My Food Journey By Joe Shale

An Introduction to my Blog!

The purpose of this journey that I will be embarking on is for me to find, discover and taste all all new and different varieties of food that will come from all around the world. This blog will enable me to share these experiences with you, the viewers. In the end this whole adventure will enable me to become more open-minded, culturally, as a person. I will learn about the culture that stems from the food, this will cover topics like the countries food cultures i.e. ingredients that are often used in their dishes (staples) and culinary norms. Once I've learnt all I can about cuisine from different countries I will attempt to invent a dish recipe for my native country, England!

My first discovery...

Mexico!

Mexican culinary norms range differently depending on the persons economic situation, a working-class Mexicans diet will include staples such as corn or wheat tortillas, coming alongside with beans, rice, tomatoes, chilli peppers and chorizo (a type of pork sausage). They'll also eat (like all people) savoury foods, often having sweet aspects to them such as the empanada which is a pasty pocket which can contain a sweet filling. It's very common for Mexican's to love spicy food that are full of heat. My burritos recipe contained many of the Mexican staples like beans, tomato, spices and of course a tortilla. However, specifically I used salt, pepper, garlic cloves, chilli powder, cumin, kidney beans, cheese, fresh coriander, onion and then of course for the main filling I used minced beef. Overall my burrito tasted amazing, there were so many different aromas radiating from it, my mouth was actually caused to water. I particularly liked how authentic and real the feeling was of how the burrito made me feel, all the smells made it seem like I was back in Mexico (I've gone to Mexico as a holiday before).

A new find!

Vietnam!

Vietnamese cuisine is one of the most diverse, delicious and healthy food cultures in the world. Ingredients that are often used in Vietnamese food are ingredients like rice, fish sauce and a big range of different vegetables. Fruit is also sometimes seen in Vietnamese dishes on account of the tropical climate and massive range of plants that habituate Vietnamese land. The dish that I cooked contained many of the Vietnamese staples that you'd expect, i.e. fish sauce and vegetables like carrots and lettuce. But there was a bit more to the dish than just that, more specifically, and on top of the usual staples I used prawns, vermicelli noodles, rice paper (which was used to wrap all the ingredients together) and various different spices. Overall my 'Vietnamese Wrap' turned out great, apart from the rice paper wrap (which was very difficult to do nicely as you need a perfect water to rice paper ratio so that the rice paper doesn't become soggy and rip). It tasted great on account of all of the flavours (especially the dripping sauce). After eating this dish I'd definitely love to visit Vietnam in the future to further experience the same types of flavours that I did with my wrap today.

My next stop...

Japan!

A typical meal in Japan would consist of rice, miso soup, vegetables and fish or meat. Aside from rice being the staple food of Japan, there are several types of noodles (soba, udon and ramen) which are all extremely cheap (this of course makes noodles very popular for things like light meals). Sushi began to be made in the 8th century, originally being made in Southeast Asia. Sushi was made as a way to preserve meat and fish in fermented rice. It was only in the Muromachi period when people actually started to eat the rice with the fish. It was in the Edo period when vinegar was used to sour the rice instead of the before method of fermentation. Nowadays, sushi is a form of fast food that originated from the early periods in Japanese history. The ingredients that went into making my sushi roll were incredulously simple, they consisted of: Nori, sticky rice, cucumber, carrots and then water to help the nori stick together. I used a bamboo mat to wrap the roll up nice and snug so that none of the ingredients fell out. The roll tasted very nice and simple, and with the addition of soy sauce and wasabi, the added flavour was what the dish needed to give it just that extra kick.

Greek Culture & Their Flatbread

Greek cooking dates back to thousands of years ago, even to this day Greek people are still eating dishes that were probably eaten by their ancestors all the way back in ancient times. The usual suspects in a Greek diet will consist of fruit, vegetables, pastries and cheese. Other ingredients that are very commonly used in modern Greek cookery are; olive oils, grains, fish, wine, meat (white and red, including lamb, poultry, rabbit and pork), olives, eggplant, zucchini, lemon juice, herbs, bread and yoghurt. Desserts in Greek food culture often contains these key ingredients; nuts, honey, fruit and filo pastry. A commonly enjoyed pastry by Greek people is the traditional flatbread that can either be a sweet or savoury snack. Flatbread is from these ingredients: olive oil, flour, water and salt. Flatbread is extremely simple to make, here is the recipe to make flatbread: Step 1) Mix the flour and salt together in warm water and olive oil, continue to stir the mix until it becomes a soft dough. Step 2) Transfer the dough to a floured surface and proceed to knead the dough until it's springy, if it's too sticky add flour. Step 3) Then divide the dough into six individual pieces and then knead them until they are very thin. Step 4) Leave the dough to rise for ten minutes. Step 5) Place the dough in an oven and wait for 30 minutes. Step 6) Take out the flatbread and enjoy it with any extra ingredients such as honey, cheese e.t.c. Today I actually tried flatbread and experienced the taste that so many Greeks do on daily basis's! It was a very simple taste that had subtle flavour i.e. the taste of the ingredient you chose as the filling for the flatbread (I chose honey). Although it wasn't a flourish of flavour it was still an enjoyable snack to have.

A food invention

English Breakfast Wrap Recipe

Ingredients:

Whole-wheat wrap

2 rashes of bacon

2 pork sausages

2 eggs

1 tomato

50g of baked beans

Vegetable oil (add as much as seems fit)

Block of butter

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

Equipment:

Cutting Board

Saucepan

Knife

Fork

Mixing Bowl

Wooden spoon

Preparation:

Clean all the equipment before it’s used.

Chop up the tomato.

Method:

Put some vegetable oil into the saucepan, then put the sausages into the pan (make sure to move the sausages around so that they get evenly cooked, moving it around also helps spread the vegetable oil around).

After the sausages have been cooking for a bit then bring the bacon rashes in to the pan aswell, make sure you flip them every minute or so.

Keep an eye on the bacon and sausages whilst you do this next part (your looking out for accidentally over cooking the meats or undercooking them). Take out another saucepan and pour the baked beans into the pan. Stir the beans over a gentle heat.

By now the bacon and sausages should be coming to a finish, if not, keep cooking them but for the recipe we're going to pretend they’re done so go ahead and stop the heat and take the bacon and sausages of the pan and set them down on a plate for now.

Get the mixing bowl and start mixing the two eggs together (beat them with a fork). Add a pinch of salt and pepper first.

Then get the block of butter and start melting it on a saucepan, melt it until it’s frothy.

Now put the beaten eggs into the pan with the melted butter, then stir slowly with a wooden spoon until you get scrambled eggs (they’ll be silky and they’ll run a bit).

Lastly, bring the chopped tomatoes into a pan and fry them, make sure you add a bit of vegetable oil to them so they don’t stick to the pan.

Once you’ve finished cooking all the parts of the breakfast bring them all together to make one extravagant mix of food which will be wrapped in a whole-wheat wrap, enjoy!

English Culture

The culinary staples in England consist of roasted and stewed meats, boiled vegetables, bread, cheese, freshwater and saltwater fish. Traditional English food is often known for it's simplicity of flavour, ingredients and presentation. As England is now a home to many different people, with many different cultures, their cultures have had an impact on the new flavours that come into English food culture. When you walk the city streets of London you can see all the new different restaurants that seamlessly seem to pop up, these restaurants have food that range from many different cultures such as Italian, Spanish, Greek, Indian, Chinese e.t.c.

Credits:

Created with images by Forest & Kim - "Assortment of Pears" • Free Grunge Textures - www.freestock.ca - "Mexico Grunge Flag" • Free Grunge Textures - www.freestock.ca - "Japan Grunge Flag" • tjuel - "Greek flag"

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