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.

 

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Godspell

Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley

Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley

Last week I went to see the musical Godspell at Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts. Godspell is a contemporary show based on the gospel according to St. Matthew. Jesus and his disciples reenact parables from Jesus’s life. Stephen Schwartz, who wrote the music and new lyrics, won a grammy for his fantastic score. The musical was formerly a movie, then made into a hit broadway show, and now is performed at schools and theaters around the country. I would highly recommend seeing Godspell.

I had never seen the show before, but I quickly fell in love. The performance was very theatrical. People were acting as tables, animals, and even jail cells. The actors were outstanding. They each made their character their own and took it to the next level. The performers were very enthusiastic, electric, and alive. At the end of the show the audience was crying and so were the cast members because of the intense and well performed ending. The show was a great mix of drama and comedy. Some scenes dug deep into the meaning of life, while others had you laughing so hard that you were crying. The director adapted the show and made it more modern and contemporary. With that being said, the show became funnier because the material was relevant to the time. The actors were outstanding and the show was outstanding.

The songs were the best part of the show. As I already said, the show won a grammy because of the phenomenal songs. The best songs are Day by Day, Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord, We Beseech Thee, and Light of the World. The songs made you want to just start dancing. Along with the script, the songs were both serious and funny. Some made you think deep and some made you laugh. Every actor had a spectacular voice. The featured actors really showcased their impressive talents. The cast as a whole also sounded flawless. Words cannot describe how impressed I was with the voices and the songs.

As I have already said about a thousand times, the show was spectacular. The acting, singing, and songs were amazing. I can’t believe the performers were only in college, I was very impressed. Dean College put on a great performance of Godspell.

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

Movie Review: Safe Haven

I took this photo with my iPhone 5 and edited it on PicMonkey. I lowered the saturation and made it more gray, for an ominous effect.

Safe Haven, the love story based off of the book by Nicholas Sparks, premiered on Valentine’s Day. Erin Tierney (Julianne Hough) leaves her abusive, alcoholic husband and changes her appearance hoping to start fresh. She ends up in the small town of Southport, North Carolina and adopts the identity of Katie. She befriends a widower Alex (Josh Duhamel), his two children, and a neighbor named Jo. She moves into a small cabin in the woods where she hopes her husband won’t find her. But little does she know, her husband is using all his resources to find her. Her husband is a detective for the Boston Police Department, which gives him the ability to track her down. Meanwhile Alex and Katie fall in love with each other, until Alex finds out she’s not who she says she is. Once Alex knows the truth behind Katie’s past it only makes him more protective of her. Then on the Fourth of July, Katie’s drunk husband shows up in Southport, trying to set the place where Katie is on fire. She stops him but that’s when the unthinkable happens. There are so many horrible things happening at once, and you don’t know if everything will end happily. The ending is full of twists and turns that seem to come out of the blue, but everything falls perfectly into place.

I’m not exaggerating when I say Safe Haven is the best movie I have ever seen. It’s funny, sad, dangerous, and heartfelt all at the same time. I’ve been told this is one of the few movies that actually lives up to the book. Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough’s romance feels so real, and it’s like you know each and every character personally. The movie is full of surprises and the end is shocking. It’s perfect for couples, teens, and everyone in between. Many men may be reluctant to see it because it’s just another “chick flick”, but there’s definitely enough action and suspense to satisfy everyone. I promise you, the ticket is worth every penny.

Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty is film about finding and killing Osama Bin Laden. This nominated film for five academy awards including best picture, actress, and original screenplay, was directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal. The film begins in 2003 when Maya, a CIA officer spent her entire career focusing on the intelligence related to al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. Maya had just recently joined the CIA and during the first months of her assignment she accompanies a man named Dan who is an officer at the U.S. embassy in Pakistan. Their mission is to integrate and torture a man named Ammar who is believed to be linked with several terrorists including Osama Bin Laden. After lots of torture including waterboarding, they eventually trick him into telling them where the last time he saw Bin Laden was, which was in Pakistan. They find a terrorist named Abu Ahmed who is a personal messenger for Bin Laden, and discover that he lives in a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. They find out that there are more than one family living in the building with Abu, which they believed to be Bin Laden. The hideout was kept under surveillance for many months and finally, the CIA decide to raid the building. The raid was approved by President Obama and was executed on May 2, 2011. The Navy SEALs used stealth helicopters to land near the compound and kill Bin Laden, bringing back his body to their base in Jalalabad, Pakistan.