June 2010 Archives

Today's lecture notes dealing with Tex-Mex cuisine has this astounding sentence in the description of our cusine:
"Basically, Tex-Mex food consists of bastardized Mexican foods. Burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas are a few."

I believe we'll be discussing this attitude tomorrow morning and it will be interesting to see how the discussion turns. Food molds us although we are unaware of the process. The more intelligently we can approach what we eat, the greater our ability to all sit at the same table enjoying our pluralism.

Today we studied "Cuisines of the Americas," cuisines that recent European immigrants (1600's) developed in New England. Forced to use local ingredients, they adapted their knowledge of European cooking and, with the help of the locals, developed intersting stuff. We cooked clam chowder and Yankee pot roast and both were delicious. Both dishes, of course, are Native American cuisines and it is interesting to see that the Europeans adapted. Delicious. "Native American Cuisine" is a site that documents the current conversations and activities around the Cuisines of America, the indigenous enjoyment of food and the tools to cook them. It will be interesting to enjoy other food that we will be cooking.
I am intrigued by the ongoing relationships of people through their food.
Linda Murray Berzok, writes in the introduction to her book, "American Indian Food,"
“Given the crushing power of the European colonizers and the U.S. Government against Native Americans, it is all the more remarkable that any semblance of original ethnic food exists today. Some early American cookbooks feature a number of recipes based on Indian formulas and at least one volume was devoted entirely to maize. Many dishes we still eat today were derived from Native American cooking, including cornbread clam chowder, New England clambake, succotash, Southern corn pone, hush puppies and grits, western barbecue, hoe cakes and Johnny cake. Native American communities are taking renewed pride in their ethnicity and celebrating their roots through ceremonies, plantings and food. This is the true culinary heritage of Amerca and it is to these first peoples and first foods that this book is dedicated.”

Today I'm starting to blog again. It's been a long, long, long, sad absence, indeed, but this morning's cooking class conversation about vegetarian cooking made me smile.
At 7 AM we discussed complementary proteins, those that served together provide a higher quality protein or a more digestible protein than if served alone. A complete protein as some call it. During class we quickly listed some of the combinations that are familiar:
--beans and rice
--humus and pita bread
--corn tortillas and beans
--Spaghetti and Meatballs!

Let's eat.

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