Friday, August 13, 2010

Parents, Food and Flavors

When I was young, I was lucky that my dad and mom introduced me to many different cultures. They enjoy good food and as kids always had my sister and I try everything they ate. I will admit that when you're seven, chocolate butter on toasted bread is a lot more appealing then raw herring with onions for breakfast. But...at least I tried. When my son recently tried some monk fish liver, I was happy to realize that I'm carrying on the tradition. Even though he didn't care for it, he had a second morsel to make sure.
So, I was a Dutch kid, my grandma was French and I lived in Italy. My wonderful parents were/are also cursed with a "wanderlust" that had us travel quite a bit. I was fortunate to travel all over Europe, Africa and the Middle East. During those formative years, my parents really immersed me in the "flavors" of those different cultures. From food, to music and the languages. One of my favorite memories of those times, was my dad waking me up late at night or early morning on vacation, and venturing out to the local market. He loved trying to talk to the vendors (eventhough he only knew a few words in some those languages) and buying and sampling their food. I'm convinced that my love for people was cultivated on those late nights and early mornings. What I've been hit with lately, is that all those different wonderful "food flavors" I was exposed to, really formed my palate also. My parents taught me to have no fear trying to communicate with people, even if you suck at speaking their language. Even though they never spoke of these things and showed by example, it was their way of being spiritual. To connect with people from all cultures and all walks of life. My dad could talk to everyone and my mom could connect with anyone......they make quite the team.

Lately when I've been cooking, I'm using ingredients and flavors from all over the world and combining them to make some pretty tasty fare. Here's an example of cultures coming together. Chicken with a miso, tahini and garlic glaze. 

In Japanese cuisine, sesame seeds are used in abundance, but tahini is not part of that mix. Tahini is the way the Middle East incorporates sesame seed in their cooking. Europe and the Middle East love their garlic, yet the Japanese traditionally use no garlic. Guess what? Miso's amazing flavor pairs well with a bit of garlic, add the tahini and you got a flavor explosion. I used a similar concoction for the salad dressing.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm moving Feel Good Eating to wordpress and to celebrate, I will put a few very very unique recipes (never posted before and including the miso, tahini and gralic chicken) together in a free e-book.

Wishing everyone a wonderful and relaxing weekend. Be nice and maybe try making a dish with ingredients  you've never attempted to combine before.

5 comments:

Glenn said...

Nice post. I look forward to the recipes!

Judith said...

What wonderful parents you have! You've been blessed. I'm looking forward to the recipes too!

sarena said...

Yes you definitely have been blessed. My kids too appreciate many different foods and styles!
Kinda funny, I made a miso, tehina, garlic salad dressing the other day too. I love that combo!

Marc said...

Glenn,

Thank you. I tried to look at your face book pic of the ankimo but couldn't get there.

Judith,
Thank you. I'm very luck indeed with the parents I have.
Have a great week.

Sarena,
An awesome combo isnt't it?
Long time no hear ;-)
Hope you're doing great!

Marc

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