Posts Tagged: Africa

Culinary Traditions Of Cuba

The East Caribbean island of Cuba has a rich cultural heritage from which has arisen culinary traditions that are as vibrant and varied as the variety of cultures that have contributed to the development of this distinct and delicious cuisine. In addition to the ancient influence of the native peoples of Cuba, the Spaniards brought their own culinary styles, tinged by those of the Moors who held huge parts of Spain for centuries. The slaves that were brought from Africa made significant culinary and cultural contributions, with other culinary traditions being brought to the island with the French colonists fleeing uprisings in Haiti.

As these various influences came together, a distinctly Cuban flavor and style evolved, which is reminiscent of country peasant styles of cooking by oral tradition and eye, rather than relying on specific measurements and the creation of dishes that tend towards the simple and hearty, and that can be left on their own to simmer. Fussy, heavy sauces are unusual and deep-frying is simply not a favored cooking method. The island nation, naturally, uses a great deal of seafood in its cuisine, which encourages the use of simple cooking techniques and spicing that is meant to enhance, not smother, natural flavors.

The most common spices used in Cuban cuisine are garlic, cumin, oregano and bay or laurel leaves. Sofrito is also popular, and used in a wide range of dishes, from those of beans to those of meats to those that are made from a base of tomato sauce. A typical sofrito is made of green pepper, onion, garlic, oregano and black pepper fried in olive oil until the pepper, onion and garlic are soft and translucent and the flavors blend to perfection.

The dense, nutritious, energy producing vegetables commonly used belie the African and native peoples influence on the cuisine of Cuba. Yuca, malanga, boniato, and plantano are among these, and are often simmered together with complementary vegetables and served simply, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with chopped fresh onion a satisfying, strengthening and simple dish for a hard working people.

Meats are often prepared using island flavored marinades of that use lime juice or the juice of a sour variety of the orange as a base. Then, the meats are roasted or simmered very slowly with spices, often for hours. Beans and rice are an essential part of most meals, with black beans being well known as a Cuban specialty.

Cuban cuisine is also notable for its baked goods, which include a variety of turnovers. Some are filled with spiced meats and other types feature a particularly Cuban blend of cream cheese and guava paste. Flan is among Cubas most beloved dessert items.

In Cuban cuisine, the subtle flavors of healthy foods are enhanced by cooking and spicing methods designed to bring out the best in each component of a dish. The culinary traditions of Cuba are a delight to the tongue, naturally, but they also offer a fascinating glimpse into a culture that has brought together many varied elements to create a cohesive whole.

Culinary Schools In Italy

Why you should attend culinary schools in Italy? Maybe you are just curious to discover something new in your life, or maybe you are a cooking lover and you want to know secrets behind good tasting dishes you eat. One more reason, not less important than the previous ones, is about job. Today, if you want your career in cooking, you need a good cooking education. You need to attend lessons, learn recipes and make experience. Its important to learn basics of cooking, then specializing in some specific kind of cooking.

Cooking is absolutely one of the most known elements of Italian culture in the world. Not just spaghetti or pizza, but a very large variety of good tasting dishes, coming from a long and consolidated tradition. Italian people is really proud of Italian gusto: Italian restaurants are appreciated in every part of the world. Thats why many people choose culinary schools in Italy. Main Italian cooking elements to focus on are fresh pasta, artisan gelato and Italian desserts, Italian artisan breads and pizza and regional Italian cuisine. This last aspect in very important, considering that each Italian region has its traditional recipes and products. Some examples, worldwide famous, are Prosciutto di Parma, a particular and very sweet kind of ham, and the Chianti of Tuscany, that is both a specific geographic area but also a very good tasting red wine.

Torre di Babele, one of the best culinary schools in Italy, is located in Rome, the capital city. It offers a very interesting way to learn how to cook Italian recipes. In facts its courses of cooking can be associated with Italian languages lessons. In this way you can learn Italian language and cooking at the same time. Attending a culinary school you will improve your vocabulary and your cooking skills, going deeply into Italian culture and tradition too. Thats why its important to directly study in Italy, where you have the opportunity to stay in close contact with the costumes and the spirit of the nation. Torre di Babele was founded in 1984 and since its opening, the school has focussed also on the teaching of culinary art to foreigners. The school attracts people and students from around the world from countries all across Europe, as well as North and South America, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Classes are made up of participants of all ages, with a majority of university students and young from 18 to 30.

Torre di Babele offers four different kinds of courses. Italian cooking has just one week duration: this is a light version course, reserved to curios people who just want to learn basics. It is also possible to associate this course with Italian language lessons. Furthermore, there is the possibility to attend individual lessons or in group. Any course of Torre di Babele culinary school comes with wine tasting seminar, held in one of the best known enoteca in Rome.