cmeckhardt and I were talking over some pastries at the Première Moisson in the Marché Jean-Talon a week or two ago about the "mission civilisatrice". One of the hallmarks of French imperialism is that it left some of their cooking behind as a legacy. In Vietnam, for example, they added baguettes and coffee to an already excellent cuisine. Without baguettes, there'd be no bánh mì, and without café culture, there wouldn't be any cà phê sữa đá.
To be sure, you'd rather not be colonized at all, but most places didn't get that choice.
(Montréal magazine article on Première Moisson: http://montrealmagazine.ca/MM/content/view/153/27/
Montrealfood.com on Vietnamese coffee: http://www.montrealfood.com/vietcoffee.html)