Cuisine; is it Italian or Italian-American?
When we lived in New Mexico and would visit family and friends in other states they would many times recommend a Mexican restaurant, which we would always decline. Mexican cuisine is not the same as New Mexican; which is a blend of Spanish, Mexican and Native American flavors. Tex-Mex is a whole different bowl of beans…pun intended.
Now that we have returned from Italy some people have suggested “Italian” restaurants and I have written before how “Italian” food in America does not resemble what you find in Italia. We were visiting Valerie’s cousin recently and one of our discussions was this dilemma. Celia has been in the restaurant business and she had a different approach to the cuisine…”Italian” in America is a whole different type of cuisine, Italian-American, which is not to be contrasted with the cuisine you find in Italy. Italian-American dishes may have some of the same names and ingredients as la cucina italiana but it isn’t the same.
I found this approach to the differences in cuisine to be less frustrating than being regularly disappointed that “Italian” in America is nothing like la cucina italiana. We can enjoy Italian-American as a different but enjoyable contrast. Just don’t ask me to cut my pasta!