And for those of us who have been here for a while, it will underscore what we have known all along: This is a great place to live.
Once you begin to explore the foods of the nations represented in Central Florida, you might discover we have more similarities than differences. Won ton skins in the Asian cupboard are cousins to Italian ravioli squares. Mexico's tortillas and France's crepes are both pancakelike wrappers for sweet and savory foods. Pungent blue cheeses are found in Denmark (Danablu), Italy (gorgonzola), Britain (Stilton) and France (roquefort). And hominy, one of the first food gifts the American Indians gave to the colonists, is used in different forms to make creamy grits here in the South and cheesy polenta in northern Italy.
And the similarities don't stop with shopping lists. Methods of cooking can lap the globe several times. Barbecue is the most prevalant example. This informal grilling style is found in Asian, Hispanic and African cookery. Sausage-making is global as well. From Germany (bratwurst) to Italy (cotto) to France (crepinette) to Mexico (chorizo), you'll find highly spiced and cured meats.
The dining-room table is an excellent classroom for teaching family and friends global understanding and sensitivity. And today's section will help celebrate Central Florida's ethnic diversity in your menu planning.
AsianFilipino-Oriental: 600 N. U.S. Highway 17-92 (Fairmont Plaza), No. 112, Longwood; 407-339-5559.
Asian Food Market: 5025 Edgewater Drive, Orlando; 407-299-7698.
Dong-A Co.: 816 N. Mills Ave., Orlando; 407-898-9227.
Downtown Oriental Grocery: 135 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach; 386-257-5793.
Fish 'n' Spice: 1174 E. Vine St., Kissimmee; 407-847-7776.
J.M. Oriental Market: 9421 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando; 407-816-6700.
L&L Oriental Market: 857 Sand Lake Road, Orlando; 407-816-1700.
Medina Bazaar: 611 W. Vine St., Kissimmee; 407-931-1141.
M&M Philippine Mart: 7339 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando; 407-281-6999.
Tess Oriental Market: 635 S. Apollo Blvd., Melbourne; 321-725-8688.
1st Oriental Supermarket: 5132 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando; 407-292-3668.
DeGuzman Philippine Market, 8433 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando; 407-282-7772.
Saigon Market: 1232 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando; 407-898-6899.
Super Oriental Market: 2100 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando; 407-898-6858.