International Cooking: A Culinary Journey

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9780130326591: International Cooking: A Culinary Journey

Much more than a collection of recipes, this comprehensive, illustrated exploration of international cookery covers cuisines from around the world, providing an understanding of not only their flavor concepts, but how the cuisines developed and evolved. Each cuisine is explored in terms of its general characteristics as well as issues including the history and effects from invaders and bordering countries; topography, geography, and climate; indigenous foods, culture, and influences from religion and other groups of people; foods and flavorings frequently used; common cooking methods and their origins in the area; and regional variations. Each chapter contains tested recipes representing foods and dishes from all segments of the menu and wine suggestions (provided by Beringer Blass Vineyards) for each first course, soup, and entrée. Introduction to Food and Wine Pairing. British Isles. Spain & Portugal. France. Italy. Germany. Scandinavia. Russia & Eastern Europe. The Countries of Africa. Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Greece, & Egypt. Israel. China. Korea & Japan. Vietnam, Thailand, & Indonesia. India. Australia. Mexico. South America. Caribbean Islands. For chefs, food and beverage managers, banquet managers, professional wait staff (service staff including maitre d' and servers), catering firms, catering directors, and chef educators.

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From the Back Cover:

Finally, a comprehensive textbook on international cookery! International Cooking: A Culinary Journey provides an explanation of the development of the cuisine, as well as recipes for all those with an interest in food. This book covers cookery from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and Latin America.

As foreign travel for both business and pleasure increases, more menus reflect the flavor components and dishes from countries spanning the globe. No longer limited to their regions of origin, these foods continue to become an important part of our culture. The focus here is to explore the various flavor concepts found in the cuisines, their fascinating histories, as well as how and why each cuisine evolved the way it did. This new textbook includes:

  • General characteristics of the many various cuisines
  • Discussions about influences from invasions and bordering nations
  • How topography, geography, climate, and native foods and flavorings influenced their culinary development
  • Common cooking methods and why they originated in the various regions
  • 250 tested recipes that include regional and classical cookery
  • Over 260 photographs
  • Website references that point students and instructors to additional information about the countries, their cuisine, the culture, and more recipes
  • A glossary of international cooking terms

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

People say the world is becoming smaller. Of course, the world is not shrinking, but more accessible travel, familiarity with people from foreign lands, and efficient communication make faraway destinations seem not so remote.

No longer reserved for the wealthy, travel to foreign lands is obtainable for many people. The price of an airline ticket to Europe often costs less than flying from New York to California, and myriad flights travel overseas every day. So even though college spring break used to mean a trip to Florida for the lucky, now a week in Paris or scuba diving in Belize fits into the realm of spring break possibilities.

With the help of telephones, computers, wireless technology, satellites, and planes, business and pleasure truly span the globe. As a result, more and more people are familiar with foods from foreign lands, and dishes from all corners of the world penetrate the menus of other cuisines.

Although culinary schools used to teach continental cookery primarily covering the cuisines found in Europe, this no longer suffices. Now, international cookery is the necessary course. As travel to Asia, Latin America, and destinations throughout the world has increased, so has the interest and knowledge of cuisines spanning the globe.

Demographic changes also have altered our perspective of the world. Great increases in the number of immigrants play a significant part in the composition of cities, schools, and neighborhoods. Of course, ethnic restaurants thrive in areas with substantial ethnic population, leading to these cuisines becoming more mainstream throughout the United States. According to the last census, the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States are Hispanics and Asians. Mexican and Asian restaurants proliferate. No wonder salsa replaced ketchup as the leading condiment in the United States. Today, many businesses operate globally. Companies from around the world relocate employees to other countries for varied periods of time. The influx of people from foreign lands leads to familiarity with other cultures and cuisines, as well as adding to the ethnic diversity of neighborhoods.

Immigration and birthrates continue to change the demographics throughout the world. Predictions released from the United Nations estimate that about 87 percent of the world's population will consist of people from Asia, Africa, and Latin America by 2050. The remaining 13 percent will reside in other regions, including North America and Europe. People from densely populated, developing countries continue to seek opportunities in more prosperous nations. As a result, many immigrate to the more affluent countries. So although the world is not shrinking, it certainly is changing, and that change results in people being exposed to more countries, more cultures, and more cuisines.

GOAL OF THE BOOK

The goal of this book is to provide a comprehensive picture of cuisines found throughout the world by presenting information about the food and culture as well as recipes. Explanation focuses on the development of each cuisine, therefore making the evolution seem both logical and natural. This is accomplished through an understanding of many issues that molded the cuisine.

PREMISE OF THE BOOK

What makes each cuisine unique? This book shows that neither random selection nor chance caused a cuisine to develop as it did. First, many of a cuisine's culinary traits result from conditions that naturally exist in the region or country—factors such as the geography, topography, climate, what grows/is raised there, and historical influences from settlers, invaders, and bordering countries.

Second, although often determined by the factors listed earlier, many food issues create the differences that distinguish one cuisine from another. The preferred carbohydrate, whether rice, pasta, bread, or corn, makes a significant impact on the cuisine. How can one think of the Asian cuisines without thinking of rice? The herbs, spices, and other flavorings utilized in the cooking create the taste associated with each country. For example, chili peppers are identified with Mexican cookery. Finally, the variety of protein consumed in the region further defines the cuisine. A preference for lamb in the Middle East, the absence of beef in India, and the abundance of seafood and fish in areas near water characterize the cuisine. All these issues clearly affected the cookery in each region and country, causing it to evolve into the cuisine it is today.

ORGANIZATION OF THE BOOK

Each chapter is divided into six sections: history, topography, common food ingredients and flavorings, cooking methods, regions, and general characteristics of the cuisine. The development and the evolution of each cuisine are apparent through an understanding of the issues discussed in these sections. Following this, each chapter contains a glossary (a master glossary is located in the back of the book), a chart summarizing the material covered in the chapter, and a selection of recipes characteristic of the cuisine and its heritage with dishes representing all segments of the menu. The collection of recipes contains at least one first course, soup, salad, vegetable, starch, and dessert. When appropriate, the choice of entrees includes a selection of meat, poultry, and seafood to offer sufficient variety. Hopefully, the group of recipes is well rounded enough to prepare a successful buffet representing the country(ies) in the chapter.

Throughout history and today, wine has been valued for enhancing food, as well as the whole dining experience. Food and wine pairing is an important aspect of dining today and should be included in a book of this type. Beringer Blass Winery has provided wine recommendations for each first course, soup, and entree. Also, Jerry Comfort, executive chef at Beringer Blass Winery, wrote an introduction for this book that explains their philosophy and guidelines for food and wine pairing.

The cooking methods) involved appear at the top of each recipe. My colleague, Bob Chapman, always told his students that there are only six ways to cook—no matter what you're cooking. Whether the cuisine is American, French, or Chinese, the six cooking methods remain bake/roast, grill/broil, braise, boil/simmer/poach/steam, saute, and deep-fry. Braising is braising, regardless of what spices and flavorings surround the foods. Please let that thought help to demystify the journey through cookery from around the world.

Some chapters cover one country, others include two or more countries, and still others contain a whole continent. Choosing to group countries together or exclude them from this book occurred for two reasons: the time limitations of a course and the magnitude of the task of covering every country in the world. As a result, I tried to include countries that are culinary representatives of the world.

Many of the European countries covered in a continental cookery course are individually discussed. They remain the most familiar cuisines to many of the dining customers, and they still guide many of the cookery principles and standards in the western world. This does not lessen the profound, significant, and growing influence from a myriad of other "lesser known" cuisines that are included in this book. Realize that the popularity and influence of any particular cuisine continually changes. Triggered by a limitless number of factors, trends come and go, leaving today's hottest cuisines passe tomorrow.

Although this book probably container too many chapters for a one-semester course, I included countries knowing that the instructor might need to omit some. Rather than write a textbook that fits into a semester, I opted to offer a valuable book for one's personal library covering cuisines from around the world.

WHY I WROTE THIS BOOK

The idea for this book began when I was the program coordinator for the culinary arts program at Jefferson Community College in Louisville, Kentucky. Searching in vain for a book on international cuisine for our students, I called colleagues across the country only to find that they did just what we did—lectured on the cuisine and distributed lots of handouts. So, finally, here is the book I wanted to find!

MY HOPE

Writing this book has been a joy on many levels. For more than two years, I submerged myself into researching and learning about the cultures and cuisines of other lands and testing over 250 recipes. Although I have barely scratched the surface of knowledge about the world's cuisines, it's been a fascinating culinary journey!

I always tell my students before espousing strong personal opinions, "This is from the world according to Patsy" So here are some thoughts from my world—I strongly believe that knowledge of a cuisine is an important part in understanding the culture and the people who live there. Armed with knowledge, we can understand and appreciate others for both their similarities and differences to us. It is my sincere hope that this book will open some doors to knowledge of other cuisines and cultures, which will lead to greater tolerance for others.

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