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FOOD AND CULTURE

It was the first time I tried Mexican food in my life while I have been learning about Mexican culture through out how to make a Mexican food when I and my friends went to a Mexican restaurant in Minneapolis yesterday. That was great lesson.

There is a large difference between foods of different cultures. If you like fatty, meaty, and cheesy foods then American is the way to go. If you like wraps and octopus then Mediterranean food may suit you best. I like Mexican and Italian food. I can’t quite pick one of the two because both are so delicious. It gets kind of tough when my friends as where I want to go for dinner. It’s almost like choosing between Pepsi and Coke, or Vanilla and chocolate. I consider myself weak in that area, but today I am going to change that. I will decide weather I like Mexican or Italian food better.

Let’s start with Mexican food because it seems similarity with Vietnamese food. I love rice. I love it so much that I will eat it any way it is cooked. It can be fried, it can be seasoned, it can be lime rice, tossed with veggies, or it can be just plain with a hint of butter. It’s a good thing I like rice because it is served with almost every meal in the Mexican food group. They put it on the side or in the dish itself. Any way it is served almost guarantees delicious. Italian has its own main dish and it is very different from rice, but somehow the same.

Although rice is a carbohydrate and so are noodles they each have their own characteristics. Rice is small and chewing is necessary, white noodles do not have to be chewed and can be swallowed whole. They are squishy when cooked and hard when dry. To cook noodles you must boil water and then let them absorb. Noodles can be added to many if not all Italian dishes. My favorite dish with noodles would have to be Mostacholli. The type of noodles varies from dish to dish. For example, Penne noodles would not be used in spaghetti, angle hair noodles would. The consistency of the noodle is not the only thing that excites me.

You are eating at an Italian or Mexican restaurant and you order your meal. If the waiter brought out only the noodles or rice how disappointed would you be? That is very reason why the sauce is so important. It makes the noodles “slurp able?, and it gives a flavor to the entire meal too. In the Italian culture, most of the time the base is tomato and it is mixed with meat or vegetables. Meanwhile, Italian sauce can be very chunky, but it allows for the noodles to move with ease. Italian sauce does have its disadvantages like spilling or splashing so it must be handled with care.

In Mexican culture, sauces are flavored with spices, but they have a bit more punch to them. The main spices in Mexican cooking would have to be chili powder, onion, and oregano. These spices are mostly used to spike the meat, but are definitely present in the sauce. Mixing them all together would bring your taste buds to the floor and make them want to dance.