I’m such a homebody that I sometimes thinks the joys of travel are lost on me. But then I go shopping and I remember that markets are muses. What sells tells you something about a place.
Now you may think crass commercialism is more of a vice than a virtue. But I think it’s wise to hear what works. A market can tell you about what’s popular. Being an American is a niche experience but we’ve got a bigger footprint than our mere population would suggest.
But also the spoils of capitalism have priorities that are about the efficiency of the market. And you see it in every large city of any density or wealth. The layers for consumption of good and services have a logic to them that defies too much local concern. The algorithms have trust and safety teams but scale takes you pretty far. And every city at a certain size needs market logics.
It’s just important to remember each market has a local gem. There are great performers that outclass by wide orders of magnitude. It’s usually some combination of what appeals locally but is also legible to the larger global cosmopolitan skill sets.
Many of the food wars are just city tastes fighting country tastes. Some situations are more market based and transactional. Sometimes that is even good. I’m personally delighted that I can show up to a city and get food delivered. There is always orange soda brand in every market. And you can always get French fries.