Posted by: edibleplanet | March 11, 2010

The evolution of recipes

One of the things we most love about food and cooking is how it spreads globally. How you see ideas moving across the world and how as people move – whether by choice or enforced – their recipes move too and whole new cuisines develop.
Cape Malay cuisine in South Africa came about because of slaves being taken there from Asia and Indonesia by the Dutch years ago. It is hard to sometimes enjoy a dish knowing that the whole cuisine only came about because of this but there are some very fine Cape Malay dishes.
We enjoyed a bobotie on Monday night. This is a beef mince dish with raisins, spices and a curry custard on it as well. It is really nice and we have become quite enthusiastic about bobotie. There are loads of recipes on the internet for it because it is real good comfort food. I have made koesisters(subtly different from koeksisters) for a Sunday treat which are doughnuts but with more spice also from the Cape Malay cuisine.
From our own Kiwi cuisine I love the puzzle of Kai Si Ming. Another mince dish, this time with cabbage, that most Kiwi families seem to have in their past. I went to a lecture by a food historian from Otago University a few years ago and it was fascinating, she was still trying to get to the bottom of the origins of Kai Si Ming. My own research into this dish was that it seemed to appear around the 1950s. I did come across a very similar dish in a Korean recipe book and I wondered if the dish appeared after the Korean War but I now can’t find the Korean recipe I had and my research has come to a stop. It is fascinating trying original dishes and the dishes they have morphed into.
Another one I love following around the world is creme brulee style desserts. Like our pav, there is arguement over who invented this; the British(burnt cream), the French or the Spanish (crema catalana). Then it has spread and numerous countries now have their own version. One of my favourites is the Brazillian Pudim de leite condensado because it is so easy. This is the recipe I use because it is basically identical to how a Brazillian told me to make it except he said to make your caramel in a separate pan and then pour it into the mould – this is definitely a very good tip.

– Fiona


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