Monday, January 11, 2010

best of two worlds?

When you only see snow for more than a month, you tend to dream about the days in the sun. I did just that. I travelled back in time.... to June 2009. Not so long ago....

I was in my hometown. It was Pa's death anniversary. I wanted to prepare beef stew. So I got up early that morning, and went to the market. Well, after living in the Netherlands (meat land hahahahahaha) for quite some time now, I was in for a big surprise.

They weren't selling beef that day. It was Monday, and they only butcher cows on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. I was disappointed of course. But I remembered why.

You see, while we (because this is also home to me now) herald ourselves here in the west of living a healthy lifestyle for eating biologically grown vegetables, biological meat, etc...., there are actually people in some parts of the world who live healthier lives.

I am talking about those people who grow vegetables in their own backyard. People who don't know how to eat seafood spiced and marinated in exotic herbs & expensive wine. People who don't know the taste of genetically engineered meat injected with oil and margarine. These are the same people who only eat freshly butchered meat.... no refrigeration, no injections. That part of the world where children don´t know what Mcdonalds is, and fastfood means street food. They are the lucky ones, I think.

I remember when I was living in the Philippines.... when my diet was composed of rice, vegetable, and fish. When eating chocolate was a treat, and not a substitute for the emptiness I sometimes feel. When eating processed food meant scarce in food (due to natural calamities). When I didn't need to buy grapefruit to detoxify my body... When my life was complicated and I was healthier.

I'm not complaining. You see, the Netherlands has so many nice things to offer too. By the way, they also have lots of healthy food here. For one, the dairy products. There's cheese. When I was in the Philippines for 10 weeks last year, I started to crave for the caracter, brie, komijn, and gouda jong belegen cheeses that I eat on a regular basis here. I`m a certified cheese addict. lol

Aside from cheese, there's muesli and yoghurt. And meat. All sorts of meat, and especially after hunting season. My favorite is the beautiful, tasty fazant (pheasant) prepared in Burgundian wine and wild mushrooms.

In summer, there are too many varieties of fruits and vegetables available in the market. I remember seeing an artichoke for the first time. I thought it was one of those succulent ornamental plants! Imagine my surprise when my American cousin taught me how to prepare and eat it.... and yes, with hollandaise sauce! YUM! Ach... my ignorance. lol

I guess, I should be happy. After all, how many people are there in the world who have this luxury of living (experiencing life) in two different cultures? Yeah, I should be happy.. and grateful.

12 comments:

thamarai said...

So true! I share similar views on this topic...especially the food that I eat in India and the Netherlands are so entirely different and yet I see how both of them have their own advantages...

Anita said...

I think the best book ever I have read about nutrition is "Skinny Bitch: a no-nonsense, tough-love guide for savy girls who want to stop eating crap and start looking fabulous!" from Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin. It gives you a completely new perspective about corruption in Food & Drug administration, how the pharmaceutical industry gives us completely wrong information, the dangers of eating animals and show how the habit of eating milk & derivates serve to the interests of a billionary industry with suspicious policies. After reading the book I have never seen/eaten food the same way again. Mind blowing. And the book is also so much fun ! Did I change some habits ? YES. Did I get thin ? NOT ENOUGH.

Whitemist said...

Very interesting view, seeing both sides.
I like That!
Some of those things make sense, the missing of past and past pleasures (Fish and vegies and cheese). wonderful.

Aledys Ver said...

Well, if there is something that I would not miss outside NL, it's meat, of course. I find it completely tasteless, at best. Besides, they always tell you that you are not supposed to defrost and freeze food again, but that's exactly what supermarkets do. Whenever you grill a piece of meat here, instead of grilling it, you end up boiling it in a liter of water that comes out of it. I've cried over this so many times! It's been one of the hardest parts of adjusting to life away from home.
I never knew why someone would eat steak and first marinate it or put sauces (coming from plastic containers) on it - I now know!!

buday said...

Natawa ako sa "grapefruit" line. Amo talaga, natural and locally grown food is best.

Pero kasiram san gouda, hehe. It goes well with pandesal.

Droomvla said...

@Thamarai: I´m also glad that they sell practically everything that I need to prepare Filipino dishes, and when they are not available, I can place an order and go back after a week or two to pick it up. :D

Droomvla said...

@Anita: Thanks for the tip. I´ll definitely check this one out. :D

Droomvla said...

@Whitemist: I guess, sometimes we tend to take for granted a lot of things. I am sometimes like that. I whine a lot and especially when I am homesick. So it´s good to have this reality check from time to time, and see for myself that being in both cultures have advantages and disadvantages, and the rest is just a matter of perspective and attitude.

Droomvla said...

@Aledys: Believe me, I completely undesrtand where you´re coming from. After all, Argentina is known for beef products. But hey, try getting your meat from a Dutch butcher or a Turkish/Islamic butcher. I do that whenever I want to prepare soup and/or am expecting guests for dinner. The meat tastes better. :D

Droomvla said...

@Buday: Kaipuhan an anti oxidant kay malay ko baya kun nanu an mga gin buburutang ninda sa mga pagkaon didi para ma preserve kay 85% percent san fruits and vegetables imported. LOL

Mayad sa aton kay dili masyado manga makusogon an mga gin i-spray. Didi, hamaka na nakaawat sin 3-4 months an apples na crunchy pa siya. Kaya if I can avoid it, dili ako nagbabakal san mga lain in season. hehehe

Ruyag ka palan man siin cheese. bay-i kay pag nag uli ako, darahan ko ikaw sin 10 grams. HAHAHAHAHAHA

Anna said...

this made me think "farmville!" hahaha! seriously, i began to understand the concept of "fresh" when i moved back here. once a week, an jeep san dairy farm (na may sound effect na nag-uunga-unga) sells fresh milk. tapos kun gusto ko gulay, mapudo lang ako kangkong, okra, talong and radish. kun feeling gourmet man ngaya, may basil and oregano, hehehe. and of course, pirmi may siling labuyo. happiness, hehehe

but i do envy you also, if only for the cheese! sabi ni ma, pinaglihi daw nya ako sa keso, hahaha

Droomvla said...

@Anna: Dili na ngani ako naka blog kay an pag uma an nahihimo ko. lol

Pero seriously, iba talaga an concept didi san fresh. Minsan, gusto ko sinda i-edukar kun nanu an presko! HAHAHAHA Lalo pa kay sanay kita na gin pupudo lang sa garden ta an gulay. HAHAHAHAHA

The best talaga an Dutch cheese sa mga naramihan ko na mga cheese. Darahan ko ikaw pag nag uli ako. Tig 10 grams kamo ni Buday. HAHAHAHA