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View Full Version : "Ethnic" foods - what do you enjoy?



Karen
03-04-2014, 05:24 PM
I have to smile - I was tickled pink to find Lingonberry jam in my grocery store, and thought - "I haven't heard of that or had it since I was little, from my Swedish grandfather," and sure enough, it was the only thing on the shelf imported from Sweden! I love it - it is tart and sweet and altogether yummy, I wonder, why do we not have it here? Do lingonberries not grow here?

I am such a mutt, that I get to claim many different ethnicities, really, but the Swedish Coffee ring, breads and cookies, Lingonberry jam and it used to be lots of fish (before I became allergic to it) are strongly prevalent in Scandinavian cuisine. I love all sorts of food really, Thai, Chinese, Italian, Polish (before I became allergic to cabbage) so many who I have not one drop of blood from, but the Swedish ones resonate with me.

What "ethnic" foods do you enjoy, and how do they figure into your heritage or not?

Freckles
03-04-2014, 05:37 PM
I'm Swedish from my Mom. My favorites are Potatis Korv (potato sausage) and Smur Bachelsur (butter cookies). I can buy the sausage at a specialty butcher and my niece has the tins to make the cookies at Christmas time.

cassiesmom
03-04-2014, 06:26 PM
It's pączki day and I'm part Polish! I ate half a paczek earlier in the day. One of my co-workers brought them from the bakery and they were huge. Pączki are kind of like bismarcks in that they're made with yeast vs. baking powder. Dumplings, please pass the dumplings. Bread dumplings, potato dumplings, fruit dumplings. Love pierogi (no onions in mine, though). I like the flavor of barley which is popular in Czech cooking. Beef barley soup, yum! I like borscht, but I don't like liver dumpling soup. Can't stand liver sausage, bleecchh! No, thank you.

RICHARD
03-04-2014, 06:54 PM
Growing up I had to chance to eat lots of stuff - mostly things like brains, cheeks, tongue and offal.
Mom cooked "america" dishes too. Like meatloaf, fried chicken and stuff like that.

My favorite story is about being asked "What do you eat at Thanksgiving?" I answered, "Tacos, beans, rice and tortillas......"

The one thing I do miss about living in CA was the choice of foods.

I was able to enjoy Filipino, Korean, Japanese, Greek and a few I forgot...Chinese?

There were a few things I didn't like, but only because I had eaten that dish once and the second time out it was not as good.
I ate pancit at a work pot luck, then had a chance to eat it at a home I was doing some work in. The second time it was not as appetizing, but I finished the plate because I was a guest.

So I am willing to give any dish a few tries, due to the way people cook things! There are some mexican dishes have a regional twist to them, the recipe varies from state to state (in Mexico) But, I will try anything!

One dish that haunts me to this day is turtle soup. I had some as a kid and it was the most delicious thing I ever ate.
It was thick, spicy and wonderfully tasty. I know that some turtles are endangered, but that is one meal/food that I would eat again, no questions asked!

Karen
03-04-2014, 08:16 PM
One dish that haunts me to this day is turtle soup. I had some as a kid and it was the most delicious thing I ever ate.
It was thick, spicy and wonderfully tasty. I know that some turtles are endangered, but that is one meal/food that I would eat again, no questions asked!

I bet the recipe would take just as good made with some other meat, like chicken or a pork or a fish that was not endangered ... as you mentioned it was thick, spicy and wonderfully tasty ... and you know the spicy part didn't come from the protein!

Freedom
03-05-2014, 07:18 AM
Well, anyone who knows my last name won't be surprised to learn I love Italian food.

What may interest some:
- my Dad's side is Sicilian, NOT Italian (BIG rivalry there, and a move for Sicily to secede from Italy is constant, there is another protest march this month over there). So we have many things which Italians to not; and vice versa. One example is polenta - that is northern Italian. I did try it once, I was in my 40's, and nope, not my thing. Sicilians eat lots of fish (being an island!), meat is a specialty item.
- my Mum was from England. That diet is rather bland, and nothing touches anything else. :rolleyes: She was PERFECT for my Dad in this respect. Dad's brothers and sisters always joked that he grew up on bread, he does not like Italian spicey foods. Since I do, I often use garlic; Dad wouldn't even come in my apartment when I had been cooking, he can't stand the stuff. :D
- Since my Mum and Dad lived with Dad's parents for two years when they marred, Mum made lots of Italian dishes. And some English. I spent much of my childhood with Dad's parents (Mum was ill) so I grew up with their cooking. (Unlike my brother, by then Mum was doing lots better, and HE takes after Dad and hates spices and herbs.) I never had "American" food, and don't like much of it, to this day. I have never had 'mac and cheese,' the very idea makes me gag. (Mac is macaroni = pasta, belongs with tomato sauce, and 'American cheese' is a gross plastic cheese PRODUCT, yuck.)
- I grew up in a Sicilian enclave. Everyone around us was also of Sicilian descent -- with a small few Neopolitan families. (Another great rivalry -- I had a fist fight with a girl whose grands hailed from Naples, when we were both in 7th grade). Hence everyone at school ate as I did, we brought the same things for lunches (no hot lunch back then). And 4 years of college, I was a commuting student, just went in for 4 classes in a row and drove back home. I did not realize I ate an ethnic diet, until I moved to DC at age 21 for law school. I rented a room with a family of Lebanese descent. (THEY did not eat an Amercian diet, either!) HOLY MOLY I never even HEARD of the foods they ate! But I loved most of it - and so my love of food developed. ;)

david p
03-05-2014, 08:10 AM
I'm half Italian and half lithuanian. Growing up our family got all of the traditional pasta dishes (boy, do I miss those!), also stuffed cabbage and potato pancakes and haluske from my mom's Lithuanian side.

smokey the elder
03-05-2014, 08:17 AM
I have Polish ancestry, so naturally I like kielbasa, galunkies, pierogies, etc. Don't much care for sauerkraut, though. I have discovered all kinds of cuisines over the years: Thai, Indian, Vietnamese (pho, yum!!), Mexican, Indonesion (panang curry rox!) and many others. My SO and I do heaps of ethnic cooking, and over time have seen availability of exotic ingredients increase.

Randi
03-05-2014, 08:58 AM
Karen, Lingonberry is quite normal in Denmark, also. It's always used for for Game... a bit in the sauce and some on the side. My mum's brother and his family and friends all went hunting and his wife made the most delicious dishes (Phesants, wild Ducks etc.)

I grew up with with mostly potatoes and various meat - and overcooked veggies. ;) Ryebread is something I eat every day, I love it, and it's healthy and filling. When Oprah W. was here, she brought back lots of it. Here are pictures of various ones:
https://www.google.com/images?q=rugbrød&oe=utf-8&hl=da&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ei=kzoXU5GCHqTt4gTBvIDIAw&ved=0CB0QsAQ (https://www.google.com/images?q=rugbr%C3%B8d&oe=utf-8&hl=da&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ei=kzoXU5GCHqTt4gTBvIDIAw&ved=0CB0QsAQ)

One very Danish dessert is "Roedgroed med Floede) - something a foreigner has difficulties pronouncing. :D It is made from rhubarbs and strawberries. Here are pictures of it, and if you scroll down, there's an English explanation.
https://www.google.com/search?q=rødgrød%20med%20fløde&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8 (https://www.google.com/search?q=r%C3%B8dgr%C3%B8d%20med%20fl%C3%B8de&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8)

Of ethnic foods I love most of them... especially Italian, Greek, Indian, Chinese and Thai.

In this link there are some typical Danish cakes and cookies. If you click on "Afspil" you'll see them one by one:
http://samvirke.dk/billedgallerier/gallerier/21-kager-opfundet-danmark.html

I'll be glad to translate recipes if you want to try. :)

Karen
03-05-2014, 11:52 AM
Oh, Randi, I love rye bread - I get it sometimes as a treat for myself, and didn't know that that was also a Scandinavian thing! Rye bread with strong ginger jam - yum!!!!!

Randi
03-05-2014, 12:32 PM
Oh, Randi, I love rye bread - I get it sometimes as a treat for myself, and didn't know that that was also a Scandinavian thing! Rye bread with strong ginger jam - yum!!!!!
LOL! How can eat anything sweet on rye bread? ;)

Because of you, I remembered to take out a huge jar of pickled currants to use with my dinner. :)

Karen
03-05-2014, 04:23 PM
LOL! How can eat anything sweet on rye bread? ;)

Because of you, I remembered to take out a huge jar of pickled currants to use with my dinner. :)

Hee hee - you have to try it sometime, Randi - just spread some strong jam - or even a bit of honey really thin on toasted rye, the interplay of savory and sweet is quite yummy, I promise!

Barbara
03-06-2014, 03:39 AM
I am from very close to the French border and I rather have problems with the pork-oriented German cuisine - even if a good sausage is a nice thing. Consequently I do not care for some of the Polish cuisine as well. IMO it is very similar to what you get in Bavaria.
But I love:
Thai
Vietnamese
Malaysian
Singaporean
Indian
Mexican
Tex-Mex (ok- that's ethnic from my point of view)
Italian (there are more Italian places in Munich than Bavarian)
Spanish
Greek
Moroccan
Libanese
Turkish
.....
Of course we have much rye bread here or mixed breads and while I am with Randi that I will rather have it with prosciutto or cheese (or both) I prefer it to white bread:)

redbird
03-12-2014, 04:01 PM
I am a full blooded Italian but born here. I was brought up on mostly Italian foods, just loved my Mom's tomato sauce and meatballs, yummy. I also love Chinese, and the all American steak and potatoes. I also love most fish and seafood.

RICHARD
03-12-2014, 05:07 PM
Does anyone like the sriracha (rooster brand) hot sauce?

I picked up a jar of the garlic chili sauce and it's so good. I ate almost a whole jar in the matter of days.

http://www.huyfong.com/no_frames/garlic.htm

cassiesmom
03-12-2014, 06:48 PM
My brother and his family went to an Ethiopian restaurant while on vacation, and have found a couple in Chicago that they really like. I've never been, but my brother told me that the dishes are highly seasoned and onion is a frequent ingredient. They all come with a flat bread (like a pita, maybe??) that you apparently use as a "pusher". There are lots of vegetable dishes, but there are meat dishes as well.

I like Greek food, too ... dolmades ... the salad of bulghur and onions and feta cheese with olive oil ... spanakopita ... tzatziki ... avgolemono ... pastitsio! Yum!

Karen
03-12-2014, 07:53 PM
My brother and his family went to an Ethiopian restaurant while on vacation, and have found a couple in Chicago that they really like. I've never been, but my brother told me that the dishes are highly seasoned and onion is a frequent ingredient. They all come with a flat bread (like a pita, maybe??) that you apparently use as a "pusher". There are lots of vegetable dishes, but there are meat dishes as well.

I like Greek food, too ... dolmades ... the salad of bulghur and onions and feta cheese with olive oil ... spanakopita ... tzatziki ... avgolemono ... pastitsio! Yum!

The Ethiopian bread is thicker than a pita - more like flatbread like some folks use as a pizza crust, I guess! I haven't had spanakopita in a while, should get some soon! There's a dense Armenian population in Watertown and when I look for it, I can sometimes get this yummy flatbread-ish stuff with feta and onions and spinach on it, which is scrumptious!

Watertown is of course where the Boston Marathon bomber was eventually captured, and when I initially saw the picture of the kid on the news, I thought, "Oh, great - that's what half the young men in Watertown look like!" - I dare you to spot the difference between an Armenian and a Chechyn based on a headshot alone!

Grace
03-12-2014, 10:12 PM
I'm Swedish and Scottish - and my food preferences are not ethnic but geographical. I was born and raised in Rhode Island. My favorite foods are from the sea, and now, living in MIchigan, from Lake superior.

I love Lake Superior White Fish - but my main love is for shellfish - oysters, clams, mussels - and shrimp and swordfish and tuna and lobster - just fish - of all varieties.

Friday morning we head out to the fish market to buy Lobster Salad, Little Necks, Shrimp and anything thing else that appeals to me. Once a year I really splurge and pretend I'm back on Narragansett Bay :)

smokey the elder
03-13-2014, 01:24 PM
Ethiopian food is really good, Typically the meal is served on a table-top sized piece of injera (sp?) bread and smaller rounds are used to pick up portions and eat them with your fingers. I love cuisines where eating with your fingers is not only allowed but encouraged! I was at a Moroccan restaurant in Savanna, GA of all places, which was "forks optional" too.

pomtzu
03-14-2014, 07:29 PM
I'm Swedish and Scottish - and my food preferences are not ethnic but geographical. I was born and raised in Rhode Island. My favorite foods are from the sea, and now, living in MIchigan, from Lake superior.

I love Lake Superior White Fish - but my main love is for shellfish - oysters, clams, mussels - and shrimp and swordfish and tuna and lobster - just fish - of all varieties.

Friday morning we head out to the fish market to buy Lobster Salad, Little Necks, Shrimp and anything thing else that appeals to me. Once a year I really splurge and pretend I'm back on Narragansett Bay :)

I'm with you, having grown up almost in the same neighborhood as you. I'm Italian (dad's side), and English from my mom. I must confess that I'm not much a lover of Italian cuisine, tho I do eat it occasionally - and mostly just lasagna. I do love spumoni ice cream tho - YUM ! I'm more of a plain meat and potatoes gal, and of course seafood is my very favorite. Unfortunately I'm pretty limited now as to what seafood I can eat since I developed a shellfish allergy several years ago. How I miss those clams, shrimp, scallops, lobsters, crabs, etc.............:(

cassiesmom
03-05-2015, 06:51 PM
I'm going to a Thai restaurant next week with some friends. It will be my first time eating Thai food other than pad thai from Noodles and Company. I'm looking forward to yummy Irish soda bread for Saint Patrick's Day too and maybe potato and leek soup :)

kuhio98
03-06-2015, 11:40 AM
My brother and his family went to an Ethiopian restaurant while on vacation, and have found a couple in Chicago that they really like. I've never been, but my brother told me that the dishes are highly seasoned and onion is a frequent ingredient. They all come with a flat bread (like a pita, maybe??) that you apparently use as a "pusher". There are lots of vegetable dishes, but there are meat dishes as well......

True story ~ Alaskan friends/family were "outside" visiting Washington, D.C. Someone suggested having Ethiopian for lunch.
They responded, "Ethiopians have food? We always see commercials that they are starving." :eek:

jenn_librarian
03-08-2015, 05:44 AM
Hey Karen, I lived in Sweden for a year as an exchange student. I loved all their food EXCEPT korv. It is like a hot dog meat, if you've ever had it. I hated it. They made in different sizes, cooked, grilled, fried, you name it they made it, and potatoes were served at almost every lunch and dinner in homes and in school.

I LOVED lingonberry jam, especially on fried bloodpudding. It's not like the German kind, but has cloves and spices in it, and is brown and has a scrapple like consistency until you fry it, then it's like fried bread. You ate it with jam on top, and it was delicious. I had to remind myself I wasn't eating blood though to be able to eat it, lol.

I had reindeer, moose, lutefisk (yuck), and my favorites were the sweets. Almond paste, cocos bullar (coconut covered confections that were made with spun oatmeal, sugar, cocoa, and lord knows what else but it was moist), I could eat 5 of them and think nothing of it. Damsugare (not sure of spelling anymore), but it meant vacuum cleaner, lol. They were green and brown marzipan and had almond past on the inside. Oh so good.

I have such fond memories of my times over there. Skipping classes, going to my best friend's house instead and making scones (real scones, not the huge sugar coated lumps of crap you get here), but buttermilk scones with melting butter on them, with tea. Oh so nice, especially on those cold days we had over there from October until April. We still had snow in May back in 1988, but not much, because of the Russian nuculear reactor meltdown... it warmed up the atmosphere enough that we didn't get as much snow as normal, but it did dip to below 0 many days where you couldn't even wear earrings cause they would freeze in your ears.

I do still have my favorite candy bag from a candy store (found on every block over there, lol), it's brand has an elephant as it's mascot or logo, and the candies were soooo good. Salt licorice is still one of my faves and I found a candy market here in Allentown that sells them!! I was so excited!

Anyway, so I love Swedish food a lot, miss it so much, and almost any Arabic food you put in front of me. Mediterranean (sp?) food you put in front of me. I keep kalamata olives in my fridge at all times, with the pits in of course, because they have more flavor, and it's a tradition with the spitting out of the seed. I just love different flavors and textures and spices (not spicey necessarily), but the spiced flavor of the food. I find American food lacking in the spice department. It's very bland compared to other cuisines. Chinese hot and sour soup with tofu. So good when you have a cold. Takes some getting used to, but I'll take that over chicken noodle soup any day! I could go on and on about food, but I'll stop here, lol.

Karen
03-08-2015, 10:43 PM
Jenn, that was fun, thanks for sharing your memories with us - and its funny, as I always thought of scones as English - we make them at home, too - just slightly sweet, without the giant glaze of sugar some commercial places use. And whenever I bring "real" scones anywhere, they get exclaimed over! One of the few regrets my Dad had was that he never got his own father's pickled herring recipe from him, and the store-bought stuff was just not nearly as yummy. I am now allergic to fish, or I'd still hunt that recipe down, as we were all allowed a tiny bit when we got a jar form him!

RICHARD
03-09-2015, 11:29 AM
True story ~ Alaskan friends/family were "outside" visiting Washington, D.C. Someone suggested having Ethiopian for lunch.
They responded, "Ethiopians have food? We always see commercials that they are starving." :eek:

I dated a woman who once asked me what my family ate for Thanksgiving.

I told her, "Tacos, burritos, beans, rice and tortillas........"

We do turkey - but....I am a tortilla kinda guy. That would drive my mom CRAZY...I was forbidden to eat Thanksgiving dinner with a tortilla in hand!:eek:

mon
03-09-2015, 12:24 PM
We had Ukranian food last Thanksgiving for a change and it was delicious! One of my favorite Aunties was so irate that there was no turkey that she would not attend. I thought that was hilarious. It's Thanksgiving after all, I guess turkey, cranberries and tradition trump family shindigs and giving thanks. Maybe she just hates perogies:rolleyes::D;)

Karen
03-09-2015, 07:55 PM
We had Ukranian food last Thanksgiving for a change and it was delicious! One of my favorite Aunties was so irate that there was no turkey that she would not attend. I thought that was hilarious. It's Thanksgiving after all, I guess turkey, cranberries and tradition trump family shindigs and giving thanks. Maybe she just hates perogies:rolleyes::D;)

Did she not volunteer to cook and bring a turkey herself? That's what she would have been told in my family, should the situation arise!

mrspunkysmom
03-09-2015, 08:38 PM
I love greek and italian, but these days it's hibachi style food. it's the gluten free thing.