We all consume it. We all need it to stay alive. Every living thing on earth needs certain nutrients to thrive, grow, and live.
Humans have done a marvelous job in adapting a physical need and turning it into a delightful pleasure. Every country, every region, every city has its own particular food preparations.
I believe it is incredibly important to taste foods from all over the world.
I think it helps different cultures to understand and have empathy for each other to try the one thing we all have in common. Food.
It is hard to stay angry at or afraid of other cultures while eating their delicious food. Racism, bias, and prejudice all fall by the wayside.
Even people in the same town who otherwise wouldn't speak to each other will gladly share recipes and enter into competitions for the best variation of the same dish.
Family members who find themselves estranged from each other will sit at the same table to eat and drink and (hopefully) be merry.
Sharing food with many people gives a strong sense of community. This might be the reason so many people break bread together, offer food to strangers, and have rules about leaving the politics (for example) outside the door while gathering together to eat.
In Laos, every little thing was celebrated with a feast. Weddings. House warmings. Visits to childhood villages. Blessing ceremonies. Birthdays. On Wednesdays, at the temple, it was a giant feast.
Celebrations of holidays and significant happenings seem to bring people together around the table, fire, or mat. No matter how small the gathering, if there's food there will likely be friendship.
Every chance I get to eat foods from different cultures than my own, I take with glee. Spicy Caribbean jerked pork, Cuban mojo tacos, Spanish tapas plates, Japanese sushi, Thai curry, Indian lamb sag, Laotian Pho, Native American fry bread, Boston clam chowder, Italian pasta, French quiche, German schnitzel, Hungarian goulash. Just to name a very few.
And more. So, many more.
While I believe it is important to give every food a try, I enjoyed some "exotic" foods more than others. I truly enjoyed the lizard served with rice my friends served.
My hosts brought home a lizard and put it on a leash of sorts. The lizard stayed in a tree (the same tree my hosts would gather leaves from for their Pho) until it was time to start preparing the evening meal.
The rice was always on the table, it would get steamed periodically and before meals, to warm it up. The only thing missing was the lizard!
Apparently, it had slipped out of the little string that was tied around it. Someone had to climb the tree to retrieve it. Once it was retrieved, it quickly went into the pot.
We had many unusual-to-us types of meat in Laos. Lizard, Civet, and flying squirrel to name a few.
I also loved the salty fish jerky that seemed to always be on hand for snacking.
I tasted but did not enjoy the other snack they had. It was like popcorn or chips (crisps) for them. Just grab a handful and go!
All manner of beetles and crickets. I tried one of each. I'm not a fan! But I'm very happy I had the experience.
Speaking of food. Y'all. I was going through my Google Photos looking for decent photos to use in this post and OMG I take a lot of photos of food. A LOT. Hundreds of photos, maybe a thousand or more, photos since I got my first smartphone in 2012!
I took pictures of restaurant food, homemade food, weird food combinations, and menu images next to the reality of what I made. I'll leave you with some of those photos to peruse before I get to the guidelines of submitting a prompt response to PromptlyJonica.
That's the last restaurant photo I will share. The rest are my creations or disasters.
Recipe photo (please excuse the blurriness). I was attempting to duplicate a recipe but was laughing too hard at my apple "match sticks"
This is the reality. I remember these tacos were pretty delicious. I could make them again if I could remember where I put the recipe and if I could recreate the sauce. I used a sauce from a bottle, but our store doesn't carry it anymore. Not sure why. Probably broken supply chain.
Shakshuka, chakchouka, and tchouktchouka (gesundheit!) are all altenative name of this Maghrebi dish.
Isn't that a beautiful photo? Who wouldn't want to try this dish?? Well, I tried it. . .
As for my very weird food combinations, to me, they aren't weird at all. Just delicious.
Puffy Cheetos in Chocolate hazelnut spread, anyone?
I paired it with a lovely $3.00 bottle of Pinot Noir.
Nom Nom Nom
This morning for breakfast I had potato salad and blueberries.
Shut up! That's just how I roll.
Salty and sweet.
Vinegar and sweet.
It was so good.
Sometimes my food might feel a little boring, so I'll add some excitement.
I guess I didn't want to eat alone.
So I ate my little salad friend.
Finally, some food everybody can agree on, at least once in a while.
This has been a PromptlyJonica writing prompt. If you would like to join, the rules are simple:
Write anything about food
Write 100% original content
Join and submit your story to PromptlyJonica
Tag me: @JonicaBradley
Just a few guidelines. These aren't rules, but they are strong suggestions.
Read the PromptlyJonica community rules
Write at least 600 words so Rustly will reward you
Caption and accredit every image (even your own) - make sure you have the right to use the image. Sometimes an image search on Google will yield images that are license protected. That means it is against the law to use them. Try finding images from Unsplash, Pixabay, or Wikimedia Commons
There are no deadlines or time limits. You may write on any prompt, any time, as many times as you want, forever. Here's a list with all of the writing prompts linked and in order.
This is a prompt community and as such will only approve prompt response submissions. I love a lot of the stories that come through but have to reject them because they aren't prompt related.
Keep in mind read.cash is a worldwide community and as such hosts writers and readers from every culture. Please save your religious text quotes for spiritual communities geared toward such.
Please do not copy and paste other writers' work. If it is just to include the rules and guidelines, that is fine, but don't take credit for someone else's hard work.
Use Grammarly or another editing software to check your grammar. Grammarly is free and user-friendly. Unless you have perfect grammar and spelling (if you do, you are the only person in the world ever) you'll need to at least re-read what you wrote. Try reading it out loud. That's how I catch most of my errors. (I need to practice this last one more, myself.)
And that's all for today.
Until next time!
Lead image: (Greek-inspired)smokey bean pitas photo credit: me