September 22, 2022

Uniclub destinations: taste of culture vol. 1

Uniclub destinations: taste of culture vol. 1
by
Ella Lacambra

All countries have their own food traditions and are several hundred years old. Food is so different around the world that it can portray an entire culture for food alone. Here you get an example… If I say pizza, pasta and tiramisu, what country are you thinking of? Food culture is more than just a plate dish. There is also always a good story behind. Curious? Then read on.

Australia - chicken parm (chicken parmigiana)

Chicken parm is an extensive staple in Australia, with several thousand servings in the country's bistros - during the day. Chicken parm consists of a fried chicken breast coated with melted parmesan cheese and served with crispy french fries and delicious greens. You can always find this dish in an Australian bistro.

This Italian-inspired dish was first referenced by a food historian named Jan O'Connel in the year of 1980, who told that the dish came to Australia via America, but that over there, it was always served with pasta. America's Italian food culture, of course, originated from the many immigrants of its time. And in fact, you will not find chicken parmigiana in an Italian cookbook - it is a 'western-fixed' version of the Italian dish, based on eggplant instead of chicken. Chicken parm is a true classic and loved by the nation Down Under.

Canada - poutine

Poutine is a delicious mixture of french fries, lots of brown sauce and pieces of cheese as a topping. Although we enjoy eating our french fries with our hands, do not take up the challenge with this amazingly saucy dish. Poutine should be eaten with a fork if you want to avoid a soaked painting on the T-shirt. It can be eaten at various eateries and, of course, on the streets as street food.

This ultimate Canadian dish was first born in Quebec in the late 1950s. For several years, poutine had a negative image in the rest of Canada and was used to stigmatize Quebec culture.

Poutine later marked itself and is now a symbol of both Quebec culture and Canada.

Costa Rica - casado

Casado truly symbolizes the exotic nature of Costa Rica. On a casado plate you often see rice, black beans, plantains, some greens, a tortilla and a varied protein such as chicken, beef, fish, etc. This dish is a perfect blend of beautiful colors and wonderful flavors.

Back then, the men who worked in the fields always got a lunch that their wives had prepared for them beforehand. Wrapped in banana leaves and formed a hearty meal for a full day in the field. In addition, if the men wanted a hot meal, they would put the packed lunch out in the setting sun and voila… hot food at noon. The dish got its name when several of a restaurant owners' customers demanded a meal that the wife usually makes for them at home.

Casado


England - fish 'n' chips

A true street food classic - fish 'n' chips. Rumors has it that this ingenious composition came about when a businessman in the north of England sold fish with french fries from his shed in Mossley Market in the Lancashire industrial area in 1963. Another rumor says it was a Jewish immigrant in east London in 1860 who first got the idea. Back then, fish 'n' chips were served wrapped in old newspapers because it was cheaper. It was later discovered that the ink was harmful to health when it came in contact with the food, therefore greaseproof paper began to come in between. Fish ‘n’ chips were the delicate pleasure of the English working class when they got tired of the boring food that was their daily norm.

Finland - karjalanpiirakka

This open oval-shaped pastry originated in Karelia in 1686, a region that then separated Finland and Russia. Karjalanpiirakka is an open baked pastry based on rye flour with a creamy filling in the middle, which often consists of rice or barley porridge and mashed potatoes. During and after World War II, several thousand Karelians fled to Finland, where they brought their food culture with them and this has had a great impact on Finnish food culture. Today, karjalanpiirakka is a Finnish favorite.

Karjalanpiirakka

France - legendary pastry

Croissants, crepes, macaroons and eclairs - yes, you really do not need to say more. The French are known for having mastered several culinary foods and to that extent also pastry. France is full of bakeries that entice us in with the wonderful scent we catch on the street. The delicious cakes and pastries in French patisserie began when the French in 1270 wanted to be able to serve something sweet after a meal. Cheese and fruit were no longer enough for dessert. From that, they came up with a whole new art and it has since evolved into what we know French patisserie for today.

Holland - poffertjes

Poffertjes are small mini pancakes, which are traditionally made from barley flour because there was a shortage of wheat flour during the French Revolution. Today you mix the dough with ordinary flour, milk and eggs for a more airy pancake. At that time, poor farmers grew barley and were therefore also the ones who initially ate puff pastry. Today, they are a favorite in the Netherlands and are typically made on a special copper or cast iron pans with holes, so you can make several puff pastry at once. They are served with butter on top and sprinkled with icing sugar.


Irland – shepards pie

Shepard's pie or Cottage pie is one of Ireland's most beloved dishes in Ireland. It can either consist of lamb or beef, mashed potatoes and whatever else you have in the fridge. Shepard's pie was invented by Irish housewives who did not want to waste food. Therefore, they took various leftover food and mixed them together into a very special dish that tasted so good that it quickly spread like wildfire to near and far.

Malaysia – nasi lemak

Malaysia is a big pot of different cultures and therefore there are many traditional dishes to be found here, depending on who you ask. Here you will find Indonesian, Chinese, Indian and a mix of everything. However, many agree that the national dish is Nasi Lemak.

Nasi lemak

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