Mohamed El Hassan Abou El Fadel
Mohamed El Hassan Abou El Fadel
Morocco World News
Inezgane, Morocco, June 24, 2013
Restaurants in the US provide all sorts of tasty and exotic food with flavors from the countries of origin. Each restaurant is a little piece of a given culture and when you enter one of those restaurants, you feel that it has a spirit of its own. In this manner, Mexican restaurants differ from Italian, Chinese, Lebanese or Korean ones just to mention a few.
From my own experience, I can say that apart from fast food which is different altogether, all types of food served in these multi-national restaurants clearly show us how diversity and pluralism can be very enriching and rewarding. I am saying very rewarding because in such restaurants you get an opportunity to have a first hand experience about the culinary art of a given people. besides I would never enjoy some people’s food and yet hold the same prejudices against them. No one would for a second imagine people at war sitting at the same table, enjoying the food and telling all sorts of stories or asking each other questions whose answers will help make them grow closer.
After more than three decades, I can still remember that hot but very tasty Mexican food I once had in Santa Fe or else the great taste of Italian pizza which is served in a friendly and comfortable setting where an automatic piano played selected pieces of music. From my recollections, I can say that Chinese cuisine is another great culinary experience in which three elements are, to me, of capital importance: rice, tea and the fortune cookies. The cookies are a fascinating way of ending a meal. They probably represent the importance of linking the pleasant present moment to a projection into the future.
You cannot imagine how happy I was when I had a chance to go to a Libanese restaurant to eat Homos and chich Kobab. In that restaurant, I had the feeling of being at home because it was ornamented with beautiful Arabic calligraphy and the owner was such a nice lady. She came over to me when she knew that I was Moroccan and talked to me for a while in Arabic. A wonderful experience it was. In another part of town there was a famous little restaurant that served all types of nice pancakes with different tasty syrups. That restaurant is no longer there, I was told. I asked why do good restaurants have to vanish all of a sudden and someone told me that its name was quite an offense to African Americans. It was called “Sambo’s”, a racist appellation, of which I was not aware at the time. Much later, during my visit to places in the state of Indiana, I would mention some names of restaurants that had some impact on me. These are the names: Bucca de Beppo, The Melting Pot, The Copper Kettle and the Blue Bird. No publicity intended of course, but I was quite impressed by the service and the quality of the food.
To conclude, I would say that someone voluntarily wanted me to have a rounded experience about American restaurants and thus advised me not to fail to go to Hooters. I abstained but I happened to be buying some books from Borders in Greenwood, Indiana and close enough was a Hooters restaurant so I took a picture of the fabulous place. When I got back to Morocco, I was watching satellite TV and there on some TV channel, was an American film part of which was inside a Hooters restaurant. It certainly was a second hand experience but with it the rounded experience of American food culture was complete I think.
©Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.