Switch recipes with your friends to expand your cookbook and expand your outlook.
This idea was thought up when I noticed that within my group of friends, when it came time to prepare food for the group, each person had their own area they stayed within. That seemed normal to me but once I noticed how different each of the styles were and how they were all from different origins and cultures I became curious about it. I began to wonder what would happen if recipes were given to one another, the person who focuses on Mexican and Tex-Mex would get the recipes from someone who focused on Slavic foods for example. This would not only expand the recipes in our back pocket but add experience we would not normally get as well as learn about a new culture potentially.
Some inspiration from this came from the Yes Men since they would impersonate others to showcase the truth, in this exercise however, we swap recipes and get to learn about new styles of cooking. Different subject matter but the additional amount of nuance and fun it added was well worth it. The Yes Men aim to bring awareness through various means and similarly swapping these recipes proved to bring awareness and knowledge of other cultures and their cooking habits.
When it finally came time to swap and cook the other’s recipes everyone was a little nervous since we all knew we stayed in our comfort zones usually, especially when cooking for others. So, one person got shrimp fried rice, one got stacks and queso, one got brownies and one got a Slavic dish known as plov. The person who got shrimp fried rice never cooked with shrimp before and was shocked to see anything more than soy sauce in the mixture. The person who got the stacks and queso, which is a Tex-Mex item that puts filling in between two tostadas and wraps it in a tortilla, had never heard of it before making it. The person who got brownies doesn’t bake much and the person who got plov had never heard of plov before. It was a learning experience for everyone involved but with the help of the original cook for each, everything turned out great. After this experience everyone had a new recipe in their back pocket and learned more about each of the dishes.
Shrimp Fried Rice