No, just no... nom nom nom... Italians look away now. We all know how militant Italians can be to messing around with their cherished cuisine. Well now David Chang has done the unthinkable. Instead of adding parmesan cheese to his spaghetti, he is encouraging people to reach for an alternative source of umami, Vietnamesefish sauce.
A post shared by Dave Chang (@davidchang) on Apr 29, 2019 at 7:07am PDT
Now the ‘purists’ of Italian cuisine might even take to the streets to protest the sacrilege of what Chang has done here. However, dig a little deeper and you may uncover there’s definite method to this madness.
Fish sauce is not so different to a type of anchovy based sauce that they use to dress their spaghetti with pressed anchovies called garum.
Italian cuisine is constantly evolving and the wonderful thing about it is that it is a direct result of all the global cultural influences on Italy over centuries when the Mediterranean peninsula was the centre of the world, from Roman times to the Renaissance and as a hub of western trade to the east. Centuries of colonialism also brought diverse influences. The result is a rich and eclectic mishmash of flavours and ingredients that the Italians masterfully wove together with their particular artisanal excellence. That’s the real ‘cucina Italiana’.
I would appear Chang is being a little bit cheeky here, but you wouldn’t doubt for one second his superior knowledge and that he knows exactly what he is doing.