History of Food: Pasta

The first form of food similar to pasta was in the writings of Horace where thin strips of dough were fried and served with spices in the 1st century B.C.E. A few centuries later, we see an ancient ancestor of modern day lasagna come out in the form of lagana. It was described to be consisted of sheets of dough with meat filling in between. In the second century, the dough started to be made with flour and water instead of juice from lettuce. Later, Arabs adopted a similar form of noodle in the 5th century and lead to the Italians making thin strip noodle pasta.

 

If we jump to the 15th century, dried pasta was very valued because it could be stored for very long periods of time.That’s why many exploring ships brought dried pasta to the New World. Believe it or not, tomato sauce was only invented in the 18th century! Before this, people would just eat pasta with their hands. Now, people eat it with forks because the tomato would get too messy without it.

 

Today, the average Italian eats about sixty pounds of pasta per year, while the average American eats about twenty pounds of pasta per year. Writings suggest it originated in Italy, but why is it popular in North America? It’s because Italian immigration to the Americas that we love pasta so much. Italians have also had a mass immigration to South Africa, making spaghetti and meatballs a major part of Italian cuisine.

 

Do you like pasta? How do you eat yours? Comment, if you want, I guess.

 

Boston, Massachusetts

1368975122338I had taken this photo last year and edited it. To me this photo is like the before and after of the 9/11 building in New York. Even though major building didn’t collapse or are physically gone, it feels a bit like it is though. It’s already been about a month since this tragedy has happened, it feels like it happened yesterday. In some ways it brought the community together. Everyone was nice to another, I even saw a guy on a street corner waving a flag proudly.

I took this photo with my Droid Bionic.

Rondoless

Rondo Explosion

photo credits: Dustin Carbonera

The will to win, desire, perseverance, passion, toughness, a celtic. Not many people can point to themselves and say “I am all of those things.” Although there is one group of guys that can, the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are a team that live for the playoffs. Unfortunately, this year that did not work in their favor. There are many things you could blame for why the celtics lost. I personally think that the reason the celtics had such a hard time in the playoffs and lost to the New York Knicks is because their leader, their coach on the floor, their point guard, Rajon Rondo went down with a season ending injury mid year. Rajon Rondo is the heart of the Boston Celtics team. The 6 foot floor general is the leader of the team, just like a military general. Rondo’s job is to make sure everyone is doing their role. If the are not doing their job it looks bad on him. He quarterbacks the team distributing the ball and is the main decision maker on the team. Yes, Doc Rivers ultimately has the overall power, but the ball is in Rajon’s hands. What he does with the ball is his decision. Rondo leads the team in battle and is looked to in time of despair. You can only imagine how that can affect the Celtics’ organization on a whole. When your point guard who calls the shots and has the ball in his hands 75% of the time is out for the season chaos erupts. Its like a football team with no quarterback, or a country with no government, life changes. Life most certainly did change for the Celtics. Although, the statistics do not show it. Before Rondo got hurt the Celtics record was 23-20. The Celtics scored an average of 95 points per game and 23 assists per game. They were averaging 14 turnovers a game as well. Now, those numbers are not terrific. Which is surprising, especially the 14 turnover statistic considering Rajon’s assist to turnover ratio is 3.3. After Rondo was declared out for the season, the Celtics’ record was 21-17. Boston averaged 98.2 points per game (3.2 points higher than with Rondo) and 22.4 assists per game. The number of turnovers dropped by a slight 0.2 turnovers a game also. Overall, looking at these numbers it seems like the celtics did better without Rondo right? Wrong. Statistics are just numbers, you can’t define a point guard by their stats otherwise you would not know if you are getting a point guard with true leader qualities. In Rondo’s argument, the Celtics’ as a team have had more success with him in their lineup as starting point guard. Rajon Rondo is a true celtic, without him the Boston Celtics’ are missing a part of their family, their point guard.

Angkor Wat: The World’s Largest Religious Monument

Angkor Wat, located in Siem Reap Province in Cambodia, is the world’s largest religious monument. “Angkor” comes from Sanskrit and means “city” while Wat is Khmer for “temple.” Cambodians are usually referred to as Khmer people and Thai are referred to as Siem. So, the name Siem Reap means “Thai Defeat,” but that’s another story. Angkor Wat also appears on the national flag of Cambodia.

Angkor Wat was originally built in the 12th century by king Suryavarman II as a Hindu temple. It was a dedication to Vishnu. Later, in the 16th century, Buddhism took over and Angkor Wat was converted to a Buddhist temple. The Buddhists tried to paint the giant wall mural depicting several scenes from Hinduism and in some parts, you can actually touch the carved stone on the mural.

Angkor Wat lies on an island 1km x 1.5km with a 1 km wide moat on all sides. There are two entrances: the front in the west and the back in the east. Angkor Wat, unlike most temples, faces to the west instead of the east to signify that Suryavarman was intending to be buried there. Inside the temple, there is a central point where you can see in all four directions, many intricate and sometimes unfinished carvings, and a big central tower which was the king’s tomb. The central has really steep stairs that you could be afraid of going up and down.

Overall, Angkor Wat is a great place and has a lot of extra history and details to it, and it is also a great tourist destination.

Hehe, It’s a Lizard!

I took this picture of a really cool lizard in Cambodia.

Gods Versus Demons

This picture was taken by the wall mural in Angkor Wat. If you look closely, the ones facing to the right are different from the ones facing to the left. The gods are facing to the right and the demons … Continue reading

Solid Palm Sugar

I took this picture in The Siem Reap Province in Cambodia. They take the liquid palm sugar from the palm fruit and cook it until it is solid like a sugar cube except all natural.

The History of Food: The Best of the Best: ICE CREAM!

The earliest known form of ice cream was in the Persian Empire when grape juice concentrate was poured on top of snow for a treat when it was hot outside. People have been doing this for centuries. Sorbet is said … Continue reading

The History of Food: Escargot

Ewwwww… escargot. These creatures are a treat for the French, but we think of it as being disgusting. These are snails that have gone through heliculture and have been stuffed back into their shells with garnishes. Years ago, in ancient … Continue reading