Immigration and Cuisine
April 02, 2013, 03:13 PM
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When I first started writing about immigration, I noticed that the single most influential argument in favor of massive immigration was the Restaurant Rationale: powerful people go out to restaurants a lot more than most people do, and they viewed immigration as good for cuisine. 

Traditionally, Americans weren't very good at cooking. The main ethnic stocks were English, Scottish, Irish, and German. The Germans were mediocre cooks and the English, Scottish, and Irish were awful. After the War in Italy, Americans fell in love with Italian restaurants. 

The lesson I've drawn is that you need a few immigrants to get a cuisine launched in the U.S., but not many. There have been very few immigrants from Italy, yet Italian food in America keeps getting better and better. After awhile, cooking really good Italian food turns into one of those jobs Americans just will do.

Here's my question: what has been the course of cuisine been like in recent decades in those handful of affluent countries that have resisted mass immigration, such as Finland and Japan?