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Old 07-16-2010, 07:40 PM   #11
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I'm not exactly sure where my cooking is centered, but my main sphere is Pacific Rim/Oceana/Asia.
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:10 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by urmaniac13 View Post
I also love and enjoy trying many variety of food from various cuisines, and it is impossible to pinpoint to one category. Living in Italy for 7,5 years I can easily say that "Italian cuisine" is a very vague and loose terminology, as each regional specialty, from Sicilia, Emilia Romagna to the alpine Val d'Aosta and anything in between have their highly distinguished flavours, touches and colours, and each of them carry their own charm and beauty.
Well said. I couldn't pinpoint an ethnic cuisine either because you can take what urmaniac13 said about Italian and apply it to any "ethnic" cuisine.

For example, dh is from Istanbul. I don't cook a lot of "Turkish" food at home... I cook a lot of "Mediterranean-Urban-European-Turkish" food. What they cook in Istanbul is VASTLY different from, for example, land-locked peasant areas of Turkey. I'm reminded of the "There's an app for that" commercials and in Turkey, for every area... "there's a kebap for that". It's just so different even within a single country. And even regions of the country. Heck, different families do it different ways.

So I can't even say I cook a lot of Turkish food.

Plus I do love so many different ethnic foods from all over the world, as does dh, that I couldn't concentrate on one because it would mean excluding others. Plus, really, reproductions outside of the country are just stereotypes of what "everyone" in that country eats. In Germany, if you add corn to something, they call it "Mexican whatever". In the US, if you add feta it's suddenly "Greek". Still, it makes it convenient to have people understand what a reasonable expectation can be in their food. You're not going to go into an Italian restaurant and expect that you can order Iskender Kebap and Iç pilaf.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:35 PM   #13
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My ethnic center is Mediterranean as best described in my post in another thread regarding a cookbook I just purchased. Here is the link to that post:

Click on: Writing a unique ethnic recipes book - feedback needed

Here's a little excerpt from that which was taken from the back of my cookbook:
"The Mediterranean diet has become widely recognized in recent years for it's many health benefits". It's a simple, colorful, and delicious cuisine, consisting mainly of a stunning range of nutrition-packed fruits and vegetables, with fresh seafood and a little meat and cheese. Plenty of olive oil, with it's heart-protective properties, completes the picture of a way of eating that promotes an enviably long and healthy life..."

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Old 07-21-2010, 04:49 PM   #14
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I've been reading this thread since it started and have ben trying to come up with a response.

I used to have ethnic centers. I went through different periods. There was the Italian period, the Chinese period, the comfort food period, etc.

I don't think I have an ethnic center now. This week alone, I am cooking Indian, Chinese, Italian, seafood and BBQ.

I also do other Asian dishes, Mediterranean foods, Near Eastern dishes (my ancestry is Armenian) and the foods of North and South America and the Islands in between.

I don't want to give you the wrong impression. It's a different dish here and there, a family recipe, a neighbor's recipe, etc.

I also have a very long list of recipes I have been wanting to make. No ethnic centers there either. Sorry.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:55 PM   #15
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Being from Ukraine, it is my mane center. But I love Chineese food and my DW loves Mexican, so I cook that too, some times Italian, and whatever recipe I might come across that I like.
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Old 07-29-2010, 02:52 PM   #16
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I dont have an etnic centre to my cooking. I try things from all over the world.

What got me interested in cooking in the first place was my love of travel. Cooking allows me to taste the whole world, from home, and brings back great memories of the times when I was eating this item in an exotic country.

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Old 07-29-2010, 05:21 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by serbian cookbook View Post
As for the lamb meat, which is there much mention, you can always substitute lamb meat with pork. Pork is used in Serbia many more than lamb, it is only a matter of who is more like the thing to taste. Many dishes are equally tasty and with one and another kind of meat. If you replace the lamb with pork, you will not go wrong, especially when it comes to ground meat.
I grew up on lamb and love it. I don't like pork so this substitution would never work for me. Funny, I always thought lamb was more like beef than pork when I was growing up. I would probably substitute chicken just because I like the taste better, not because it would work better with the recipe. Substituting pork sounds like the best idea (if you like pork).

Now back to the OP's question. Prior to husband and kids, most of my cooking involved either hot chilis or pasta (and often both). My favorite cuisine to eat is Thai but it is rather wearisome to prepare from scratch. Now that I have a husband and two young children my ethnic center is very much American and comes out of a box called hamburger helper - seriously, that is what my husband prefers. I am trying to expose my children to far more than my husband was ever exposed to and have managed to succeed to some extent. They both love hummus (DH had never heard of it) and they will even eat Vegemite. I made a pavlova last TG which his family thought was a bit odd! Can you believe that my DH told me he doesn't like me cooking from scratch because I make too big a mess? He'd rather I just open up a box of something and zap it in the microwave So there you have it. My ethnic center is the good old US of A.
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Old 07-29-2010, 06:43 PM   #18
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The area I grew up in, upper Peninsula Michigan, is meat and potatoes country, with root veggies and fresh garden ingredients thrown in. Add to that wild game such as venison, grouse, and rabbit, then throw in brrok trout and perch, and pretty much you have a French-provincial type of cooking, with Yooper ingredients. Except when cooking the wild fish, or wild game, there were a lot of pot roasts, stews, chili, soups, spaghetti, and such. But we were also treated to breaded, crab stuffed shrimp, and baked beans, yeasty- fresh baked bread, roasted turkey with bread dressing, fruit pies of all sorts, baked beans, etc. I grew up and joined the Navy where I was introduced to pasta sauce with basil and oregano (my step-father didn't like either of those herbs). I had my first thick crust pizza in San Diego and thought I'd died and gone to Heaven. And the Mexican food was to die for. Then a couple of cruised around the Pacific introduced me to Hawaii, China, Japan, the Philippines, Korea, and Australia, each with amazing food. I had to learn to make all of it, even the squid with rice in ink sauce. I love it all. Plus, we had regional specialties from the U.P. like pasties, and Cudighi sausage. My culinary center is taste. From D.C. and much reading, I learned how to make some European fare, as well as a bit of Indian food (dahl comes to mind). Various lentil dishes, pilafs, Paella, perfected my french fry technique, and my breads, etc. Pie crust and pastries in general are favorites around my house, at least with my wife. From the my Native American heritage, I use winter squash, beans, corn, and hominy, as well as Masa Harina in many different ways. How many of you have had real corn soup, made with hominy, pork, onions, and various native plants that grow around here like leaks.

My ethnic centers are flavor, texture, and variety. I do have to admit though, the light clam broth, and smorgasbord of meats, tropical fruits, and veggies served up at the Pagsanjan resort in the Philippines. And everywhere you went, there were street vendors selling some kind of delicious stir-fry from a sizzling wok, heated by a powerful blow torch. It took mere minutes before you were munching something yummy and savory. Oh, and don't forget monkey meat on a stick, though I think it was probably either chicken or pork. There were a lot of monkeys around though. Hmmmmm.

Then again, there's nothing better than a set of pork ribs from the grill, or pulled pork, or a good bone-on rib eye steak, grass fed.

Ahh I don't have a chance at this. I love too many good things. I've got my "fresh tomato from my garden" jones going right now. And I'm not over my wild blueberry addiction quite yet either.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

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