Thursday, February 6, 2014

Nicholas Vouis Food as Culture

A food that I enjoy eating and means a lot is rice. Rice is a world food staple and sustains whole populations. Rice can easily be flavored with any spice you choose, a broth, or sauce. It can be mixed with other types of foods, absorb their flavor, and just create a more filling, flavorful meal. Rice is a world food staple because of its low cost, availability, simplicity, and nutrients. White rice is 90% carbohydrate, 8% protein, and 2% fat; white rice also is a good source of magnesium, iron, folic acid, thiamine, and niacin. This variety of nutrients provides energy and essential minerals to the diet that would take several other foods to provide. Brown rice is composed of 85% carbohydrate, 8% protein, and 7% fat; brown rice contains more magnesium than white rice and almost four times the fiber of white rice. Wild rice is technically a grass, however, wild rice contains more protein, folic acid, and vitamins than white or brown rice. Wild rice also contains more omega 3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation, though wild rice does contain less minerals than brown rice. I enjoy rice because there are many different varieties of it with their own flavors and you can use it to make virtually anything you want, from normal rice, to noodles, to cereal, to dough in everyday cooking.

In my family, one food that is at every holiday or gathering is Spanakopita, Spanakopita is a Greek pastry that wraps a spinach filling. The filling also consists of feta cheese, onions, scallions, egg, and seasonings. The pastry is Greek Phyllo pastry dough with olive oil. The dough is placed first into a pan coated with olive oil, above that the spinach filling is placed, then to seal it, another layer of dough is sat on top. the top layer of dough can be coated with butter or egg yolk for color and texture. Part way through baking the pan needs to be pulled out and the Spanakopita needs to be cut into triangles then placed back in the oven. The cutting will need to be repeated after baking is finished. Spanakopita is most commonly served as a snack in the Greek tradition, hence its handy triangle cut shape making it easy to grab and strong so it does not fall apart while being held. I enjoy Spanakopita because of its feta and flaky Phyllo dough, the spinach adds a soft texture to it that is also warming and comforting, because of this it always brings good thoughts to mind of fun with my cousins and grandparents.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy rice too. I prefer brown rice, and I love mixing my rice with different sauces as well. I never knew the nutritional value behind rice, but now I do and I am glad I do since I eat it so much.