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Sunday, May 28, 2006

Cocina Internacional: Curry Casero

One of the funkiest, strangest things I've ever encountered in the store locally is Curry Casero, which is an adaptation of Japanese Kare Raisu roux to what House Foods America figures is Mexican-American tastebuds. House Foods is the huge Japanese food company that pretty much popularized Kare Raisu in Japan, and made it so easy that even C-Ko from Project A-Ko could make it. Here's the history of the dish, per House Foods and per Wikipedia. The executive summary is this: it's from India by way of Britain by way of Japan. And with Curry Casero, the Mexican-American influence is added. Whoa.

The package has a recipe for "curry enchiladas," and if you use your imagination you can figure out other Mexican/Mexican-American recipes that would lend themselves well to adapting. Curry burritos? Well, as far as I'm concerned, growing up in a town where not only the burrito was invented but the Oki Dog as well, it's a natural. Curry tacos? Hmm...maybe if you boosted the meat-to-sauce ratio to the point where the sauce becomes a binder for the meat. Curry tostadas? Sounds good. Bring it on.

I can get all po-mo and speculate that this is a metaphor for Los Angeles as international tossed salad, as a curried mulligan stew of different cultural influences. Or I can just smile, open my mouth, and eat it.