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Review by Debbie Mazo


With today's global village just a click away, it's not surprising that interest in international foods is at an all-time peak. Crossing international food boundaries is an opportunity to experience local dining protocol, discover folklore traditions, and taste a myriad of unique food combinations. When you visit, you'll bring the world of food and all its exotic flavors to your doorstep.

Formerly called the Four Winds Food Specialists, is hosted by nutritionists and authors Pamela Goyan Kittler and Kathryn P. Sucher. Offering a virtual education in ethnic foods and ingredients, holiday food traditions, and cultural nutrition resources, this site is a self-contained treasure.

When it comes to exploring the international culinary experience, has all the answers whether your enquiries relate to ethnic ingredients or just plain curiosity about the food habits of specific cultural groups. Browse the Q&A Archives and you'll find answers on everything from the nutritional benefits of Japanese pickled garlic to the variations of chorley cakes (British pastry made with dried fruit).

One of the best ways to learn about ethnic cuisine is to explore the food traditions celebrated throughout the holidays of the year. At, you can check back each month for information on holiday traditions throughout the world with links to other sites describing specific cultural practices. Holiday traditions for the month of May, for example, include May Day dating back to ancient pagan spring festivals. May Day traditionally features flowers, fruits and other sweets, and dancing, especially around a May pole with streamers. During May, you can also join in the celebrations for Shavout, a Jewish holiday commemorating the return of Moses from Mt. Sinai. For this festival, dairy foods are common, especially Ashkenazi dishes like blintzes (very thin pancakes rolled around a filling of cheese, fruit, or meat, topped with sour cream) and knishes (baked pastries stuffed with potatoes, cheese, or meat).

If you're looking for ethnic food information with a nutritional twist, click on Resources to discover the real meat of this site. Here, you'll find materials like an Ethnic Food Nutrient Database as well as a U.S. Ethnic Health Data page for statistics and links to organizations involved in ethnic and religious health issues. You can also check the compiled list of hand-picked food links with comments from the site's hosts. To explore the exotic tastes of Filipino cuisine, for example, directs you to Manong Ken's Carinderia, where you'll find tasty regional recipes like Ampalaya Con Carne and Sinangag—Fried Rice.

Like to test your food knowledge at Then, score your answers when you take the site's Food Quiz (all completed, correct forms will be entered into a drawing for a cultural nutrition gift). You can also explore some of the Fun Facts that the site's hosts have learned in their research, like the origin of chopsticks. One story suggests that chopsticks were invented after an ancient Chinese emperor banned the use of cutlery at the table, while another more likely version is that chopsticks were invented as an extension of the fingers.

Offering a unique introduction to the flavors of international culture, you'll definitely increase your culinary IQ when you visit


About the Writer

Debbie Mazo is a writer and editor based in Vancouver, Canada. She currently specializes in technical and marketing materials, but is also pursuing opportunities in food journalism.

Copyright © 2000, Debbie Mazo. All rights reserved.



This page created May 2000