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每日跟讀#671: A New Generation of Chefs Reframes Taiwanese Cuisine in America

新一代主廚 擦亮美國台菜招牌

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日跟讀#671: A New Generation of Chefs Reframes Taiwanese Cuisine in America

When Richard Ho opened Ho Foods, a tiny storefront in New York’s East Village last year, his goal was to serve the best possible version of a single Taiwanese dish: beef noodle soup.

去年,何瑞運在紐約東村地區一個小小店面開了「何家麵店」,當時他的目標是做出台灣餐點牛肉麵最棒的口味。

His goal was not to become the host of what his employees describe as Manhattan’s first Taiwanese food community center.

雖然在他的員工口中,何家麵館是曼哈坦第一個台灣料理交流中心,但這其實不是何瑞運當初開店的目標。

But because the dish is so beloved, everyone from Chinatown aunties to fellow Taiwanese-American chefs to curious tourists showed up to see if his soup was up to their particular standards.

然而,由於牛肉麵深受人們喜愛,從中國城的婆婆媽媽、其他台裔美國廚師,到好奇的觀光客,大家都來光顧,想嘗嘗湯頭是否達到他們特定的標準。

“Every Taiwanese mom who comes in tells me a different ‘secret’ to the broth,” Ho said. “Apples, cilantro stems, star anise.”

何瑞運說:「每個進來店裡的台灣媽媽,都向我傳授不同的湯頭『秘方』,從蘋果、香菜梗到八角都有。」

Beef noodle soup is widely considered the national dish of modern Taiwan, assembled from the island’s tumultuous history, celebrated with an annual festival in Taipei and fought over in a cooking competition with multiple winning categories. But it is only one of countless dishes that make Taiwan’s cooking remarkable and rewarding.

牛肉麵普遍被認為是現代台灣的國民美食,由台灣動盪的歷史匯集而成,在一年一度的台北牛肉麵節中受到讚揚,並在一場有多個獲獎類別的烹飪比賽中成為競賽項目。不過,使台菜不同凡響且令人滿足的菜色多得數不清,牛肉麵只是其中一種。

Much of its cuisine can be traced to somewhere else, but — like the United States — Taiwan has experienced so many transformations of demography and culture, technology and taste, that the food now has its own identity.

台菜的根源多半能追溯到台灣以外的其他地方,這點跟美國菜一樣,不過,台灣經歷過許多次人口、文化、技術和口味的轉變,使台菜獨樹一格。

Because the modern history of the island includes centuries of immigration and colonization, 50 years of Japanese occupation (from 1895 through World War II), and an influx of 2 million refugees from mainland China when the Communist Party took power in 1949, modern Taiwanese food is a particularly kaleidoscopic mix. (Today, the island exists in political limbo between independence from and absorption into greater China.)

“Taiwan itself is a melting pot,” said chef Vivian Ku, of the restaurant Pine & Crane in Los Angeles.

台灣島的現代史包括持續幾世紀的移民和殖民、日本占領50年(從1895年到二次世界大戰結束)及1949年中共掌權後從中國大陸湧進200萬人,使現代台菜的面貌格外五花八門。(現今台灣處於政治不確定狀態,對獨立或與大陸統一莫衷一是。)洛杉磯台菜餐廳「松鶴麵莊」主廚薇薇安.顧說:「台灣本身就是一個大熔爐。」

In the United States, Taiwanese dishes have often been swept under the vast umbrella of “Chinese food.” Until recently, only people who know their food geography could spot a restaurant with a particular specialty — beef noodle soup; box lunches of rice, pork and cabbage; braised beef rolled in scallion pancakes — and identify it as Taiwanese.

在美國,台菜往往劃歸「中國菜」這個統稱下,直到不久之前,只有了解菜色地域特性的人,才能認出一家餐廳提供台灣特色菜,包括牛肉麵、盒裝米飯午餐、豬肉炒高麗菜、蔥餅牛肉捲等,並確定那是台菜餐廳。

Now, Taiwanese food is announcing itself. It is not new to the United States, but it is being newly celebrated, and transformed, by young Taiwanese-American chefs and restaurateurs like Ho, Vivian Ku, Eric Sze of 886 in Manhattan and Joshua Ku of Win Son in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

如今,台菜開始宣示自己的地位。台菜對美國來說不是新東西,但一批年輕的台裔美國主廚及餐館老闆,最近為台菜賦予新面貌,像是:何瑞運、薇薇安.顧、曼哈坦台菜餐廳「886」老闆史官及紐約布魯克林區東威廉斯堡地區台菜館「盈成餐館」老闆顧文宇。

Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/343671/web/#2L-15341939L

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