Posts tagged ‘Cuisine’

December 15, 2020



In Japanese cuisine, yoshoku [yoh-shoo-koo] (‘western food’) refers to a style of Western-influenced cooking which originated during the Meiji Restoration (1868, a period of rapid industrialization and Westernization). These are primarily Japanized forms of European dishes, often featuring Western names, and usually written in Japanese. It is an example of fusion cuisine. Another, more contemporary, term in Japan for the Western food is ‘mukokuseki’ (‘no-nationality’ cuisine).

At the beginning of the Meiji Restoration, national seclusion was eliminated and the Meiji Emperor declared Western ideas helpful for Japan’s future progress. As part of the reforms, the Emperor lifted the ban on red meat and promoted Western cuisine, which was viewed as the cause of the Westerners’ greater physical size. Yōshoku thus relies on meat as an ingredient, unlike the typical Japanese cuisine at the time. Additionally, many of the Westerners who started to live in Japan at that time refused to touch traditional Japanese food, and so their private Japanese chefs learned how to cook them Western-style cuisine, often with a Japanese spin.

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February 26, 2013

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is a modern nutritional recommendation inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of southern Italy, Greece, and Spain. The principal aspects of this diet include proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits and vegetables, moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of meat and meat products.

Despite its name, this diet is not typical of all Mediterranean cuisine. In Northern Italy, for instance, lard and butter are commonly used in cooking, and olive oil is reserved for dressing salads and cooked vegetables. In North Africa, wine is traditionally avoided by Muslims. In both North Africa and the Middle East, sheep’s tail fat and rendered butter (samna) are the traditional staple fats, with some exceptions.

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November 9, 2012

Molecular Gastronomy

modernist cuisine

molecular gastronomy by pietari posti

Molecular gastronomy [ga-stron-uh-mee] is a subdiscipline of food science that seeks to investigate, explain and make practical use of the physical and chemical transformations of ingredients that occur while cooking, as well as the social, artistic and technical components of culinary and gastronomic phenomena in general. Molecular gastronomy is a modern style of cooking, which is practiced by both scientists and food professionals in many professional kitchens and labs and takes advantage of many technical innovations from the scientific disciplines.

The term ‘molecular gastronomy’ was coined in 1992 by late Oxford physicist Nicholas Kurti and the French INRA (a public research institute dedicated to agriculture) chemist Hervé This. Some chefs associated with the term choose to reject its use, preferring other terms such as ‘culinary physics’ and ‘experimental cuisine.’ There are many branches of food science, all of which study different aspects of food such as safety, microbiology, preservation, chemistry, engineering, physics, and the like. Until the advent of molecular gastronomy, there was no formal scientific discipline dedicated to studying the processes in regular cooking as done in the home or in a restaurant.

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November 8, 2012

Modernist Cuisine

Nathan Myhrvold

Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking’ is a 2011 cookbook by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet. The book is an encyclopedia and a guide to the science of contemporary cooking. Five volumes cover history and fundamentals, techniques and equipment, animals and plants, ingredients and preparation, plated dish recipes; the sixth volume is a kitchen manual. 

Myhrvold has attended Ecole de Cuisine la Varenne, a cooking school in Burgundy, France and has also cooked part-time at Rover’s, a French restaurant in Seattle owned by Thierry Rautureau. He is also a scientist, having earned advanced degrees in geophysics, space physics, and theoretical and mathematical physics, done post-doctoral research with Stephen Hawking at Cambridge University, and worked for many years as the chief technology officer and chief strategist of Microsoft.

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April 18, 2012

Slow Food

slow food


Slow Food is an international movement founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986. Promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. It was the first established part of the broader Slow movement, and has since expanded globally. Its goals of sustainable foods and promotion of local small businesses are paralleled by a political agenda directed against globalization of agricultural products.

Slow Food began in Italy with the founding of its forerunner organization, Arcigola, in 1986 to resist the opening of a McDonald’s near the Spanish Steps in Rome. In 1989, the founding Manifesto of the international Slow Food movement was signed in Paris by delegates from 15 countries. This was done not so much a protest against the restaurant chain as a protest against big international business interests. The movement has expanded to include chapters in over 150 countries.

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March 23, 2011

Nouvelle Cuisine


Nouvelle cuisine (‘new cuisine’) is an approach to cooking and food presentation used in French cuisine. By contrast with ‘cuisine classique,’ an older form of French ‘haute cuisine,’ nouvelle cuisine is characterized by lighter, more delicate dishes and an increased emphasis on presentation.

The modern usage can be attributed to author Henri Gault, who used it to describe the cooking of Paul Bocuse and Fernand Point. Bocuse claims that Gault first used the term to describe food prepared for the maiden flight of the Concorde airliner in 1969.

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March 1, 2011

Lowcountry Cuisine

hominy grill

Lowcountry cuisine is the cooking traditionally associated with the South Carolina Lowcountry and Georgia coast. It shares features with Southern cooking, but with rich diversity of seafood from the coastal estuaries, its concentration of wealth in Charleston and Savannah, and a vibrant Caribbean cuisine and African cuisine influence, Lowcountry cooking also has strong parallels with New Orleans and Cajun cuisines.