Monday, May 26, 2008

International Flavors

A few months ago Cooking Light published an International Soup Pantry where they listed ingredients that define the tastes of different nations. Below are the key ingredients they featured. I was proud to see Cuban on the list of countries with distinct flavors

France: Mirepoix (onion, carrrot and celery), leeks, mushrooms, wine, broth, beans, seafood, duck, and cuts of pork

Russia / Ukraine: Beets, potatoes, cabbage, mushrooms, sour salt or vinegar, highly seasoned meats like sausage and sour cream

Cuba: Black beans, sofrito (onion, green bell pepper, garlic and often ham or pork), oregano, cumin, olive oil, garlic, plus starches like plantains, or a root, such as yucca

Ecuador: Potatoes, corn, beans, cilantro, chile peppers and lemon (more affluent cookds may add lard, chicken, meat or seafood)

Greece: Salty and acidic flavors, such as fresh lemon juice or vinegar, feta cheese, olives, olive oil, garlic, oregano, mint and lentils

Japan: Ginger, miso, green onions, shiso, tofu, mushrooms, mirin or rice wine, soy sauce and noodles. (most Japanese soups are based on dashi)

China: Ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, eggs, rice wine, muschrooms, nodles, meat broths, cornstarch, star anise, and five spice powder

Thailand: lemongrass, galangal, ginger, shallots, garlic, hot peppers, kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk, tamarind, fish sauce, basil, jasmine rice, noodles, shrimp and chicken

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