When I began my foray into the world of Spanish food, chorizo was perhaps the ingredient that least enticed me. Though I had never tried the sausage, it’s wide-spread prevalence in America seemed to suggest that it was somewhat… ordinary; an ingredient to use with ease by the average layman. I instinctively grouped it with other “unhealthy” mass produced cured meats and salamis. All sorts of restaurants, from high-end white table cloth establishments to fast-food joints, serve chorizo. Indeed, one can even find it in some of New York’s many bodegas (convince store) sitting along-side other tired looking nitrate-loaded hams and bacons. No, I was certainly not exited to consume chorizo. With an air of arrogance and lethargy, I sampled the sausage, explored its history, and investigated its significance. With reluctance, I forced myself to buy the sausage and consume it in all its seemingly artificial, cancer-forming glory. Suffice to say, all my pre-conceived notions of chorizo had been wrong. Very, very, wrong.
This wasn’t supposed to happen. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I was to spend the summer months venturing across New York, in search of Northern Chinese food. I was to tell an immigrant story; of a people from a faraway land, of a regional cuisine cloaked in mystery. Cookbooks had been purchased, the contacts identified, the restaurants vetted. No, this was not supposed to happen. It was not supposed to be this way.
Throughout history, consumers have constantly redefined notions of edibility. What is considered food one day may be deemed taboo the next. Ingredients that have been consumed for centuries have disappeared with the advent of dietetic fads [...]