Meals that signify the tradition of households in several international locations.


  • Any good complete meals and vitamin textbook.
  • Meals for At present, Helen Kowtaluk, McGraw-Hill Glencoe Publishing, 2006 (8 chapters on World Meals)
  • Information to Good Meals, Velda L. Largen. Goodheart, Wilcox Publishing. (This is a superb reference for world and United States regional meals.)
  • Worldwide Cookbook, Utah State College, Logan, Utah 84322-1420, 1992.

Background for Academics

Historical past, geography, economics, and faith affect the meals selections, strategies of meals preparation, and the food-related actions of households.

Attitudes and values about meals are rooted in society and tradition and are transmitted by way of the household, as society’s smallest unit. These values are preserved and practiced by the household within the residence, which is the basic establishment in society.

Individuals who dwell in several international locations or areas of the world develop widespread pursuits, establishments, and collective actions. Inside households there are mirrored sure traits of the society and tradition during which the household exists. These ethnic languages, customs and values have an effect on particular person and household meals selections and patterns.

Understanding that good vitamin might be achieved with all kinds of acquainted and unfamiliar meals, is an thrilling solution to be taught to understand different cultures. Many elements have an effect on meals selections in numerous elements of the world:

  • dwelling patterns have an effect on preparation and meals availability (cranberries)
  • local weather impacts what meals will develop (wheat___cool; citrus___warm; and so forth.)
  • terrain___coastal areas, lakes, rivers (fish), grazing (cattle), and so forth.
  • people lore___cows milk is thought of soiled in elements of the Orient
  • non secular beliefs and household traditions (peppermint tea)
  • particular traits of a tradition
  • economics, wars, and so forth.
  • heritage___customs, practices, rituals, folkways, and recipes handed on by way of generations (sizzling fudge sundae)
  • what could possibly be preserved (beef jerky)
  1. Ethnic and cultural background has a powerful influence on household meals customs. As cultures (customs, language, gown, and so forth. of a gaggle of individuals) developed, meals grew to become an essential a part of every cultural group. The meals customs of a specific tradition began with agriculture and prevalent animal life which decided what meals had been obtainable. The talents of the individuals decided meals preparation and preservation strategies.

World cultural traditions are decided to a big extent by geography. It was pure, for instance, that areas in Oriental international locations developed a delicacies which was centered on rice which grows nicely there. In tropical cultures, household meals patterns developed across the giant quantities of vegetables and fruit which grew in abundance. The far northern peoples discovered to eat bigger quantities of fats and protein which come from animal sources.

Regional cuisines develop as teams of individuals domesticate habits and customs extra particular to their wants and preferences. Not solely is there a European delicacies, there are cuisines particular to every nation in Europe. There are regional cuisines inside nations. Regional meals are the standard meals ready or grown in a selected geographic space of a rustic.

  1. Non secular background is a crucial a part of ethnic custom which influences a household’s meals selections. Faith and spiritual practices have a powerful influence on many households’ meals traditions, which regularly might be traced to historic historical past.

A good useful resource for info and actions on faith, tradition, and meals is the “Meals and Tradition Mini-Unit” booklet on the market by Nasco. Go to www.enasco.com for ordering particulars. Under is useful info on a few of the world’s main religions:


  • discovered predominately in southeast Asia, Korea, and Japan
  • individuals consider that they will eat fish or beef in the event that they personally don’t kill it
  • most Buddhists dwell on cereal, fruit, greens, fish
  • they’re mainly lacto-ovo-vegetarians (milk, plant, vegetable meals sources)
  • in some locations meals is obtainable to guests as an indication of proper dwelling


  • cows are shielded from hurt and slaughter
  • the type of meals individuals can eat depends upon their rank (caste system)
  • the best castes, Brahmins, eat the best, cleanest meals.
  • most Hindus keep away from meat, onions, garlic, turnips
  • some castes eat something however beef
  • some castes affiliate the colour crimson with blood and will not eat beets, crimson dry beans, tomatoes, and so forth.


  • Arab international locations, some elements of Africa, southeast Asia, the Center East
  • could not eat pork or pork merchandise
  • sea animals with out fins are usually not consumed by some
  • animals are slaughtered in line with a ritual
  • Muslims eat meals with naked fingers and proper hand with sneakers off
  • Throughout holy month of Ramadan, consuming and ingesting is forbidden from daybreak till dusk–be delicate to college students and plan labs accordingly throughout this month


  • separate animal meals sources into clear and unclean teams
  • clear = animals with cloven and divided hooves that chew cud (cows, sheep, goat, oxen)
    unclean = animals with cloven hooves, do not chew cud (pigs)
  • meats and fish merchandise is probably not eaten collectively
  • meals have to be processed and ready in a prescribed method, known as kosher
  • traditions are rooted within the Outdated Testomony instances.
  • sure meals are specified as half of non secular celebrations, such because the Passover meal for Jewish households, unleavened bread, and so forth. Verify your calendar and keep away from planning a unit on yeast breads throughout Passover. Your Jewish college students will not be capable to devour the merchandise.


  • meals habits are sometimes decided by particular person non secular sects
  • Roman Catholic___no meat on Friday and through Lent (6 weeks earlier than Easter)___these requirements have relaxed in recent times however nonetheless have affect on meals selections throughout Lent and different particular days
  • Jap Orthodox___no animal merchandise throughout fasts
  • Latter-day Saints (Mormons)___forbid tea, espresso, alcohol; recommend lowered meat consumption and emphasize grains, vegetables and fruit
  • Seventh-day Adventist___vegetarian diets are advocated
  1. Every household determines its meals traditions utilizing its personal ethnic background, cultural and spiritual customs, financial standing, likes and dislikes, meals availability, and household values.
  2. Individuals who’re pleased with their cultural heritage use meals to protect that heritage. The vacation customs and traditions that assist households really feel shut are sometimes centered round meals. Birthdays, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, Thanksgiving, and Hanukkah are examples. Particular meals are sometimes related to vacation customs.

Starting with Marco Polo’s travels to China through the Darkish Ages, financial facilities have grown up world wide’s commerce. The meals of Asia weren’t solely completely different than these of Europe, however their taste was enhanced by way of seasonings that Europeans had by no means tasted earlier than and they had been a lot coveted. As explorers launched new meals, and particularly spices to Europe, commerce with Asian nations flourished. Traditionally, the cities of Damascus, Rome, and Athens grew up across the spice commerce. India and China are nonetheless spice facilities of the world. The Americas had been found in an try to facilitate the spice commerce. The New World, nonetheless, proved reasonably disappointing in its yield of the forms of spice Europeans had been searching for.

Marco Polo was born in Venice, Italy. He was the son of Nicolo Polo and the nephew of Maffeo Polo, Venetian retailers and enterprise companions. In the middle of their buying and selling operations, Nicolo and Maffeo made an overland journey in 1260 to China. They returned to Venice in 1269 and two years later, taking Marco together with them, they started a second journey to China. Their route led from Acre in North Palestine overland to Hormuz on the mouth of the Persian Gulf; northward by way of Persia to the Oxus River in Central Asia; up the Oxus to the Pamirs and throughout the Pamirs to the area of Sinkiang, China; and eventually throughout the Gobi Desert to the courtroom of Kublai Khan, then at Shangru, China, which the Polos reached in 1275. The brothers and younger Marco had been the primary Europeans to go to many of the territory they traversed on this journey, significantly the Pamirs and the Gobi Desert.

Marco Polo excelled all different identified Christian vacationers in his expertise, in his connections to essential individuals, and in his affect. Though Franciscan monks went to Mongolia and again in lower than three years, and a few stayed in a task of missionary-diplomats, Marco Polo’s journey lasted twenty-four years. He reached farther than any identified earlier explorers, going past Mongolia into the guts of Cathay. He traversed the entire of China, all the way in which to the Ocean, and he performed quite a lot of roles, turning into the confidant of Kublai Khan who was the ruler, and governor of an awesome Chinese language metropolis. He was at residence within the languages of China, and he immersed himself within the every day life and tradition of Cathay.

Marco Polo entered Kublai Khan’s diplomatic service, appearing as his agent on missions to many elements of the Mongol empire, and he was for 3 years governor of the Chinese language metropolis of Yangchow. His father and uncle served as army advisers to Kublai Khan. The Polos stayed in China till 1292, when they left the nation as escorts for a Mongolian princess touring to Persia. The vacationers reached that nation by sea through Sumatra, southern India, the Indian Ocean, and the Persian Gulf; they then went on to Venice, continuing overland through Tabriz in northwest Persia, the east coast of the Black Sea, and Constantinople, (Istanbul), arriving of their residence metropolis in 1295.

In 1298 Marco Polo was captain of a Venetian galley which participated in a battle between the fleets of Venice and Genoa, and he was taken prisoner. Throughout his incarceration in Genoa, he dictated to a fellow-prisoner, Rusticiano of Pisa, the detailed account of his travels. He was launched from jail in 1299 and returned to Venice.

The literary work, The Ebook of Marco Polo (first revealed in French), is maybe essentially the most well-known and influential journey guide in historical past. With a wealth of vivid element, it gave to medieval Europe its first consequential data of China, and its first info regarding different Asiatic international locations, together with Siam, Japan, Java, Cochin-China, Ceylon, Tibet, India, and Burma. For a very long time it was the one present supply in Europe for info on the geography and lifetime of the Far East. The guide grew to become the premise for a few of the first correct maps of Asia made in Europe; it helped to arouse within the navigator, Christopher Columbus, an curiosity within the Orient which culminated in his discovery of America (1492) whereas trying to succeed in the Far East of Polo’s description by crusing due west from Europe; and it prompt the all-sea route from Europe to the Far East round Africa lastly completed by the Portuguese navigator, Vasco da Gama (1497-98).

On account of explorers equivalent to Marco Polo, Columbus and others, an alternate of meals merchandise started to happen. Individuals in Europe coveted the meals and spices of the Orient.

There have been three principal areas of the world during which meals vegetation had been domesticated. The greens, fruits and spices from these areas embody:

ASIAN NATIVES (some imported B.C.)
citron, apricot, peach, yam, water chestnut, bamboo, eggplant, lemon, lime, orange, melon, cardamon, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, clove, mace, nutmeg, tarragon

mushroom, beet, radish, turnip, carrot, parsnip, asparagus, leek, onion, cabbage, lettuce, artichoke, cucumber, broad bean, pea, olive, apple, pear, cherry grape, fig, date, strawberry, basil, marjoram, oregano, mint, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme, anise, caraway, coriander, cumin, dill, parsley, fennel, bay, caper, fenugreek, garlic, mustard, poppy, sesame, saffron

NEW WORLD NATIVES (imported Fifteenth-Sixteenth centuries)
potato, candy potato, pumpkin, squashes, tomato, kidney bean, lima bean, candy pepper, avocado, pineapple, allspice, crimson pepper, vanilla

(Supply: ON FOOD AND COOKING: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, Harold McGee, Scribners Publishing, 1984)

Spices, Herbs, Seasonings and Extracts Assist Make Every Tradition’s Meals Distinctive
Spices, herbs and extracts have a lot to do with ethnic variations in meals. Herbs are the leaves of flowers and vegetation whose aromas can add taste to meals. When dried, the flavour is extra concentrated than when herbs are recent. A typical herb is basil. One other is rosemary.

Spices are the dried seeds, berries, fruit bark, roots, or flower elements of a plant. Black pepper and sage are widespread spices in the tradition of america.

Extracts are made by urgent the oils from fragrant vegetation and mixing the oils with alcohol. Vanilla is a flavoring that’s acquainted to most individuals in america. It’s produced from the bean of the vanilla plant.

Traditionally, spices and herbs have been used for medication in addition to for flavoring and preserving meals. Their manufacturing is of main financial significance in world commerce.

Spices, herbs, flavorings, and extracts are distinguished from condiments and sauces. Condiments are produced from a lot of substances together with spices and herbs. Catsup, mustard, relish and sauces are widespread condiments. Sauces embody soy sauce, tabasco sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.

Vinegar is produced from apple, grape, or different juice. Vinegars are sometimes seasoned with spices and herbs.

Seasonings make meals distinctive and hold meals from being boring. Spices and herbs can substitute salt in lots of meals. This helps cut back the sodium consumption, which is simply too excessive within the diets of many individuals dwelling within the United States.

Sodium-free spices and flavorings that could possibly be substituted for desk salt, which comprises excessive ranges of sodium, embody:

allspice almond extract bay leaves
caraway seeds cinnamon curry powder
garlic ginger lemon extract
mace maple extract marjoram
mustard powder nutmeg paprika
parsley pepper vinegar
pimento rosemary sage
sesame seeds thyme turmeric

vanilla extract

peppermint extract walnut extract

Educational Procedures


Bell Ringer Activity___Have the scholars listing as many spices, herbs and extracts as they will within the first couple of minutes of sophistication. (Whereas roll is being taken.) This may be a preassessment or formative analysis exercise.

Divide the category into six teams. Have the scholars put together a recipe of a meals from a specific tradition. Don’t divulge to the category the cultural origin of any specific recipe. Prepare meals in a smorgasbord and because the college students style every of the meals, have them full the shape CULTURAL FOOD IDENTIFICATION. Have the scholars share their findings with the category and attempt to determine the nation every meals is from and the way that meals is made.

As a follow-up dialogue have them reply the next questions:

  • Do you assume most People would like these meals? Why or why not?
  • Do cultural influences have an effect on our meals selections? How?

Have the scholars work in pairs or teams to analysis and discover a rustic’s meals historical past and patterns of distinctive meals. Assign every unit a overseas nation to examine, report on, and put together a meals of that nation. A potential different is to divide college students in line with their ancestral origin and have them report on that nation. Use FOOD PRACTICES OF VARIOUS CULTURES AND RELIGIONS, FOREIGN FOODS worksheet and RECIPES recognized in the recipe part of useful resource supplies. Interview members of varied cultures and spiritual faiths as to their meals customs and selections.

A giant world map can be helpful in figuring out places of nations, ethnic and spiritual teams. Reference: Information to Good Meals Teacher’s Handbook.

NOTE TO TEACHER: Make assets obtainable for college kids’ use.

One potential process:

  • Assign every unit a rustic to analysis
  • Have the scholars divide the unit project amongst themselves within the following method:
    1. Nation Report
      1. Location on world map
      2. Terrain and local weather
      3. Non secular influences on meals traditions
      4. Meals produced
    2. Interviews which might be recorded on worksheet FOOD PRACTICES OF VARIOUS CULTURES AND RELIGIONS
    3. Cookbooks for numerous cuisines
    4. Ethnic meals in a grocery retailer
    5. Centerpiece depicting the tradition of nation
  • As models give their stories, have the remainder of the category take notes.
  • Following completion of the report on every nation, have that group choose and supervise a laboratory expertise for the category that features preparation and tasting of a meals typical of that nation.

As a homework or extra-credit project have the scholars attend or analysis ethnic festivals or non secular celebrations in the neighborhood and report on the meals served. Examples: A Greek Competition or October Fest often held within the fall in america; secular holidays equivalent to Thanksgiving, Jewish Passover, Chinese language New 12 months, and so forth.

Utilizing COOKBOOKS FOR VARIOUS CUISINES college students can analysis cookbooks obtainable within the native library and/or bookstores and determine cuisines represented.

Have the scholars make a map exhibiting the origin of seasonings. Use SEASONING CATEGORIES to determine seasonings to be positioned on the map. As the trainer lectures, determine sources of spices and herbs on the map of THE WORLD. Present samples of spices.

Have the scholars put together a Meals Spherical Robin by letting every unit put together a dish made with a unique spice. Part paper plates with magic markers and label every part with the identify of 1 spice. All college students ought to style check all of the completely different meals. Vote for favorites. Talk about why some are higher favored than others. Prompt meals embody: (Others could also be chosen from any good recipe guide.)

  1. Saffroned rice
  2. Curried rice
  3. Poppy seed cake (from cake combine)
  4. Ginger snaps
  5. Caraway bread sticks
  6. Chive omelettes
  7. Rosemary scrambled eggs
  8. Dill bread

As an illustration tie lengthy sprigs of basil and rosemary collectively and use as a basting brush for meat or poultry. Reveal the preparation of rooster breasts with a number of spices. Let the scholars style the product.

Have the scholars put together BUBBLING CHEESE BREAD. Reduce the bread into squares. As an alternative to, or along with the garlic and onion powders within the recipe use quite a lot of different spices on every part. Have the scholars react to the numerous spices used.

Have the scholars take part in a lab expertise getting ready RICE MOLD or CURRIED RICE.

College students will interview classmates, faculty officers, and so forth., about their ethnic meals. Use TRACK THE SOURCE OF A RECIPE handout. Receive their favourite recipes and put together a recipe in lab to share with remainder of the class.

Invite a overseas alternate scholar to class to debate issues with meals customs in the coed’s new residence. Query: Have been these issues resolved? If that’s the case, how?

Summarize the presentation by itemizing the options the speaker had and the penalties confronted by every different.
Query: Do you consider she or he chosen one of the best different? Why or why not?

Have the scholars brainstorm the issues associated to meals that they’d discover in the alternate scholar’s native nation.
Questions: How do you assume you’d resolve these issues? Does taking a look at either side affect your emotions of acceptance for cultural variations?

College students will examine particular meals or meals teams and determine preparation strategies and serving customs. Examples: breads, grains, drinks, meats, sweets such as desserts, cookies, candies, and so forth.

Prepare for the scholars to go to native meals shops and determine the completely different ethnic or particular meals obtainable. ETHNIC FOODS AVAILABLE IN GROCERY STORES.

Have tasting experiences (LAB TASTING EXPERIENCE) in school to analyze completely different meals. Examples: breads, cheeses, vegetables and fruit not native to the native space.

College students will determine language influences on meals traditions. Full the worksheet, THE LANGUAGE OF FOOD.

Have the scholars develop bulletin boards portraying ethnic and/or non secular meals, traditions, and so forth.

Invite a visitor to show the preparation of a conventional meals from his/her household or ethnic background.

Have every unit put together a unique cultural meals and show all of them at a meals truthful.

College students will full the FOREIGN FOODS UNIT TEST.


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