Food and Eating Behaviors Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2544 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: College Sophomore  ·  Topic: Agriculture

Food & Eating Behavior

Every country on planet earth has its unique culture and traditions. The people living in these countries have different lifestyles and so their food and eating behavior differs and sets it apart from others. Some countries have become popular because of their food and eating traditions like India, Italy, Thailand or even Turkey.

Turkey

Located on the Eastern end of the Mediterranean, Turkey is the country which is considered a place where East & West meet. Even though the country is predominantly inhabited by Muslims the traditions and culture is secular yet a taste of tradition is there.

Ottoman rule has had a great influence on many traditions of the country and that includes food also. It is with the help of this era that Turkish tradition of food reached other areas also. Turkish food heritage today is considered one of the healthiest and the most delicious food in the world despite the presence of fast food chains in the urban centers. In the Ottoman times two meals was the norm but now three standard meals are used. During long winter nights some regions make use of another meal called 'yatsilik, uykuluk or yat-geber yemegi'.

Soups, eggs, olives, fish and bread can be considered staple items in Turkish food. Vegetables are also used extensively in the diet and most of the foods is preferably cooked and served in olive oil as the country has been well-known for olive oil production. Meat is grilled, skewered and roasted while breads are baked upon an overturned griddle known as sac. Other than these 'Yogurt' is typically a Turkish item which became a staple item world wide as it reached outside the country during the Ottoman occupation.

In breakfast Turkish people use different types of cheese, sausages, jam, eggs and olives while the main beverage is tea. Lunches in the most of Turkey are not elaborate and consist of stews, soup, salads and meat. Meat is generally lamb or fish. The meat is usually grilled and eaten with different sausages. The dinner in Turkish traditions is more detailed starting with appetizers followed by main course and deserts. Special preparations are made for dinner as the families get the chance to eat dinner together. In Turkey, Appetizer is also known as mezeler. Mezeler is purely Turkish delight and different items and different variations are available. Different restaurants also offer different special items as appetizers. "Roasted pureed eggplant, fine chopped salads, miniature filled pasta called "manti," pepper and turnip pickles, mackerel stuffed with pilaf, sardines rolled in grape leaves, and "kofte," spiced lamb meatballs, all tantalize the diner" (Chrones, n.d.). Main courses are usually meat cooked in different ways. Deserts Fruits, nuts, tea or dried fruit pulps are used for the extra meal in long winter nights in different regions.

Tea has the special status in Turkey among all drinks and so different varieties in tea like rose tea and 'elma chai', apple peel tea are used. Other popular drinks include boza made of slightly fermented millet, lo-usa sherbet, a non-alcoholic drink made with spices and fruit juices and sahlep which is cinnamon flavored. Apart from tea, coffee, special drinks and juices, the national drink of Turkey is Raki, an anise liqueur.

Like every country Turkish people have special food for special occasions. On certain occasions like engagement, wedding and circumcision ceremonies people gather together and enjoy the meal. Items like soup, milk, yogurt and eggs are given to women who have given birth to a child. Similarly there are religious occasions like the holy month of Ramadan when preparations are made in advance for food. Wedding meals are also very lavish in which a variety of items like rice, vegetables, beans or garbanzo, vermicelli, yogurt soups, meat and fruit juices are served.

Thailand

Thailand meaning the land of free is a country with both modern and traditional aspects to it. On one hand it has modern city like Bangkok with all the ingredients of a modern urban center while there are also villages and rural areas seeped in tradition. The country still relies on land for its economy apart from tourism. Seafood, coconuts, tropical fruits, rice, tapioca, cane sugar, mushrooms, bananas and shrimp are major produces of the country and so these items also make main ingredient of Thai food.

Thai cuisines are a binding force of culture in the country. Thailand's prosperity and development of culinary culture can be traced back to the Sukhothai Period some 700 years ago. Today, Thai food is famous all over the world and most successful restaurants have a section of Thai foods in their menu. The general conception is that Thai food is spicy and fiery but in reality it varies in different areas. Thai food has influences from other countries like China, India and Indonesia in the region. Sweet, sour, salty and hot flavors are four basic elements of Thai food.

Rice is the main item in the Thai meals as rice is also their major crop. Other than rice there are a variety of other items that are used in cooking Thai food but on the whole Thai food has five main parts. Salad dressings, soups, sauces, seasonings, curry bases, rice and coconut milk are used to make Thai food. Curry is also of importance as it gives food its peculiar taste. Mussaman, green, yellow, panang and red curry are used to make different dishes. "Generally, Thai food can be categorized into five dishes: (1)Gaeng or Tom Gaeng (2)Yam and Phla (3) Dip or Sauce (4) Pad or Fry (5) Ar-harn Jarn or Miscellaneous Food" ('the Thailand Food Connection', 2004).

Starting with Gaeng which is dish in which different ingredients are crushed together in a curry. The ingredients include onion, garlic, chili and meat of beef, pork, chicken or fish. Gaeng can be cooked with different variations as for example ingredients are crushed with red, green or yellow curry. The second category of Thai dish is Yam which is cooked using different vegetable mixed with ingredients like sugar, fish sauce and lime juice et. Thai main difference in this dish is that meat used is either raw or half cooked. The appetizer in Thai food is the sauce or the dip and usually has hot and salty taste. Unlike other countries where sauces are used to add flavor Thais considered dip a main part of their meal. Pad or fry as the name suggests is based on the method of cooking or frying as Thais like to fry in coconut oil which they call Pad Kathi. Lastly Ar-harn Jarn are items that are used to enhance that taste of all the other dishes.

Italy

Italy is the country rich in religion, history, arts, food and culture. The culture has developed so much that almost in every month they have one or the other occasion to celebrate. Food is one of the most well-known parts of the Italy. Special Italian restaurants or food are available all over the world. The food is so much the part of the culture that some of the schools in the country have become famous for learning the culinary delights of Italian food.

Food habits in Italy also vary from region to region. Pasta is the staple item in whole of Italy except North where risotto or polenta is the main course. One thing that is common is that vegetables, grains and legumes make the main ingredient in food preparation instead of meat. Like Turkey Olive Oil is also mainly used for cooking all food items. However difference in olive oils with respect to their color, aroma and thickness exist. For example, southern Italian olive oil is dark green while more refined, golden oil is preferred in the north. The country has its own olive factories, mozzarella farms, lemon orchards and other farms.

For Italians two meals a day routine suffices unlike three meals norm everywhere else. Also, since they have only two meals their dinner is usually late and restaurants start serving dinners late. Their meals are also elaborate and consist of a variety of item served in small portions. The menu is usually based on the fresh stuff available in the market and so ingredients may vary from season to season. "Basically, Italian cuisine is a combination of vegetables, grains, fruits, fish, cheeses and a scattering of meats, fowl and game usually seasoned or cooked with olive oil (with the exception of the far north)" (Furfaro, n.d.).

Breakfast for Italians means only a cup of coffee with extra milk. This is the reason why Italians have given coffee the status of a specialty in their country. It is in Italy that the concepts of espresso, cappuccino or Cafe Latte came up and later became well-known world over. Like France, Italians value coffee a lot but they do not spend a lot of time savoring the coffee in cafe rather they make drinking coffee a quick affair.

After coffee, Italy is famous for its breads and pasta.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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