Centuries back bread, cheese and wine was the staple diet in Britain, no wonder best wines , breads and cheese come from Europe; Brexit is a totally different concern but food that flows through the continent is divine, today food is something that satiate our Gourmet habits, we love enjoying good food but now the choice is not confined, we have outgrown ourselves, we enjoy food from around the world– as the world keeps getting smaller and globalization is the buzz, the International dishes are becoming common and readily available at times– being part of the global village we have seen different cuisines and we get crazy when allowed to relish several culinary outcomes but information is must to fix it all in the tummy.
Let’s start with neighbouring nation Italy, the Pizza and Pasta is not all you get there, they have got varieties of food from Burrata (Panna Cotta), Bruschetta, Minestrone Soup (National soup of Italy), Risotto to end number of sauces like Pesto, Arabiata and breads, Ciabata, Focaccia, Garlic bread are some of the famous ones, that are revered by souls here: not to forget Tiramisu, literally means ‘Pick me up’ – when years back Prostitutes use to carry Tiramisu as a sign to ‘pick them up’ from those streets of Italy.
Mexican cuisine is another favourite here, let it be Chilli Con Carne (boiled kidney beans with minced tender lion cooked with Chipotle sauce), Burrito, Quesadillas, Nachos with Salsa or let it be Churros much loved with hot chocolate sauce. Mexican Chillies distinguish this Cuisine from others, Dried ancho, known as Pablano in it’s green avatar– this is King of Mexican Chillies, grown in Central Mexico , ancho has distinctively sweet taste with a tinge of coffee like bitterness to it– Jalapeno (most well-known and called Chipotle in it’s dried form) are some of the major chillies found here.
Chinese cuisine is the specialty, which is loved by many over here, they love Hakka noodles (as Chinese call ‘Hakka’ as ‘their guest’), Sichuan is another famous variety here which goes with both rice as well as noodles, Wontons come with end number of stuffing. Chinese were lactose-intolerant (not now, but centuries back they were, they couldn’t consume milk products, so you will not find any milk by-product in authentic Chinese cuisine, if you do then get cognisant that it is customized as per your needs, Chinese fled from motherland to overseas as it’s not easy to stay in the communist environment for long, the brainy ones revolted or bolted, so they took their cuisine with them, that gave popularity to Chinese food, but the tailor-made food it was, due to unavailability of raw-material or according to the taste of the local masses it was done in indigenous way and thus today somewhere we find sweet Chinese food like American Chopsey, at other places we find spicy Chinese food, so don’t wonder guys it is all in the history.
Indian cuisine is another classical cuisine coming from one of the oldest civilization, food here is diverse as the sub- continent itself is, all the famous Indian breads like the Naan, Tandoori Roti and tandoor(open-oven) done food like Chicken Tikka, Tandoori Chicken, Seekh Kebab are well-regarded here. Chicken Tikka Masala is England’s most popular Indian dish, Butter Chicken, Rogan Josh, Palak Paneer, Chaat all comes from Northern region, while Dosa (pancake), Sambhar (vegetable stew) comes from down-south, you get massive Gujarati food in the west like Dhokla, Undhiyu, Gujrati kadi and so on.
Now, Japanese cuisine is quite prevalent in today’s world, sushi/ sashimi, Miso soup are some of the famous foods in this cuisine. Their specialty is Hitachi and Tapenyaki concepts of cooking, these are the live grill cooking techniques used in this cuisine. People enjoy food from this kind of cooking which is unique in its own way.
Arab is another one of the oldest civilization, so is the Cuisine , over here you get Pita bread with Hummus, that is quite famous, Khubz (Arabic flat bread quite like the Pita that you will find throughout the region, wherever you go), Kefta (grilled dish of ground meat like lamb or beef), Arabic tea and coffee (Al Qahawa or the Arabic coffee is a ritual in itself. It is usually made with the addition of some cardamom, served in small cups without handles and always with dates. If you are eating in a restaurant, it is always served complimentary with the meal) even Shwarma is something that is loved by everyone around.
European Grills are wonderful in themselves, Char grilled octopus, Grilled scallops in olive and garlic, Beef steaks, Pork steaks, Lamb steaks, Grilled prawns are some of the famous ones, for vegetarians as well you have pineapple, that is grilled in open fire, grilled potatoes, mushrooms, tofu, cottage cheese are some of the finest grills available in the market.
If we talk about patisserie, French has already touched the Zenith, they are proud owners of world’s best bakery products and when it comes to desserts, then they are truly die for, let it be Crème Brule commonly known as Caramel Custard, Éclairs, Opera Cake, Tarte tatin, Chocolate mousse, Mango Bavarian, Lemon soufflé and many more which are truly marvelous.
But Food talk is incomplete until and unless Connoisseur meets the Sommelier, i.e., food-wine harmony, which wine goes with what food; like, with Fish fingers or other anti-pasti course basically white wine like Chardonnay & Chablis or light bodied red wine will go, but when talk about Beef steak that’s quite heavy, so we require strong red wine like Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon, again with Desserts we require sweet wine so that we can savor taste of both wine as well as food, so one can try Riesling (real sweet wine) that will really settle your palate.
So much food! Isn’t it? I can’t resist any more so creating an appropriate meal for myself, not French classical menu but of course I am starting with an antipasti course, i.e., Chicken tikka and Sushi with garlic, Soya sauce and Wasabi followed by a Soup course, Consommé soup with vegetable juliennes as it is building my appetite to go forward, I love fish so going for Ginger soy steamed fish accompanied with Chardonnay white wine, now I am placing shwarma in my plate wrapped with Pita bread. For main course Penne Pasta with Arabiata sauce, followed with some beef steaks, with Shiraz red wine, for desserts Caramel custard and Tiramisu, as I have sweet tooth, so eating a slice of Opera cake followed by a shot of Americano and as I can see here my platter looks fantastic, now it’s your turn guys, see how the World Food looks in your Plate and you can try whatever you feel like because Food is Gourmand’s Utopia. Wish you all “Bon Appetit”.