What exactly is a cuisine?
The word cuisine means using some types of specific ingredients and cooking techniques which are predominant to a culture of specific geographical area. That’s why when we talk of a cuisine, we refer to a certain part of the world like Asian cuisine or Italian cuisine.
As we go near coastal areas, we can see they have a lot of sea food dishes as fishes are just easy to get in that area.
Some cuisines have a lot of spices as they are produced more in that area and some cuisines don’t have spices as they were difficult to get or afford for people in that area traditionally.
Cuisine from a particular place is one of the biggest elements of their cultural features.
Many times it is also driven by the religious believes like some casts and groups in Hinduism avoid eating meat, many people are strict vegetarians and even the ones who eat meat avoid doing so on festivals. Let’s see how some popular cuisine around the world look like.
Due to wide spread of buddhism many types meat was banned by emperors. Rice and soya bean became a staple food but, seafood was not banned as japan is an island and seriously what would they eat if they banned seafood.
Chopsticks were initially just used by noble people as utensils were expensive. Also, spices were expensive so minimal spices were used. Let’s just say it was a hard time to be a Japanese citizen at that time the spice and chopstick less life they had to live.
sushi which everyone in the western world is loving these days comes from a fish preserving method. So, during season fishes would swim into rice paddies and a lot of fishes were caught. to preserve them they were salted and kept under weights this was a Chinese technique. Sometimes rice was used instead of weights, this rice was thrown away and fishes were eaten. When this technique reached Japan, they started eating that preserved fish along with rice which was wrapped in a type of seaweed named nori.
The fish in this technique is preserved by lactic acid fermentation. Which is the same process which happens in yoghurt, pickles and other preserved fermented foods.
Have you ever wonderd why is it so difficult to find an obese person in japan ? everybody over there seems so healthy why is that?
Basically, they eat their traditional cuisine. this is made very easy to find. even at convenience stores, you can find healthier food options which are not packaged junk foods. Just by a fast food restaurant you can find a Japanese food restaurant where they serve healthy food options like miso soup, tamagoyaki (Japanese omlet) sushi some salad on the side with small portion sizes.
okay we get the idea food’s healthy and people are thin stop flexing!
So to summarise they eat over all healthy food with small portion sizes.
I said stop!
According to an article publishes by thelancet.com Japanese people are now fighting with obesity as they are deviating from their traditional food.
This is an advice which we all should follow as our traditional food is based on the ingredients which traditionally belong to our geographical area. And they are the most healthy for us.
Mexican cuisine is one of the most vibrant cooking styles. They use simple basic ingredients which excluding avacods I find very similar to Indian cooking. Even their flat bread looks really similar to Indian flat bread. They call it tortillas we call it Rotis. Although tortillas are made with corn flour which they call as masa harina and Rotis are made with wheat flour.
Burritos are just tortillas filled with minced meat and they are the perfect meal to pack and take anywhere.
Tacos is something where you can go creative, you can add anything you want to tomatoes onions, lemons, kidney beans just anything you have in the kitchen and on your mind.
Guacamole – this is the healthiest dip you can ever find it is made of mashed avocadoes which are packed with healthy fats with some spices added for flavour.
Quesadillas are just tacos filled with cheese and sometimes meat and then roasted to melt the cheese inside and make tortillas crispy on the outside. This mostly sounds to me just like a cheese sandwich made with tortillas.
I know that in this quarantine we have missed pizza and pasta enough that half of us have learnt how to make it. But as I learnt while doing research for this video Italian cuisine is way more than just pizza and pasta. In fact different cities in Italy have different kinds of cuisines as the country did not unite until 19th century . Milan is famous for risotto; Bologna is famous for tortellini and Naples is famous for its pizza and spaghetti.
Risotto is just rice cooked in some type of broth and it should traditionally be of a consistency which is between gluey and runny. According to chefs this consistency is very important for a risotto. According to me a layman it can be compared with our Indian khichdi. M sorry no offence
Tortellini is a kind of pasta which has stuffing of some sort in it and then its steamed and served with a sauce.
And I don’t think anyone needs any explanation for pasta, pizza and spaghetti
The olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil which Italians generally use is one of the healthiest oils for you. It has monounsaturated fatty acids which are healthy fats. It contains vitamin E and K along with the healthy fats. It also has antioxidants. if you want to know what antioxidants checkout my previous video. Olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties and it is better for your heart health than other oils. It is also not associated with weight gain and obesity like other oils.
Although olive oil has a lot of health benefits its smoke point is very low hence it shouldn’t be used for frying although it can be used for mild cooking.
Also, a fun fact tomatoes weren’t introduced to Europe before 16th century as they were found after in America after its discovery.
Then how did they make all their sauces?
Well obviously, we just didn’t know tomatoes existed so we made mint sauce, pinapple sauce as tomatoes just weren’t discovered.
Tell me in the comments below if you find this tomato discovery believable or not.
When it comes to Indian cuisine it can’t get any more diverse than this. We Indians can cook just one roti in tandoor, on a pan, on a direct flame and give it different tastes.
The food in north of India varies widely with south Indian food. And if you look at food from north eastern part of India you would think that we are not even in on the same country right now. North Indian food is all about making different gravies and then adding some vegetables in it they heavily rely on tandoor which is a type of oven. South Indian food is many times fermented rice and lentils and then steamed or fried according to the type of dish being made.
North eastern people are really good at baking. when I went to Meghalaya with my sister, I remember we had lamington cake which is just a yellow vanilla cake coated with chocolate and coconut flakes which tastes heavenly. Not only that but they had a lot of other unheard baked goods which I didn’t even know existed. Maybe because just a lack of knowledge about baking on my side. But everything was delicious.
Pitha is the most famous asamese snack. It is generally made around Bihu festival which is a harvest festival. Pitha has a crispy outer covering with sweet chewy sesame filling inside. There are so many unique dishes in north east.
Rajasthani cooking is mainly famous for dal bati churma which tastes so amazing the batis are crunchy churma is sweet and dal is spicy it has party of flavours going on. And dhokla from Gujrat is so addictive I made it like three times in three days when I learnt how to make it. and what I love most about these recipes that how healthy they are, dhokla is made of chickpea flour which is packed with a lot of proteins.
Well even if there is a vast difference in all these cuisines, many of the dishes are brought to flavour by tempering spices which is otherwise known as tadkas.
Basically, a tadka is just adding different spices to hot oil and then adding this mix to any dish and making it taste better. If you want to read more about TADKAS I have an article just about it.
Although I can go on about Indian cooking for an entire day let’s end the video here . And tell us how hungry you are after watching this video on a scale of 1 to 10. and consider subscribing to my channel if you want to see more of such content.