This volume in The World Art Tour series explores the culture of cuisine. It focuses on different regions of the world and examines the essential food traditions of each region: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, North America, and Oceania. Of particular concern for each region is its history, traditions, religions, and cultural influences on the development of world cuisine. One might well ask why this topic is important enough to make it into a series on world art traditions. Can cuisine be an art? Does it showcase the development of cultures in the same way that literature, music, film, and television do? The answer is yes, absolutely! In fact, an argument could be made that you can learn more about a culture from its food than from its entertainment and history. To help you better understand why this is true, each chapter of this book has been broken down into several sections. Longer sections provide an in-depth examination of the various factors that influence a society’s cuisine. For example, you will learn about the origin of hummus, where couscous originated, and why your favorite Chinese restaurant serves such delicious food. Each of these sections focuses on specific elements and the factors that influence their development. Mid-length pieces provide a shorter, but still educational, look at exciting elements of a cuisine and its development. Here you’ll learn more about how climate affects cuisine development, the ways that the slave trade brought African food to the rest of the world, and how Cajun food got its start. Between the longer and the shorter pieces, you’ll get the chance to watch an entertaining video that focuses on a visual representation of a critical point. After the medium-length pieces, you’ll read through shorter discussions that highlight essential aspects of a culture’s cuisine. Expect to learn about how food can heal, how the United States has influenced cultures that once influenced it, and why food trucks have become so popular. All of these short pieces provide a fun but engaging look into the subject. In addition to these elements, each chapter includes a sidebar that provides more information on an interesting subject. All of this knowledge combines to create an engaging and unforgettable look at the world’s cuisine, and you will come to understand why you eat so much corn, where tacos originate, and many other fascinating details and stories about the foods of the world.
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