June 05, 2007

The Baker's Passport- Tunisia During the middle of the day it was no longer the sun alone that persecuted from above--the entire sky was like a metal dome grown white with heat. The merciless light pushed down from all directions; the sun was the whole sky. – Peter Bowles, The Sheltering Sky Thousand-year-old mosques, strolls through a medieval medina, and camelback treks across the Sahara can all be found on many a traveler’s list of desires when in the North African state of Tunisia. These rather romantic travel thoughts also bring up that song, “Midnight at the Oasis/Send your camel to bed/Shadows paintin’ our faces/Traces of romance in our heads/Let’s slip off to a sand dune…” Oh I think you get the idea. According to the “The Momo Cookbook-A Gastronomic Journey through North Africa written by Chef Mourad Mazouz of London whose little gem of a cookbook provides glimpses into the land of the Maghreb, the region of northwest Africa comprising the coastlands and the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The collection of recipes bridges the region’s history to the creation of a distinctive cuisine which, over the centuries, has been influenced by Jewish, Arabic, Italian and Spanish culture. Folklorists have an expression in this region which states that, Tunisians get hungry when they see the color red, the color of appetite and passion. It’s also the color of harissa, a fire-red chili blend made from crushed dried red peppers, garlic, salt and caraway seeds that is central to Tunisian cuisine. Known...
The Baker's Passport - Sri Lanka Sri Lanka, once known as Ceylon, just off the southeast coast of India, is a rich tapestry of cultures which can be experienced today through it's rich and diverse food. Julia Child was station here during her time with the OSS. Sri Lanka's nearness to India has had a strong influence on its cuisine, as did the occupations of the Portuguese, Dutch, and British. Writer Amanda Hesser, in the IHT poetically described its proximity as "...shaped like a fat tear rolling off the chin of India." As time lapsed the majority of defining dishes have been slightly modified. And it took a lot of cooking from many peoples, cultures and religions: the Hindus and Buddhists perfected the vegetarian dishes; the Christians refined the beef and pork recipes and the Muslims put attention to the mutton and lamb dishes. Many of the recipes revolve around rice, the central grain of curry dishes in Sri Lankan cuisine. Notably curries in this country are spicier than those found in India. Other staple ingredients include coconut (milk, oil, or grated), as well as aromatic herbs and spices such as curry leaf, fenugreek, turmeric, chilies, and cinnamon. But what about dessert you say? Given the climate fruits are a plenty--mangoes, pineapple, papaya, woodapple, bananas, rambuttan, and mangosteen. For us bakers there's kiri pani made from buffalo milk curd and golden syrup; the of Malay origin, wattalappam an egg pudding with jaggary and also kevum made with flour and golden syrup. Spice traders, specifically the Dutch...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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