Hoisted from Comments: The Sinister Arab-Hispanic Joint Pizza Menace
Hoisted from comments: Leila Abu-Saba writes:
Grasping Reality with Both Hands: The Semi-Daily Journal Economist Brad DeLong: Oh wow, I totally missed the earlier Hispanic Pizza Menace post linked above. It's too rich that the pizzeria owner is Lebanese. Yeah right he says he's Italian-Lebanese, all my Lebanese-American relatives claim to be Italian in order to dodge the usual racist/ethnicist/anti-Arab hysteria. Since they're Christians and many of my cousins do in fact own pizzerias, the Italian dodge usually works.
Anyway. That a man named Krikorian would kvetch about a Lebanese man named Swad selling Hispanic-flavored pizza in the USA is just too hilarious for words. Mr. Krikorian's ancestors I assume managed to get out of Armenia alive, and from there might well have made their way to Lebanon (Iraq, Syria, Egypt) in order to emigrate to the States. I wonder if he's concerned about the cuisine at La Mediterranee in Berkeley, which to my Lebanese palate mixes flavors a great deal and is not at all authentic Lebanese. It's sort of a mish-mosh of Middle Eastern flavors and dishes. And they have Greek (Armenian Greek?) album covers on the walls.
PS the Lebanese love pizza in Lebanon, too. They eat it in recognizably American forms; they also make a relative of pizza that's drizzled with thyme/sumac/sesame seed/olive oil paste instead of tomatoes. Manaqeesh. Excellent.
Oh yes, and if you go to The Rock kebab joint across from the main police station in Byblos, you can get a hamburger with the french fries served on the patty, between the buns, with lettuce and tomato. Yes, they serve an American burger and fries (excellent fries BTW) BUT THEY PUT THE FRIES ON THE BURGER! The tour guide told me The Rock is where the guides and cops go - not for tourists. Just a word to the chow hounds bound for Beirut...