Combining Cultures

Tomatoes, Potatoes, Peppers, Squash, Beans, Chocolate, Corn: the ingredients that have arguably shaped the world's cuisines orginiated in North and South America. The Spanish and European arrival in the Americas ushered in a period of dramatic change. Globalization may be a modern term to us, but the trading of food and materials in this era signals a new world order based on ecomonic and cultural goods. After all, what would Italian fare be with tomato-based marinara? Or Swiss culture without Chocolate?

So, when you sit down for dinner, look at what is on your plate and think about where it came from. It is likely you will be looking at a combination of foods from around the world, and representing a variety of cultures. There, on your pizza is tomato sauce and pepper from the Americas, and cheese and meat from animals originating in the Old World. Your plate tells a story: a story rooted in the conquest, and at times the brutality, of Spanish entradas.

Filmmaker Mike Foster explores these themes in his video, New World Sustenance:
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8 minutes, 17 seconds

The "Three Sisters" - Corn, Beans, and Squash - in addition to tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and chocolate help shape not only the cuisine and culture of Latin America, but the world. In this video Mike Foster explores the varied uses of these foods, with particular attention to squash.

Last updated: July 8, 2017

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