The NYT Hanoi Food Debate
The New York Times recently published an article on the burgeoning Hanoi restaurant scene ("Restauranteurs Push Hanoi Food into the Future" by Matt Gross, Feb. 5, 2006). I was feeling a bit cranky pants the day I read it because of its bias towards elite restaurants and the way I felt it was snubbing the rich tradition of Hanoi street food. I never really set out to write editorial comments. Usually I just get worked up and unconsciously compose something in my head, which is what happened here. My purpose was to start a debate about the tension between traditional dishes and the haute cuisine that reinterprets them. Also I wanted to try to move the discussion beyond what I feel is a kind of North/South parochialism. I guess I succeeded. The NYT author responded at length.
As a librarian I will do the responsible thing and point to the debate at its source rather than reproduce text from another blog.