One of the great comfort foods of Chile, and one that is considered a national dish, is the meat and corn pie pastel de choclo (recipe follows). Pastel means “cake” in Spanish, but has taken on widely divergent forms in the various areas of Spanish influence around the world. Choclo comes from the Quechua language group and refers to the sweet corn used to make the pie’s topping.
Chilean food traditions have developed from a combination of locally available food sources and the native cultures’ use of them, as well as Spanish influence dating from the time of the conquistadors in the sixteenth century. So far, that makes Chilean food origins sound pretty much like the rest of the Americas south of Texas; Chile’s unique geography and relationship with the sea set it apart however.
Cedar plank grilling is a technique originating with the Chinook and Salish people of the Pacific Northwest. Salmon fresh out of the river would be tied to large wood boards (cedar being most prevalent in many coastal Northwest areas), covered with fir boughs, and slowly roasted over coals in a pit dug into the ground.
We knew there would come a time on The World Cup of Food when we would be tasked with presenting the food of our home nation, the United States of America. What would we prepare? Hot dogs and hamburgers? Fountain drinks the size of five-gallon buckets? Movie popcorn? The abomination that is instant mashed potatoes? We tend to think of American food in only the most negative, fast food-ish light, but of course it is so much more.
Today comes the time that we must again eliminate a national cuisine that we enjoyed a great deal. Whichever of Armenian or Malaysian food has made its last featured appearance on The World Cup of Food has been a pleasure to prepare and especially to eat.
Malaysian cuisine is based largely on that of the indigenous Malay people, but also contains a heavy portion of the cultures of the country’s significant populations of people of Chinese, Indonesian, and Indian descent. Trade with or immigration of Thais, Portuguese, British, and Arabs have added bits and pieces of their native traditions to the Malaysian kitchen as well.
Continue reading Malaysian Cuisine — Nasi Lemak: Coconut Milk Rice
Soups play an important role in Armenian cuisine. Armenian winters, high in the Caucasus Mountains, are long and cold, and hot, heartwarming soups and stews are served almost daily in the Armenian home.
It’s that time again on The World Cup of Food when we have to select one country’s cuisine to advance in our competition and another to be left behind. This week, the decision is between Denmark and Ireland, the winner earning a place in the round of thirty-two against India.
Many Americans, when asked for a single example of an Irish dish, would name corned beef (recipe follows) in some form. Here in the United States corned beef and cabbage is associated indelibly with St. Patrick’s Day; Irish immigrants allegedly adopted corned beef as a replacement for their Irish bacon that was suddenly a lot harder to find and corned beef and cabbage became a St. Patrick’s day dinner menu fixture.
In Denmark, the open-faced sandwiches known collectively as smørrebrød (serving suggestions follow) are a national source of pride and identity. The Danish rye bread rugbrød is buttered liberally, then the rest is limited only by the imagination of the cook.