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.

 

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

Khmer BBQ

I took this picture in Cambodia of a Khmer hot pot barbecue. They give you all the raw ingredients and you cook them yourself.

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

How Could Wrestling Be Dropped From the 2020 Olympic Games?

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Photo Credit: @alliseeisgold on Twitter

Recently, Wrestling was dropped from the 2020 Olympics by the IOC, or International Olympic Committee.  Although it has an opportunity to be voted back in, the fact that it was dropped in the first place is astounding.  Wrestling was one of the original 26 “core sports” in the Olympics and has been a part of the Olympics since the first event in 776 BC.  I was very surprised when I heard about this because wrestling is a staple of the Olympics and the amount of work that olympic wrestlers, like American Jordan Burroughs, put in to the sport is incredible.  When Jordan Burroughs won a gold medal last summer, everyone knew that he had deserved it.  He practiced and worked out for hours upon hours almost everyday.  His opponent in the gold medal match, Sadegh Goudarzi of Iran, was very respectful of Burroughs and as a result of this, the two spawned one of the greatest pictures from the London Olympics.  Burroughs, wearing a United States of America jacket, had his arm around Goudarzi with an Islamic Republic of Iran jacket in the picture.  This showed that wrestling has united countries in the Olympics and that it shouldn’t be replaced by something like roller blading or baseball.  Overall, wrestling is a great sport that belongs in the Olympics and hopefully the IOC will come to their senses and put wrestling back in its rightful place.

A Short History of American Football

Since the Superbowl is coming up, I felt that is was appropriate to write about football. Even though football is the most played sport in America, many people do not even know the history behind it. American football was invented … Continue reading

How to Survive in the Wild

Photo credit:  Al_HikesAZhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/alanenglish/4670272715/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Photo credit: Al_HikesAZ

Have you ever gotten lost in the woods with no one with you with no tools? Probably not, and I commend you if you have. But if you answered no, you might want to read on.

The first thing you want to do if you get lost in the woods is to call for help. Hey, you never know if someone will hear you.

Next you will want to take care of three essential things that a human needs to survive: food, water, and shelter.

The first of those three things is shelter. Try to make at least a small covering out of sticks (if you have rope, that would greatly help) to protect you from the elements.

Second is water. Water is the number 1 thing you want to have if you are lost in the wild. To find water in the wilderness, you would want to head downhill, rain water will run downhill. If you can not find water, don’t give up, if you see any animal, they have to drink also. You could dig down deep to find water too. You will want to make a fire to purify your water, but more on that later. Heres a small tip, try not to drink from a still pond to avoid parasites.

The third essential thing that a human needs to survive is food. In order to know if a wild berry is poisonous, first, smell it. If it smells like peaches or almonds, it is probably poisonous. Next, test it on your skin, if it tingles or get’s a rash don’t eat it. After that, place it on your lips, if it starts to burn, it is most likely poisonous.

After you take care of those, you have to make a fire. Gather small sticks to get the fire started, then get bigger sticks, then get big logs to keep the fire going. Put the small sticks in a little pile. To light that pile faster, you can add highly flammable substances such as birch bark and orange peels. To light it, if you have an orange, peel it, then put a rock in the center of the peel and take a stick and rub it against the stick, the peel will catch on fire for a while. If you don’t have an orange, bend a stick and tie a shoelace around each end to make sort of a bow looking thing. Then twirl a stick in it and rub it, it will make friction, which will eventually make a spark.  Continue reading