Globalization, as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is the “Process by which the experience of everyday life, marked by the diffusion of commodities and ideas, is becoming standardized around the world.” I certainly saw evidence of this in Israel: you walk into a mall and there are snazzy British clothing stores, American fast food, outlets with cutting-edge Israeli technology, and a stationary store selling Hebrew translations of Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
At this mall there were touristy shops right next to authentic Israeli ones.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid in Hebrew!
In a way, it’s kind of sad to find McDonald’s and Cinnabon halfway across the world: I wanted a different experience, reassurance that there is still something interesting in the world for me to discover, that we still have something to learn from each other. At the same time, it was at times convenient and comforting to have access to some of the same brands I already know and trust from home.
There were some more traditional and apparently authentic shopping options, such as the shuk and flea markets. But even these were often subtly affected by international influence.
Above: a Jerusalem shuk, or market, just before Shabbat evening, is a busy place. Here appears to be an authentic scene of a merchant selling his produce to a tourist (but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of that fruit was either imported or non-native to the land. Israel is known for its fresh produce, however at the markets I did see apples imported from all over the world.)
Whether we like it or not, globalization is happening. And one of the major causes is the internet: this omnipresent, constant, universal source of information that allows billions of people from all over the world to vent about their problems as if everyone else cares, see what problems someone a thousand miles away might be having, etc… in short, an infinite encyclopedia of shared information is at our fingertips instantly.
How is it that we can even know what Mediterranean food is made of, what dishes are popular in Mexico, without leaving our desk in the USA? The internet. Recipes and cuisine tastes did travel long before the internet existed, but today it connects us much more closely and as a result an exponentially more massive quantity of information travels more instantly around the globe. Fusion food is rising in popularity as the big jumble of delicious Pins and mouthwatering Insta pics become a mishmosh of creative juices swirling and scrambling in the mind of any innovative foodie. And with free, instant venues to publish their new creations, one need not be a royal chef or a worldly spice trader on the silk road to influence the global perspective on taste.
Today I’m making my humble contribution to the great globalization movement with yet another blog post on fusion food. These tacos are a Mexican-style favorite, infused with both the flavors of (So-Cal’s idea of) Mexico and some of the taste of the Mediterranean that I observed on my recent trip to Israel. Really, above all this is American food, because only in the states can you find something as confused (and creative!) as black bean and chipotle hummus.
Wherever you are in the world, I encourage you to try these tacos. Mixed up and proud of it, they are a healthy and flavorful combination of some of the best the world has to offer in terms of fun and delicious food. If you like, add some more of your own unique flavor elements, and post your creation on the internet for the world to see!
Here’s my recipe:
makes two tacos
- 2 small corn tortillas
- 2-3 cups of fresh washed baby spinach
- a handful of Cherubs grape tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (I used Lucerne brand Reduced Fat Feta Cheese)
- 2-4 tbs Open Nature brand Chipotle Black Bean Dip (I found this with the hummus at my grocery store)
Directions: Warm tortillas to your liking (I did this using the microwave.) Then place a handful of spinach in the center of each tortilla. Top with grape tomatoes and sprinkle with feta cheese. Spoon hummus evenly over the other fillings.
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