Exploring the World Through Food

By Lexington Co-op Nutritionists Olivia Johnson and Any Oceguera

In our lives, food holds many meanings, and one of the most fun ones to explore is how food can provide a window into different parts of the world. Additionally, eating foods from different cultures is a great way to expand your palate and add a variety of nutrients into the diet. Keep reading for tips on how to enjoy more foods and flavors from around the globe!

  1. Get experimental in the kitchen. Unsure where to start? Follow an online recipe to recreate your go-to take-out, or try out one of these recipes from NCG which highlight dishes from Asian and Pacific Islander cuisines in celebration of AAPI month.
    1. Lassi: Switch up your smoothie routine with this refreshing, yogurt drink that is popular in Punjab and Northern India. This drink is prepared with strawberries which can be substituted or paired with other fruits you have on hand such as mango or pineapple. 
    2. Curried Chickpeas in Coconut Milk: Curry is a simple go-to meal which originates from India and provides all three macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) in one meal. While the dish is not authentic to the native people, it came about through interactions between the native people and Portuguese and British colonizers. If you’re fascinated by food history, this article is a great read! 
    3. Spicy Miso Egg Soup: Enjoy rich umami flavor all week long thanks to the miso, tofu, and mushrooms which makes this soup so irresistible! Miso is a fermented mixture of soybeans, grains, and salt that originated in China but has become a staple in Japanese cuisine. You can find Miso Master’s Red and White Miso at both co-op locations in the refrigerated section!
      1. Quick Tip: If you use fresh mushrooms in this soup, place them outside in the sunlight for 15-60 mins to get more Vitamin D!
  2. Cooking not in the cards tonight? Enjoy different flavors with Lexi’s Kitchen such as:
    1. Kimchi fritters which are made with locally-sourced kimchi from Barrel and Brine. 
    2. My personal favorite: the Thai Peanut Wrap, or skip the wrap, and enjoy the fillings in the Thai Peanut Bowl. 
    3. Warm up with the popular Mulligatawny soup which originates from South India. Similar to curry, this is a dish that originated from interactions between the Tamil people of South India and British colonizers. 

Learn from others! Earlier this month, Lexington Co-op partnered with Massachusetts Avenue Project’s (MAP) kitchen manager, Bethany, to host an authentic Taiwanese cooking class where community members learned to prepare Scallion Pancakes and Lu Don (Taiwanese Soy-Marinated Eggs). In June, the co-op is partnering with MAP once again for another hands-on cooking class on Thursday, June 8th. Keep your eyes out for more information in our e-newsletter. Additionally, check out MAP’s calendar to learn about other available classes highlighting dishes from around the globe.