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flag of Sweden

What? Eat in the Car?

 

 

When we got close to Stockholm, my family was talking so excited about the drive-thru McDonald’s.  It was a big deal to them and not a common part of their culture.  We pulled up and ordered at the window.  Then Papa pulled into a parking spot and we walked in and got the food and then ate at the table!  I tried to explain the point of drive-thru was to eat in the car. 

What?!  Eat in the car?!

The thought of eating in the car was so unbelievably gross and unnecessary.  If you’re going to eat, then you stop and you sit at a table and who cares if you’re in a rush and have to get somewhere.  I remember being like, wow, okay, I guess you’re right, it is kind of stupid.  Why would you want to pick up your food and eat it in the car when you could stop and sit and talk and socialize a bit and enjoy.  But for us it’s just normal.

 

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Germany flag

Do you really eat puppies for dinner?

 

Barbara Pape Kilkka with YFU host father

Barbara with her German host father

 

On the Fourth of July, I promised to make a secret American meal and holed up in the kitchen all afternoon. Little brother Schorsi kept pestering me about what I was making, and I finally told him, asking for a promise not to tell.

He looked at me horrified when I told him what we were going to have and asked if we really ate that in America. I assured him we did, all the time. When I brought out the fried chicken for dinner, he laughed in relief.

“Oh, haenchen, not hundchen.” (Chicken, not puppies.)

Just a typical and memorable pronunciation error for an exchange student!

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Flag of Japan

This place is different, and therefore, so cool!

 

 

From the jet lag and with the time difference, I was wide awake very early in the morning.  Couldn’t wait to get out and explore my new world.  The house, the neighborhood, and what was around the corner, on the horizon?

I was excited as my surroundings were completely different to what I had known until then.  One of the things that left an impression initially was the difference in the size and design of the homes, the look and feel of the town, and the shopping experience.  Especially supermarkets.

Japan has some very bizarre things that would seem weird by American standards.  A friend and I nicknamed them “bugs and tentacles”.  There are literally octopus parts packaged in those flimsy white Styrofoam plates in clear plastic wrap like we have with hamburger and steaks.  And whole fish packaged the same.

 

 

Who in their right mind would buy a salmon as it looks when a bear drags it out of the river, guts, eyes, and head intact?

(Note: now when I visit the States, though, I am appalled by all the disgusting crap that Americans eat, all that processed and junk food.  YUCK.  No wonder obesity is a serious issue.)

My first impression?  Wow!  This is place is different, and therefore, so cool!

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Australia_flag

That vegemite stuff is like axle grease

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I don’t look back and think “Oh my gosh, Australia had great food.”  The only thing that really stands out is I hated that vegemite stuff.  I tried to like it, just because I knew it was such an important part of the culture, but I really think you kind of had to be raised on that to like it.  I actually brought a little jar home just because I had to share it with everybody so they can see what it was I described as axle grease.  That’s what it looked like to me.  It’s very good for you, but I didn’t like it very much.  They even mix it in water in baby bottles for the baby.  That’s what I mean you have to be raised on it to really like it.

Flag of Peru

Chilean journalist admits that Peru’s pisco sour is better!

Peruvian Pisco sour

It’s not like most people didn’t know this already, but… If this doesn’t make front page headlines around the world (or just in Peru) I would be surprised!  🙂 http://www.livinginperu.com/news/10556 “The quebranta, which is the base of the most traditional Peruvian piscos, seems to not exist in our country.” Tapia explains that in Chile is a common practice to mix stocks, in Peru it’s done in a specific way. The acholado pisco always uses aromatic grapes with stocks with more body. Peruvian pisco isn’t brought up in kegs, as the Chilean one, but in steel or plastic crock or in the traditional chalk jar to not to distort the expression of the stock. And one more detail: the year of vintage is indicated at our pisco bottles. Another important difference is that in Peru water is not needed to lower the level of alcohol. “Peruvians feel it as a sacrilege because it distorts the character of the distillation, so they choose the portion suitable to the gradation of their pisco.” Finally Tapia says Peruvian pisco is more rich and diverse, due to the number of national farmers who try to give a high quality pisco.

Peruvian Pisco Sour recipe

Have you had a Pisco Sour lately?

I found this great recipe for my favorite drink ever – the Pisco Sour (using Peruvian pisco, of course!).  It was tweeted by #Karikuy and the original website is: http://www.artperucuisine.com/docs/r_ps.html.

Pisco is a clear distilled grape brandy made from the quebranta grape grown in the Ica valley, and around the Pisco and Ica rivers. Located three hundred kilometers to the south of Lima, the favorable soil and mild climate of the Ica valley made an ideal home for the wineries which were established by Peru’s Spanish and Italian immigrant families.

This is a special recipe which is really quite standard. The only difference is that commercially bottled jarabe de goma (sugar syrup) is more commonly used.

Ingredients:

To make the sugar syrup:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp water

For the drink:

  • 7 ½ oz (225 ml) Pisco
  • 2 ½ oz (75 ml) key lime juice
  • 1 egg white
  • Ice

To prepare the sugar syrup:

Put ½ cup of sugar in a small saucepan with 3 tablespoons of water, just enough to moisten the sugar. Bring the mixture to a slow boil and while stirring, cook until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

To make the sour:

Pour the key lime juice and the Pisco into the warm sugar syrup and stir thoroughly to blend the ingredients completely. Pour the mix into a blender jar and add just enough ice to double the volume of liquid in the glass. Blend on high for an additional 30 seconds to crush the ice. Add one egg white and blend on high for one minute. Transfer to a pitcher and serve immediately in either old-fashioned or white wine glasses. Traditionally, a drop of Angostura Bitters is placed in the middle of the foam in each glass.

The essential mix is three parts Pisco to one part key lime juice and one part sugar syrup: you can use this proportion to increase the recipe to produce any number of drinks.

Tip: A fourth measure of pisco may be added for a stronger drink. If you like, the “edge” can be taken off this stronger version by adding a touch more sugar syrup.

Steve’s Additional Tip:  Now drink up!  Savor the taste – it’s magnificent.  It’s a much better way to drink Pisco than by doing straight shots.  My host father, Pepe, used to say to me after dinner: “Estiv!  Pisquito?”  Then the whole family would take a shot together.  Ahh, the memories…