Let’s Dish: If you had to choose only one cuisine for the rest of your life, which would it be?

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by Amy Flanigan on May 5, 2011 · 39 comments

Isn’t that the hardest question EVER?

I love so many different cuisines. How could I ever live without Italian? I mean, swear off pasta…it makes me twitch just thinking about it. Or American – no more grilled cheese sandwiches? Talk to the hand. What about Indian Naan? Greek Gryos? Mexican tacos? The French and their butter? Oh my gosh, my head hurts.

But honestly, when it comes down to it, it’s unimaginable to go through life without the variety of Asian food: Chinese pork ribs, sushi, shrimp fried rice, or Pad Thai. Sigh. (I may change my mind tomorrow, depending on what I’m eating, but for now, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.)

So. If you had to choose only one cuisine for the rest of your life, which would it be?

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren July 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm

ICE CREAM!!! how’s that for specific?!

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Aggie May 24, 2011 at 6:07 am

Very hard question. Almost impossible to answer! My first inclination is to say Italian (b/c that’s what I am) but how could I live without guacamole?? and fried rice?

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Ethan May 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm

I was sort of just having this conversation the other day and I have to go Asian. I don’t know if I could live without rice paper spring rolls.

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Carol May 6, 2011 at 7:13 am

Oh my, good ole American cooking. Home cooked mac and cheese, fried chicken or how bout some pork chops. Fire up the grill for those baby back ribs. There’s no end to it!

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Amy May 6, 2011 at 10:04 am

I know, right? What’s not to love about the American comfort food. NOM.

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Paul May 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Bacon.

Done.

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Mom May 5, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Italian wins hands down because of its versatility. The variety from the different regions could keep us going for a long time without ever getting tired of the food. Of course, I LOVE good Chinese food and don’t need a recipe for so many dishes. But I’m sticking with my pick and won’t change my mind. So there!!!

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Amy May 5, 2011 at 7:04 pm

I’m stunned by this!! I thought for sure you would say Asian. Wow. The Italians win hands down. I understand, though. I do.

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Meister @ The Nervous Cook May 5, 2011 at 5:47 pm

I love asking this question of people and seeing their jaws drop as they realize they can’t decide. Most folks settle on something totally vague, like “Asian cuisine.” (I mean, come on, that’s cheating! “Asian cuisine” could mean anything from satay to Pad Thai to xiao long bao to sushi to tandoori chicken, for Pete’s sake.)

For me, I want the answer to be super specific, just because I feel like it’s more of a challenge that way. And so I’m going to go out on a total limb and just pick one I think I could truly happily live with, without deviation: Let’s hear it for Indian food!

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Amy May 5, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Okay then. If I have to be specific and choose only one thing, that’s easy. Pie.

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Meister @ The Nervous Cook May 17, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Ooh, great choice: They can be sweet or savory! You win.

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Sandi Benoit May 5, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Dang, what a tuffy!!!! I could honestly live without burgers & steaks. But how I loveeeeeeee my Italian & Asian foods! They are a like a staple in our diet..We don’t eat much Greek food, Polish food is saved for “special occasions”…..dang you Amy !!!!!

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Amy May 5, 2011 at 6:21 pm

I could live without burgers and steaks, too. I’d miss them, but we don’t eat them near enough to shed tears over their loss. Actually, I think I should speak for myself…Paul would probably answer differently.

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pam May 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm

This is to hard. I think Thai, but then no Greek, but then no Italian, and what about hamburgers and steaks. Too hard.

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Amy May 5, 2011 at 6:27 pm

I feel your pain, truly. I almost couldn’t sleep narrowing down my choices.

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Stephanie May 5, 2011 at 2:12 pm

This is literally an impossible question. For me, it would have to be a toss up between Italian and Asian I think. Living without pasta would be torture. But (American) Chinese food is one of my all time favorites. Yikes! Hopefully the world never comes to this!

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Amy May 5, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I like to see my readers sweat ;-) It is hard, right? I struggled with pasta and Asian too. In the end you can see which one won. However, I’m making pasta for dinner tonight and am SO glad this was a fictional question.

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Karen May 5, 2011 at 11:49 am

Mexican for sure. I would say its as diverse as Italian without the pasta and since I am eating pretty much gluten free these days, thats fine by me. So much flavor and I love my food spicy! They may not have the best wines, but hey, can you say tequila???? Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!

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Amy May 5, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Ha! I love being back in CA, where you can find real authentic Mexican food. I get the most amazing corn tortillas at my local market. They have so much flavor built in, and don’t crack. Mexican food is so easy to make, too. I’ve always marveled and how simple and yet wonderful a taco is. Genius.

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Jen May 5, 2011 at 11:27 am

Italian, hands down. I wouldn’t have to give up my cheeses, meats, or fish, and it’s all over pasta. And their wine…oh…sigh. How can you go wrong with Italian? And, come on, they do have the best pizza in the world. :o)

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Amy May 5, 2011 at 2:02 pm

And don’t forget their panini. I know. God, Italian food. So good. I want to change my question to “If you had to choose only TWO cuisines for the rest of your life, which would it be?”

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Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary May 5, 2011 at 11:15 am

If I didn’t say Italian my Sicilian Dad would smack me upside the head! So Italian it is, but I like the way your Dad thinks. He should move to RI…lots and lots of fried clams and chowda here – cheap too!

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Amy May 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm

My Dad is originally from New Bedford, MA actually and I think spent many a summer along the coast eating crab cakes, lobster, and fried clams. Rough life, eh?

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Marilyn Clay May 5, 2011 at 11:07 am

I expect it would be Mediterranean. Lots of fresh ingredients, olive oil and red wine.

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Amy May 5, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Hi Marilyn – thinking outside the box, I like it! Love Mediterranean food. Mmmm.

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Jay May 5, 2011 at 10:39 am

Put me down for Italian. I’m a certified “Pastaholic.”

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Amy May 5, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Well, sure. And never mind that you’ve been to Italy and tasted the really good stuff.

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Dad May 5, 2011 at 10:30 am

Fried clams and New England clam chowder … or is that two cuisines?

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Amy May 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Oh, Dad. Yes. God…if it weren’t 90 degrees outside right now, I would change my dinner plans and make that!

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Mike May 5, 2011 at 10:07 am

My wife’s bolognese. I’d PAY to eat it.

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Jen May 5, 2011 at 11:31 am

I want her recipe!!!!

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Amy May 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Um…me too, please.

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Mike May 5, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Ha! I’m not sure she shares it, but I’ll see…

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Joanne May 5, 2011 at 9:59 am

I absolutely could not live without sushi. I eat it at least once a week and it’s a totally must-have in my life! Thai food would be a close second. As a whole, I think it comes closest to culinary perfection..incorporating flavors that hit every taste bud!

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lo May 5, 2011 at 9:36 am

Tough question, Amy.

I’d like to be awesome and say that I’d go with something like Indian cuisine, which I LOVE. But, I’m not familiar enough to cook Indian fare every day without a big of a struggle. Plus, I’d definitely miss cheese… somehow paneer wouldn’t cut it for me for very long.

Latin American food would be a serious consideration, since I’d be lost without my chiles. I need a nice jolt of heat every now and again — especially during the summer months. And at least it would allow me to get my cheese fix :)

But, hips be damned, I’d probably go with Italian. First — it’s Mediterranean cuisine with plenty of regions & variations. So, we’d never get bored. Plus I can actually “cook” Italian food without a manual :)

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Amy May 5, 2011 at 9:46 am

You know I love Indian, as well. But same here – I’m not adept at it enough to be able to create in the kitchen every day. So one more vote for Italian. Of course those Italians will end up getting all the attention – they’re cuisine is perfection. I came “this” close to going in that direction. But to live without sushi or thai? I just can’t.

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Melissa May 5, 2011 at 8:43 am

It is the hardest question ever. I used to say Thai, sometimes Japanese, but now that I am sober, I don’t eat nearly as much Asian food as I used to.

Hm. Honestly, I think I’d have to say Italian. That covers so much food, so much variety, so many styles, PLUS pasta and pizza… yeah, I think I’d be set. :)

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Amy May 5, 2011 at 8:53 am

I know. I almost lost sleep over this one! But I could eat rice every single day. With butter, with soy sauce. Pasta and pizza, though…god. See, I already want to change my answer.

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