" said cuisine.

Luckily, there are chefs and food writers moving the needle. Edouardo Jordan from JuneBaby in Seattle, for one, has dedicated an entire section of his restaurant's website to an encyclopedia of terms related to Southern food, so that his customers will be more educated about his food before they even enter the restaurant. He doesn't just describe the food itself, but he also defines relevant terms some diners might misunderstand. In doing so, he not only contextualizes his food and mission at JuneBaby, but he contributes to a larger conversation, too.

He's not alone in putting his words where his mouth is either. Take food writers like Toni Tipton-Martin and her compilation of The Jemima Code, Mayukh Sen and his long-form stories for Food52 , and Michael Twitty and what seems to be the entirety of his being. They're all examples of people using their words to protect, preserve and champion diversity in the culinary world.

Even if we're just describing a taco, the language we use to talk about food culture needs recalibrating to factor in more than what the majority finds familiar. Because in the end, we're not just talking about a taco—we're talking about a greater experience reflective of people, cultures and food.


Eat Your Words

The "best cheap eats in your city." This time of year, it feels like every food publication—this one included—puts out at least one of these curated lists. Though they may seem harmless, these roundups featuring what tends to be meals fit for a hangover ringing in at less than ten dollars are also fertile ground for problematic discourse.

Take this quote from one such list that states "immigration only enriches the cheap-eats catalogue."

At first glance, you might gloss over the statement without pause, but most people of color, like myself, readily recognize this coded language, which implies food produced by immigrants is inherently cheap. The optimist in me believes the authors have no ill will and probably even think they are doing good by showcasing the value immigrants bring to our country. But as a racial minority, I can't help but take an exacting eye to the words used to discuss different groups of people.

And at a time when America is particularly divided and food has the power to serve as a great uniter, we need to be more thoughtful about how we speak.

Consider the term ethnic . Now think about the countries whose food you describe as such versus those you do not. You'll start to notice a pattern. Do you usually label French and Japanese as ethnic ? Or do you call them international cuisines?

Historically, the term e thnic has been used to categorize people and cultures "outside the norm," and it's precisely this otherization that's dangerous. As Lavanya Ramanathan states in her piece on "calling immigrant food 'ethnic,'" "Immigrants' identities are deeply tied to the foods we bring with us. When we hear our cuisine described as exotic, hodgepodge, greasy or cheap, you might as well be remarking disdainfully about our clothes or skin color." Just so, when cheap-eats lists are riddled with predominantly "ethnic" cuisines, as even Tasting Table 's own lists tend to reflect, we unwittingly perpetuate differences in worth.

Associate professor of food studies at New York University Krishnendu Ray gets to the root of the matter in his book, The Ethnic Restaurateur. He explains that diners aren't willing to pay a high price for food they consider "ethnic," but instead reserve their wallets for so-called "international" dinners, like Japanese omakase. "We want 'ethnic food' to be authentic, but we are almost never willing to pay for it," he says in an interview with The Washington Post. For example, two similar menu items, steak frites and carne asada, typically demand very different price tags, he later points out.

And ethnic isn't the only loaded term we need to use with caution. Another common trope that warrants speculation is the supposed elevation of foods. It implies that the subject was inferior before some catalyst improved its standing. But according to what measure? The speaker might reference rare ingredients or sophisticated tools and techniques, but it's dangerous to applaud the so-called "improvement" of a cuisine just because chefs are applying certain (often Western) techniques. (Sequentially, who assigns value is an integral part of this conversation, but the lack of diversity in food writing is a whole different story.)

Look closely, and you'll see implicit bias loaded in our go-to lexicon, whether it's the sudden trendiness of a global cuisine that millions of people already consume every day or, even worse, if someone claims to have "discovered" said cuisine.

Luckily, there are chefs and food writers moving the needle. Edouardo Jordan from JuneBaby in Seattle, for one, has dedicated an entire section of his restaurant's website to an encyclopedia of terms related to Southern food, so that his customers will be more educated about his food before they even enter the restaurant. He doesn't just describe the food itself, but he also defines relevant terms some diners might misunderstand. In doing so, he not only contextualizes his food and mission at JuneBaby, but he contributes to a larger conversation, too.

He's not alone in putting his words where his mouth is either. Take food writers like Toni Tipton-Martin and her compilation of The Jemima Code, Mayukh Sen and his long-form stories for Food52 , and Michael Twitty and what seems to be the entirety of his being. They're all examples of people using their words to protect, preserve and champion diversity in the culinary world.

Even if we're just describing a taco, the language we use to talk about food culture needs recalibrating to factor in more than what the majority finds familiar. Because in the end, we're not just talking about a taco—we're talking about a greater experience reflective of people, cultures and food.


Eat Your Words

The "best cheap eats in your city." This time of year, it feels like every food publication—this one included—puts out at least one of these curated lists. Though they may seem harmless, these roundups featuring what tends to be meals fit for a hangover ringing in at less than ten dollars are also fertile ground for problematic discourse.

Take this quote from one such list that states "immigration only enriches the cheap-eats catalogue."

At first glance, you might gloss over the statement without pause, but most people of color, like myself, readily recognize this coded language, which implies food produced by immigrants is inherently cheap. The optimist in me believes the authors have no ill will and probably even think they are doing good by showcasing the value immigrants bring to our country. But as a racial minority, I can't help but take an exacting eye to the words used to discuss different groups of people.

And at a time when America is particularly divided and food has the power to serve as a great uniter, we need to be more thoughtful about how we speak.

Consider the term ethnic . Now think about the countries whose food you describe as such versus those you do not. You'll start to notice a pattern. Do you usually label French and Japanese as ethnic ? Or do you call them international cuisines?

Historically, the term e thnic has been used to categorize people and cultures "outside the norm," and it's precisely this otherization that's dangerous. As Lavanya Ramanathan states in her piece on "calling immigrant food 'ethnic,'" "Immigrants' identities are deeply tied to the foods we bring with us. When we hear our cuisine described as exotic, hodgepodge, greasy or cheap, you might as well be remarking disdainfully about our clothes or skin color." Just so, when cheap-eats lists are riddled with predominantly "ethnic" cuisines, as even Tasting Table 's own lists tend to reflect, we unwittingly perpetuate differences in worth.

Associate professor of food studies at New York University Krishnendu Ray gets to the root of the matter in his book, The Ethnic Restaurateur. He explains that diners aren't willing to pay a high price for food they consider "ethnic," but instead reserve their wallets for so-called "international" dinners, like Japanese omakase. "We want 'ethnic food' to be authentic, but we are almost never willing to pay for it," he says in an interview with The Washington Post. For example, two similar menu items, steak frites and carne asada, typically demand very different price tags, he later points out.

And ethnic isn't the only loaded term we need to use with caution. Another common trope that warrants speculation is the supposed elevation of foods. It implies that the subject was inferior before some catalyst improved its standing. But according to what measure? The speaker might reference rare ingredients or sophisticated tools and techniques, but it's dangerous to applaud the so-called "improvement" of a cuisine just because chefs are applying certain (often Western) techniques. (Sequentially, who assigns value is an integral part of this conversation, but the lack of diversity in food writing is a whole different story.)

Look closely, and you'll see implicit bias loaded in our go-to lexicon, whether it's the sudden trendiness of a global cuisine that millions of people already consume every day or, even worse, if someone claims to have "discovered" said cuisine.

Luckily, there are chefs and food writers moving the needle. Edouardo Jordan from JuneBaby in Seattle, for one, has dedicated an entire section of his restaurant's website to an encyclopedia of terms related to Southern food, so that his customers will be more educated about his food before they even enter the restaurant. He doesn't just describe the food itself, but he also defines relevant terms some diners might misunderstand. In doing so, he not only contextualizes his food and mission at JuneBaby, but he contributes to a larger conversation, too.

He's not alone in putting his words where his mouth is either. Take food writers like Toni Tipton-Martin and her compilation of The Jemima Code, Mayukh Sen and his long-form stories for Food52 , and Michael Twitty and what seems to be the entirety of his being. They're all examples of people using their words to protect, preserve and champion diversity in the culinary world.

Even if we're just describing a taco, the language we use to talk about food culture needs recalibrating to factor in more than what the majority finds familiar. Because in the end, we're not just talking about a taco—we're talking about a greater experience reflective of people, cultures and food.


Eat Your Words

The "best cheap eats in your city." This time of year, it feels like every food publication—this one included—puts out at least one of these curated lists. Though they may seem harmless, these roundups featuring what tends to be meals fit for a hangover ringing in at less than ten dollars are also fertile ground for problematic discourse.

Take this quote from one such list that states "immigration only enriches the cheap-eats catalogue."

At first glance, you might gloss over the statement without pause, but most people of color, like myself, readily recognize this coded language, which implies food produced by immigrants is inherently cheap. The optimist in me believes the authors have no ill will and probably even think they are doing good by showcasing the value immigrants bring to our country. But as a racial minority, I can't help but take an exacting eye to the words used to discuss different groups of people.

And at a time when America is particularly divided and food has the power to serve as a great uniter, we need to be more thoughtful about how we speak.

Consider the term ethnic . Now think about the countries whose food you describe as such versus those you do not. You'll start to notice a pattern. Do you usually label French and Japanese as ethnic ? Or do you call them international cuisines?

Historically, the term e thnic has been used to categorize people and cultures "outside the norm," and it's precisely this otherization that's dangerous. As Lavanya Ramanathan states in her piece on "calling immigrant food 'ethnic,'" "Immigrants' identities are deeply tied to the foods we bring with us. When we hear our cuisine described as exotic, hodgepodge, greasy or cheap, you might as well be remarking disdainfully about our clothes or skin color." Just so, when cheap-eats lists are riddled with predominantly "ethnic" cuisines, as even Tasting Table 's own lists tend to reflect, we unwittingly perpetuate differences in worth.

Associate professor of food studies at New York University Krishnendu Ray gets to the root of the matter in his book, The Ethnic Restaurateur. He explains that diners aren't willing to pay a high price for food they consider "ethnic," but instead reserve their wallets for so-called "international" dinners, like Japanese omakase. "We want 'ethnic food' to be authentic, but we are almost never willing to pay for it," he says in an interview with The Washington Post. For example, two similar menu items, steak frites and carne asada, typically demand very different price tags, he later points out.

And ethnic isn't the only loaded term we need to use with caution. Another common trope that warrants speculation is the supposed elevation of foods. It implies that the subject was inferior before some catalyst improved its standing. But according to what measure? The speaker might reference rare ingredients or sophisticated tools and techniques, but it's dangerous to applaud the so-called "improvement" of a cuisine just because chefs are applying certain (often Western) techniques. (Sequentially, who assigns value is an integral part of this conversation, but the lack of diversity in food writing is a whole different story.)

Look closely, and you'll see implicit bias loaded in our go-to lexicon, whether it's the sudden trendiness of a global cuisine that millions of people already consume every day or, even worse, if someone claims to have "discovered" said cuisine.

Luckily, there are chefs and food writers moving the needle. Edouardo Jordan from JuneBaby in Seattle, for one, has dedicated an entire section of his restaurant's website to an encyclopedia of terms related to Southern food, so that his customers will be more educated about his food before they even enter the restaurant. He doesn't just describe the food itself, but he also defines relevant terms some diners might misunderstand. In doing so, he not only contextualizes his food and mission at JuneBaby, but he contributes to a larger conversation, too.

He's not alone in putting his words where his mouth is either. Take food writers like Toni Tipton-Martin and her compilation of The Jemima Code, Mayukh Sen and his long-form stories for Food52 , and Michael Twitty and what seems to be the entirety of his being. They're all examples of people using their words to protect, preserve and champion diversity in the culinary world.

Even if we're just describing a taco, the language we use to talk about food culture needs recalibrating to factor in more than what the majority finds familiar. Because in the end, we're not just talking about a taco—we're talking about a greater experience reflective of people, cultures and food.


Eat Your Words

The "best cheap eats in your city." This time of year, it feels like every food publication—this one included—puts out at least one of these curated lists. Though they may seem harmless, these roundups featuring what tends to be meals fit for a hangover ringing in at less than ten dollars are also fertile ground for problematic discourse.

Take this quote from one such list that states "immigration only enriches the cheap-eats catalogue."

At first glance, you might gloss over the statement without pause, but most people of color, like myself, readily recognize this coded language, which implies food produced by immigrants is inherently cheap. The optimist in me believes the authors have no ill will and probably even think they are doing good by showcasing the value immigrants bring to our country. But as a racial minority, I can't help but take an exacting eye to the words used to discuss different groups of people.

And at a time when America is particularly divided and food has the power to serve as a great uniter, we need to be more thoughtful about how we speak.

Consider the term ethnic . Now think about the countries whose food you describe as such versus those you do not. You'll start to notice a pattern. Do you usually label French and Japanese as ethnic ? Or do you call them international cuisines?

Historically, the term e thnic has been used to categorize people and cultures "outside the norm," and it's precisely this otherization that's dangerous. As Lavanya Ramanathan states in her piece on "calling immigrant food 'ethnic,'" "Immigrants' identities are deeply tied to the foods we bring with us. When we hear our cuisine described as exotic, hodgepodge, greasy or cheap, you might as well be remarking disdainfully about our clothes or skin color." Just so, when cheap-eats lists are riddled with predominantly "ethnic" cuisines, as even Tasting Table 's own lists tend to reflect, we unwittingly perpetuate differences in worth.

Associate professor of food studies at New York University Krishnendu Ray gets to the root of the matter in his book, The Ethnic Restaurateur. He explains that diners aren't willing to pay a high price for food they consider "ethnic," but instead reserve their wallets for so-called "international" dinners, like Japanese omakase. "We want 'ethnic food' to be authentic, but we are almost never willing to pay for it," he says in an interview with The Washington Post. For example, two similar menu items, steak frites and carne asada, typically demand very different price tags, he later points out.

And ethnic isn't the only loaded term we need to use with caution. Another common trope that warrants speculation is the supposed elevation of foods. It implies that the subject was inferior before some catalyst improved its standing. But according to what measure? The speaker might reference rare ingredients or sophisticated tools and techniques, but it's dangerous to applaud the so-called "improvement" of a cuisine just because chefs are applying certain (often Western) techniques. (Sequentially, who assigns value is an integral part of this conversation, but the lack of diversity in food writing is a whole different story.)

Look closely, and you'll see implicit bias loaded in our go-to lexicon, whether it's the sudden trendiness of a global cuisine that millions of people already consume every day or, even worse, if someone claims to have "discovered" said cuisine.

Luckily, there are chefs and food writers moving the needle. Edouardo Jordan from JuneBaby in Seattle, for one, has dedicated an entire section of his restaurant's website to an encyclopedia of terms related to Southern food, so that his customers will be more educated about his food before they even enter the restaurant. He doesn't just describe the food itself, but he also defines relevant terms some diners might misunderstand. In doing so, he not only contextualizes his food and mission at JuneBaby, but he contributes to a larger conversation, too.

He's not alone in putting his words where his mouth is either. Take food writers like Toni Tipton-Martin and her compilation of The Jemima Code, Mayukh Sen and his long-form stories for Food52 , and Michael Twitty and what seems to be the entirety of his being. They're all examples of people using their words to protect, preserve and champion diversity in the culinary world.

Even if we're just describing a taco, the language we use to talk about food culture needs recalibrating to factor in more than what the majority finds familiar. Because in the end, we're not just talking about a taco—we're talking about a greater experience reflective of people, cultures and food.


Watch the video: Στις γειτονιές της Αθήνας. (December 2021).