Links for January 1, 2018

Asian-American Cuisine’s Rise, and Triumph

This is food borne of a particular diaspora, made by chefs who are “third culture kids,” heirs to both their parents’ culture and the one they were raised in, and thus forced to create their own.

Could we call it Asian-American cuisine? The term is problematic, subsuming countries across a vast region with no shared language or single unifying religion.... When I asked American chefs of Asian heritage whether their cooking could be considered Asian-American cuisine, there was always a pause, and sometimes a sigh.

How the sandwich consumed Britain

The M&S breakthrough arrived on high streets populated by mostly featureless sandwich bars. Slow service. Bins of fillings of indeterminate age. “It was a depressing situation,” Julian Metcalfe told me. “Ninety per cent of them were depressing places.” Metcalfe opened the first branch of Pret a Manger, at 75b Victoria Street, in London, during the summer of 1986. He was 26 years old. He had been running a delicatessen in Putney, but it had no kitchen, and Metcalfe was dismayed by what he was forced to sell. “We were delivered coleslaw with a 16-day shelf life,” he recalled. “I remember thinking: ‘Goodness.’”