Tropical feel

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by jmt1994, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. jmt1994


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    Culinary Student
    Grilled prawns with a citrus salsa and mango puree on the side (starter). I just want your opinion on the combination of flavours in this dish. It would be a great help if you could teach me some recipes (preferably main courses) which have a tropical feel to it as well. Thank you!
  2. genemachine


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    Home Cook
    Personally, I think the mango puree is a bit problematic - the prawn meat has its own, subtle sweetness, so the rich sweetness of ripe mango would quite overwhelm the prawn. Never tried that combination myself, though, just a thought.

    The problem is, "tropical" is not a particularly well-defined category. For me, a main course that would loudly say "tropical" would for example be a fish grilled in a banana leaf, together with some ginger, garlic, lime, splash of soy sauce. Of course, if you already grill prawns as a starter, that might not be the best continuation of the meal. For me, tropical evokes clear, simple flavours, like the etheric acidity of lime. But that is just my personal feeling.

    In the end, the tropical zone encompasses so many wildly different cuisines that it is hard to base a menu on that epithet alone. Compare a Thai jungle curry, Vietnamese Pho Bo, an Indian cucumber raitha, a Jamaican jerk chicken and a Brazilian feijoada. I would consider all of them tropical, but is there really a unifying "tropical principle" behind those? I don't think so.

    I would think about what feeling the menu should evoke and then look into a regional cuisine that fits with that. Want your guests to think of a sunset over a carribean beach, the sweltering heat of a Congolese jungle or of the hustle and bustle of a Thai street market? If you narrow it down that way, then you can go looking for the particular ethnic cuisine.
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