Before the existance of technology, the majority of the population relied on books or hand-me-down remedies, stories, and recipes on how to do anything. With the introduction of portable electronic devices and constant access to the internet our everyday devices have replaced the need for books in several areas. It is no longer necessary for a home cooker or a professional chef to buy numerous cookbooks to create the perfect gourmet meal or quick dinner. All a cook needs now is internet access which plays a key role in helping you connect to cultures through food. The next major aspect to connecting to cultures is a similarity in food that is very accessible to practically anyone such as typical white rice.
If you look at each culture, evidence of rice is found in each groups diet, which means that rice can be found in practically in any household throughout the planet. Now there are three things that many people have in common, 1. access to the internet, 2. rice at home, and 3. plenty of recipes that consist of rice. Take the rice information from the Anatomy of Crop Plants Project website into consideration. We know that rice is used all around the world, why not transform your own rice into something a person across the planet would make for dinner or a snack or even in alcoholic beverage. Learn to be open-minded to the possibilities that your simple white (or brown) rice is capable of. Each day of the week you can switch your rice recipe to make fried rice (Chinese), sushi (Japanese), rice cakes in banana leaf (Vietnamese), or even jambalaya (American). The possibilities of transforming your next meal are endless and only a click away.
Choosing the Right Instructions
Before searching for the perfect recipe, it is important to know what kind of learner you are. Are you a kinesthetic learner, visual learner, auditory learner, or a reader? If you don’t know take a quiz at the Education Planner and find out! Once you know what kind of learner you are, you can choose a website that offers cooking instructions that are right for you. Finding the perfect recipe can come in many forms on the internet. Some websites will have written instructions, others many include images to elaborate on the steps, and some may be how-to videos in making a decadent meal.
Take these two links for example:
The first link offers written instructions on how to make Lime Cilantro Rice with a list of ingredients before the instructions, no step-by-step images provided. The second link is a YouTube video made of clips throughout the cooking process of the Cilantro Lime Rice. In the Youtube video the audio does not offer exact measurements, but they are provided in the information box below the video. As mentioned in the Universal Usability Guidelines in the Web Style Guide, 3rd edition, web pages are created in consideration of internet user abilities. However, each internet user should decide which type of instructions are best for them depending on their learning style.
Expanding Your Horizons
Take a brief moment to think back to all the ways you have cooked your rice in the past. If you can only think of one recipe, that is not enough! Similar to flour and eggs, rice can be found in almost any household. Have you ever heard of a southern bell cooking fried rice? Could you image a Japanese person making jambalaya? The idea may not be as farfetched as once imagined. With the internet allowing us to reach into every corner of the virtual world, we can use our new found knowledge to learn about other cultures through cooking.
If you are curious as to what else your rice can create, check out Rice Gourmet. This site offers recipes ranging from 5 continents and 21 countries, all unique in their own way! In my opinion it would come out easier and cheaper to try a new recipe at home than having to go to a Mexican restaurant, Italian restaurant, Indian restaurant for meals that have rice. What is even better is that you can also share and impress friends, family or fellow employers with a delicious home-cooked meal that you learned how to make on the internet.
Next time that you are in your kitchen, preparing for lunch or dinner, think twice and consider the possibilities that already accessible ingredients can make by doing a quick search on the web for an easy and deliciously new recipe. All your ingredients, not only rice, teach you about other cultures through methods and additional ingredients used.