Wednesday, December 23, 2009
let the world's fare begin!
This is a blog for all of you foodies, cooks and homemakers out there wanting to learn cooking techniques in various international cuisine. Being immersed in a melting pot of fun flavors from all over the world as we global citizens are, we sometimes take for granted the subtleties of authentic international cuisine. Even in our grocery stores we find over Americanized versions of foods that we know to be authentic. While these cheap knockoffs may offer a decent representation of the outstanding flavor profile, the heart of dish is missing. That means not only7 utilizing authentic ingredients whenever possible but understanding also the origins of these items and what they mean to certain cultures. A good portion of the foreign foods we are familiar with are a staple to these cultures, most times representing the only vegetable and protein sources available. In other words, peasant foods also known as comfort food. Be it ratatouille in France, or miso in Japan, getting to the heart of what you put into your mouth really adds a depth of flavor that simply can't be achieved from a box of "just add water" hogwash. I love learning about and cooking foods I am unfamiliar with, it adds a certain sense of accomplishment to be able to recreate something from another culture making it as authentic as possible- it seems to taste better too! I live in a small town and I know that there aren't that many if any international markets where a vast majority of people live but it is possible to acquire certain ingredients in grocery stores or mega marts. If there are recipes that you would like to try to create but you can't find the ingredients, maybe put it off till the next time you drive to your nearest large city and seek out these items. Many times it is possible to use substitute ingredients in your dish and still make it taste authentic, it just depends on what you're trying to achieve. I recently moved from Orlando, FL to Cocoa Beach. In Orlando, I could drive fifteen minutes and be within 2 miles of 3 Indian bazzars, 2 nice Asian markets and a few different Latin markets. Just up the road from this area was a really nice mediteranean shop. I can reach this places in an hour from where I am now, it's not that bad. If you're trying to put together a garam masala which is a basic freshly ground Indian spice mixture (not curry powder) you will be spending between $3 and $8 for each bottle of whole spices. This can be worth it if you use it frequently but why not just wait till the next time you have to drop someone off at the airport and make a food run? To each their own. Now that i've rambled on for far too long we'll get down to brass tacks. The purpose of my blog is to educate as well as inspire. I will be periodically posting recipes that I have created or compiled through research and development of my outlook on international cuisine, I would also really like the challenge from my readers to research and create recipes that I am unfamiliar with. In other words if you have always wanted to learn to make a certain dish or you ate out recently and you want to recreate what you ate- please email me and I will respond with a recipe and a brief summary of the dish. I look forward to anwering your challenges and learning new techniques that I can share with others!