South Africans are Becoming Aware of Many Cuisines
South Africans have earned a reputation for willingness to try new experiences outside of the general purview of South Africa. These new experiences may include aspects of travel: going to places not experienced in the past, trying out the different cuisines of said destinations, and saving money for real travel by playing at an online casino South Africa instead of travelling to a land based casino. As an aside, you can also play at many a bitcoin casino South Africa. SA news covers much that is good about our country and also much that is good about other countries.
Here we’ll introduce several cuisines that you are probably not familiar with. The unique ingredients may be found in large supermarkets or restaurants that specialize in these cuisines. Better yet, travel to these countries for an exotic adventure as well as a culinary extravaganza.
We are all familiar with Chinese cooking. Thai cooking is similar but has many differences as well. Thai cooking is generally very spicy. The Thai people use very aromatic peppers in their cooking. At a Thai restaurant, you might have to ask the chef to make your dish spicy as Thai restaurant food is often subdued to accommodate the palates of those not familiar with their very spicy cuisine.
Special Thai ingredients include lime juice, lime leaves, coconut milk or cream, fish sauce (excellent as a home-made sauce, based on anchovies), jasmine rice, tamarind sauce, herbs including lemon grass and all the green herbs, and galangal.
Speaking about spicy food, traditional Mexican food may be the spiciest of all. We have heard apocryphal tales of people eating at a restaurant in Mexico frequented by Mexicans—generally considered the best test of any restaurant—and they couldn’t eat the hot peppers that were served freely. One nibble and there was a fire in their mouths. The locals at other tables were eating the peppers like they were popcorn!
The two most common hot peppers in Mexican food are the serrano and the jalapeno. We can get mild jalapenos but Mexicans love the really hot ones.
Mexican food is heavy on beans, rice, and corn. The corn is usually used as corn meal in tortillas, burritos, or enchiladas. One highly flavorful Mexican sauce is mole. It combines fruit, nuts, and spices such as cinnamon in a rich sauce that goes well with any dish.
There are many Arab countries but the cuisine varies quite a bit from region to region. The next entry is for Moroccan food which stands by itself as a national cuisine.
Many people have heard of fava beans even if they haven’t ever tasted them. Fava beans are a staple of the Egyptian diet and are eaten extensively in the arc that runs from Egypt into Syria. As such, this aspect of Arab food cuts Israel in half. Northern Israeli Arab cooking resembles that of Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey even though Turkey is not an Arab country.
The Arab diet is often called the Mediterranean diet in nutritional literature and it is considered to be very healthy. It favours fruit, especially lemon as a seasoning, olive oil, a hearty yogurt similar to Greek yogurt but more pungent because Arab yogurt is made from goat milk, a wide assortment of vegetables, tahini which is a paste or dip made of sesame, lemon, garlic, and herbs, green herbs such as cilantro and parsley, and hearty coffee.
If you’re ever in an Arab country, try going to a Bedouin tent where they will make coffee in the traditional manner. The host begins the fire by heating coals in the centre of the tent. He has all the time in the world so you have to have enough time to experience the real coffee-making process. The host puts some water in a special pot with a long handle. He’ll add sugar to the water and heat it first. Then he’ll add the coffee as a layer on the top. The heat builds up beneath the coffee until it begins to push the coffee up. At that point, your host will take the little pot off the flame and wait for the coffee to settle. He’ll repeat this process a few times.
If you agree to add cardamom to the coffee he will take some fresh cardamom seeds, put them in a grinding cask, and grind them in a semi-musical manner that he inherited from his father and that goes back hundreds of years in their family.
This is the home of couscous made famous in the West by Ross of Friends fame. Moroccan food is far more than couscous. First, traditional couscous is often accompanied by a sauce that we think of as a soup but Moroccans think of as a sauce for the couscous. Couscous sauce is heavy on vegetable such as carrots and onions plus chick peas and cabbage leaves.
Bastilla is a traditional chicken pie that combines elements of many other cuisines. For example, ginger is prominent in Bastilla as is cinnamon. Throughout the Mediterranean Islamic areas, cinnamon is used in cooking with meat and poultry. Saffron adds an Indian element to this amazing dish.
Harira is a Moroccan soup with a tomato base filled with lentils and chick peas. Lentils are another staple of Mediterranean cooking.
South Africans can enjoy the traditional dishes from many peoples. Whether you travel to the countries, eat in local restaurants that excel in exotic cuisines, or cook at home, you’ll be delighted by how many taste combinations there are throughout the world.