Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Rik George writes

In Chungqing
chicken with chilies.
In Chihuahua,
chilies with chicken.
In Paris, snails,
leeks in Wales
and in London
Brussels sprouts.
In Naples pizza
in Cairo tabouleh,
at home
  Image result for ANJA SALONEN painting

Second Skin --Anja Salonen


  1. Chongqing is one of China's four direct-controlled municipalities (the other three are Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin); the municipality was created in 1997 to help the Three Gorge Dam migration. It was founded as Jiangzhou by the Ba people and was later renamed Yu (a name which the city colloquially retains). It received its current name in 1189, after Song prince Zhao Dun described his crowning as king and then emperor Guangzong as a "double celebration" (chongqing). In 1362 peasant rbels led by Ming Yuzhen established the Daxia kingdom there briefly; in 1621 She Chongming founded Daliang, another short-lived kingdom, there. In 1644, after the fall of the Ming dynasty, Zhang Xianzhong took Sichuan, including Chongqing, and massacred a large number of people there. In 1891 the city became the first inland commerce port open to foreigners. Chiang Kai-shek established his capital there during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) until the Communist victory in 1949. In the first decade of the 21st century, the city became notorious for organized crime and corruption, and it remains the most dangerous city in China, even though it has more security cameras (500,000) in the world.
    Chihuahua is the capital of the Mexican state of Chihuahua, at the confluence of the rivers Chuviscar and Sacramento. The city was founded in 1709, by Blas Cano de los Rios and Antonio Deza y Ulloa as El Real de Minas de San Francisco de Cuéllar, but its former name survived (the origin of the name is disputed; it may have been derived from the Nahuatl term for "between two waters" or the Tarahumara term for "dry and sandy place." During the Mexican War of Independence, Miguel Hidalgo was imprisoned there and executed in 1811. Later, during the French invasion, Benito Juárez made the city the seat of his government-in-exile from 1864 to 1867. During the Mexican Revolution (1910–1917), it was often the operational base for Pancho Villa's División del Norte.

  2. Pizza is a yeasted flatbread typically topped with tomato sauce and cheese, baked in an oven, commonly topped with a selection of meats, vegetables, and condiments. The term was first recorded in 997, in a Latin manuscript from Gaeta in central Italia, which was still part of the Byzantine Empire. The word is derived from the Byzantine Greek/Late Latin "pitta" (a round flat bread baked at high temperature, sometimes with toppings), from the Greek "pikte" (fermented pastry)." It may also have come from the dialectal "pinza" (clamp), from the Latin "pinsere" (to pound, stamp). In addition, when the Lombards invaded Italia in the mid-6th century, they took the word "bizzo" (mouthful) with them. Similar foods have been ubiquitous; for example, in Virgil's "Aeneid,"queen Celaeno of the Harpies predicted that the Trojans would not find peace until hunger forced them to eat their tables; later, when Aeneas and his men were served a meal that included round bread topped with cooked vegetables, they realized that these were the "tables" prophesied by Celaeno. The modern pizza evolved Napoli in the 18th or early 19th century; prior to that time, flatbread was often topped with ingredients such as garlic, salt, lard, cheese, and basil. However, in 1889 the Neapolitan pizzaiolo (pizza maker) Raffaele Esposito was commissioned to create a pizza for queen Margherita's visit to Capodimonte, the local royal palace. Esposito created three dishes, but the queen preferred the one decorated in the colors of the Italian flag: red (tomato), green (basil), and white (mozzarella). This "pizza Margherita" became the prototypical pizza that was taken to the US by Italian immigrants, and its popularity exploded when American veterans of the Italian campaign in World War II returned home.
    Tabbouleh (tabbule) originated in the mountains of Syria and Lebanon. Its name is derived from the Arabic "tabil" (dip or seasoning). It is made of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, onion and bulgur (a cereal food made from the groats of various wheat species, most often from durum wheat) and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. The salamouni variety of wheat cultivated in the region around Mount Lebanon, the Beqaa valley,and Baalbek was once considered as particularly well-suited for making bulgur. (Some variations add garlic or lettuce, or use couscous -- small steamed balls of crushed durum wheat semolina -- instead of bulgur.) In particular, it is a popular meze, a snack often served at the beginning of multi-course meals or to accompany alcoholic drinks.


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