In most cultures, food is a way for people to gather. It brings family and friends together for banquets, potlucks and holidays. Over recent years, different cuisines have taken on a new popularity. Most cities now have cuisines spanning all corners of the globe. For new cooking ideas or restaurant options, check out some of these global cuisines.
Mexican food is a common favorite cuisine in America. From chili con carne to enchiladas, spicy Mexican dishes are a popular choice. Western restaurants typically use Northern Mexican cuisine, but there are a number of other options. Ancient Mayan dishes have a subtler flavor while Central and Southern Mexico have a sophisticated taste. Restaurant goers can enjoy eggs, vegetables, beans, chilies and cumin in major Mexican dishes. Chocolate, tomatoes and salsa are always favorites as well.
With a culinary history that stretches back centuries, Italian cuisine is one of the world’s favorites. Spumoni ice cream, spaghetti, lasagna and pizza are traditional dishes that are widely available in the United States. Beyond these basic dishes, there are a number of regional favorites like Parmesan cheese and Parma ham. One part of Italy is even known for making a kind of maggot cheese. The cheese is fermented and allowed to sit out so that flies lay eggs. Afterward, it is packed at the perfect time for maggots to develop. It might not suit everyone’s taste buds, but it is a specialty from the country. If this cheese is not to your liking, the country has more than 400 types of cheese.
Although Italian cuisine varies from region to region, each meal will generally be set up in a similar way. It will begin with the antipasto or appetizer menu. Next, diners enjoy the primo course which consists of pasta or rice. The second course is a meat. To top it off, the last course is the dolce or dessert course.
Long ago, the French Acadian people had to flee Canada. Although some of the Acadians went back to France, others chose to move to Louisiana. Once there, they combined French cooking style with local ingredients. This type of cuisine is normally formatted within three dishes. The first pot will contain the main dish while another pot contains vegetables. A third pot will generally contain a mixture of steamed rice and seafood. Popular meat choices include pork sausage, shrimp and fish. Due to the area, Cajun cuisine focuses heavily on celery, bell peppers, garlic and onions. Other flavorings include cayenne pepper, bay leaf, black pepper and green onions.
During slavery, African-American slaves were only given the leftover, unwanted food. Often, slave owners would try to feed them as little as possible as a way of saving money. This early origin caused soul food to develop. Slaves at the times used collards, mustard greens, turnip tops, dandelions and beets to make up their diet. They often were given the unwanted parts of the meat like offal, oxtail, pigs ears, lard and tripe. With these unwanted, inexpensive pieces, the slaves of the time managed to create a unique, delicious cuisine. Today, soul food includes dishes like chitlins, fried chicken, hog maw, pigs feet, fried okra, collard greens, corn bread, grits and hush puppies. After a delicious meal of soul food, you may not be hungry enough to eat dessert. If you are, you can look forward to cobbler, pecan pie or sweet potato pie.