Tomatoes, Potatoes, Peppers, Squash, Beans, Chocolate, Corn: the ingredients that have arguably shaped the world's cuisines originated in North and South America. The Spanish and European arrival in the Americas ushered in a period of dramatic change. Globalization may be a modern term to us, but the trading of food and materials in this era signals a new world order based on economic and cultural goods. After all, what would Italian fare be without tomato-based marinara? Or Swiss culture without Chocolate?
So, when you sit down for dinner, look at what is on your plate and think about where it came from. It is likely you will be looking at a combination of foods from around the world, and representing a variety of cultures. There, on your pizza is tomato sauce and pepper from the Americas, and cheese and meat from animals originating in the Old World. Your plate tells a story: a story rooted in the conquest, and at times the brutality, of Spanish entradas.
Filmmaker Mike Foster explores these themes in his video, New World Sustenance:
Unity International Lunches hosts a monthly ‘international lunch’ featuring foods from different countries with an aim of integrating ethnic groups in Boscombe.