Aug/Sept/Oct 2008 Issue

Page 26

food file cyh

Around World

By Brian J. Murphy

Pictured: Ossobucco is from the Northern region of Italy called Lombardy, which is near Milano (Milan).




uisines from around the globe have a deep and rich history. Many indigenous people and tribes have contributed to the vastness and diversity of fine dining that we have come to know and experience today. As of late, it seems like international foods have become all the rage. American restaurants have added new dishes to their menus from various regions. From Tandoori Chicken to Lentil Soup, international foods are making their presence felt.

Before farming was introduced into modern civilization, hunters and gatherers in the African region ate mostly wild vegetables and meat. The inception of farming came into existence around 6,000 B.C. due to extreme climate changes. The difficulty of hunting and gathering made it necessary to harvest foods such as wheat and barley. These wheats were vital ingredients in early dishes such as pita bread and porridge. The foods of Africa are divided into five different regions, Central, North, South, East and West Africa. One popular South African dish is Biltong, which is similar to jerky. It is generally made from beef, but can be prepared with other meats such as ostrich, chicken and other game. Biltong traditionally uses apple cider vinegar, rock salt, black pepper, brown sugar and whole coriander. It is prepared by marinating the selected meat (usually cut in strips) and then rubbed with the aforementioned ingredients. If slow dried naturally, the meat will be ready in four days, but if dried by oven process it takes approximately four hours. For a more insightful look into African food, CYH caught up with Berhanu Asfaw, owner of Messob. Located in Little Ethiopian, this restaurant specializes in Ethiopian dishes. When asked about Ethiopian dishes, Askew states “A lot of people may not realize how healthy it is. We prepare our food with onions, garlic and spices that are blended together very well. This creates a very flavorful taste, and the food is not as spicy as some people may think.” The way of eating Ethiopian food is quite unique, contrary to the American style of dining, all food is served on one single tray. The tradition known as Gursha, which translates as a mouthful, is when your dinner companion literally places chunks of food into your mouth. This is usually done as a sign of affection by a husband, wife, friend or family member. The same serving practice goes for coffee as well. “We grind our coffee (coffee originated in Ethiopia) beans ourselves and share it from the same pot,” states Asfaw.

Asfew’s favorite dish is Kitfo and recommends his Super Messob Exclusive, for those not familiar with Ethiopian dishes. This Asfaw speciality is a sampler of meats and vegetables, it can also be prepared with just vegetables, for those who are vegetarians.


One of the most popular foods on the international scene is Mediterranean dishes. In particular Greek restaurants can be found in every major metropolis and are usually quite popular. One reason for their popularity is that Greek foods tend to be relatively healthy. Many of the dishes include flavorful vegetables, dried fruits, salads, fishes and if there’s room, yogurt. Although the health benefits of many Greek dishes have been known by people in the region for centuries, it is just now coming to light universally. Frequently used products in Greek foods include grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts olives, dairy, fish and of course, olive oil. Many dishes such as Lentil Soup and Pasteli can be traced all the way back to Roman and Hellenistic periods. Dishes like Moussaka, Baklava and Gyros have Turkish, Persian and Arabic roots. One of the most appealing characteristics of Greek food is the diversity of the dishes. Different Greek cuisines represent different regions. For example, the vegetarian dish, Haniotiko Mpoureki, is from the Chania region of Greece and is rarely cooked in any other area.

Indian Cuisine

Indian cuisine is widely considered to be one of the most diverse tasting foods on the planet. The wide variety of vegetables and meats used in Indian preparation makes each dish a hearty delight, but it’s the spices that make it truly exciting. From subtle hints of herbs to strong fire-hot spices, Indian food leaves little to be desired for lovers of ethnic food. For many cultures, food is simply a way to gain sustenance and a means for daily survival. In India food is a way of life, from preparation to consumption, food is a driving force in the culture. Although the range of food is extensive, there are some common


A Tasteful Trip the

African Food

themes in most Indian cuisines. Tantalizing spice such as turmeric, saffron, cumin and coriander seeds are an integral part of many dishes. Whether gently enhancing flavor or overpowering your taste buds, spices are a universal ingredient in Indian cuisine. In some areas of India, certain foods have become an indicator of religious and social status. This is the result extensive immigration into the region. The climate, range of elevation and diversity in soil conditions, heavily contributes to the variety of roots, herbs and vegetables available for use. The region is broken down into five sections: Northern, Southern Eastern, Western and Northeastern India, with the latter differentiating the most in taste. Among the most popular of Indian dishes is Tandoori Chicken, with a mouth-watering mix of chopped onions, ginger, jalapeno peppers and paprika, Tandoori Chicken is enjoyed all over the world. Simple to make, this famous dish is one that can be prepared in approximately forty minutes.

Asian/Thai Food

Like the three previous cuisines, Thai food is a byproduct of four separate regions of origin, Northern, Northeastern, Central and Southern Thailand. Throughout all of these regions, Thai food has a consistent theme of spicy, sour, sweet and salty flavors. These tasty elements are the trademarks of Thai food and are at the core of its popularity. While many of the foods throughout Asia use dried products, Thai cuisine is known for its fresh use of fish, herbs and other meats prominent in the area. The most commonly used side dish in Thai food is rice. From Jasmine to steamed, rice is a staple of most Thai dishes. A very well known Thai dish named Nam Prik, uses chiles, shrimp and garlic grounded in a mortar and pestle. It is prepared differently depending on the region, but the ingredients remain the same. Thailand is also known for ending its meals with great desserts, with coconut being used as the main ingredient. Coconut milk is commonly used as a base for many Thai desserts such as; Kanom Bua Loy, Ruam Mit and Kanom Chun.

Taste Of italian OSSOBUCCO

Ingredients • 4 veal shanks • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour • 1 teaspoon Italian spices, well mixed • 3 tablespoons olive oil • 1 small onion, diced • 1 small carrot, finely chopped • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped • 1 bay leaf • 5 ounces dry white wine • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes • 1 tablespoon tomato paste • salt and pepper

Gremolata • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped • 1/2 lemon, zest of • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley (Italian)

Directions 1. Place the flour mix in a flat plate and cover each side of ossobuccos. 2. In a hot pan put in the olive oil and at high heat brown the ossobucco 2 at a time make sure each side is golden brown. 3. Set the meat aside. 4. In the same pan add the onions, carrot, celery, and bay leaf; lower heat and cook 5 minutes turning occ. 5. ADD the wine; let boil and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes with juice and tomato paste, salt and pepper, and return the veal to the pot, reduce heat cover and let simmer for 1 hr 30 minutes. 6. Uncover. 7. With a fork break the bigger pieces of tomatoes. 8. Put 1 ossobucco per plate; cover with sauce topped with gremolata. 9. Serve with pennene.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.