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.

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

The most Threatening/Scary Fish in the World

Threatening is a very strong word that is used to describe very scary things. And since I am in the mood to talk about about fish, here is a list of the top 5 most threatening fish!

5. Deep-sea lizard fish. This one made it on the list because it is just plain scary! I mean, look at this thing! It has extremely sharp teeth, it even has teeth on it’s tongue! OH MY GOSH THAT IS FREAKY!!!!!! It can be found at depths of 600 – 3500 meters in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.

(Due to copyright stuff, you might want to click on this to see the image:)

https://www.google.com/search?q=deep+sea+lizardfish&hl=en&newwindow=1&client=firefox-a&hs=Ul4&tbo=u&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=Z8UJUZ_kJ6nJ0QGi-4D4Bw&ved=0CDYQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=613

4. Snaggletooth fish. These monsters can be found in the very deep waters between New Zealand and Australia. The Snaggletooth fish have no scales, but have sort of a slimy, purple colored, luminescent skin-ish outside.

photo credit:  NOAA Photo Library

photo credit: NOAA Photo Library

3. Viperfish. This thing has some of the most massive fangs, they can’t even fit in it’s mouth! It is about ten inches long, but it’s stomach can expand to about twice it’s normal size, and it’s skin allows it to rotate upwards to swallow squids. They are found in almost every see at extremely deep waters.

Photo credit:  Ms. Stephanie's class

Photo credit: Ms. Stephanie’s class

2. Hairy Angler Fish. It lives in the Eastern Atlantic and the Western North Atlantic around 8,000 feet. We do not know much about it because it lives so deep, but we do know that it is one heck of a threatening fish.

Photo credit:  r.wendes

Photo credit: r.wendes

1. Deep Sea Dragonfish. Why this thing is even called a fish, I don’t know. It is found in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico at depths of 1,000 to 3,000 meters, but they can surface to feed at night, so if I were that lady in Jaws, sharks would be the least of my worries. The Deep Sea Dragonfish are actually quite small (around 6 inches) but they can still pack quite a punch. It has black skin, and a flashing light on it’s head, meaning that it is very hard to tell the difference from a Deep Sea Dragonfish from a lot of other fish.  Continue reading