Discovering the World of Asian Food Culture
The Asian food culture is not only about hot, spicy and exotic ingredients but also serves on a platter full of taste sensations. Asian food culture blends Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Arabian and even European ingredients to create mouth-watering dishes that are pleasing to the eye and tantalizing to the taste buds. One cannot discuss Asian cuisine without mentioning the influence of India. A popular feature of Indian cuisine is the use of ingredients like onions, garlic, ginger and coriander which give this cuisine an aroma and flavor that cannot be described.
In order to experience the full flavor and aromatic qualities of these spices, it is important to understand the difference between the various varieties of spice used in the dishes. This leads one not only to learn about the history of Asian food culture but also to expand their palates by tasting the myriad variations of these spices. A typical Thai meal often begins with a simple carrot cake called Patong, followed by other side dishes such as Babi Ghi, Koh samo and other side dishes that are popular among young and old alike. Desserts made from rice and coconut are widely popular, especially among the educated classes while sweets such as mangoes, dumplings and cakes are favored by dessert lovers.
Although rice is the basic ingredient in most dishes, most of the dishes from Asian countries are served with rice sauces flavored with unique ingredients. Most of these ingredients are herbs and spices with varying tastes and aromas, but most importantly they serve to enhance the distinct flavors of the food. The most popular of these ingredients used in Japanese and Korean cuisine is the Japanese soy sauce (also called miso) which is rich in iodine and is commonly used to season the Japanese rice. Apart from the soy sauce, other common ingredients used in Japanese and Korean dishes include ginger, garlic and wasabi which are known for their pungent flavors. A more well-known variety of condiment used in south east Asian food culture is mint, which is also known to have healing properties apart from being a vibrant and invigorating flavor.