Marine Mandrila and Louis Martin studied routes, menus and transportation methods for a year... and then they left. They traveled the world for six long months and 46,500 kilometers, each with a backpack, a bit of technological equipment and a camera in hand; they tasted the local delicacies in each of the 10 foreign countries visited directly from the tables of families that they met along the way, for a total of 560 meals. They wrote down recipes, ventured into the kitchen, went shopping at local markets, fished along streams, kneaded dough and prepared fires - but first and foremost, they shared private and convivial moments with the families in the countries they visited. Since they were already there, they also took photos and shot videos of their meals in addition to taking copious notes. Upon returning home to France, their project called Food Sweet Food came to life, and since May 7th has published a web documentary in French online every three weeks (ten in all) that speaks firsthand of culinary traditions and recipes, one country at a time.
The first episode of this web series is called the "first world tour of meals at home with families" was dedicated to Peru. The two young twenty-somethings have gone from the Peruvian Amazon of Tarapoto to the Quechua communities on the peaks of the Andes, discovering different ways of understanding meals and using individual ingredients, with influences that reflect colonizations in the Peruvian cuisine and come from China, Japan and Spain as well as Africa. This is how you can discover how heating banana leaves and using them to wrap fish allows to grill them perfectly and lends a unique taste. Or how quinoa is cooked in the Andes, accompanied by a soup of beans, tomatoes and garlic, the true and richest food of the local people.
After Peru, the journey continues at the rate of an episode of 15 minutes every 21 days: Brazil, Mexico, Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal, China, India, Lebanon and Japan are the other nine countries on Marine and Louis' route, which included homes, restaurants and open-air kitchens. In addition to the web series, the journey has already become a book of recipes and photographs ("Very Food Trip" http://www.foodsweetfood.org/#!very-food-trip/cwon), to try their hand at cooking exactly as the two learned in the homes of Indian, South American and Asian families. It was a successful challenge by the young French duo, which began as a game without a big budget, since in order to finance part of their journey they also resorted to fundraising by means of crowdsourcing, collecting about five thousand euros.
The first tour of the world of meals at the home of local people starts from a series of universal principles, effectively expressed in the manifesto of Food Sweet Food, which says: "The meal and its preparation are precious moments that structure social ties. One's cuisine is an intangible heritage of humanity that must therefore be protected, as it can find a meeting point between people from different cultures and because it is the only cultural asset that is truly alive and vital. Ancient traditions are passed down through meals, and are intimately linked to the social representation of each civilization. In order to understand a culture, you must know its cuisine."
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