Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Armchair Traveling (And Non-Flight Eating!)

Viva Vegan by Terry Hope Romero
I suffer from chronic and uncurable I am sure wanderlust, I also have an unashamed passion for food, cooking and eating in general.

These things go hand in hand with arm chair travel, as much as I want to see what these other countries are like my main interest is in their food.

Cookbooks of other countrys cusines are my escape, since investigating vegananisim I've learned a bit more about some I was familiar with such as most of the Asian cusine. We have quite a strong influnce in Australian cooking from Asia, probably as their our next door neighbour. It must be like America having Mexico as a next door neighbour. Or so I imagine!

One of the first world cuisines I got a real interest in was Latin food, it's something I knew pretty much nothing about. My forays into Mexican food have been limited to the Old El Paso range of products from my local supermarket.

I've long been fascinated by Mexico, without really knowing anything about it. I'm further intrigued about the Día de los Muertos celebrations, much to my excitement was the day I was watching the SBS show Food Safari and Maeve went to the Mexican embassy here in Australia to talk about the celebration and see what food they were making. We also saw the decorated sugar skulls and the shrine. I must admit it's not just other people's cuisines I'm intrigued by, but also by their celebrations.
Hence I'd like to know more about this Cinco de Mayo the Americans always talk about, is it just an American holiday to eat Mexican food? Is it actually Mexican in origin? Will their be a party? Because if their is there will be food surely. 

Enter into my life Viva Vegan by Terry Hope Romero, I have read it with endless fascination. It has made me want to know more about Latin food. It has not however prompted me to really cook anything from it yet. I'm hoping to have a bit of a homage to Día de los Muertos myself and cook up some of the recipes from this book.
Probably not authenic, but I feel I am being authentic to my British ancestry, those mighty empire builders who appropiated a fair portion of the world and adopted the bits they liked in each country and just overlaid their own methods down for everything else. Ghandi after all was a British trained and educated lawyer.

Now this zine below, actually first a word about zines. I never knew they existed until veganisim came into my life and I am hugely grateful for them. I love the quite often very personal nature of them. Sometimes handwritten, with little ancedotes from the author and even little hand drawn pictures. Some are typed with clip art done in a cut-and-paste style. And some, like Sunny Days are neatly typed and well laid out.

I'm also curious how you actually pronounce zine, having never heard it said I alwys thought of it zine rhymes with sign so it would have that sound to it. But then I heard an American actually say the word zine, and it rhymed with seen and came out sounding like "zeen".

Sunny Days in Texas
Enough about that, on to the Sunny Days In Texas! It is a fund raising zine, with all the profits going to the Sunny Day Farm Animal Sanctuary. It's like a double goody, your helping a good cause and getting a yummy little zine crammed with good things to make.

I had a laugh at a recipe for Popcorn Tofu donated from the Wheatsville Co-Op. It sounds delicious, but I'm not sure I'll ever need to fry up 40 pounds of tofu in a session!

Some of the things I think will be first onto the must make list are:-
- Texas Chili
- Jackfruit Brisket (I'm really intrigued about this, a fruit that you cook up and eat as a savoury dish).
- King Ranch Casserole (It looks delicious, something you'd make with a can of soup in a previous incarnation, suitably trashy!)

Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food
Thirdly, Papa Tofu loves Ethiopian Food. My knowledge about any kind of African food is non-existant. When I first started looking into vegan food it was hard to miss all the talk about Ethiopian food.

And I can understand why it is so popular, it seems to be a quite spicy cuisine. And I am fascinated by the injera bread, once again SBS Food Safari to the rescue and seemingly Teff flour is not available in Australia. But I shall be keeping my eye out anyway.

I thought I might tackle the Crepes from Vegan Brunch, as Isa uses them in her recipe for Ethiopian Crepes.

You can find much more coherent description about this great zine here on Kittee's blog.

And not pictured, because I can not find which bag I have put it in is a zine called Veganistan: Vegan food from the Middle East & Maghrebi
Maghrebi you ask?? I certainly did, according to good ole Wikipedia it is:-
"The Maghreb (also Maghrib; Arabic مغرب) is the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. It includes five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara."

Now if I could place my copy I could tell you more about it, but I can't for the moment. So look for an update in the near future. The Veganistan zine, has introduced me to yet another new to me world cusine.

Broadening the horizons of my mind and also my taste buds! Does anyone else have a favourite cusine? A new one they are just delving into?


Anonymous said...

I love experimenting with food from all over! Looking forward to cooking through Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian. I haven't ordered it but they seem to sell teff here: http://www.glutenfreeshop.com.au/Bobs-Red-Mill-Whole-Grain-Teff-Flour-680g-P3832.aspx

Susan said...

Ooohhh... zines... exciting! I have lots of books, but no zines. I'm annoyed with myself I didn't get Papa Tofus when I was in Portland.

I have nominated your blog for a Liebster award. :) Details are on my 24th Mofo post (the one for 500 vegan recipes).