View Full Version : Analogies of the US and ethnic groups

Rachel Udin
06-04-2012, 01:11 AM
I always hear that the US is a "Melting pot" because there are all these different cultures within it.

But I always liked what my sociology and history profs said--that there are enclaves and that nothing really gets to "melt" in the United States. So what you really have is a stew.

I took that a step further and I would say that the United States is a White Chicken Stew. (I like it because it covers racism too)

I'll break it down, and see if you agree or disagree.

The White Chicken would be your WASPs. The ones that auto-get in. (You can further say that the breast meat would be the Straight ones... because there are other kinds of white chicken meat.)

The Dark Chicken meat would be your Italians, Irish, Jews, and people who can "almost pass" from Europe. (See Little Italy)

Then you get the shunned enclaves, say, your carrots, potatoes, peas, etc "other" would be your "herbs."

For the most part the credit goes to the white chicken, doesn't it? Second, people might notice the "Dark Chicken" "less desirable" but still passes. And then you get the uncredited "vegetables" and "herbs". No one is going to call it a Chicken and Vegetable and herb stew. Because afterall "Stew" is supposed to cover the "Vegetables" and "herbs" anyway. Forget the butter too.

The carrots contribute to the taste, but stay intact as do the other vegetables. This would be your cultural enclaves "Little Tokyo" "Little Osaka" "China Town." You don't get a "Wasp town" named within the cities (though one can argue for it--Melrose in LA, or Long Island, but those "don't count" and aren't "named because, voila--they are the default.)

The herbs? added flavor--but everyone ignores those and no one wants to you know, actually bite into say, a bay leaf.

So, say you give a "White Chicken Stew" to someone--they hate the vegetables--and "I thought you said it was "white" chicken".

I've pointed out to foreigners that the US is made up of a lot of ethnicities within it, but they still say things such as "Where are the "real" Americans..." (i.e. where is the White Chicken?)

Whatcha think? Or do you have a better analogy? Or did that make you hungry?

06-17-2012, 11:50 AM
You forgot your soup stock. It's not really stew without stock, it's just a bunch of stuff floating in water. Which is how I used to make soup back in college, but really, my husband's right, it sucked.

You've got to start with some bones; a chicken carcass if you're making chicken soup or a few good beef bones if you're doing beef. Or a fish if you're doing fish stock, but I haven't, so I can't explain that one.

I like beef bones. They're not so fiddly as chicken carcasses. I just keep a few in the freezer and then set a couple out to defrost overnight when I want to make soup. I also keep a bag of chicken feet. Even if it's beef stock, the feet are important because they help it congeal properly. And third, you want a bag o' kitchen scraps. Potato peels, corn cobs, asparagus ends, beet greens, anything that's kind of food, but you might not want to eat, you just throw in the bag and keep in your freezer until it's soup time.

Then you toss the bones in the oven for about an hour to roast them, put your veggies + feet in the pot, add the bones when they're done with the ovening, bring it to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer for about 4-8 hours. I aim for 8.

That's super easy. Last time I also threw in the juice from a Costco-can of tomatoes, plus a couple of the tomatoes, a couple of onions that really needed to be cooked soon, a bunch of paprika and cayenne and black pepper, and a bay leaf. And a cup of carrot juice that I happened to have around. Forgot the salt, but I can always add it right before I eat.

That stuff's all optional. All that really matters is the bones + the scraps.

Once you're done boiling it, you throw out all of the mushy crap. I tried to save it once, and broke my blender on a foot bone. :( So now I just send it out to the compost heap. Besides, it's really not attractive looking at that point, I must admit.

Let it cool down, and transfer it to containers. Put some in your freezer and some in your fridge. Remember that you'll want to dilute it about 50/50 with water when you actually use it when estimating how much you want to keep in the fridge, since you will want to use it up relatively quickly.

*Now* you're ready to add all of that other stuff. (Though personally, if you tried to put white chicken breast in my soup, I'd throw it out. I don't consider that food. Dark meat I'll eat, though.)

Personally, I'd be rather surprised to get a soup without veggies. Actually, most of my soups don't contain any meat at all after the stock-making part, simply because I don't have a lot of meat on hand.

Rachel Udin
06-21-2012, 08:19 PM
It may be called say, beef stew, but it's not called "Beef and carrot and thyme and onion, (etc)" stew. Not all the ingredients are named. Which is why I used the Chicken Stew analogy.

BTW, if you use a whole chicken, the stock isn't so much an issue (See Chinese Chicken Stew). O.o;; But that doesn't improve or disprove the analogy any.

06-23-2012, 12:40 AM
I'm just talking about soup :)

06-23-2012, 02:14 AM
I've pointed out to foreigners that the US is made up of a lot of ethnicities within it, but they still say things such as "Where are the "real" Americans..." (i.e. where is the White Chicken?

Surely the Native Americans, who are not in your analogy, are the real Americans.