Friday, November 15, 2019

Cooking, Blogging, Respecting

It was something I did not consider: when I tried a new recipe-was I offending or appreciating the place of origin? Though my purchases at ethnic restaurants are limited, my exposure to such recipes in quantity food service was more. As a retail dietitian, I kept step with food trends and placement of popular foods on the cafeteria menu. In my now retired life, I plan my own menus around recipes in current magazines-many worldly choices. I tried to stick to the spice ingredients, with ongoing grocery lists of spices to purchase from the bulk food store. Yet my method of preparation might alter, based on my own lifestyle. More often, I did not want to buy a large container of a specific ingredient I may never use again.

Take for instance the Mediterranean Diet. I am a follower of daily consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. Yet my daily consumption of olive oil falls well below the recommended amount of 4 tablespoons a day. When I first prepared the bean recipe pictured above, I only used a small amount of olive oil. Yet it was just as tasty using the larger amount required to comply with the Mediterranean guidelines.

This was one of many things I've learned through my work with Food and Nutrition Magazine and the Food and Nutrition Expo and Conference educational sessions.

  • Research and understand the meaning behind a dish. Interview people from that culture. It's important to preserve the history.  
  • Don't put quotes around the recipe name if you've changed it's original identity. It is appropriate to say that your recipe is adapted or inspired from a source.
  • Acknowledge changes made for a modified diet.
In my own blogging experiences, I avoided saying something was "healthier". Yet it is good to have a healthier appetite of borrowing from each other. 

We live in a community with people from different cultures. I enjoy talking to my farmers market friends and learn of the foods of their families, some from other countries.  The local chain grocery stores carry many ethnic products, to include a variety of cheeses and grains. Experimenting with these is rewarding. Exploring the international stores that evolve in our small city is fun. The owners are happy to share how they prepare unfamiliar ingredients.

Now to make the authentic Preston County Buckwheat Cakes. From our neighboring county, the authentic recipe features a thin batter that sours overnight. Our local farmer friends even grow the buckwheat!


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