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Re: Cultural Curiosities: Life in Other Countries

PostPosted: Jan 27, 2014 7:03 am
by wild rose
ooooh Daal and Chapati, only had it once in my life, but it was sooooo tasty! (we had an Indian friend who made it for us, with spices he brought from India :) )

I guess while I'm on the Indian wavelength, I can just mention how much I'm addicted to the Indian way of making tea :) We have an Indian store only about an hour away from where we live, so I go there to get my hands on the tea and spices :) (and here's something I found ironic, the Indians and the Russian share the same word for tea, chai! :D )
But yeah, I'm generally very fascinated with the Indian culture, dress, food and dance. (I even danced a little bollywood in the years before, though unfortunately, I'm too blonde too look Indian ;)) :) )

Russian signature dish...um...probably borscht ;)) (I mean, I think I can come up with several dishes that could be considered 'signature dishes' but I honetly think borscht takes the cake!)

Here's a question, in the US/England/any other country you may be from, is it at al popular to go out in the forest around autumn time and collect mushrooms? Here, it's what just about how half the population spends their autumn. The mushrooms are then either dried, frozen or marinaded, and later used for soups, pies, or eaten just like that. (Fried together with potoates is one of my favorites ways of eating them :) )

Re: Cultural Curiosities: Life in Other Countries

PostPosted: Jan 27, 2014 12:50 pm
by Shadowlander
ILF wrote:I don't like meat pies for reasons states before. I think you can get ones which are more solid but most of the time it is soupy I believe.


Hmm...that makes it sound like a beef pot pie. Here a pot pie is a little pastry kinda thing that essentially looks like a tiny pie, but it's filled with a meat stew concoction. Chicken pot pies are the most popular but they also have turkey pot pies and beef pot pies. Can you pick up one of your meat pies and eat it like a sandwich? I think I'd like to try one of those :D

wild rose wrote:Here's a question, in the US/England/any other country you may be from, is it at al popular to go out in the forest around autumn time and collect mushrooms?


People will do that in the fall here but my understanding is that it's not because they enjoy it but rather because some of the mushrooms net you some very big money. The mushrooms command some fairly insane market prices and are used for a variety of things from medicine to being included in super pricey restaurants. I used to have gigantic mushrooms that would sprout on my front lawn and were a real eye sore. You can do your best to mow the stuff down but they always pop up again ;)). One day I was doing some work in the front yard and a man pulled up on his moped and said to me, "Hey man, you ever watch the Smurfs?". I said "Yeah...". He then said, "Your lawn looks like Smurf Village. Ha ha hahahazzzzzzzwwwwaa" as he rode off on his moped. :))

I keep the lawn so short now that the merest hint of mushroom will have me out on the front lawn and mowing like a madman! I read someplace on some website that some of them can actually be used for cooking, but one requires a qualified myconologist (a doctor of mushroomology ;)) ) to tell a good one from one that'll give you a bad tummyache. Or worse. But I'm just not brave enough to try it. :P

Re: Cultural Curiosities: Life in Other Countries

PostPosted: Jan 27, 2014 2:09 pm
by shastastwin
I've not heard of people going hunting for mushrooms in the areas I've lived in. We were always told as children not to pick or eat mushrooms because we couldn't tell whether they were poisonous or not, and I actually have a cousin who ate some wild 'shrooms without telling anyone and was hospitalized because they weren't the edible kind. So, for myself, I'll stick to buying mushrooms from the local grocer. ;)

Re: Cultural Curiosities: Life in Other Countries

PostPosted: Jan 27, 2014 2:22 pm
by stargazer
While the state I live in even has an 'official' state mushroom (the morel, which apparently is quite delicious), in my experience it's pretty rare for people to go mushroom picking because it can be dangerous.

But there are people who go morel hunting, and I recall one time I was having a picnic at a state park when a brief rain shower brought a quick growth of mushrooms - and a group of mushroom hunters showed up right away to gather them.

I'm not that brave. ;))

Speaking of pot pies, a variation is the pasty, a heartier version popular in mining areas such as Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Minnesota's Iron Range. The story goes that in times past they were an easy, hand-held lunch for the miners. So when I went to the UP for the first time, I had to play the tourist and find a pasty place. ;)) Delicious!

Re: Cultural Curiosities: Life in Other Countries

PostPosted: Jan 27, 2014 4:39 pm
by Varnafinde
Shadowlander wrote:Is there any one dish which anyone would consider their country's "signature" dish? In the US it's probably the cheeseburger, or maybe pizza. What would it be in Australia, Russia, and Norway? And Varna, if you say "Lutefisk" I will sob uncontrollably :))


I won't say it then :p
Actually, I think lutefisk is our most bizarre dish, not our most popular one. And people tend to love it or hate it. I'm closer to the second group ...

Some years ago, a popular radio programme arranged a voting for our most popular dish, and the winner was [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fårikål]Fårikål[/url] (mutton in cabbage). (Sorry I can't format the link.)
As a dish in daily use, the fårikål might be more of a signature dish for Norway than the lutefisk. (I like it very much.)

Meatballs might be another signature dish, actually.

Re: Cultural Curiosities: Life in Other Countries

PostPosted: Jan 27, 2014 5:57 pm
by Shadowlander
Mutton...that's sheep, right? I've never had it myself, but a meat/cabbage combination sounds rather nice. :D

@ Stargazer, that looks reeeeeallly good!

I suppose in addition to hamburgers/cheeseburgers one could call Chili a national dish of sorts. Every living American soul has at some point consumed some form of chili, and it's a dish that can be modified in countless different ways. Probably like wild rose's borscht. I need to try that borscht recipe out...I foresee a trip to the grocery store in the near future! ;))

Re: Cultural Curiosities: Life in Other Countries

PostPosted: Jan 27, 2014 6:33 pm
by waggawerewolf27
IloveFauns wrote:I don't like meat pies for reasons states before.


Actually, meat pies are more of a fast food, like fish & chips or hamburgers, and a lot depends where you get them. The traditional meat pie is something like the ones you get with peas at Harry's Café de Wheels, I've heard. One of our local bakeries does really nice pies, not only the traditional ones, but also Chicken & Mushroom, Mexican Beef (with Capsicum & Chili), Beef Vindaloo, which is a bit nicer than just plain curried Beef, and others. Yes, some meat pies, being made with minced meat instead of diced meat, can be a bit heavy on the gravy, but others, particularly the freezer ones @ the supermarket, can also be a bit dry.

Flo Bjelke-Petersen was the wife of Joh (Johannes) Bjelke-Petersen, who came from New Zealand, and became a famous Queensland premier. Senator Flo, who was particularly famous for her pumpkin scones, was in the Federal Parliament's Upper House, called the Senate.

If I were to choose an Australian signature dish, I'd still go for a Sunday roast. Or a backyard barbecue. I know you don't like lamb very much, but on Australia or Anzac Day there is nothing like a nice leg of lamb, rubbed with garlic, well seasoned with rosemary leaves, served with roast vegetables like pumpkin, potato, carrot etc., and don't forget the mint sauce. This is supposed to be the dinner that most girls wouldn't pass up even when they won a date with Tom Cruise. At least Nicole Kidman must have thought so when she named her daughter Sunday Rose. ;)

The signature dish for Scotland is Haggis, I believe. When it isn't oatmeal porridge, that is. Served up as a flambé 'ed pudding after a lot of speechifying on January 25th, which is Robbie Burns' day. To make a haggis, they take all the nice bits off the sheep and cook the rest of it, eg the stomach, in a pudding, using oatmeal and herbs etc. Haggis is served with neaps which is basically turnip. Actually the Scots use oatmeal quite a bit. Just as I've heard the Dutch use nutmeg in everything, and it appears that in the USA they deep-fry everything. :p

Varnafinde wrote:Perhaps the Norwegian background is closer to Scottish and the accent is therefore more likely to come over for a Norwegian than the southern English accents :p


You could be right. I've been to the Orkneys which has a regional flag suspiciously like the Norwegian flag, which has a lot of links with Norway, and where the native language is not Scottish Gaelic, as in the Hebrides and highlands of Scotland, but a form of Norwegian. Malcolm Canmore's first wife was from the Orkneys, possibly, and in the Shetlands, in particular, the people there are closer to Norway than to London. And did you know that English dialects in Yorkshire & Sunderland do show where the Danelaw was during the time of Alfred the Great.

Over the Long weekend my family watched some Star Trek movies from the Voyager series. Captain Janeway speaks in a distinctly USA accent, and I've been noticing again all those "o" sounds which come across as more like "ar" sounds, and words like hostile or missile pronounced like hostal and missal, not at all the objects I'd associate with hostile missiles. I've also noticed how Australians also flatten vowel sounds so they can sound like something else, for example She'll be roight, instead of right.

Re: Cultural Curiosities: Life in Other Countries

PostPosted: Jan 28, 2014 5:59 am
by Warrior 4 Jesus
Wagga, actually, you're right. The signature dish would be the classic Aussie BBQ.

And no, most of us don't cook shrimp on the barbie. Shrimp are just a smaller variety of what we call 'prawns'.

Re: Cultural Curiosities: Life in Other Countries

PostPosted: Jan 28, 2014 8:46 pm
by Puddleglum
I have actually been thinking of going out some spring to look for morel mushrooms. I know that there is supposed to be a poison mushroom that is called a false morel, but it appears to be much flatter in shape than the real item. I do have a couple booklets to assist in identification, but I also hope to talk with some seasoned pickers before trying them out.
Varnafinde's mention of lutefisk reminded me of another fish that is, um sort of celebrated in Minnesota. Has anyone ever heard of Eelpout?

Re: Cultural Curiosities: Life in Other Countries

PostPosted: Jan 29, 2014 2:50 am
by Shadowlander
You guys have walleye. Why would you need any other fish? ;)) Walleye=delicious. My wife is from Wisconsin and swears by some fish she and her family call a "Northern". As far as I've been able to figure out they're referencing some kind of river sturgeon, but I don't think I've had it, just the walleye.

Re: Cultural Curiosities: Life in Other Countries

PostPosted: Jan 29, 2014 5:06 pm
by Warrior 4 Jesus
I think there was a forum glitch, so I'll try to remember what I previously posted.

Shadowlander, our bakery meat pies often have a thick, soupy texture because of the meat gravy. They're tasty but can be tricky to eat. Pies are eaten like a sandwich, but if they're piping hot and you bite into them too quickly, you may burn your mouth and fingers, so you have to be careful. Frozen pies from the supermarket are far less exciting and should be avoided if you enjoy food.

Aslanisthebest, yes, I've had Daal and Chapati quite a few times but I usually prefer other Indian foods. Australia is an incredibly multicultural country, so we enjoy food from all over the world. I'm sure there are some countries that aren't recognised amongst are cuisine, but all of the well-known countries foods are, as well as many of the lesser-known ones.

Re: Cultural Curiosities: Life in Other Countries

PostPosted: Jan 29, 2014 6:19 pm
by IloveFauns
Even frozen berry pies should be avoided. Speaking of pies. Americans can you please explain the appeal of a pumpkin pie? I thought it was a savory thing until a cpouple of years ago when we had an American themed day at school. It tasted strange to say the least. Ha

Re: Cultural Curiosities: Life in Other Countries

PostPosted: Jan 29, 2014 6:59 pm
by fantasia
I actually thoroughly dislike Pumpkin Pie so I can't help you. ;))

Re: Cultural Curiosities: Life in Other Countries

PostPosted: Jan 29, 2014 9:02 pm
by Shadowlander
I, on the other hand, love it ;)). The taste is difficult to explain to someone who has never had it before, so chances are you're either going to love it or hate it. We also have sweet potato pie, which I think tastes very similar to it and is almost the same color, just slightly sweeter. Imagine taking a bunch of sweet potatoes or yams, mashing them up and then adding cinnamon and sugar and such and then baking it in a pie crust. If you're going to do pumpkin pie right you really should eat it with whipped cream on the top. :D

Re: Cultural Curiosities: Life in Other Countries

PostPosted: Jan 29, 2014 10:35 pm
by Warrior 4 Jesus
I'm pretty open to trying most foods but I greatly dislike both pumpkins and sweet potatoes and anything in their families. I tried homemade pumpkin scones as a child before, and while I didn't love them, I found them bearable.

Re: Cultural Curiosities: Life in Other Countries

PostPosted: Jan 30, 2014 2:46 am
by IloveFauns
You know that Tony Abbott has nothing better to do when he starts complaining about the abc. Than the other politicans join in either siding with him or going against him. That my friends is politics in Australia. I was wondering if what they waste time on in other countries? commenting on what a tv personaility has done?(David cameron and Jimmy carr ring a bell). I am not asking for political views or anything(that is against the rules of this forum).