"The greatest Indian cook in Britain"Jay Rayner "The Observer"
"Cook with love. Love your cooking" Gita Mistry

Thursday, 1 March 2012

St David's Day

Today is St. David's Day. I have been trying to think of something funny to say about Wales but not a lot springs to mind. I googled "Welsh humour".   And what came up? "Llareggub!" And I'm not referring to Dylan Thomas's masterpiece.
My late partner's dad was Welsh.  Indeed, his name was Evans.   He had no particular affection for the place.  When I once asked him why he replied "Nowt much happening in Wales. It's always shut, isn't it."
Same with Welsh food. Welsh rarebit, laver bread and apparently shepherd's pie.  So I was going to let the day pass until I learned of the Welsh community in Patagonia.   They make a really yummy fruit cake called torta galesa (literally "Welsh cake"). Here's a recipe in English.

Now I have never heard of Welsh cake in Wales and that got me thinking about the transplantation of cultures. How people from one continent have to adapt to their environment when they cross to another.

Take the first Thanksgiving, for example.   According to Wikipedia:
"The feast consisted of fish (cod, eels, and bass) and shellfish (clams, lobster, and mussels), wild fowl (ducks, geese, swans, and turkey), venison, berries and fruit, vegetables (peas, pumpkin, beetroot and possibly, wild or cultivated onion), harvest grains (barley and wheat), and the Three Sisters: beans, dried Indian maize or corn, and squash."  
One year out and the Brits had already abandoned their meat and two veg.  The same sort of thing has happened with Indian food in Britain. "Balti" comes from Birmingham and hit the British scene in the 1970's not Baltistan. The idea of serving food in a cooking vessel would just not happen where my folks come from.
Returning to things Welsh I love daffodils.  My first daffodil flowered today.  

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