Food for Thought: Favorite, Strangest, and Most Exotic
For our class on Food and Culture in the Wandering Educators Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program, we were asked to think of our favorite foods - and more.
I’m not great at picking favorites, but I would have to say my favorite food is ricotta salata. Ricotta salata is a pasta dish. Orchiette (“little ear”) pasta mixed with sautéed fresh arugula and bright cherry tomatoes and generously sprinkled with delicious crumbles of ricotta salata cheese. To me, this food is both exciting and comforting. It tastes delicious and fresh, but it is my kind of comfort food. It reminds me of home, family, and summer.
photo courtesy of Flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/grongar/5033606174/
The strangest thing I have ever eaten is fried squid. I have to admit, it was an accidental occurrence. I’m actually pretty squeamish when it comes to seafood and strange meats. At a cousin’s party I consumed a few crunchy pieces before noticing the yummy fried things I was eating looked suspiciously like tentacles. That was the end of that.
photo courtesy of Flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/klearchos/4824632582
But I do like experimenting with exotic fruits. Almost every time I go to the grocery store or a food market I scan the produce section in search of something new. From golden watermelon to figs to dragon fruit there are a lot of delicious and lesser known foods that are interesting to try.
photo courtesy of Flickr creative commons: www.flickr.com/photos/hulagway/3969844371/
A food important to my family’s culture is pasta alici. My Dad’s family comes from a fishing town in Italy. When the family came to America, they began hosting their own Vigilia, a Christmas Eve celebration. The whole family would crowd together over a five course feast. In my generation, after the death of my great-grandfather, Nono Tom, the celebration has become much smaller. But we still gather with one set of cousins and some grandparents every Christmas Eve. One of the dishes that still served annually is pasta alici. It is a simple spaghetti with an anchovy sauce. While not my favorite, it wouldn’t quite be Christmas without it.
photo courtesy of Flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/70253321@N00/2853550475/
Kathryn Blanco is the Disney Editor for Wandering Educators, and is a student in the Wandering Educators Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program.
All photos courtesy and copyright Kathryn Blanco.