A Taste of Culture

July 6, 2024

Cassandra Di Lalla (she/her/hers), Low Entropy Volunteer Writer

I love food. I like discovering new recipes, exploring international cuisine and enjoying diverse dishes. I’m eating chicken with tzatziki sauce as I write this, and maybe later on I’ll end up eating a Thai inspired dish, who knows . . . but I digress . . .

There are so many beautiful things about food in general. Food is known and enjoyed worldwide. The different colours and the vibrancy of fresh fruits and vegetables. The aromas of the different herbs and spices. The satisfaction and fullness that food gives us. The joy that it brings us. The versatility overall. 

The thing about food is that there are endless possibilities regardless of the type of dish you’re trying to prepare. One thing that all cultures have in common is the fact that we’re all using a mix of ingredients or an infusion of sorts, such as spices and herbs, citrus fruits, nuts and so on, in order to achieve a specific flavour profile. Whether that be garlic and onion, cinnamon and clove, lemon and lime, etc . . . Of course, some recipes call for a laundry list of ingredients, whereas other recipes are super simple, with a very short list of ingredients. That doesn’t mean that you need to follow the recipe to a T, however. Some people prefer to eyeball it or just go in with whatever they have in the pantry and hope for the best. If you already have the foundation/base of the dish ready to go, then anything else that you add from that point onwards is your creation, since you’ve put a bit of a twist on a traditional dish.

I mean, I guess there’s really no “standard” when it comes to meal prepping or cooking; however, in some cultures, tradition is very important and it is sacred. Food as a whole in some cultures is truly believed to be the best medicine, so maybe there’s a reason why some cultures have diligently followed what their ancestors did through the years. Or maybe in some cultures, food is a consistent way of bringing families together. 

Do you know what else I really appreciate about multicultural food and international dishes? It’s the fact that you’re not only discovering and eating a new kind of cuisine, but you’re learning about someone’s culture and tradition by sampling their dishes. Maybe you’re even learning about their beliefs, like why and how certain ingredients are used, the health benefits, etc . . .

I also noticed that when the topic of conversation is food-related, people get excited . . . it’s like they immerse themselves wholeheartedly in the experience, which is awesome! I’m the same way, eating food and learning about the food at the same time is “chef’s kiss” as they call it. Why? Because if I’m learning about something new, it’s exciting for my brain to know about all of this, retain the information, then retrieve it all at some point when the topic comes up again. It’s great and it’s so fascinating, and at the same time, you can see the happiness on the person’s face when they’re telling you all about their culture. It’s amazing to see their pride and joy, and it’s even more refreshing to see how humble they are when talking about it.

There’s a sense of togetherness that food brings, whether it’s at a special event or a day-to-day meal.  Honestly, food is always a guest of honour, no matter where you go or where you end up. We should be thankful and grateful that the world offers such an array of delicacies. Remember, we each have different taste buds, so having a variety of foods to choose from is perfect for both the picky and not-so-picky eaters.

I’ll finish this off by saying that food in different cultures are comparable to a thumbprint—they’re all unique, and not one single cuisine is the same as the other. We may use some of the same ingredients or perhaps the same cooking methods, but at the end of the day, we all put a pinch of shimmer and shine in our dishes to bring out even more flavour and fun!

Cassandra Di Lalla lives life purposefully. She enjoys reading, writing and mental health initiatives. She’s an animal lover for life and an innovative individual always finding new ways to create.

2 thoughts on “A Taste of Culture

  1. I loved this! Did you read my family food manual, with stories and recipes? I gave a copy to your mom. I am happy to see that you are continuing on my food journey. Tasty and fascinating!

  2. I loved this! Did you read my family food manual, with stories and recipes? I gave a copy to your mom. I am happy to see that you are continuing on my food journey. The next generation.Tasty and fascinating!

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