Culture Through Cooking

Culture Through Cooking

Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I do not belong in a kitchen. I’ve tried to cook, but to be honest I’ve had no real interest in it, that is, until recently. Just a week or two ago, I attempted an Indian dish, chicken vindaloo, and for the first time, it was not only a success, but I actually had a lot of fun in the process. It was like a sudden breakthrough.

After this epiphany, I’ve been thinking about cooking in an entirely different light. Maybe it didn’t always have to be boring. Could cooking be an adventure just like travel?

Maybe, all along, I was the problem. Maybe, cooking never interested me because I was never interested in what I was making. And, it wasn’t until I made a dish from India, a place whose culture I’ve been completely enthralled with, that I began to fall in love with cooking. Maybe, it was more than cooking I was falling in love with.

Perhaps part of understanding a culture better was through their food. I’ve eaten my way through plenty of countries, and learned a lot about each in the process. But maybe the experience of actually making the a country’s cuisine could be something entirely different. All of a sudden I interested to find out, which is how I started my quest to cook cuisines from different cultures.

Last night was my second attempt: Thai green curry. A meal that just a few months ago I was eating in Bangkok watching life go by. I never imagined myself making the dish, but after successfully making Indian, I decided to give it a try.

Every aspect of the process, from recipe hunting to food shopping to the different ingredients used, created a sensory experience for me like no other. Not only did I enjoy making the food, but it was also so interesting to discover how one of my favorite dishes was made.

Even though there were some bumps along the way, the end result was perfect. With a bowl full of rice and curry and a Singha beer in my hand, the flavors immediately transported me back to Thailand, Β and even though I was not traveling, life was just perfect too.

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Comments (11)

  1. mrbenblue

    Oh! I love travel and cooking through cultures is my mission. Welcome to the amazing world of understanding a culture through food as heritage. I love you and wish you peace, and joy!

    1. The World Wanderer

      It’s a wonderful mission! If you have any recipes to share with me, I would love to try them. πŸ™‚

  2. Where's Pablo

    You can’t beat the combination of a different culture, food and cold brews! If you ever find yourself in Colorado and for some reason want to cook some authentic Mexican dishes accompanied by the traditional corona and lime let me know. lol

    1. The World Wanderer

      This sounds amazing, Pablo! I feel a trip to Colorado coming in the near future. πŸ™‚

      1. Where's Pablo

        Let me know, we’ll make it happen :o)

  3. 10kate

    I love Thai green curry! I will want your recipe so I can try to make it too.

    1. The World Wanderer

      I will give it to you tomorrow at work…and tell you more of the story, haha!

  4. Jessica Festa

    learning about culture through cooking is definitely the way to go (especially with thai green curry!).

    1. The World Wanderer

      Best experience, especially when the food is so good! πŸ™‚

  5. Uncle Kevin

    So glad to hear you’ve been experimenting in the kitchen and enjoying it. As you noted, cooking (and eating!) is a great way to experience other cultures. I find that cooking is also a great way to relax. It’s almost impossible to cook and worry at the same time.

    1. The World Wanderer

      This is true! And, it’s always more fun when you find new recipes to try, and when you find someone fun to cook with. I don’t know if I’ll ever love it like Mom does, but as long as I can feed myself, I think I’ll be fine. πŸ™‚

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