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-   -   DESCRIBE MEDITTERANEAN FOOD IN RELATION TO AMERICAN, WHATS SIMILAR? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/describe-meditteranean-food-in-relation-to-american-whats-similar-100557/)

LEIGH Jan 15th, 2001 11:15 AM

DESCRIBE MEDITTERANEAN FOOD IN RELATION TO AMERICAN, WHATS SIMILAR?
 
WHATS A SIMILAR FOOD IN THE US TO MEDITTERANEAN IN ROME? WHAT IS USED AND HOW IS IT COOKED? <BR> <BR>THANKS

why oh why Jan 15th, 2001 11:48 AM

Why not try Mc Donald's? Same food and same cooking as in the US. And PLEASE stop to use capital letters now! And maybe you should stay at home. In Italy you pay with Lire or from next year on in Euro. Maybe try to buy a Fodor's or Frommer's travel guide.... One question: <BR> <BR>are you really interested seeing Italy or do you have too much money and don't know where to go with it? If you travel like you ask, then poor Italians! <BR> <BR>European Woman

Sam Jan 15th, 2001 11:56 AM

Is it just me or do these sound like question for a take-home test in high school?

Ed Jan 15th, 2001 12:18 PM

Simple question. Difficult answer. <BR> <BR>Mediterranean food (Greek, Italian, French, Tunisian ... among others) covers a wide gamut. So does Italian. So does Roman. Far wider than "American". <BR> <BR>For a few meals and dishes in Rome see www.twenj.com/romefood.htm <BR> <BR>Ed

wendy Jan 15th, 2001 12:29 PM

Meditteranean food can be anything from Italian to Lebanese. They all tend to use garlic, olive oil, sometimes rice, maybe chick peas.

Jon Jan 15th, 2001 01:06 PM

...and a lot of tomatos, not to forget sea food.

schoolsout Jan 15th, 2001 01:06 PM

Spelling correctly would help, Leigh. Then you could always crack open a book.

leigh Jan 15th, 2001 04:07 PM

Sorry to offend. I am very new with interaction via the net. I am a true southern bell, from a very small town. I have never traveled in Europe. I have been to Manhattan six times. I have stayed at the Palace and the Plaza. I've dined at alot of upscale restruants and found it very hard to order. I am sure being from a small town in Goergia has limited my cuisine experiences. Please forgive, I am just seeing this big world outside of the US. Leigh

Larry Jan 15th, 2001 06:32 PM

Leigh, if you were to indicate what dishes in Manhattan were difficult, I might be able to suggest something. Rome is Italian - maybe more that than Med. Pasta, seafood, etc.. Give a little more information and we could help more - no grits, no chicken fried steaks, no red eye gravy - now is that enough stereotype?? Whadda ya like?? - you can get it in Rome.

American eater Jan 15th, 2001 07:37 PM

What is "American" food? There are so many different ethnic cooking traditions within the USA that it's not at all clear whether there's an American style of cooking. I'm <BR>American born of American parents but my cooking style is mainly Mediterranean/southern Italian, as was my mother's and grandmother's. The main fat is olive oil rather than butter or chicken fat or pork lard or goose fat, and quite a bit of full flavored oil is used. Vegetables are a bigger part of the diet than meat. Holiday meals often feature lamb, pork, capon, sausages, seafood, rather than turkey or roast beef or cured ham. The vegetables include lots of eggplant, tomato, flat green beans, green squash in summer, and broccoli and partly bitter greens in cooler weather. Sometimes garden "weeds" are eaten for variety, and fennel, artichokes, asparagus, and some other vegetables are commonplace that might not be eaten so often by other ethnic groups. Herbs are used a lot as flavoring, especially basil, oregano, thyme, also spearmint, rosemary, and garlic and onion are alos used a lot. Many foods are also flavored with anchovies, strong flavored olives, salted capers, and some dishes include nuts, especially pine nuts, and someimes raisins. There are no cream sauces, because these food traditions originated in poor places where cows were not common, and the native cheeses were mostly from sheep or goat milk. Rich often include these ingredients or flavors: sweetened fresh soft cheese (ricotta), orange peel, lemon rind, orange flower water, cinnamon, nuts, sesame seeds.However, meals generally do not end with dessert except on holidays and special occasions. Usually dessert is fresh fruit. <BR>"American" food is obviously much broader than Mediterranean because it includes Mediterranean and Chinese and German and Hungarian and old American southern and old New England and Mexican and Japanese, i.e. the foods of all the immigrant groups as well as the histoical traditional foods of various regions of the USA, plus the ubiquitous modern "fast food" of McD's as frozen dinners.

Isthis Jan 15th, 2001 07:45 PM

Leigh, <BR>"a lot" is two words.

Paige Jan 16th, 2001 01:08 AM

I think of Med. food as using lots of fresh vegetables, olive oil, little cheese and little meat, beans, rice and pasta.

Susan Jan 16th, 2001 04:36 AM

Wendy makes a good point. I took a series of Mediterranean cooking classes and each week we focussed on a different country - Italy, Greece, Lebanon, southern France, etc. Ed also makes a good point - with so many North Americans originally from other parts of the world, what is US cooking? (Or Canadian cooking in my case?) I think there are probably lots of cook books with Mediterranean themes. Probably the easiest thing to do is take a trip to a bookstore or the library and do a bit of research that way.

Cass Jan 16th, 2001 04:52 AM

I remember when I first went to Europe, 146 years ago right after the dinosaurs checked out, and I was a little afraid of the "alien" food. To the great detriment of my waistline, I figured out that people eat these things because they taste GOOD! You'll probably find the same thing, in most cases -- particularly with Italian/Mediterranean food, which is among the most heavenly on earth. <BR> <BR>But to add to what other posters have said about the general ingredients you'll find (garlic, tomato, olives, etc.): If you are timid about experimenting, you can almost always find dishes made with basic foods you are used to -- like eggs, chicken, cheese, pasta (various kinds) -- so start there. Learn the Italian words for foods you like (and for the different kinds of pasta) so you can look for them on the menus. You'll probably find they're cooked a little differently than you are used to -- probably with more garlic and olive oil -- but that makes it a good place to start testing out the tastes. <BR> <BR>As to how things are cooked -- you won't find roasted or deep-fried chicken, but you will find chicken with tomato sauces. The only things you'll find that are deep-fried are usually kinds of seafood that might scare you, like baby squid. If something's "Florentine," that probably means it has spinach and no tomato, but around Rome, almost everything has tomatoes or tomato sauces. Do some reading in an Italian cookbook and look up other words for types of sauce/preparation, like "Milanese," "Vesuvio," etc. <BR> <BR>Pizza probably won't look the way you expect it to -- maybe smaller and less "loaded" with toppings -- but it's very good. A calzone is a folded-over pizza and may or may not have sauce over it. Also delicious. <BR> <BR>The ice cream (gelato, sorbetto) will ALWAYS be excellent! <BR> <BR>Hope this helps. Now I'm hungry.

kate Jan 16th, 2001 05:02 AM

Leigh, if you're nervous of new and exotic cooking, then Italy is probably a good place for you to start. They do basic, well prepared food probably better than anyone. There will be plenty on the menu you will recognise (pizza and pasta a plenty) made with simple ingredients - tomato, cheese, olives, ham. They often have pizza or pasta for a light lunch, and eat pasta as a starter with dinner (altho I find this too much with a main course as well). Beyond that, there's all manner of meat and fish dishes, often simply cooked (grilled, fried), as well as more exotic dishes. Anyone should be able to eat well in Italy, whatever their tastes. You'll find most restaurants have an english-language menu as well.

Ang Jan 16th, 2001 05:21 AM

Why is that just because a person types in caps and spells a few things wrong, so many people are so quick to criticize? I'm sure ALL of you spell EVERYTHING right. I just thought this board was more welcoming to new people....maybe I was wrong to think that.

Amer. Jan 16th, 2001 06:51 AM

Susan, Ed did not make the point about so many Americans being from elsewhere. In fact he seems to miss that point since he says Med. food is broader than Amer., which obviously can't be, since American includes just about everything.

writer Jan 16th, 2001 06:55 AM

Dear IsThis, <BR>Leigh did not use "alot" or "a lot" in her query. Those who did use it, correctly used two words: "a lot" unless they made a typo or two. A lot of other people may not know any better, but a lot of people here are very good writers, while a lot of others are just bored mean spirited snits.

scarlett Jan 16th, 2001 07:04 AM

Writer, please read Leigh's response. <BR>Leigh, a bell goes "ding-dong." A belle says "fiddle-dee-dee." Which did you mean to say you were?

beth Jan 16th, 2001 07:07 AM

Hi Leigh, i hate to see someone new get beaten up on this board (iv've only ben here a couple of months) so I thought would help you out a little. i nderstand your dilemma. I'm originally from the South too so I know waht you are talking about. American food to me is fried chicken, mashed potatoes and apple pie. This is no stereotype, this was sunday dinner after church for us! i now live in Chicagowhere there is every type food to choose from. i am a picky eater though and still partial to plain meat and potatoes as I hate all vegetables! As far as mediterranean food goes, I agree with the others that it contains a lot of veggies and "clear" sauces like olive oil. (I on't care for it) I fyou are going to Rome though (think I saw this in one of your other posts) you will most likely see less Mediterranean food and more Italian food. If you are unsure about ordering or like bland food as I do. stick to things you are fmilar with first like Lasagna, Ravioli, Fettucine, Pizza. Maybe try bites of your companions food until you find something you like. <BR> <BR>If you see another thread about obsessing you will seea very funny post from me about strange food. If all else fails you can be like me (crazy) adn pack snack and comfort foods in your suitcase. I'm sure you will find somehting that you like while there though, I always have!


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