Thursday, August 28, 2008

Food for Thought-The Ubiquitous Turnover


The thing I enjoy most about learning about different cultures is the food. I believe you can really learn a lot about a different culture by consuming their cuisine. And of course, being the multiculti maven that I am, I constantly search for connections between one country's culinary fare and another.

Here's my favorite, the turnover. I'm talking about a scrap of pastry stuffed with some sort of savory filling. Almost every culture has a version of this dish. Why? Because almost every culture makes dough. And everyone who makes dough knows that there's always some leftover scraps. What do you do with those scraps? You fill them with last night's dinner and tah-dah, a new taste sensation.

So here Meltingpot Readers, "the turnover," translated:

The turnover in:

Jamaica is a beef patty (Tumeric colored dough stuffed with spicy beef)

Spain is an empanada (Favorite fillings include tuna and chorizo. Not to be confused with the empanada from Argentina which uses a different dough and has more variations of fillings)

Puerto Rico is a pastel (So delicious because they are usually deep fried)

Now here's where I'm extrapolating, but tell me if I'm not making real connections...

The turnover in:

China is a dumpling

Poland is a pierogi

In India is a samosa

Where does your favorite turnover come from and what is it stuffed with?

Peace.

9 comments:

Christina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christina said...

Either samosas with potatoes and peas (veggie-style) or the Italian calzone filled with sun-dried tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Yum. Actually...is there a turnover equivalent in Ethiopia? I'm racking my brain, but I can't come up with one. Then again, Ethiopian dishes are traditionally served on a giant piece of injera. That's sort of a turnover, no?

Mango Mama said...

Now you've got me jonesing for either a chicken patty or samosa--- mmmm!

glamah16 said...

Samosas and Jamaican Beef Patties! I take anyhting stuffed in dough.

Gerihaitian Girl said...

In Haiti we eat pate (sorry, can't get the accent on the e), which is a white dough crust stuffed with meat, chicken or fish. In Germany, particularly in the south, we eat Maultaschen, which I've had stuffed with or without meat and lots of herbs. My Haitian family loved the Maultaschen and, although I've yet to make pate for my German family (unfortunately time consuming), they can't get enough of the other Haitian food they've tried, especially djon djon, a black mushroom rice . . . which the melting pot might one day have to compare to other mushroom rice dishes from other countries!

Angela said...

Great post! I think I'd have to vote for samosas. mmmm. I love seeing the commonalities of cultures. Another food almost every culture has: flat bread. :-)BTW, I found your blog when Googling one of our MPM chapters. Love your blog! Peace to you,from one "Melting Pot Mom" to another. ;-)

Carleen Brice said...

This post made me think of sopapillas. Not exactly the same thing, but yum.

And also potstickers.

Anonymous said...

So ironic, I was JUST having this exact same conversation with my mom the other day, and I'm currently in the middle of Kinky Gazpacho. My fave turnover is definitely my native Belizean empanadas stuffed with tuna or beans or with coconut+ginger. (Both of which we cooked a batch of later that night.) YUM!

Yvonne said...

I used to love samosas, but the Jewish/Turkish (depending on who you're talking to) bureka stole my heart about a year ago when I first encountered them at a popular coffee shop in my Marian Anderson Village neighborhood. I am all about the mushroom filling, but variations of potato, cheese, eggplant, or spinach are yummy too. I even make them myself now thanks to a recipe from Epicurious. I twist mine like a pretzel though...