Californiacuisine is a cavalcade of culture and history. Many different stylesof cooking have been brought together in California because of itsrich history. From being a Mexican territory to the gold rush andrailroad towns, California is full of the stories and foods itspeople have brought with them. The cuisine of California hasdeveloped into a cultural fusion of exotic and exciting flavors. Notonly is it widely influenced by the immigrants that traveled to thisarea, but also by its lush growing climate and natural fauna. It isno wonder that California cuisine is one of the most popular fares inthe United States. Many chefs have paved the way to make California’sfood and wine famous, but only a few have been recognized as pioneersin their field defining what California cuisine is. California’sfood is always changing and growing with imaginative chefsreinventing what it means but one thing is for certain it is aflavorful influence in the food industry.
Californiacuisine is a type of food made by fusion cookery and the use oflocally available ingredients that have been freshly prepared. Thestyle is characterized by the inclusion of foods that have lowsaturated fats yet the high content of fresh vegetables, meat andseafood usually obtained from the California Coast. Often, it ismainly based on the provision of a healthy and experimental meal thatdoes not compromise the taste. One major characteristic of theCalifornia cuisine is that it is commonly presented artfully, and itis high quality. The fruits and the vegetables used vary depending onthe season, and they are used due to their health benefits.
Theingredients of California cuisine range from soy sauce China andcurry spices based in India. A large variety of other components arealso used to prepare the cuisine. The artichoke is one of the mostliked elements of the cuisine, and it is locally available. Anothercomponent is the avocado. The placement of this ingredient in asandwich has been recognized for long as a California practice. TheDry Jack Cheese further supplements the taste and quality of thecuisine by providing a golden color as well as a nutty and sweettaste. The Dungeness crab is also a famous seafood associated withthis delicacy. The experimental use of goat cheese became popular,and now it is used widely in the preparation process. Roasted garlicis likewise present in the food together with sourdough bread thatgoes well with soups and other seafood dishes. Salads and pasta aremade using sun-dried tomatoes a practice learned from the ancestors.In addition to these, other ingredients include raisins, dates, figs,almonds, walnuts and pistachios [ CITATION Inf13 l 1033 ].
Oneof the remarkable things about the California cuisine is that theingredients and composition vary depending on the seasonality of theyear. The ingredients that are available at the various times of theyear are the ones that are combined to develop the cuisine. It is,therefore, common for hotels and restaurants to have different menusthroughout the year. Therefore, the importance of having anestablished relationship between the farmers and the chefs has beenrecognized. This cooperation is vital to ensure that the quality andavailability of the ingredients has been maintained. On the otherhand, chefs can develop and run their farms and in this way, they cangrow the items that they want in the best way possible and ultimatelyreducing the overall prices of the final product, the Californiacuisine.
Insummary, the cuisine is a food that has changed over time to fit thechanging culture and practices in the cooking industry. The fact thatexperimentation can be done to improve the quality and flavor makesthis dish even more interesting. A significant rationale behind thisdiet is the utilization of ingredients that are considered healthy.Therefore, apart from being tasty, it is also nutritious, readilyavailable and beneficial. Furthermore, the dish does not have asingle specific method of preparation, thus giving room for people totry out other possible components that can be added in the hotels,restaurants and at home.
Theevolution of cooking preparation can be highly attributed to AliceWaters. She owned a restaurant that used to serve French foods. Astime went by, Waters started to include the fresh, local ingredientswith varying seasoning. This action pushed the farmers around thearea to begin growing items, especially vegetables, and organicmeats. One of the dishes that came to be widely known as theCalifornia cuisine was made up of green salad, goat cheese, grilledmeat and fish, vegetables, pizza and unique vegetable toppings [ CITATION Cla11 l 1033 ].Apparently, Waters was the pioneer of the cuisine and her work hasbeen acknowledged from that time to date.
Watersdid not achieve everything all by herself. Another chef popularlyknown as Wolfgang Puck also played a significant role in the creationof the . A hardworking man who developed from beingan immigrant to a restaurant owner, Puck was involved in a big way inchanging the eating habits of the people in that region. He did notwork alone and with the help of Barbara Lazaroff, he designed thegourmet pizzas that were cooked over wood fires. Puck progressed asthe years went by and he started using other means of foodpreparation. Specifically, he employed French techniques in thepreparation of Asian based ingredients to come up with what isusually termed as the hybrid cuisine. He was able to achieve thiswith the help of other chefs who worked with him [ CITATION Cla11 l 1033 ].
JeremiahTowers cannot be left behind in the list of the important players incuisine creation. Although he devoted his time to writing andteaching, his books describe the factors that led to the cookingtrends that arose in Chez Panisse. Similar to the other chefs, healso opened his restaurant and practiced the various cooking methodsthat also contributed to the ultimate establishment of the Californiacuisine [ CITATION Cla11 l 1033 ].
DanielPatterson is considered as the contemporary advocate for this type offood. However, his methods were somehow altered to focus more on theuse of vegetables and other foraged foods while at the same timeensuring that the traditional aspects of local foods were notneglected. He also placed close attention in the way the food waspresented since this is one of the primary characteristics of theCalifornia cuisine [ CITATION Cla11 l 1033 ].
Allthese people played an important role in the evolution of theCalifornia cuisine by introducing new preparation techniques as wellas the ingredients that are still being used today. Although much hasbeen done already, this is not the end of the progress towardsperfecting this food. Starting out as a small dish, the pioneersensured that it became popular. The preparation is based on theopen-mindedness meaning that the same principle can be used in otherplaces by different people to come up with a similar meal, althoughwith slightly different components based on availability with the aimof building excellence and nourishment out of the entire process.
Thewide range of cultures that are present in the state of Californiahas significantly influenced the eating behaviors in the region. Theabundance of various types of foods from the wines and olives fromSpain and France, the crops and animals that thrive well and theinspiration of the chefs to try new things facilitated thisextraordinary dish to come into being. The rationale behind thediverse California cuisine cannot entirely be pinpointed to oneparticular person or a moment in time. On the contrary, it is aprocess that, although initiated by a single individual, has changedand developed over time, improving the quality and diversification.New and more dynamic methods of cooking techniques and ingredientscontinue to come about, and they are all influenced by other methodsof cooking in different parts of the world.
Clarksburg. (2011). California Food History. Retrieved from Clarksburg Wine Growers: http://www.clarksburgwinegrowers.com/california.html
Info.com. (2013). California Cuisine. Retrieved from Info.com: http://topics.info.com/California-Cuisine_3406
Paramapoonya, O. (2015, October 26). California Cuisine – History, Features and Fun Facts. Retrieved from Delishably: https://delishably.com/vegetable-dishes/california_cuisine