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Cultural Enlightment

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Submitted By ssabusa
Words 1153
Pages 5
Shaila Sabusa
Dr. Klym
English 1101
1 September 2013
Cultural Enlightenment Foods are one thing that everyone loves. It is also what brings us together, no matter what culture or race. As I have seen around me, even myself, people try foods they think are unique and will interest them because they want to try it and by doing so they get to understand the cultural enlightenment. Many people may disagree with me by saying that no one can get cultural enlightenment by trying foods, but I beg to differ and say yes you do. When going to any traditional restaurant you dress a way so you show yourself presentable. As we enter the restaurant you see the environment is set and based on the cultural aspect of where the food comes from. Sometimes your waiters may dress a certain type of way to fit in and at other places they may not. Just by entering and seeing we have been cultural enlightened. I have been through the enlightenment process which I thought Syrian food would worry me by the way it looked, where it came from, how it was prepared and overall if I was going to like it or not. The dish I had was Fatti Dajaj (chicken fatti). Syrian food is rich in vegetables, grains, fruits, beans, nuts and aromatic spices. These are some main ingredients used in every dish that they make. To add to the flavoring lemons, onion, garlic, mint and parsley are garnished on top of the food to give the food the savory taste. This dish is one of the most famous and distinctive Syrian dish. It is toasted Syrian bread, rice and chicken soaked with yogurt sauce and garnished with nuts. When I saw my dish being brought out by the waiter I was really nervous on how it would taste or the smell of it and what it looked like. But the thing I have learned that any Middle Eastern or Syrian food I ordered all the items had a way of presentation. The dish was decorated with the sauce on the edge in elegant designs; no food was touching the other, the rice neither was mixed with any other item nor touching the meat at all. Fatti Dajaj was made to keep leftovers from going bad. “This was an easy way to save money, feed people and not let the food go to waste.” (Smith) This is what Mama from “Around the Fire” was trying to explain and teach her kids. She was teaching them to how to save and understand the value of something instead taking everything for advantage. She taught them life skills which we all need to use in our lives. I do it all the time that I beg and plead to my parents on something that I want for one time but the next I don’t. Same thing with food I will want my mom to make something that I want at that time but after she makes it I don’t want it and waste the food that was given to me. I see that when people in the Middle Ages try to use all they had to save for better foods later on and they understood the value for food and did not put it to waste. Fatti Dajaj uses leftovers when made at home which helps the family not throw away food at home but use it and satisfy one’s hunger. My first insight of Fatti Dajaj when I saw it on the menu and read that it used stale pita bread was that honestly this dish was going to be nasty. After I took my first bite into the dish I couldn’t realize that even the stale pita bread can taste just as good as any normal food. I asked the chef on how he makes the stale taste go away, he replied by saying, “The tahini, garlic, salt and pepper mix in with the stale bread and chicken and the customer thinks that it was just a pre ready meal.” For a quick few seconds I was shocked by the tahini could make the taste change. I usually thought that Middle Eastern paste such as tahini had no taste but the creamy, oily and smooth nut butter rich in calcium paste had me all wrong. The dish has a sweet and sour and somewhat bitter taste to it. The sweetness came from the pomegranate seeds that where grinded up in the paste of the sautéed yogurt chicken and also placed on top of the dish as a décor. I have noticed from past experience by actually visiting Syria and tasting the food her that sometimes even when trying to find the authentic taste for the food you do not get it unless you are in the country itself. I can see that because the people of the country have been taught the correct way to make it while others here add ingredient in their foods to make the people like it. There is always that extra ingredient that you do not notice but it does change the taste of the food. In Syria people hand make all their paste and dishes and do not used packaged foods. I interviewed my friend’s great grandmother and she said, “ Everything in Syria is hand grown and hand crushed and hand made. We, as the elder, try to keep the tradition alive by teaching our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren how to make the pastes and seasonings. My parents always said that if you do it from scratch it tastes natural and better an you have the feeling of accomplishment an achievement.” I know that feeling when my grandparents and parents expect me to hand make and cook everything from scratch. I would agree to the satisfaction feeling you get from tasting something you made by hand has a better taste to it because you know how long it took to make it and how well you have mastered the skills making that dish. I never realized on how well two cultures can mix well into one another, I guess being born and raised in the US never made me appreciate the fact that I live in a house where we have a mix of three cultures. I understand that putting me in the shoes of the person whose food yout try is a big deal. The food makes you stand independent and different from the rest of the world and makes you realize that ist really shouldn’t matter what people think about you. Embrace the fact that your different, embrace the feeling of different and be a part of society which yes does judge you but also wants to learn more and understand what you are, where you come from and most importantly why do you eat the food you eat and not what they eat.…...

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