#OutrageousOctober: Keepin’ It Spicy

4 Nov

Due to my Indian heritage, I have always been interested in other cultures all around the world. This month for Outrageous October, I decided to expand my food palette. I have tried cuisines from India, Germany, Thailand, China, Taiwan, Mexico, Cuba, Italy, Greece, and Iran but there were a couple of regions I had yet to experience.  

I have heard that Ethiopian food was really similar to Indian food, with all the spices and “curry”-like dishes, so I have been eager to get a taste for myself. A friend of mine told me about a restaurant called Zemam’s, which is located on Speedway about 5 minutes from my apartment. I can’t believe it took me so long, but for #OutrageousOctober I finally decided to gather a group of my adventurous friends and check it out! Some of my friends were a bit nervous, but Ethiopian food can be a bit “scary” looking to those who have not expanded their global palette. We ordered a large platter, mixed with various vegetable and chicken curries. I would say that Ethiopian food is one of my new favorite cuisines, definitely my all-time favorite from the whole #OutrageousOctober experience.


One of my roommates, Christina, is  Korean. Christina has always talked about the delicious Korean meals her mother would prepare for her every night. After hearing all these fantastic food stories, I looked into some local Korean restaurants in Tucson. I found the closest and highest rated Korean restaurant – Kimchi Time. My roommate and I went to Kimchi Time, and ordered various plates. I absolutely loved kimchi, which is a traditional fermented side dish made with a variety of vegetables and spicy/ sour flavoring. Christina told me that her mother would leave the kimchi fermenting in a jar underground for months, which absolutely blew my mind! The Korean food overall was also a success, although I wish I was able to try traditionally fermented kimchi.


My last cultural experience was with Polish food. I had found a cute little cozy restaurant called Polish Cottage. The restaurant was absolutely adorable with a fireplace and many ancient antiques. Growing up in Chicago, I was surrounded with many Polish-American friends. It was definitely a great feeling being able to experience a little bit of their culture. I tried some Polish sausage and these dumpling-type appetizers called pierogi. I had pierogi with beef, potatoes/ cheese, sauerkraut/ mushroom, and sweet cheese/ sour cream. Overall, I would say that I enjoyed the pierogi over the sausage. Polish food was delicious and unique in its own way, but lacked the rich flavors that Indian, Ethiopian, and Korean food contain.


-Erica S. 






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