CATERING TO CULTURES
Serving the needs of diverse customers
|British gardener Joy Larkom offers tips on growing these exotic vegetables, as well as sources for seeds. She also offers information on everything from Asian culture to building a hoophouse.|
However, building that relationship requires more than just producing the right food. It also means demonstrating an understanding of and respect for diverse cultures and customs. So this ever-expanding section not only offers information on the foods that various ethnic groups love, but also on the cultural issues you should know and respect. In this section, Michigan State University journalism major Alisha Green explores a growing list of cultures, their food, their identity and their traditions and customs.
- Indian - Though it is often associated with being vegetarian, Indian food has a wide variety of cuisine. From North to South, the spices and ingredients for recpies vary greatly in this diverse region. Food also plays a role in the Ayurvedic medicine system - a tradion originating in India that focuses on balancing the elements of the body to promote health.
- Soul Food - This hearty cuisine can be cooked up in a variety of ways, using the staple ingredients with different cooking methods to create healthy alternatives to the greasy style that often comes to mind with Soul Food. With versions as varied as the geography and history it extends across, this food offers options for many diets but all leads back to the traditions started by African-Americans in the South.
- Thai - Making a transition to a new environment always brings challenges, and adapting to a new cuisine presents its own obstacles. For Thai people making the transition to life in the U.S., adapting to frozen vegetables instead of ingredients fresh from the daily market can be a daunting task. Interviews with members of the Thai community in East Lansing provide insight into Thai customs, ideas about food freshness, and the adjustment process of coming to the U.S. from Thailand, as well as advice on how growers can market successfully to this unique group of customers.
- A Fresh Beginning - When Kaying Hang came to the United States from Laos, she brought vegetables seeds sewn in her coat. Some of the vegetables she grows today, more than 30 years after her arrival un the US, are descendants from those original seeds. She hopes to share these authentic flavors with people in the country she has made her new home.