Different areas around the world have many things in common and in turn, have some things that are totally different. One thing that seems to be pretty similar no matter where you go is that food will bring people together. Regardless of the size of the group or the type of food, people will come together to eat and drink. This week in Zomppa, we learned about two different food ceremonies. One takes place in New Zealand and the other takes place in Japan.
New Zealand has a traditional method of cooking called a Hangi.The food is cooked by digging a pit into the ground and placing stones in it which are then heated by fire. Baskets of food are placed on these stones and covered and left to cook for hours underground.
Once all the food baskets are placed on the stones, you cover the back up with dirt so that no steam can come out. You let the food cook this way for a couple hours. Once the food has cooked for some hours, you want to make sure you carefully dig up the food baskets and enjoy your party!
The next food ceremony we discussed was the Japanese Tea Ceremony. This a cultural ceremony showing the preparation and presentation of green tea known as Matcha. The tea is served with traditional Japanese sweets to offset the bitter taste of the tea. Although the ceremony is not mainly about drinking the tea, the emphasis lies in the preparation and the aesthetics of the preparation for the traditional ceremony.
Tea ceremonies used to be performed by nobles and priests but has now become a ceremony for guests on special occasions. The host prepares the tea for the guests as they watch in silence. Once everyone has had a drink of tea, the host cleans the utensils that were used and the guests inspect them as a sign of respect.
Food is very important everywhere you go and can bring many people together. While different cultures have different ways of doing things and different rituals, food will always universal. We can also learn a lot about a culture by observing how they eat or treat food. I encourage all to learn something new about different food cultures and be open to the different rituals you may encounter.
Summer Intern-Estelle Rohr