Taste the World – A WOMAD Special

13 September 2011


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Our Discovering Places project, Meet the Species, was at Womad Festival (World of Music, Arts and Dance) in the wonderful Arboretum in July discovering species of all kinds and on their adventures they came across a tasty event called Taste the World.  We asked Annie Menter from the Womad Foundation to tell us more.

Study the menu on the Taste the World stage at a WOMAD Festival and you might find ‘Bambouti fish’ from Egypt, ‘Buriat Buuz’ from Mongolia, ‘Mussa’  from Jamaica or super pizza from Silento Southern Italy.  Performing artists are invited to our designated ‘cookery’ stage’ to prepare and cook a traditional dish from their country of origin, whilst in conversation with the Taste the World host about their lives, music and culture as well as their food.  All this served up with a delectable side dish of spontaneous music and the audience gets to share the completed dish.  These encounters are a fascinating and intimate opportunity to enter into the world of the artist.

Sharing music and food is a universal experience, whether in a remote village in Mali or downtown in busy Beijing.  Tradition meets innovation and histories collide. One of the fascinating themes to emerge from the Taste the World sessions is how rarely the ingredients of a recipe ’typical’ of a particular national identity are indigenous to that country.  Each dish is a layered slice through time and space, with traces of trade routes, echoes of lost empires, footprints of migration and journeys in search of wealth or survival. Every ingredient has a story, which feeds into the final dish.

Mixing things up at Taste the World

Finding a particular ingredient here in the UK can sometimes be a challenge.  This year ‘kiriboshi daikon’ , ‘allium’, abalone and a particular fish called ‘Denis’ proved a tad problematical. Thanks heavens for specialist food shops and the internet.  There’s not much we can’t get hold of … where there’s a will and all that!  Artists can be super helpful too at slipping that rare selection of spice or, as in the case of kiriboshi daikon (dried radish) in their luggage.

Join The Creole Choir of Cuba in this succulent Seafood dish from Santa Cruz.

Enough for a party!

435 gm shrimps

870 gm lobster

145 gm crab meat

435 gm white fish

1.5 k white rice

2 lemons and 2 limes

Olive oil

Sea salt

Paprika to taste

Good fish stock

Freshly ground black pepper

Salsa Surena

Large bunch of fresh parsely

1 bottle dry white wine

Method: Fillet fish, cut into 3 inch squares.  Cut lobster tails into rings, remove the carapace. Peel shrimps – wash parsley and chop finely.  Squeeze lemon and lime juice.  Remove crab meat from shell.  Heat prepared fish stock.  Cook rice.  Marinate fish, lobster and shrimps in oil, salt, lemon juice, pepper, parsley and salsa surena.  Sauté each of the fish separately, then combine with the cooked rice (al denté) and slowly add stock little by little.  Simmer for 10 minutes as rice absorbs stock and flavours combine.  Adjust seasoning and finally add a large glass of white wine before serving.

Music to cook to …. ‘Tande-La’ by the Creole Choir of Cuba on realworld records. www.realworldrecords.com

For more information about WOMAD go to www.womad.org

Posted by Annie Menter, WOMAD Foundation

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