I'm on a roll! Yesterday, it was Mom's Daikon Soup, today it's Cucumber Kimchi. This isn't what you typically think of as kimchi, i.e. this doesn't require a long fermentation. It's more like a quick pickle, and a slightly sweet, slightly sour one at that.
All of these dishes straddle the line between an Asian cuisine (here, Korean, obviously) and fusion. Stubborn, old me is finding this a good exercise in relaxing my expectations of authentic cuisine. Do you experience this yourself? Is there a cuisine or even single dish that you fiercely guard against dilution, misinterpretation, or flat-out heresy? These recipes are challenging me to ask what makes a cuisine authentic. What are the essential components or techniques of a dish that make it, say, Korean, or American? It's one of those questions I ponder often, to no satisfying conclusion. But I ask it all the same.
On that note, here's Chef Sara Jenkins' article in The Atlantic on Italian food and authenticity. And I listened to an old Radiolab episode last night on the "self." It got me thinking about change, how we are fluid beings.