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There is much discussion here (as you will have noticed) about whaether there is or is not an "American" cuisine and, if so, what is it?

What do either or both of you think?

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That is a fantastic question, Jinmyo!

Yes, I believe there is a distinct " American " cuisine that exists. Chefs around the country are developing personal styles that are quickly showing some common characteristics.

Many of those chefs have trained in excellent establishments around the world and returned to bring a whole new set of skills to the table. Not to mention, the many talented chefs of foreign origin, who practice there trade here, constantly adapting to American diners tastes has led the way in defining our own cuisine. Cuisine, like any part of culture, is fueled by travel and sharing. Now, faster than ever...thanks egullet!!

The quality and distinctiveness of our food sources is another factor that makes me believe there is a distinct cuisine evolving here. Snap peas, soft shell crabs and bi-color corn are a few products that we are at this moment enjoying ( literally because I did not have a chance to eat today!) and difficult to find in other countries.

I am particularly interested in the use of acidity and "heat" ( spicy - hot)

elements in many contemporary menus. An "American" cuisine seems to have fewer boundaries when it comes to flavor combinations and innovation when we look back at the classic traditions we are building on. I do feel stongly that this process is one that is building from a foundation of classical culinary traditions.

These are a some of the factors that have contributed to the birth of this " American" cuisine.

I would be interested in hearing what you and other egulleteers think. Thanks again.

Looking forward to your responses.

Mike

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Mike, what kind of ingrediemts do you enjoy using for acidity and heat?

Do you make use of dried chiles? Smoked chiles? Or are these flavours too pronounced?

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Jinmyo,

For acidity we rely on fresh citrus juices, tomato water, a variety of vinegars, and verjus . As you might have seen on other threads here, we incorporate those high notes of acidity in dishes, often through pickled vegetables.

For heat, ( and acidity in this case) we use fresh ginger juice, and very small touches of jalepeno, a dried chili called "Aleppo" that is from Syria. I am fascinated with flavors enhanced by yuzu-kosho and togarashi, which you must be familiar with, although they do not play a big role on the menu at Blue Hill.

But please understand these ingredients are used sparingly and with discretion.

Thanks for asking.

Mike

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Hi Mike,

I look at American cuisine in 5 distint regions.

NorthEast

SouthEast

MidWest

Pacific Northwest

and Southwest

Our country is so large and diversified that it's like we have mini countries within the US each bringing their own flavor to the table.Mix it all in a bottle shake it up and sometimes you have a masterpiece and sometimes you have..well, you know.

Do you find this to be true?and is their a way in your opinion that the multi layers of American cuisine can be codified to one specific cuisine?

Thank you

Brad

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