"Lakshmi has been a graceful, gamine presence on American TV screens for almost 15 years now, so familiar from her Top Chef duties that the significance of Taste the Nation feels almost underplayed," Sophie Gilbert says of Lakshmi's new Hulu food docuseries. "On camera, she’s engagingly ribald, describing a razor clam as 'phallic, elephantine' and good-naturedly scarfing down stadium food in a triptych of shots that radiate an absurd sensuality. Lakshmi’s flirtatious manner, her unquenchable glamour, allow her to Trojan-horse Taste the Nation’s true intentions for viewers who might be expecting a vaguely patriotic travelogue through America’s most iconic meals. What she’s offering instead is one of the most fascinating food series to emerge in recent years: a ruthless indictment of how a nation’s cultural heritage has been constructed out of the people and traditions that it has consistently and brutally rejected." Gilbert adds: "This knife-edge dance between adoption and rejection comes to define Taste the Nation, as Lakshmi considers what a particular dish or place reveals about immigration, assimilation, and the hunger for home. In Milwaukee, she examines how the seemingly effortless absorption of hot dogs and lager as American staples belies an uneasy history of German immigration to the United States. In an episode dedicated to chop suey, a dish almost totally removed from authentic Chinese cooking, she explores its enthusiastic U.S. adoption in the 19th century even as Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which barred immigrants from China for decades."