gastrodiplomacy

Rubies, natural gas, pagodas and teak- just a few words of what pops into peoples’ heads when they hear the word “Myanmar.”  Be prepared to add another word to that list; and it’s not one that you would expect. Myanmar coffee has recently traveled to showcase in the London Coffee Festival and the SCA Expo, thanks to U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) who funded a five-year project implemented by Winrock International in the form of the Value Chains for Rural Development.

Visitors of Embassy Chef Challenge can sample authentic cuisines from 35 countries in a single day. One minute they can enjoy salmon ceviche and merquén mussels from Chile, and the next, jollof rice with chicken and fried plantains from Ghana. Adults can taste wines from Bolivia or the iconic gin-based cocktail from Singapore, the Singapore Sling. [...] “It’s a very happy place,” said Red Garcia, the chef representing the Philippines. “Food is like music. We break bread, and we share our culture and values. Everyone brings the best of everything.”

The Chinese Embassy held a cultural show (Chinese cuisine-class), popularizing authentic Chinese food to promote bonds of friendship between the two countries. Chinese culinary art was displayed on the occasion. It was the part cultural diplomacy, promoting people-to-people’s contacts, said Mrs. Diana Bao, wife of Chinese ambassador while speaking at the show as a chief guest. 

For more than 300 years, Spain and Philippines shared a deep history in food. Colonizing the Philippines from 1521 to 1898, the Spaniards brought to the country not only Catholicism but also its cuisine and meticulous cooking methods, something that is still evident in Filipino kitchens, especially during feasts. It’s not surprising to see lechon, paella, [...] during birthdays and Christmases—all of which are adaptations of dishes passed down from Spain to its former colony.

In the United States, home to more than 30 million Mexican Americans, Cinco de Mayo has taken on new meaning. It is a festival of Latino culture. In cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Washington, Cinco de Mayo events are held each year. Americans eat and drink traditional Mexican fare. 

Venezuelan delicacies like “arepas” and “tizana” are suddenly all the rage in the streets of Lima, considered the gastronomic capital of Latin America, thanks to the flood of Venezuelans moving to Peru in recent months to escape the deadly economic crisis into which their country has fallen. From students to engineers, from mechanics to reporters, Venezuelans are finding that selling their favorite foods in the streets is the first step toward settling in Peru [.]

Mazanec is a sweet bread with rum-soaked raisins and dried fruit and topped with slivered almonds. It's round with a cross on top, to represent Christ. And it is eaten throughout the Holy Week. [...] Pavla Velickinova, the head of the public diplomacy department at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C., says mazanec is one of the oldest documented Easter foods in Czech history.

Pakistan and Indonesia have been working closely to promote cultural as well as economic ties. After successfully launching ‘food diplomacy’, now both the countries will arrange ‘Islamic Fashion Show’ soon.

Pages