Monday, 12 November 2012

Book Launch: From the Global Scottish Kitchen

Learning to cook is a culturally specific experience. We are taught by our parents and grandparents when we are growing up and most chefs talk about who taught them to cook and what dishes inspired their love for food.

How Does Living Abroad Influence What You Cook?

The change in the way things taste is one of the first things you notice when you move abroad. Immigrants all know where to get brands that have been imported from their home country; their favorite dishes don’t taste the same with a local substitute.

One of my first failures when I moved abroad was in a supermarket. I was trying to make Pavlova, which needs a fine-grained sugar. Unfortunately, I couldn't see the sugar and I didn't understand the labels. The words I had weren't understood by the locals and I ended up coming home with lots of different packets! 

My first experience of Mexican cuisine in New York was eye opening. I had never been to Mexico or eaten traditional Mexican food and I was surprised at the range of dishes that I could choose from. I always enjoyed Tex Mex, but Chili Rellenos and mole sauce were two Mexican classics that I hadn't had.

Why Is It Global and Not Fusion?

Click here to RSVP for the cookalong
Most ethnic restaurants are run by immigrants who bring their national dishes from other countries and tailor the dishes to locally-available ingredients and the eating habits of their customers. This creates a fusion of cuisines, but in this cook book you will find influences from all over the world and not a fusion of two regional styles.

The recipes in my cook book are all original. They are influenced by experiences that I couldn't have had without living abroad. Traveling doesn't give you the time you need to find the small stores and local cooks that can help you to reinterpret your cuisine.

Many of the dishes include unusual herbs or sauces common in other people's cuisines. The invention of mass transit and refrigeration has changed the way that we cook. Now that we can ship and store produce around the world, we don't have to cook with just local ingredients.

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