*Source: World Cuisine Recipes
last updated: February 11, 2016
I'm a foodie fan, and food and culture go well together; it is the heart (and stomach) of one's nation. Good food provides warmth and comfort, after a hard day's work. It brings family, friends and people together. Not only does it provide nourishment, and makes us full, the origins of those dishes have a story behind them, as well as cultural and geographical significance.
My relationship with food has nothing to do with dieting and weighing myself. I mean, I know when my stomach feels full, I can't eat any more and I am always wary of what type of foods I put in my mouth.
Living in a multicultural city such as London, I am fortunate enough to be exposed to cuisines and dishes from all around the world, - although I am quite critical of the fast food places that serve burgers, fries, fried chicken that get passed around as the only available type of American cuisine being served to customers.
The best world/cultural cuisine can be best found in areas in or around the town or city that contain migrant and ethnic communities such as Chinatown around the world, Southall in West London, UK. Sure there are Indian and Chinese takeouts and restaurants outside of the central part London, Manchester, Birmingham, New York etc, but if you want the good stuff, you'd have to travel far.
I love food, and not speaking in terms of being a fatty - which is something I am not. When people say they love food, it's not always about being greedy and putting on weight and stuffing their faces with unhealthy sugary, fatty foods. It's about being open-minded about the different cultures of food they have been exposed to in person, trying them out and enjoying them. Appreciating the effort being put in to cook it, as well as the final end product and enjoying the taste and flavours.
We all eat for different and special occasions, during breakfast, lunch, dinner, as well as during snacking. At weddings, ceremonies, in restaurants, food food joints and at home. I pretty much like any type of cuisine, I'm open with it - I'll try anything and if I don't like a particular type of food or dish, then I wouldn't eat it any more. Such as liver, kidney, sheep's blood and animals that I see as pets, I would not eat those. In Peru, they eat Guinea Pigs and whilst it is one of their signature foods, I see them as pets that are meant to be looked after, - and not as something to be devoured. Cheese is a bit of a weird one for me, as I don't eat it unless it is melted on bread or toast, pasta/spaghetti or on pizza or covered with fish or meat. I'm usually not someone who hates a particular type of food when I haven't tried it, i.e. a picky eater.
With spicy food, I like it when it is not too hot - I don't mind Indian and Mexican food, as long as it doesn't burn my mouth. Although I still end up drinking water or some other beverage to wash it down.
Food culture transcends race and ethnicity, nationality, religion, culture, history; it acts as a symbol by signifying a particular culture or region for instance, and thus, it's why people have a strong relationship with food, as it ties in with other things outside of the culinary landscape. Like I said before, trying out and eating different cuisines in turn makes you learn and understand their culture a little better. There is no need to travel overseas just to consume Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Italian, Jamaican food, when there are restaurants that serve those types of food in or around where you live.
American, British, Canadian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Spanish, Brazilian, Italian, Portuguese, Tex-Mex I love them all. Well, with Japanese, it's okay.
By going in with an open mind, try a bit of every dish and by then, you'll figure out what you like and don't like eating. And the foods you enjoy eating, you'll order them again and again.
American - the cuisine of the United States of America; American cuisine and Chinese cuisine share one thing in common: the image of its food is that of burgers, fries, fried chicken, doughnuts and sweet and sour dishes, egg rolls, noodles, fried rice. But if anyone is open-minded enough to know that American food is so much more than that and has regional dishes from different States and regions.
Unfortunately, the American food served here in the UK mostly comprises of fast food, and so therefore, because of places like McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, people in general think American food is crap and just your standard fare of fries, burgers, fried chicken. But it's not, and some of its dishes include vegetables such as Collard Greens, sweet potatoes (Yams), corn. I would like to see more restaurants that offer the type of food that is served in the South, mid-west, north east and central of America.
I'd take regional American food over the usual fried chicken, fries, coleslaw, burgers, any time.
Cajun and Creole
Boston Baked Beans - variety of baked beans sweetened with molasses or maple syrup & flavoured with Salt pork or bacon
Po boy Sandwiches
Red Beans and Rice - Louisiana Creole
Black Eyed Peas
Collard Greens, Turnip Greens, Okra, Sweet Potatoes
Image: Uno Chicago Grill
Tex-Mex - Texan and Mexican fusion cuisine - burritos, fajitas, quesadilas, tacos, Texas caviar
Chicken Fried Steak
Can we have more of this type of American food in Britain and around here in London, & less of the Mcdonalds, Burger King and KFCs, pretty please?
Chinese Cantonese - when people outside of China think of Chinese food, it tends to be of the Cantonese variety from Hong Kong. It is one of the 4 main types of Chinese cooking and is predominately savory that utilizes vegetables, meat, fish, rice and noodles. Cantonese cuisine gets a bad rep, because of dishes such as won ton soup, egg rolls and sweet and sour pork/chicken get more attention and is eaten more often compared to other Cantonese and Chinese dishes. It's flavourful that uses minimal seasoning, the dishes are varied with snacks, rice, meat, fish, noodles that it's more accustomed to my tastes. Cantonese food is more than just sweet and sour, won tons, egg rolls, although I wouldn't touch frogs legs, jellyfish, shark fin soup.
It is arguably my favourite type of Chinese food, but I also like the other types as well.
Prominent Cantonese dishes include:
Dim Sum - small portioned dishes that are served during breakfast and lunch time, they range from egg tarts to shrimp and pork dumplings, sticky lotus rice with meat and chicken feet with black beans
Steamed spare ribs with fermented black beans and chilli
Water spinach with fermented bean curd and chilli
Ho fun noodles - you can have it fried with Beef, beansprouts, soy sauce and green onions, or with beef, beansprouts in a thick gravy
Roasted and cooked meats - Roast Peking duck, roast pork, crispy pork belly, soy sauce chicken, Orange cuttlefish
Clay pot rice
Steamed Sea Bass
Broccoli in oyster sauce
Fried tofu with meat
Red or Green bean soup
Source: Food Spotting
Lemon Chicken - like the Orange chicken dish that you find in many US Chinese restaurants but with Lemon sauce in place of Orange sauce. This originated in Hong Kong.
Source: City Wok
Steamed Egg Omelette
Source: Phong Hong Bakes & Cooks
Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli) in Oyster Sauce
Source: Cafe Nilson
Fried Hairy Gourd Melon with shrimp and noodles
Source: Roti N Rice
Source: Dish Maps
Doner Kebab - I enjoy eating these, especially the chili and garlic sauces that go well together
Lahmacan - thin flatbread covered with a layer of spiced minced meat, tomato, pepper and onion
Etil Pilav - rice with pieces of meat
Iskender Kebab - long strips of lamb cooked in tomato sauce served with rice and pita bread
Durum - a Turkish burrito of lamb, chicken or beef, it's basically everything you have in a doner kebab - salad, sauce, meat - but in the form of a wrap
Lasagna and pasta
Source: La Vinoteca Eatery
Pasta and beans
Risotto with lemon and green beans
Cotoletta - breaded veal
Source: Guides Kitchen
Carne Pizzaiola - meat with peppers, tomatoes in olive oil, is served with pasta or rice
Chicken Cacciatore - Chicken with tomatoes, onions and herbs
Source: CBC In The Kitchen
Stuffed calamari in tomato sauce
Korean - first time I tried Korean food was when I was in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2014; it was nice with flavours that weren't over-powering. I definitely prefer it more than Japanese food, as the flavours, textures and appearance, was and is similar in many ways to Chinese food. Likewise, Kim-chi is similar in taste and texture as Za Choi, which is a type of pickle mustard originating from China.
Japchae - noodles that look very much like vermicelli - thin, transparent threads made from sweet potatoes
Gimbap - Korean sushi
Jeon - Pancakes
Galpi - pork or beef ribs
Bulgogi - beef marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, sugar, scallions, black pepper and cooked on a grill
Steamed chicken and vegetables with cellophane noodles in Gangjang sauce
Steamed egg omelette
Brazilian - Whilst my time in Sao Paulo was pretty difficult and not so enjoyable, one of the few highlights was the food. I really liked it - and though it can be too filling for some, who don't like eating too many carbs in beans, rice, there is a wide selection of dishes with a few native desserts as well.
Rice and Beans stew with meat called Feijao
Source: New York Streetfood
Acaraje - deep fried patty made with black eyed peas, oil, onions, filled with peppers, minced beef, onions, prawns/shrimps
Pastel - similar to Cornish pastries filled with assorted meats
Egg Tarts - almost identical to the Chinese custard egg tarts in appearance but flavoured with cinnamon and vanilla
Piri Piri chicken
Source: Tourism Kit
Folhadas - meat or cheese stuffed pastries
Alheiras - sausages made with bread and chicken
Caldeirada - fish and seafood stew cooked with tomatoes and herbs
Salame De Chocolate - dessert in the shape of salami sausage made with chocolate, biscuits and eggs
And in addition to this list, here are other cuisines I am very keen on trying out too:
Valluna - pork cutlets/chops in breadcrumbs
Ajicao - A type of Chicken and corn soup
Source: Recipes 4 Us UK
Bandeja Paisa - similar to an English fry-up in many respects; grilled steak, fried egg, sausage with avocado and banana chips
Source: Bandeja Tipica Columbiana
Tamales - ground corn steamed or boiled in leaves, can contain chicken, beef, sweetcorn & other vegetables
Manjar Blanco - type of leche, a dessert spread made with milk and sugar
Arepa - type of cornmeal bread
Lechona - roast pig stuffed with rice, peas, onions and spices
Mondongo - soup made with tripe, broth served with rice, avocado, bananas
Potatoes with cheese
Ceviche - seafood soaked in lemon juice with chilies
Source: Costa Rica News
Tacu Tacu - beans and rice fried topped with breaded fried steak and onion salsa
Arroz Con Mariscos - seafood rice
Causa - casserole of potatoes and avocado that can include meat or fish and/or hard boiled eggs
Lomo Saltado - Chinese Peruvian fusion dish of stir fried beef, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, onions with soy sauce served with rice
Source: Huffington Post
Pollo A La Brasa - Peruvian style roast chicken marinated in pepper, paprika, red peppers, garlic, cumin (and soy sauce)
Choritos a la Chalaca - steamed mussels with vegetable medley and corn
Source: Cafe Carmo
Rocoto Relleno - stuffed peppers with meat and melted cheese
Source: Provecho Peru
Mangu - boiled and mashed plantains with red onions
La Bandera - beans, rice and meat stew
Source: Book of Days Tales
Tostones - fried plantains
Passion fruit juice
Sanchocho - meat and vegetable broth
Dulce De Coco - coconut macaroons
Quipe/Kipe - deep fried bulger rolls filled with meat, beans
Source: NBC Latino
Chenchen - ground corn
Habichuelas - dulce made with beans, sweet potato, sugar and coconut
Pica Pollo/Aroz Con Pollo - Dominican fried chicken
Source: Dominican Heat
Croquetas - chicken croquettes
Chimichurri - Dominican burgers made with ground beef or pork served on water bread and garnished with lettuce and a Marie Rose type of prawn cocktail sauce called Salsa Rosa
Source: Dominican Cooking
Asopao De Pollo - similar to a gumbo, contains meat and rice
Lechon Asado - roast pig
Pastelon De Platano Maduro - version of English Shepherd's pie, only it is topped with mashed sweet plantains instead of mashed potato
Source: El Fogoncito
Locrio - type of Paella
Espaguetis or Spaghetii a la Dominica - Spaghetti Bolognese Dominican- style
Source: Dominican Heat
Beef Stew and Dumplings
Source: Westing Gourmet
Source: Food Pioneers
Toad in a Hole
Source: Good Gobble!
Source: Good to Know
Apple Pie and Custard
Bread and Butter Pudding
Source: Delia Online