European Culture And Cuisine Cultural Studies Essay

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Europe is the six largest continent of the world with an area of 1,040,000 km2. There are 27 countries in the Europe that makes The European Union. The approximate population of the Europe is 501.1 million. The countries with maximum population are France, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Cyprus. According to the latest data, the European population increased to 1.4 million from January 2009 to January 2010 (www.iguide.travel)

CLIMATE

There are different types of climatic conditions in Europe. The climatic condition of any country depends upon its geographical condition. Due to its varied geographical condition Europe enjoys different types of climate. Most of Europe has mild climate with cool summers and cold winters. If we talk about the rainfall it has an average annual rainfall of 20 to 60 inches (www.euroword.com) .

HISTORY

There is a vast history of the European cuisine, this cuisine has adopted its food from different types of cuisine of the world. Hence, we can say that this continent has multi-cuisine culture. Traditionally, the chefs followed only one particular style of cooking but now the cooking has been changed and the chefs are following new techniques and methods of cooking, which retains all the flavours and texture of the food. The adaptation of various methods of cooking in which the food is grilled, roasted, and spiced; use of olive oil and fresh herbs is an important characteristic of modern European cuisine (www.viewlondon.co.uk). There are many dishes and sauces used in this cuisine are said to be very old which are given below:

Mustard developed by Romans.

Bachemel sauce. This sauce is also known as white sauce and is made from milk, butter, and roux was invented in 1651 by the French chefs.

Mayonnaise. It is a cold sauce and is made from egg yolk and was first made in France in 1756.

Worcestershire Sauce. It was invented in 1835.

Lasagna. It was invented in England in the 14th century.

Chicken Kiev. It was invented in France in the mid of 18th century.

Pizza. It was invented in Napeles region of Italy in 1890.

Desserts like waffles were first time made in France in 13th century.

Pastry invented Italy in 1540.

Ice cream invented in France in 1889.

(www.eupedia.com)

The classical dishes of modern Europe are bread and butter pudding in which peanettone, roast potato, and gravadlax is used. Chicken liver mousse which is made from wild mushroom and red onion jam are very common (www.viewlondon.cu.uk).

I would like to discuss about the cuisines of two countries of Europe Italian cuisine and Fren

ITALY

Italy is located in the southern Europe and is a mediterranean country. It is surrounded by Adriatic sean and Mediterranean sea. The population of Italy is approximately 58 million. The climate of Italy is hot in summers, drought in winters, and rain in mid latitude. Italian cuisine is the most famous cuisine of the world, some of the important Italian recipes are pasta, pizza, seafood, poultry, meat, and vegetable dishes.

There are 20 regions in Italy, dishes made in these regions are same but varies in style of cooking. Every region has its speciality. The local cooking of Italy depends upon its climate and geographical condition. Some regions of Italy are landlocked, some regions are coastal, some regions have greek influence, and some regions lies in the Mediterranean belt. Italy is a very small country and it has a very rich culinary history. The influence of the roman rule declined in Italy from 476 to 1861 and it became a single kingdom

THE FOOD

Italian food is world famous. The cooking methods have a regional significance. Tomato is the most important ingredient of the Italian cuisine, use of olive oil is common in this cuisine. Cured meat like beef, pork, marinated vegetables, marinated peppers, different type of cheeses, anchovies, and bruschetta. The use of the fresh ingredients is the significance of Italian cuisine (international cuisine 1962).

REGIONS OF ITALY

There are eight regions in northern Italy.

Emilia - Romagna

Fruili - venezia guilia

Liguria.

Lombardy.

Piiedmond.

Trentino - South tryol.

Asonta valley.

Veneto.

CENTRAL ITALY

Abruzzo.

Latium.

Marches.

Molise.

Tuscany.

Umbria.

SOUTHERN ITALY

Basilicata.

Campania.

Calabria.

Apulia.

Sicily.

Sardinia.

NORTHERN REGION

It comprises of eight regions and has a high standard of living. The diet of the northern people is very rich. Grain, corn, fruit, rice, and cattle rearing is very famous in this region. It has a diverse variety of regional cooking. Dishes like genea's trenette noodles and pesto milan's, risotto, braised veal shank, soft shell crab, venic's black rice, and white truffles are significant dishes of this region. The meat include game, veal, and lamb. Wild mushrooms are very common in this region. Balsamic vinegar originated from Emilia - Romagna. Pasta is not much famous in the northern regions but special type of pasta stuffed with spinach, pumpkin, and ham are used. Emilia - Romagna is also known as the food basket of Italy. Tortellini and cappelletti are famous pasta of this region. The cuisine of northern Italy includes butter or lard, rice, corn. Polenta is made from rice or corn is a common dish of this region. Some of the meat dishes like bollito misto, pork, beef, and cured meat like parmaham, beef, and bresaola are significant food. This region also produces cheeses like granapadano and parmigiano reggiano and are also known as parmesan cheese. This region produces one third of the Italian wine (www.italianmade.com).

CENTRAL REGION

This region comprises of six regions. Due to more hot and long summers tomato based dishes are very common in this area. Many red sauces are made from tomato, which are consumed with pasta. Roasted meat like beef, lamb, pork, and poultry are consumed in large amount. Some part of central Italy is also famous for its braised meat and stews. Cultivation of crops like faro and saffron is popular. The cuisine of this region is very simple and light and served with light sauces. Chestnut is most important staple crop, which is eaten roasted or boiled and sometimes the chestnuts are dried to make polenta, breads, soups, and various types of cakes and pastries. But if we talk about the modern cuisine, the most of the pastas and breads are made from wheat. This region is also famous for its dried pasta. Latium is famous for spaghetti and bucatini. Some pastas are egg based like fettuccine, which is consumed in large amount. Vegetables like artichokes and peas are produced in Rome while Tuscany is famous for white beans and black cabbage. Abruzzi, umbria, and marches produces lentils, chickpeas, and potatoes. Preservation method is famous in this region. Preserved anchovies, sardines, and tuna which are used in various dishes and salads originated from central Italy (www.italianmade.com).

SOUTHERN REGION

The diet of the people in this region mainly includes bread, green vegetables, and pasta. The southern region is hot and is favourable for vegetables like tomato, egg plant, broccoli, and cauliflower. Pizza which is a famous dish of Italy originated from Naples. Famous cheeses of this region are pecorino, ricotta, mozzarella, and caciocavallo. Famous pastas like fusilli and penne are consumed in large amount. Meats of smaller animals suckling pigs, goats, and game is used in the dishes of southern Italy (www.italianmade.com, www.ehow.com).

TYPES OF COOKING

Aldente

Aldente refers to desired texture of cooked pasta in Italian cooking. It literally means "to the tooth." When the pasta is cooked aldente, there should be a slight resistance in the centre when the pasta is chewed (busycooks.about, 2010).

Steufare

In this method the food is kept in a pan and covered with cooking liquid and kept on slow fire for cooking.

Brasare

This method is used to cook the large cuts of meat, poultry, or vegetable. This method is almost same as steufare. The food is dipped in flavoured liquid and cooked in slow fire. Mirepoux is used to increase the flavour of the liquid in which the food is being cooked.

Catoccio

This is the method of covering the food with silver foil by applying oil or butter. The food is baked or roasted in the oven. The reason to use silver foil is to retain the colour and texture of the food.

TYPES OF CHEESE

There are many varieties of cheese found in Italy. This country is world famous for its cheeses. Some of the important cheeses are given below.

Belpaese. This cheese has its origin from Lombardi region of Italy. It is made from cow's milk and is soft and creamy. It just looks like mozzarella cheese.

Parmesan cheese. This is the most important cheese of Italy and is named after a town of parma in northern Italy. It is made from cow's milk and aged for two to three years. Because of long aging this cheese is salty, sharp, and full of flavour. Parmesan cheese is one of the world's most famous and widely used.

Granapanado. This is an unpasteurized hard cheese. This cheese is similar to parmesan. It is made from the cow's milk and has a pale yellow colour.

Fontina val di Aosta. This cheese is considered to be the oldest cheese of Italy. This is a semi-hard cheese and similar to gruyere. Many of the cheese sauces are made from fontina. It is also used in pasta fillings and scattered over meal to give a nice brown colour. This cheese is smooth and slightly elastic.

Asiago. This cheese is made from the cow's milk. It is a semi-cooked cheese with cheddary and nutty flavour. The flavour depends on its age. This cheese is good for shredding and used as complement with various types of pasta, risotto, and soups. It is also used for making rich cheesy sauces.

Parmigiano Reggiano. This is known as best of all parmesan cheeses. This cheese is grated over many dishes to make the dishes more flavourful. This made from cow's milk and the aging lasts from 6 to 36 months (www.pasta-recipes-online.com).

èTypes of pasta

Pasta- In Italy the word pasta means "paste," and refers to the dough made by combining a durum wheat flour called semolina with the liquid, like; water and milk. The term pasta is used broadly and generally to describe a wide variety of noodles made from this type of dough.

Fettuccine- "Small ribbons" of pasta similar to spaghetti, but wider and slender, just like a ribbon. Dishes made with fettuccine - fettuccine arrabiata, fettuccine puttanesca and creamy chicken and mushroom fettuccine.

Lasagne- Thin and flat pasta with straight or rippled edges.

Penne- Tubular pasta cut on the diagonal into pieces about an inch long.

Macaroni- a kind of moderately extended, machine made dry pasta. Much shorter than spaghetti and hollow, macaroni doesn't contain eggs.

Tortelloni- a larger version of tortellini, usually stuffed with ricotta cheese and leaf vegetables, such as spinach.

Spaghetti- Long, thin, slender pasta.

Angel hair- It's like fine hair pasta, thinner and finer than spaghetti.

Ravioli- square pats dough that is stuffed.

Orecchiette- It's like a little ears pasta shaped like tiny ears or bowls.

Lucmache-Large conch shell shaped pasta suitable for stuffing.

[learncooking, 2010]

Manicotti- it's long and plain tube shell shaped pasta suitable for stuffing.

Fusilli- its shape like screws or springs.

èEquipments used in Italian kitchen

Pizza pan

Lasagne pan

Pizza rocker

Short paddle

Pasta Boiler

Pizza Roller

Pizza peel

Cheese knife

Cheese Grater

Pasta Machine

United Kingdom is divided into four parts. The population of the United Kingdom is approximately 61,113,205 and it lies in the south-western part of Europe. We can say that British cuisine is a multicultural cuisine. In the ancient time, this cuisine was influenced by the invasion of Roman's and in the medieval time it has a great influence of French invaders. Spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, saffron,and ginger was brought by French invaders. British empire was spread all over the world and adopted the different types of cuisine from the various parts of the world for example tea was adopted from china, curry style cooking was brought from India. Chicken tikka masala, mulligtawany soup, and kedgeree, which are the famous dishes of Britain are adopted from India. Normans who were originally from Normandy region of Italy have not only conquered Britain but also affected the eating habits of British people. Mutton and beef are the important meats, which were brought by the Normans. In Scotland people eat collops, which was introduced by Scandinavian. Collops is a piece of meat which is eaten on the night of 25 January in Scotland. The saffron was first time introduced by Phoenicians. Romans and Normans influenced the British cuisine by introducing stewing and stuffing various farms and game. Roasting and spicing of meat was also introduced during their period. The fast food which is very famous in Britain is originated from the United States. Fast food chains like McDonald's, KFC, and Burger King can be seen all over Britain (www.learningenglish.de, www.ehow.com ).

CLIMATE AND GEOGRAPHY

Britain has a variable climate that changes from day-to-day. Being surrounded by sea from all the sides it has a variable climate, the weather is unpredictable. It can be sunny one day and rainy the next day. Generally, the summers are warm and winters are cold. Britain enjoys a maritime climate. This means in winter the temperature goes not lower than 0 degree Celsius and in summers it does not go above 32 degree Celsius (www. woodlands_junior.kent.sch.uk).

In this assignment I will discuss about the cuisines of different regions of United Kingdom starting with England.

ENGLAND

England is known as the nation of beef eaters. Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding is very famous dish, which is eaten on Sunday. English people also like to cook French and Italian food. The most popular food in England is based on beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and fish. These food are eaten with potato and some vegetables. English cuisine has suffered a bad reputation over the years, but now the situation is changed. Now a days, English cuisine is known as world's famous and tastiest cuisine. The main dishes of the English cuisine are given below (www.buzzle.com)

Fish and chips

This is very common dish of England and is a traditional takeaway. The English people love to eat fish and chips on Friday nights. Cod and haddock are the most famous fish use for frying. Potato chips are also fried and served with this dish.

Sausage and mash

Mash is made by boiling or baking the potatoes and mashing with butter and cream. Beef and pork are the common sausages which are served with mash.

Sunday roast

On every Sunday the roasted meat is served with roast potatoes. Meat includes beef and lamb. Generally roast beef and Yorkshire pudding is eaten on Sunday.

Ploughman's lunch

It is a sandwich consisting of a piece of cheese, pickle, and bread and it is generally served in lunch.

SCOTTISH CUISINE

Scotland is situated in the northern part of the United Kingdom. Scottish cuisine has many similarities with British cuisine. Traditionally, this cuisine was made from the ingredients available there. These ingredients include game, fish, dairy, fruits, and vegetables.

Appetizers are made in great variety in Scotland. Scotch egg - a hard boiled egg which is wrapped in turkey or pork, barbequed pig scallops, and stuffed meat balls are famous appetizer. Generally, the soup is served at lunch and is made from fresh and natural ingredients. Important Scottish soups are bonfire warmer soup, which is made from chicken stalk, carrot, onion, and bacon. Cullen skink soup, which is made from fish and potatoes are common in lunch. Meat dishes like haggis is very important dish made from minced sheep sueted with oat meal. Head cheese which sounds like a cheese but is actually a piece of meat from the head of pig or calf. Stovies is another Scottish meat dish, which is made from cold meats, onion, and potatoes is highly consumed in Scotland. Aberdeen angus is a breed of beef, which is reared in Scotland. The meat of this beef is rich in taste and is good for making stakes.

Scotch broth. It is the national soup of Scotland, which is made from boiling beef, mutton, or chicken with vegetables like carrot, onion is very famous in this cuisine.

Scotch whisky. It is the best known Scottish whisky, which is made from the distillation of barley liquor. Dishes made from the whisky are

Chocolate, orange and whisky mousse.

Atholl bross, made from oat meal and whisky.

Cauliflower, cheese, and whisky.

Drunken rhubarb, crumble whisky, and zest.

These are the famous dishes which contains whisky (www.buzzle.com, www.rampantscotland.com, www.geo.ed.ac.uk, www.scotlandy.com ).

IRISH CUISINE

If we talk about the history of Irish cuisine, this cuisine was considered to be conservative till middle of 20th century. This was due to great natural disaster, which brought the scarcity of food in Ireland. The traditional food of Ireland includes pan cakes, oat cakes, and some other foods made from the grains were very popular at that time. After 1960, Ireland became economically strong and developed a multicultural influence in its cuisine. The meal mainly includes meat, potatoes, and vegetables like cabbage, carrot, turnip, parsnip, and peas. Now a days, two types of cooking styles is followed in Ireland. The traditional cooking method, which is followed to make the simple dishes and the modern cooking style which is used in restaurants to make more complex dishes. Potato is the most important ingredient used in this cuisine. Important potato dishes are colcannon and champ. The use of herbs, spices, and gravy is limited in Irish cuisine. Soups made here are thick and heavy. Basically potatoes, seafood, and meat are the common ingredients used to make various types of soup. As we know, this country is surrounded by sea and has a long coastal line. Salmon, scallops, mussels, and lobsters are important seafood, but Irish people also consume meats like lamb, pork, and beef. The national dish of Ireland is the Irish stew, which is made from mutton, potatoes, onions, and parsley. Soda bread which is made from buttermilk and wheat is a famous bread of this region. Irish potato and parsley soup is served in lunch. Irish coffee which is made from whipped cream and whisky is famous throughout the world (www.foodbycounty.com, www.recipes.wikia.com) .

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