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OK guys….I’m back from dinner to continue our discussion on how to explore different cultures at your dinner table! In case you missed it, you can read Part 1 of our discussion here. Just so you know, you may want to have some snacks nearby for these posts. You can’t say I didn’t warn you….
Without further adieu, let’s continue….
6-) New Zealand: BBQ
I mentioned in Part 1 of 10 Ways To Explore Different Cultures At Your Dinner Table that my hubby has three citizenships. In case you were wondering, one of them is Kiwi-ship (I may have just made up that word) aka New Zealand citizenship. I never had the opportunity to go to there (yet), so of course when I came up with the idea for these posts I asked him about the traditions over there. His first suggestion was to go out and get your own little clam thingies called “pipis.”
Eh hem, side note…apparently these guys are pronounced peh-pees, NOT pee-pees. Yea, I may have embarrassed myself a smidge with this mistake myself….
You go digging for these little guys by walking ~6 inches into the ocean and then doing the twist (no joke). You start to dig and eventually you will feel the shells of these little clam thingies. Then you just pick them up and add them to your net for dinner.
But chances are, many of you reading this don’t have access to pipis or even the ocean. So what’s a dinner explorer to do?
Barbeque! Kiwis love their barbeque…and we in the Northern hemisphere can relate (note: If you are lucky enough to get your own pipis, they can be grilled on the barbie along with the rest of your food). So if you feel the desire for a cultural dinner experience that’s not too exotic, start up the grill and make some hamburgers. Add a fried egg on top of your burger and it’s magically a New Zealand burger. For added effect hang out in your bare feet…apparently that’s a thing over there.
7-) Morocco: Tagine
Moroccan tagine is named after the clay pot (called a “tagine” or “tajine”) that the food is cooked in. Tagine food cooks low and slow, just like a slow cooker meal! Moroccan dishes use a lot of spices, including cinnamon, cumin, and ginger. Unlike in many other cuisines, you’ll often find fruits like raisins or figs in their main dishes.
Don’t worry about buying a tagine to bring the tastes of Morocco home…there are plenty of recipes out there that use a slow cooker or a good old fashioned stove pot. If you can spare the time, spicy dishes/cuisines like this are always better if allowed to cook long periods of time. If not, enjoy the meal at dinner tonight and enjoy it even more tomorrow!
8- ) England: Meat pies and Tea time
I know, I know, the British aren’t particularly well known for their exciting cuisine. But given that The Hubby grew up in England, I felt obligated to give it a shout out. And unlike most people, The Hubby swears by English food.
At home I like to tease him because, in my humble opinion, pretty much all English food contains some sort of meat wrapped in (or next to) a pastry (sans fish and chips): meat pasties, sausage rolls, Yorkshire puddings, and steak and kidney pie….the list goes on.
The take home? If you want an English meal, grab some meat and wrap it in a pastry… and add gravy if you’re really feeling ambitious.
On the other hand, the English take their tea time VERY seriously. Despite feeling jet lagged when my brothers-in-law come to visit, their biological clock still works perfectly for tea time. It’s a great break in the day to have a wonderful cup of tea, potentially a pathetic petite cucumber sandwich, and chat about the weather.
9-) Greece: Invite friends
Anyone who has seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding knows this: part of the Greek food culture is about getting everyone together and having a good time. Of course, you should definitely expect some lamb, especially if you’re a vegetarian…..
So gather some friends and oregano (and maybe some feta cheese, olives, dates…) and have fun!
10-) Argentina: Steak and Wine
One of my Spanish professors in college was from Argentina. She SWORE that the best steak comes from Argentina, which can only be made better by an accompanying glass of red wine. So my advice for you here is two words:
Close enough, right? Go ahead and splurge on a beef tenderloin for a special occasion… Just remember to raise your glasses to Argentina (the kiddos can have sparkling grape juice). And if you want to remember you good ol’ friend at this blog, may I recommend a Horseradish Crusted Beef Tenderloin recipe? This recipe has a special place in our home, as Ted made this for me the night he proposed!
So what are you waiting for? Start cooking! Salud!