Eventually casseroles were introduced into the menu, but these too were traditional stick-to-your ribs cooking, influenced by what people knew. Out in the boonies, culinary adventures rarely took family cooks far from the traditions of their ancestors. These people were primarily of Irish, English, Scottish and German descent; the meals they prepared reflected that heritage. Besides the straightforward, my Mom would often bring such treats as fish and chips, shepherd's pie, meat pies, schnitzels and cabbage rolls to the table.
But jaunts into more exotic ethnic cuisine was unimaginable in those days. These dishes were left to restaurants. While it bordered on insulting for Mom not to prepare the food her family ate, it would never have crossed her mind to try making something like Chinese food or pizza herself. These were treats, brought in rarely for special occasions.
How the times have changed. With the melting pot of cultures that enrich our society now, we are familiar with foods from a vast variety of other countries. Our recipe boxes fill with everything from paella to curries, from jambalaya to falafel. Our cupboards and refrigerators have been introduced to quinoa, polenta, tofu and saffron.
Dining out too is now an international experience. Urban areas are host to just about anything your taste buds might desire with ethnic restaurants dotting corners throughout our cities. People are generally eager to try it all — from Thai to Indian.
My kids are among those people. The younger two, who are vegetarians, quite frankly prefer stepping away from the traditional dishes to cross over into more exotic cuisine — dishes far more adaptable for their diet restrictions than pot roast for instance.
Taking me out of my dietary comfort zone on the other hand usually requires one of two things. The first is cheese. Basically cover whatever you're making in this and I'm sold.
The second, if we're speaking of restaurant food, is a great photo. After our son invited us out to a favourite Korean place recently, I decided I better take a look at the menu on their website and figure out what, if anything, would appeal to me. Sadly it didn't happen. Even if I thought the food was palatable by the description, the pictures completely turned me off. There is a reason that food photography is a speciality. Restaurants need pictures to make you salivate.
Finding a photographer however might not be convenient and can be expensive. Another option then is to use stock photos. If you're in the food services industry and need great shots for a website or menu, here are some yummy collections from iPHOTOS.com:
From cheese to croissants all of the rich decadence of French cooking can be found among these great pictures.
Pasta reigns in this collection of photos, highlighting everyone's favourite international cuisine.
Whether it's sushi from Japan, Turkish dumplings or Chinese stir-fry you can find an appetizing photo from this appealing collection.
We love our fish and chips. You can find colourful photos of that staple as well as some other traditional English fare in this collection.
These terrific photos are sure to spice up your designs focussed on this flavourful cuisine.
You can find images for a lot of the hearty dishes enjoyed in this European country.
Food with a kick, that's what you'll find in these super pictures highlighting Mexican meals.