Foreign cultures are often watered down or altered in order to fit the cultural norms of a given society, though this isn’t always the case. During my time abroad in Australia, the only form of Latin American culture I noticed was the occasional Mexican restaurant(to many Aussies, synonymous with Latin America) that was the equivalent of Chipotle. It made sense because frankly, there were little to no Latinx people in Brisbane, the Australian city I was located in. Many of Mexico’s traditional plates are intended to be spicy, yet when I ordered the spiciest options at these restaurants, they were always lackluster. This heavily contrasts my experience in California and specifically Los Angeles, as Mexicans are the majority and that is reflected in the city’s culture. Los Angeles is one of the main epicenters of the Mexican diaspora and this has created a very raw, and authentic export of Mexican culture. Thus, it is evident that the existing population controls, whether directly through policymaking or indirectly through their purchases, the extent of a foreign culture’s influence and presence.
Another interesting point is seeing that in recent years Australia has attempted to make ‘fusion food’ apart of its identity. Because the nation is so young, it does not have uniquely Australian dishes. With the influx of migration from Asia, South Africa and other countries, the general culture has shifted towards fusing these different palettes and deeming them Australia. Yet, many Aussie journalists have criticized this cultural development because it erases the identity of foreign cultures and is also used as a tool to show Aussies are open to multiculturalism, disregarding Australia’s extremely racist past.