This is an inevitable post. Inevitable since just in the previous I presented the sibling dish of this one, the hummus. This one is all about eggplant. The one plant that has become a stable food around Mediterranean and primarily in the middle-eastern countries. Most of these countries rely heavily on vegetables as power source. Eggplant is not one of them. It is a plant, but not a power source. With a mere 25 kcal per 100 g of the fruit, eggplant is food with low energy value. It does have some other minerals and vitamins, but again they are not even enough to make eggplant a “super-food”. Then why do we eat it? Why is it so valuable in Middle East, India etc?
Greek restaurants across the USA had to adapt and adjust their menu and recipes. This usually happens with in three ways: i) the adaptation of classic recipes to whatever ingredients are available ii) the adaptation to the taste palette of the locals and iii) the adoption of dishes from other countries just because the locals seem to like them. Actually one of the most classic dishes, the poster child of the Greek food, the gyro sandwich originated in its final form in New York by Greek food track vendors out of necessity to battle tacos and shawarma as a fast food alternative. In the restaurant scenery, one of the Greek adopted dishes was, and still is, the hummus.
Exposure to various cuisine is the portal to understanding and embracing cultures around the world. The flavors represent not only the people’s lifestyle and philosophy but their attitude towards life. And I don ‘t speak of the food you eat when you go out, or the food you make when you have guests. I talk about the food you eat when you are wearing your pajamas and your hair is all messed up. I am talking about real down to home food that is family, nationality and you… Thee real you. The food you eat from a house in India, Bolivia, Ecuador, Greece, Russia, Pakistan and you think you are back home. For a split second that house becomes your home. Continue reading
This is an alternative salsa, something you do not see very often. It is a sweet and hot spicy salsa, that is very good compliment to white meat like fish (tilapia, mahi-mahi etc) and chicken or pork. A quick method to turn this to a marinate is to pass it through a blender. This will pulverize the salsa to a thick marinate. An additional effect of this is the papain. It is an enzyme primarily found in papaya and it has the ability to break down proteins like collagen. This will tenderize the meat making it juicer. Its primary utility actually is the breaking down the tough meat fibers and has been utilized for thousands of years in its native South America. Continue reading