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Sichuanese Culture-Taste Sensations
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Sichuanese Culture-Taste Sensations

Sichuan (Szechuan) is a landlocked province of approximately 81 million inhabitants in southwest China. The region occupies most of the Sichuan Basin and the easternmost part of the Tibetan Plateau. Its population speaks an unusual form of Mandarin, originating as a variation during the province’s repopulation under the Ming Dynasty.

Panis Focacius
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Panis Focacius

Unleavened breads with toppings are characteristic of many cultures. Citizens of ancient Greece produced a flatbread called plakountos that was enlivened with herbs, onion, cheese, and garlic.
Persian soldiers baked flatbreads with cheese and dates on top of their battle shields. A precursor of pizza was probably focaccia, a Roman unleavened bread known as panis focacius, to which toppings were added.

A Banquet of Temperament
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A Banquet of Temperament

By Tim Hazell Italian scholar and Catholic priest Marcilio Ficino (1433-1499) embodied the ideals of a Renaissance man of his time. His “Book of Life” published 500 years ago advocated simple decisions associated with choices of foods, clothes, ointments, and travel, compatible with each person’s specific histories and needs. It honored individual temperament and the...

Burrata Salad with Stone Fruit and Asparagus
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Burrata Salad with Stone Fruit and Asparagus

By Tim Hazell Romans, Greeks and Persians were fond of mixed salads; combinations of greens tossed with olive oil and vinegar. Layered and dressed salads have been popular in Europe since the Roman imperial expansions. Mary Queen of Scots enjoyed boiled celery root over greens covered with creamy mustard dressing, truffles, chervil and slices of...

Ratatouille – Mediterranean Nuance
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Ratatouille – Mediterranean Nuance

By Tim Hazell Ratatouille is a French Provençal stewed vegetable dish sometimes referred to as ratatouille niçoise. Recipes and cooking times differ widely, but common ingredients include tomato, garlic, onion, courgette (zucchini), aubergine (eggplant), bell pepper, and any combination of leafy green herbs common to the region. The word ratatouille derives from the French Occitan...

Leaf Wrappers Rejuvenate and Refresh
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Leaf Wrappers Rejuvenate and Refresh

By Tim Hazell Lettuce, scientifically known as Lactuca Sativa, has been harvested for millennia, depicted by ancient Egyptians on the walls of their tombs dating back to 2,700 BC. The earliest versions resembled two modern greens, Romaine and Cos lettuce, believed to have been found on the island of Kos, along the coast of modern-day...

Javanese Gamelan and Wayang Kulit
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Javanese Gamelan and Wayang Kulit

By Tim Hazell “Gamelan” is a Javanese word meaning “orchestra,” referring to the instruments that make up a Javanese ensemble. Related combinations exist throughout South Asia. Gamelan music as we define it is native to four islands in close proximity: Java, Madura, Bali, and Lombok. Ensembles can range from a few portable instruments, played by...

Intuition and Ideas
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Intuition and Ideas

By Tim Hazell Divergent cultures and civilizations developed out of a nucleus that is common to aggregates of people who form settlements, achieving social stratification. These include a trinity of things, persons, and ideas. Through trial and error, basic elements must become integrated and adapt to one another, or a community will be unsuccessful in...