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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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.

Steven’s Pass Avalanche

The very thing that the skiers and snowboarders had waited for — fresh, soft snow — instantly became the enemy. Somewhere above, a  meadow cracked in the shape of a lightning bolt, slicing a slab of snow nearly 200 feet across and 3 feet deep. Gravity did the rest.

Elyse Saugstad, a professional skier, traveled into Devil’s Fiddle back country terrain, located at Stevens Pass resort of the Washington Cascade Range. She was there with 15 friends seeking only one thing – fresh powder snow. She wore a backpack with an air bag, a relatively new and expensive part of the back country gear arsenal designed to increase a skiers chance of survival.

Elyse dropped in. She was skiing fast and smooth, until suddenly snow shattered and spilled down the slope. The slab of snow was a dangerous avalanche the size of a thousand cars. The snow weighed millions of pounds, moving at 70 miles per hour. It snapped the limbs of trees and shredded the bark from their trunks.  About to be overtaken by the snow, Elyse  pulled a cord near her chest. She was knocked down before she knew if the canister of compressed air inflated winged pillows behind her head. The avalanche caught up to her. She had no control of her body as she tumbled downhill. She did not know up from down. She was caught in the snow. At heights of 20 feet and weighing millions, the snow was unbearable. Elyse waited for 20 minutes. She was suffocating. Knowing she could be dead any minute now. Suddenly, she saw a light. It was the sun peeking out at her, as she was being pulled out by her friends.

She lived to tell her story. The average person can last only 8 minutes under that much pressure. Elyse lasted 20 minutes and 30 seconds. Steven’s Pass’s terrain is known for it’s great snow and dangerous lines. An avalanche is not forgiving. It will swallow it’s victims and will not spit them out. Elyse was fortunate enough to survive one of the most dangerous avalanche’s in the past 15 years.

Sunday River

 

No, Sunday River is not a river, it is a ski mountain. Sunday River is a large mountain with eight peaks. It ranges from very difficult to fairly easy trails on one of its 132 trails and glades. This mountain is a great place to ski with friends and families. Sunday River is located in Maine and it takes a good three hours to get to it from Massachusetts.

Photo Credit: None

The whole mountain consists of White Cap, Locke Mountain, Barker Mountain, Spruce Peak, North Peak, Auropa Peak, Oz, and Jordan Bowl these are the eight peaks that make up Sunday River. The mountain is covered with black and double black diamonds, but my favorite parts are the Jordan Bowl and Oz peaks. This area is mostly the more difficult trails such as Wizard’s Gulch and Flying Monkey which are my two favorite trails at Sunday River. On the opposite side of Sunday River is White Cap peak. White Cap is the home of the famous White Heat trail. White Heat is a trail that goes in one direction down it has no turns on it just down. White Cap also has Chutzpah, this trail is an alpine trail and you must be careful. A little ways down on Chutzpah is a cliff drop about six feet high it is all ice and rock so be careful not to wreck your skis or board.

 

The trail infrastructure was designed for easy access to Lodges and resort services. The great accessibility at Sunday River makes it a very enjoyable stay.

Links

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