Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Pa Melting Pot - Part 8 - 1 - Belgium, Luxembourg and France

This is the column written for the Uniontown Herald-Standard and to be published on 11/28/2013.
Below the article you will find photos and links for information and recipes on three western European Countries:  Belgium, Luxembourg and France. 


Part 8 – WESTERN EUROPEANS - Part 1 - The Melting Pot
A look at the evolution of food in southwestern Pennsylvania – Western Eastern Europeans Part 1
BELGIUM, LUXEMBOURG AND FRANCE

I have included these three countries together because they have similar cuisines, proximity and confusions in immigration records.  Early immigration records weren’t very accurate.  There are no records of immigrants from Luxembourg because they were lumped in with the French and Belgians.  The French (who were the first to immigrate) records were tarnished with people who had moved to France from Germany & other countries due to wars and weren’t really French.  The Belgian-American population is the greatest of the 3 in western PA at 1-4%.

Languages of Belgium are Flemish and Walloon which influence their cuisines. Cuisine of Belgium:  Belgian cuisine is very hearty and often accompanied by beer (2nd beer producers in Europe).  They are famous for their breads and Belgian waffles (of course).  Flemish cuisine (Germanic) features sweet-salt and sweet-sour mixtures (sauerkraut and pickles). Nutmeg is a favored spice. Walloon cuisine is based on French cuisine. Garlic is a favored seasoning.
A Belgian-American family meal includes thick vegetable soups, meats and vegetables such as: Boulettes (meatballs), Djote, or "jut" (cooked cabbage and potatoes seasoned with browned butter and nutmeg), Potasse (made of potatoes, red cabbage and side pork) and Cheeses: Kaset (spreadable homemade cottage cheese cured in crocks) is used like butter. Desserts are Belgian pie (open-faced tart filled with custard or cottage cheese topped with layers of prunes or apples) and the Belgian waffle (Gället), has been Americanized.
Flemish (German) foods include Flemish Stew (beef cooked with beer), and Olie Bollen (raised doughnut made with apples, and Advocaat, a liqueur made of grain alcohol, vanilla, eggs, milk, and sugar).  Walloon (French) cuisine is more meat-based than the Flemish cuisine. Desserts include cougnou (sweet Christmas bread) and Liege waffles (the Belgian waffles we know).

Languages of Luxembourg are French and German.  Cuisine of Luxembourg:  Traipen or Moustraipen is a sausage consisting of hog's head, pork blood, cabbage, and spices. It is similar to (German) Blood pudding which is often served after midnight mass on Christmas Day.  Thuringer (spicy German bratwurst), Gromperekichelcher (spiced deep-fried potato pancake with chopped onions and parsley), Tiirteg (potato pancake with sauerkraut) and Pate (French) are popular foods.

Main language of France is French.  Cuisine of France:  The French are also famous for their breads:  the baguette, ficelle, flute and pain de campagne (sourdough bread).  The French delight in their differences in provincial cuisines.  For example, in Alsace-Lorraine (near Germany) foods are Germanic such as sausages and sauerkrauts.  Moules a la Crème from Normandy (near the ocean) are mussels cooked with white wine, cider, garlic and cream.  Brittany (surrounded by water) dishes are seafood, cider, crepes and flan.  In the Burgundy (wine area) area you will find Boeuf Bourguignon (beef stewed in red wine), Coq Au Vin (chicken with wine) and Escargots de Bourgogne (snails baked in shells with parsley butter).  Rhones-Alpes brought us raclette (melted cheese served with potatoes, ham and mini pickles), fondues and gratins (browned melted cheese and or bread crumb dishes).

Next column will be Part 9 Southern Europeans Part 1 Sicilian Italians

For recipes from 1700s to 1960s and modern day links versions, visit www.ThePAMeltingPot.com .
Christine Willard, a native of western Pennsylvania, researches and blogs about the food unique to western Pennsylvania.  She currently resides in North Carolina.  Her blog can be found at www.ThePAMeltingPot.com.

 PHOTOS AND LINKS FOR BELGIUM

    

    

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Belgian food photos

  

    

  



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The PA Melting Pot - Part 7 - Southcentral Europeans - Part 1 - Romanians

Column written for The Uniontown Herald-Standard newspaper in Pennsylvania.
(photos, food VIDEOS and recipe links below article)
The Melting Pot

A look at the evolution of food in southwestern Pennsylvania – 
7 – South Central Europe - Part 1 – Romania

According to different records there are 1,500,000-2,500,000 people in the US claiming Romanian ancestry.  In the 2000 census 340,000 spoke Romanian as their first language. The Romanian immigrants came to the US to escape the Austro-Hungarian Empire oppression. The first wave (1895-1920) settled in western PA, Delaware and eastern Ohio.

They were unskilled laborers and peasants (33% were illiterate) who gravitated toward industrial areas for unskilled jobs. As the second generation of Romanian-Americans grew they became more educated, worked in skilled jobs and placed emphasis on vocational training and college.  These professionals made significant contributions to society. 

Family, community & religious dynamics are very important.  In addition they kept and still keep close ties with native Romanians in Europe.  Today, there are active communities and major media including TV, radio, newspaper and magazines.  They have assimilated but keep their roots.  As with many cultures food is an important part of their heritage.

ROMANIAN CUISINE:  (An overview)

NOTE: Romanian meals are flavorful, savory and appetizing to the palate. The Romanian people take great pride in preparing old ethnic recipes as well as adapting new ones. Romanian cuisine is influenced by the Romans, Greeks, Austrians, Turks, French and Hungarians.

Appetizers:  
Mezeluri (salamis, sausages & cheeses) served with Tuica (strong plum brandy), Oua Umplute (stuffed eggs), and Mititel (called wee sausages: ground beef seasoned with garlic and rolled into cylindrical forms) which is often served with Gratar (a steak prepared with garlic, usually pork, accompanied by pickled cucumbers and tomatoes and other grilled meats).

Soups and Salads: 
Supa de Porumb Verde (green corn soup), Ciorba (sour soup made with vinegar or pickle juice), Ciorba de Burta (tripe soup), Ciorba Teraneasca (cabbage soup with bacon), Salata Primavara (Spanish derivation) (spring salad), Salata de Boeuf (Boeuf is French derivation) (potato meat salad) (NOTE:  Olivier Salad in Russia) and Salata de Ardei or Piper (roasted pepper salad).

Main Dishes:  
Plătica Roulade (rolled  flounder), Miel in Sos de Laurt (lamb in yoghurt sauce), Tokana (shepherd’s stew), Sarmale (stuffed cabbage), Ardei Umplute (stuffed peppers), Frigari (kebabs), Ghiveci (vegetable stew with carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, green pepper, onions, celery roots, eggplant, squash, string-beans, fresh peas, cabbage, and cauliflower), and Mamaliga (considered a national dish which is a corn mush eaten with butter, cheese, meats). Chiftelute (meatballs) and Ficat de pui reţete (chicken liver recipes) are more popular main dishes.
Desserts:
Straturi Tort cu Datele şi Frişcă (layered cake with dates and whipped cream), Cozonac (Easter bread), Clatite (crepes), Savarina (yeast dough cake soaked in rum & filled or topped with pastry cream and plated with fruit), Straturi Tort Alune (hazelnut layered cake). Other desserts include Mamaliga (above and if served with marmalade or fruit jelly is then a dessert), Cozonac cu Nuca (walnut filled pannetone) and Cozonac cu Brinza Dulce si Stafide (pasca – sweet cheese panetonne with raisins) (pannetone is Italian).

Beverages:  
Ţuica is a brandy made from plums or wheat.  Vin (French word for wine) and bere is beer.

The next column will deal with Part 8 – Western Europeans - Part 1 - Belgium, Luxembourg and France

For recipes from 1700s to 1960s and modern day links versions, visit www.ThePAMeltingPot.com .

Christine Willard, a native of western Pennsylvania, researches and blogs about the food unique to
Western Pennsylvania. She currently resides in North Carolina. Her blog can be found at
www.ThePAMeltingPot.com. 

SCENES OF ROMANIA


  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

FOOD LINKS AND PHOTOS BELOW

WIKI ON ROMANIA
LINK TO WIKI ON ROMANIA

LINK TO YOU TUBE FESTIVAL VIDEOS

WIKI on Romanian Cuisine
LINK TO WIKI ON ROMANIAN CUISINE

Green corn coup
LINK TO WIKI FOR RECIPE ON GREEN CORN SOUP

12 Traditional Romanian Recipes
LINK TO EASTERN EUROPEAN FOOD - ROMANIAN - ABOUT.COM

Stuffed or Deviled Eggs

LINK TO GOURMET EUROPEAN RECIPES - DEVILED EGGS

OTHER LINKS: 


LINK TO COOKS.COM ROMANIAN RECIPES

LINK TO TRAVEL ROMANIA - ROMANIAN RECIPES

44 FOOD PHOTOS BELOW!!