By Margaret Bogosian
The second dinner in the "Evolution of Flavor" dinner series took place last night. I do not want to assume too much but I think everyone had a great time! If you recall from older posts, these dinner series take place once a month, and each month we use different ingredients for the meal. Last month, we only used ingredients that were available in the New World before the Columbian Exchange in 1492. Last night, we used food items that were available on the Old World before the exchange.
After the meal in September in which we were not allowed to use ingredients that are pretty essential to any cook (olive oil, garlic, onions, butter, dairy), cooking this month was a lot easier and less restrictive. We started the meal with cured meats, seven (yes seven), types of cheeses, fresh baked bread, and of course, wine. You can not sample 7 types of cheese without a nice French white to wash it down. For dinner we had rice pilaf, brussel sprouts, and oven roasted herbed chicken breast. In one of the pictures I will post later, you can see the making of the dessert in action. The picture with the swirls in the pan is the toffee I made for the ever popular banoffee pie. The name of the dessert which originated in England comes from the ingredients that make up the dish: bananas, toffee, and coffee. Layers of sweetened pie crust, homemade toffee, sliced bananas, fresh whipped cream, and topped with espresso was a real crowd winner last night. We finished the night with coffee, tea, and small group discussions.Throughout the meal, students from the school presented the research they had found about some of the ingredients we used during the meal. One student discussed the origins of rice and how it was cultivated in the Old World. Another student explained the myth and rituals that were associated with coffee in the Old World. This discussion we had as a group about the ingredients eventually broke apart into many little conversations between professors and students, graduate students and faculty, faculty and professors. It was wonderful to see the different members of the Regis College community together, and all of us at the Heritage Studies Program would like to thank everyone who came out to support this event. We look forward to seeing old and new friends at our next dinner, the last one in the series. Please RSVP to PHI@Regiscollege.edu if you would like to attend.