January 15th, 2013

planet

food evolution

My two year old has a favorite restaurant now: Sumo, the japanese steakhouse we go to all the time on the east side, there are other good ones in Wichita but Sumo is our favorite because it's always crowded and exciting and they have a portobello plate I really like, and ahi tuna, and a sushi bar, and a bar with a great drink menu... heck we just like it a lot.

Last time we went there it was Marc's birthday so we went ALL out, started with sushi and then marc got the filet + lobster, it was awesome. Josie was totally excited about going there but I didn't know it'd really stick with her this time, well it did, and now she's always asking about it again when it's dinner time. She really likes soup in general, so she's all about the miso soup they start the meal off with even though I think miso soup is like pure MSG with a little water, then she's all about fried rice and even wants to use chopsticks, loves the guy lighting stuff on fire, then they finish off with pink sorbet and that's basically as good as life gets when you're two.

The funny thing is, I think the first time I ever went to a hibachi grill place was when I was 20 or so and in college, it was just totally not in my realm of thinking. Josie also loves pad thai, and I know I did not have thai food as a kid because marc introduced me to it... yes that marc, who I met when I was 25. He LOVES thai food. I don't remember having much indian foods either, until I worked as an engineering intern with lots of indians who were always on a quest for a taste of home. For some reason in Wichita they seem to have given up... we have lots of indian engineers like any company, but not a lot of great restaurants that I know of. We have wonderful Lebanese and Mediterranean restaurants, and lots of Vietnamese too.

I don't know if it was my family, or the world has just changed. My dad actually worked at Taco Bell around 1970 and said it was a totally new thing then, unfamiliar to the general public, the whole concept of tacos even. People would come in and stare at the menu in confusion before just shaking their heads and asking for french fries and he'd have to sort of guide them along.

Growing up, we had tacos as sort of a weekly staple at home, and there was always a spaghetti night. Sometimes we'd get chinese takeout or pizza. I think that was the extent of the diversity in my diet. Everything else was tasty... chicken and rice, meatloaf, steak night, meat and potatoes home cooked meals. In recent years my parents have worked a lot more fish into their diets, we had it occasionally as a kid but I didn't like it, I remember things like baked orange roughy but now when I visit home they're grilling salmon.

Mom even makes humus all the time now, considers it a totally normal food, I think I first had it in 2005 or something. Of course Josie loves it... or at least, she loves using the food processor.

So I don't know if it just took us YEARS to figure this stuff out, or if Kansas, America has taken this long to eat the rest of the world's food.