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Old 03-13-2008, 03:38 PM
 
Location: New York
371 posts, read 1,820,209 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBeez View Post
Rattatouille, Borscht, Succatash, Hamburger Helper are all fine examples of Peasant Food.
I was just going to say Rattatouiille and you beat me! That is one of my all time favorite meals. You can eat it cold or warm. I like it both ways and my 5 year old will eat it because he helps make it and loves the movie!
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:38 PM
Status: "Elect a clown? Expect a circus!" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea
58,062 posts, read 40,832,224 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle1210 View Post
does Mexican food classify as peasant food, that is what I grew up, refried beans and spanish rice and tortillas, fried potatoes and eggs and squash, peppers garlic and onions


I think much of it does although Mexican food is a pretty wide ranging category with the country having so many areas with their own distinctive styles. So far I've enjoyed every one I've sampled
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:41 PM
Status: "Elect a clown? Expect a circus!" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea
58,062 posts, read 40,832,224 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueWillowPlate View Post
These are all peasant foods that I have eaten and made myself.

Gefilte Fish
Making carp palatable isn't always easy.

Matzoh
There are so many uses for matzoh, but first the matzoh itself has to be made.

Cassoulet
(Especially enjoyable if being eaten in Toulouse, France )

I used to enjoy Gefilte fish with a grated beet/horseradish mixture and I'm with you on the Cassoulet, it's even good eaten in the wilds of NJ
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:45 PM
 
Location: NoVa
18,434 posts, read 29,400,880 times
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I love stuffed cabbage. I make it with ground beef and pork, and I cover it with saurkraut and tomato juice and bake it. Theres other stuff in it, I cant remember...

I always make home made mac and cheese with stewed tomatoes as my side when I make that...

yummy. Its just me and the kids now and they wouldn't touch it with a ten foor pole, and I cant make all that food for myself...
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Old 04-11-2008, 04:09 PM
 
Location: CITY OF ANGELS AND CONSTANT DANGER
5,409 posts, read 11,321,589 times
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mexican food as a cusine is not peasant food, check out the recipe for mole on another thread. but some foods on their own can be considered peasntly. such as beans. black beans, lima beans, string beans. or cactus. i would say that certain foods like rice, beans and nopales(cactus) are poor peoples food, but mexican food in general is not. just like chinese food is not peasant food. certain dishes can be considered as such, like rice, but overall no cuisine is peasant cuisine that i know of.

one example that i love now that i didnt so much when i was younger was winnies with egg burritos. all it is is eggs and chopped hot dogs wrapped in a flour tortilla. i hated eating that for breakfast. but thats what we had available. it was just poor peoples food. it fed us and kept us healthy. oh god and i hated potato burritos also!!! but now i think they are the best. all you have to do is add some bacon, some salsa, basil and you have a killer breakfast burrito.
i love takin "peasant" dishes and spicing them up a bit. turning a black bean soup into a hearty fish stew! yum yum. gettin hungry now.
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Old 04-12-2008, 01:01 PM
 
4,899 posts, read 16,590,481 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle1210 View Post
does Mexican food classify as peasant food, that is what I grew up, refried beans and spanish rice and tortillas, fried potatoes and eggs and squash, peppers garlic and onions
yes it does qualify. i think of peasant food as being things that cost less, like beans and rice, pasta, veggies, or tougher cuts of meat.
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
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Maybe this is more of a survival food but it is one of the items poor people ate during the great depression in the deep south. I don't know if there is any Irish connection or not. "Fried Potato Sandwiches". Basically potatoes sliced about 1/8" thick and fried (probably in lard) then used on a sandwich as a meat replacement. Every so often I get the craving. Of course I've modified them now by adding sliced tomato and onion. Mine get a few jalapeno slices to boot.

Another popular food that I would consider peasant food would be dishes like grits. That's a staple still today and they are prepared several different ways. My wife likes her's topped with a fried egg. Mine now I want tomato gravy or you can keep 'em to to make the gravy. Some folks eat them almost plain with only a pat of butter.

Dried beans cooked with smoked ham hocks maybe a little on the peasant side depending on your point of view. I loved the cabbage rolls my polish aunt used to make. Now I'm finding out it's peasant food! All I can say money is not everything. I'll take a good cabbage roll any day compared to some of the rot gut stuff I've seen on my plate at 5 star joints that I could not swallow.
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
186,939 posts, read 76,742,592 times
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Another attempt at this. 3 month old kitten just make did an acrobatic stunt and hose all that I had type.

Pound Cake

This might be considered a peasant dessert. It is simple. No expensive ingredients. Flour, eggs, Shortening, & Sugar. I think that is about it. It's what my grandmother made when I can first remember cake. Now she did have home grown strawberries for it sometimes. And then in season we had fresh guavas along with it. This thread is bringing back some fond memories.
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:11 PM
 
2,790 posts, read 5,691,907 times
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The food sources I checked define peasant food as the food of the masses, generally rural, using techniques and knowledge passed down from one generation to the next to take advantage of locally available ingredients and to make lower quailty ingredients more palatable. Cuisine that because of the ingredients become associated with particular ethnic groups. Comfort foods.

To me this means not only using readily available ingredients, but developing and perfecting techniques to not only utilize those ingredients to their best mutritional potential, but to present them in a pleasing and palatable way.

When you think about it, many of the items that people have said turn their stomachs on another thread are often prime examples of what peasant food is all about. Take the conversation about liver sausage, liverwust, braunscweiger, hurka. Whatever you call it, it was is basically blood sausage. It was an important nutritional component in diets to combat anemia. And to me, it is a comfort food. Drying of legumes was another way preserve important sources of protein, and equally inportant is learning how to re-constitute them. Fricassing and braising and stewing were all techniques developed, not only to make less desirable cuts of meat more palatable but to also arner every last bit of nutrition out of them.

This may sound totally off point, but a good case in point is the Donner party. A couple of years back I watched an in-depth investigation on NatGeo or the History Channel of what happened in the mountains during that tragic winter. A team of anthropologists, archeologists and various other scientists located the two camp sites. As grusome as it sounds to our 21st sensibilites, there was evidence in and around the campfires of the survivors drawing on every skill and bit of knowledge they had to survive. The party hunted until either ammo, their strength or the game ran out. The scientists found not only found evidence of animal bones that had been gnawed on because they could see marks left by teeth, but instead of simply discarding them, the Donner party took those bones and boiled them to release the marrow and other nutrients. They were able to make a broth that not only warmed them but provided all, especially the weak, the elderly and the children with nutrients they might not otherwise have recieved.

I realize this is an extreme case, but the point I am making, I hope, is that peasant food is not only comfort food because it feeds our soul and evokes warm memories; but because in times long gone, spirit. determination and culinary skill were all that sustained the lives of our ancestors. Not only did they make do with what they had, they elevated it to an art.
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:48 AM
 
5,683 posts, read 9,111,116 times
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Polenta, which is an Italian dish of cornmeal with some tomato sauce and a little cheese, is another good example of peasant food.

Back in the sixties, my dad worked with a first-generation American citizen of Italian descent. His co-worker's parents had come over from the old country and settled here in the early part of the 20th century, and he was the first in the family to be born in the US. His mother had adopted US customs like Thanksgiving quite readily, but always put her own twist on them.

On the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, dinner would be polenta, just as simple and as basic as it was in the old country. The youngsters would complain, but the mother would tell them that they had to eat simply that night to be able to properly appreciate the bounty that would load the table the next day.

I always thought that was a lovely way of both acknowledging the family's ancestry and heritage, while also embracing the customs and prosperity of their new country.
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