Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

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Wa'gwaan, me babber?
My Spanish PhD student (ex-student now, as far as I'm concerned) tells me that in Spain chorizo is never combined with chicken; at any rate, it's certainly not a Thing in the way it has become in Britain, where they are as inseparable as bangers and mash (which is to say, not entirely). Surely this is Spain's loss, though, for they go together very well. In fact, the other day I bought a chicken and chorizo Cornish pasty in a railway station - it was delicious.

Of course, the British have long had a way of domesticating foreign cuisines (Chinese and Indian most notably) and it's customary to look down on the bastardised results, but why is chicken tikka masala not as worthy of respect as the creations of any trendy fusion restaurant?

I've also enjoyed the recent rise of exotically flavoured popcorn. For years, we've made do with just a few flavours: plain, salt, sugar, toffee. Now, popcorn has suddenly become almost as diverse as crisps: I'm particularly partial to Portlebay's wasabi and ginger. Has this trend hit the States too, I wonder, or is it (like weird crisp flavours) more a British thing? Either way, I embrace it.

These thoughts were prompted by a graffito in St Paul's, in which a friendly camel enquires after the well-being of passers by in a way that combines Jamaican patois with Bristolian slang - thus nodding to the Somali, Caribbean and indigenous populations of that lively district. What's not to like?


wagwaan

Roughly, "how goes, bro?" Neat.

Let fusion reign!

Nine

These thoughts were prompted by a graffito in St Paul's, in which a friendly camel enquires after the well-being of passers by in a way that combines Jamaican patois with Bristolian slang - thus nodding to the Somali, Caribbean and indigenous populations of that lively district. What's not to like?

That is pretty awesome.

That's a delightful piece of grafitto!

That is pretty cool!

I live in Spain and yes, chicken and chorizo do not mix, even though I can easily imagine that it would be delicious. It's just not done.

And there is no flavoured popcorn.

However, there are potato crisps fried in olive oil. Yum, or as it is spelled in Spanish, ñam.

About 20 years ago, there was a fad in the US for shops selling unusually-flavored popcorn: either sweet baked-on coatings (like caramel corn, the one standard form of this) or savory dustings (like cheese corn, the one standard form of that). But then they faded out, much to my regret, though there was still one shop of that kind in the smaller Chicago airport the last time I checked.

However, even at their height, they didn't go quite as odd as wasabi and ginger. I think that, as with the crisps, there are types of weird flavors that are purely British. Although, as most of the odd flavoring impulse in the US is going into crisps now, I think I have seen wasabi-ginger crisps (or chips, as we call them) recently.

However, the current fad spicy flavor on everything in the US now is sriracha. This is a proprietary brand of Vietnamese-style hot sauce that's become popular since the factory in LA expanded a few years ago. (It's now annoying the neighbors, who are subject to sriracha smell all day.) But rather than being canny marketers to get their name all over the place, it appears that the owners never bothered to trademark it, so the name is now open season to anyone who wants to use it.

There's a flavored-popcorn store in my neighborhood. http://www.kukuruza.com/collections/gourmet-popcorn

Apparently they have six stores in Japan and three in Korea, three in Cairo, and three in Riyadh. I'd no idea.

Chicken and chorizo is good. Not sure about the flavored popcorn. There are funny flavors on chips though, like wasabi. Son likes wasabi tasting dried kelp...

My nephew, who was going to be an actor in those days(he's a singer now) once did a commercial for a cheese-flavoured popcorn. A lot if money was spent on promotion. The director was a well-known Aussie actor. The product never took off...

I like my popcorn plain and salted, thanks! And my pasties meat-free.

People have been doing strange things to pizza for years. There are some bizarre "gourmet" ones these days! So why not do weird things to other foods?

Flavored popcorn is big in Singapore. I would agree with those who say it is not so much in the US - in fact, it wasn't even until I studied abroad in the UK that I had ever encountered the idea that movie theater popcorn could be sweet rather than salty, although I suppose I'd seen it at carnivals or that sort of thing and did encounter those bags of store bought cheese-dusted popcorn as a child. But I suppose there's at least some evidence that the nexus of this flavored popcorn thing is in Chicago? kalimac mentions above his encounters in the Chicago airport, and there's this store in Singapore which seems to be "a Chicago tradition since 1949." There is evidently a single branch in New York City, in Penn Station, which contrasts with the 6 branches in Singapore and possibly helps to explain why, despite frequenting Penn Station when I am in NYC, I think of this as being far more common in Singapore.

Now, popcorn has suddenly become almost as diverse as crisps:

And yet finding buttery stuff is still a challenge. (I do like wasabi on pretty much anything though.)

(Deleted comment)
Oh, I would be mortified if I left you with the impression that Chicken Tikka Masala contains chorizo! I only meant that both the chicken and chorizo combo and chicken tikka masala are British inventions, or at least combinations.

Now you mention it, though, a bit of chorizo might just pep up a chicken tikka masala. Interesting...

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