Food Unites the World: a Gourmet’s Voyage
Food Unites the World: A Gourmet’s Voyage by Samira Hradsky. Chef Samira Hradsky’s cookbook “Food Unites the World” is organized around 10 different courses, each of which represent a chapter of the cookbook. The individual chapters were built on themes from different nationalities around the world — the Middle East, North Africa, Spain, Italy, Eastern Europe, France, Mexico, China, India, and a Creative cooking chapter that includes recipes of Samira’s own creation. The idea of the presentation is to be able to prepare a whole meal from drinks, to starters, to main plates, to desserts in a simple and easy to do manner.
Excerpt from the introduction to Samira’s cookbook
Many of the dishes included in this book are dishes that you may have ordered in different restaurants, and you may, therefore, recognize the name. However, I assure you that the taste is going to be much different and tastier than what you have been accustomed to. I have adjusted and modified the recipes to reach a taste that would satisfy the most refined and difficult palate. There are some recipes in this book that you never have tasted, or even seen anywhere, because they are totally of my own creation.
This cookbook consists of 10 chapters, each focusing on an ethnic specialty from a country or a region. Within each chapter there is a menu that includes a special drink, a type of bread, a few appetizers, a few main dishes, and one or more desserts. You can choose a number of dishes that you can prepare for many days from just one menu. You can prepare dishes for a whole week’s dinners from one menu. These recipes take on the theme of a country’s or a region’s tastes but are not necessarily prepared in the traditional or common way that the natives prepare. In this book I want to share some of my favorite recipes that I have: (a) perfected, after having learnt them from my first cooking teacher and mentor, my mother; (b) modified, after having learnt them from the different people and chefs that I met in my travels; and/or (c) created, after many years of cooking experimentation in my food laboratory.
The 1st chapter focuses on the Levant area. The Levant area, which covers Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and what used to be called Palestine and presently called Israel, is very rich in its culture and in its cuisine. The area has historically been subject to many influences, including the Arabs coming from the Arabian Peninsula, the Crusaders coming from Europe, and the Turks, followed by the French and English colonizers that controlled the area until the time of independence early this century. This chapter includes favorite recipes from three countries. These countries are: Jordan, where I was born, Syria, where my mother was born, and Lebanon, where my maternal grandmother was born. I chose dishes that are typical of each of the three countries. However, a great deal of creativity has been incorporated into the preparation.
The 2nd chapter takes you on a journey to a different continent. It presents the flavors of North Africa. The North Africa region includes Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. My favorite tastes were those of Morocco and Tunisia and therefore, my menu focuses on these two countries. The journey continues and we move to a 3rd continent, Europe, where we visit Spain through our 3rd chapter, then visit Italy through the 4th chapter were you learn how to make pasta in different shapes and colors with or without the aid of a pasta machine. You’ll experience the different tastes of pasta fillings and sauces. The 5th chapter allows us to taste the flavors of Eastern Europe. The European tour concludes with a tour of the land of gastronomy, France.
Chapter 6 takes you on a journey of experiencing the flavors of all 13 regions of France. The 7th chapter takes us yet to another continent, America, where we land in Mexico where we encounter new and creative ways of preparing selected traditional Mexican dishes. We continue our voyage towards the Far East where we visit China and India. Chapter 8 presents different dishes based on tastes from the north, south, east, and west of China. The journey continues in Asia to make a stop in India, the land of spices and sharp flavors. Chapter 9 presents my favorite tastes of Indian cooking. The voyage concludes with chapter 10. This chapter is about New Tastes and New Images. This journey takes us to the eclectic continent, the continent yet to be discovered. It is where global blending is encountered. It is about flavors that I have intentionally and accidentally created and discovered.
This introduction would not be complete without a few technical notes.
You will discover that throughout the book, and wherever appropriate, I have included tips for your kitchen, such as how to freeze vegetables, fruits, juices, tart shells, etc., as well as how to preserve certain food items included in the different chapters.
Having lived in the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia, I realize that not everyone uses the US measurement system. Therefore, all recipes in this book include both US and metric European measurement systems. I want people from all over the world to use this book with ease and not to worry about conversion of measurements.
At the end of this introduction, I included my Ten Gourmandments. They are tips on how to be better prepared for any function whether it is a luncheon, dinner party, or just a cocktail, and avoid disorder and panic at the last minute.