*Abbreviations under the "Available" column: A = Available // NA = Not Available // R = Previously Registered // WL = Currently on the Wait List

My Secret Love Affair with Spices

Spices! Their quest has inspired exploration and conquest. They have underpinned the wealth of kingdoms and city states, and their lucrative trade has financed empires. Competition for their source has lead to domination and wars. As a consequence, the “traditional” food of people in a given modern country have as their base ingredients some that are native to a completely different corner of the globe. Take a tomato, native of Central America, yet in our times, firmly associated with Italian cooking. The aim of this course will be to explore  the origins and history of selected groups of spices and learn about their use and how they came to be associated with the cuisine of certain countries.
Any ingredient that enhances the flavor of a meal is a spice.  These could be fruits and vegetables, leaves and herbs, dry seeds and nuts, roots and thizomes, fungi, alcohol, yougurt and other dairy products, etc.  During each class session we will focus on a particular group of spices, discuss their background and harvest, and prepare and sample a couple of traditional dishes of selected countries.
Note: This course does not meet on Tuesday, November 14 or 21.

Instructor Bio:

Born in Cuba and educated in the US, Alina has spent most of her adult life working and living abroad, in Asia, Continental Europe, and the UK. Private Banker by day and spice sleuth by night, Alina is a student of the Humanities. She is interested in how cultures developed and branched out in various places in the world; what beliefs, interests and riturals bring people together and what sets them apart. She believes that food and music are the distinguishing marks that set aside individual cultures. In food, as in music, ingredients are introduced to other countries as a result of trade or take over and become intertwined with those that are native. In the preparation of meals, the ingredients used are a key to the history of the people in the area, and spices, in particular, tell the tale.

Required Reading:

A curious mind and an abundance of  imagination.
$15.00 additional fee for food

Recommended Reading:

Frankopan, Peter. The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, 2015. Toussant-Samat, Maguelonne. A History of Food,  2009.

Course Number Instructor Dates Day Time Location Available
B13 Alina Quesada-Murphy Oct 31, Nov 7, 28, Dec 5, 12 Tu 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Unity of Charlottesville WL

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