16. Integrating with internationals: cooking mistakes to avoid.

Perhaps you have the urge to integrate more with international people. Perhaps you are soon going on an exchange abroad. Perhaps you are overwhelmed with the amount of cooking recipes which may be found on the internet, and would like some basics in cooking food from international cuisine.

International people are all proud of their local cuisine, and regularly cook and share dinners together. How better can bond be strengthened (while sober) than spending time together in the kitchen, preparing gourmet meals, which will be enjoyed while sharing adventures and experiences. Maybe even a laugh or two.

However, it is not as straightforward as it seems. You could have spent countless hours in smökki together, shared a multitude of A-bloc meals, your Italian friend will cut every bridge when, on a lovely cooking evening, you carelessly add some pineapple to the pizza in the making. This is just an example, but each country has its own rules that breaking would severely damage your relationship with a representative of said country.

Do not panic though! We have gathered a selection of ground rules from the countries which are the most represented in Athene for you to test your knowledge. After taking this questionnaire, you shall know whether you should accept your international friend’s invitation to prepare a meal together, or if you should study a tad more the ground rules of their cuisine.

Question 1: The pasta is boiling within salted water. You are about to cook a delicious carbonara! Which of the following ingredients should you use?:

a) Emmental

b) Eggs

c) Onions

d) Meat

e) Parmiggiano

f) Black pepper

g) Cooking cream

h) Ketchup

Question 2: Your Spanish friend is hosting a party, and wants to do Sangria / tinto de verano. What kind of wine do you bring?

a) The fancy Spanish red wine bottle from Alko

b) The absolute worst red wine you can get

c) Ketchup

Question 3: You are cooking at your Chinese friend’s place, and they ask you to cook the jasmine white rice. How do you proceed?

a) Ask them where their rice cooker is, and follow its instructions.

b) Put water to boil in the pot, and cook the rice as instructed on the package.

c) Ketchup

Question 4: Italian ragu time! In what order do you cook the ingredients?

a) Vegetables -> meat -> tomato sauce -> let cook for at least 3 hours

b) Meat -> vegetables -> tomato sauce -> let cook for at least 3 hours

c) Tomato sauce -> meat -> vegetables -> let cook for at least 3 hours

d) Ketchup -> meat -> vegetables -> let cook for at least 3 hours

Question 5: How many times should French fries be fried, to be as delicious as fries from Belgium?

a) Once

b) Twice

c) Thrice

d) Ketchup

Question 6: You are cooking tortilla de patata. The potatoes, eggs, salt and onions are almost done frying, when your Spanish friend’s mom is calling them. What do you add to finish the dish?

a) A set of spice you’ve come up with

b) A sauce from the fridge that looks delicious

c) Absolutely nothing

d) Ketchup

Question 7: You are preparing a croque-monsieur, and you are done with the inside part. Before adding the cheese on the top part, which ingredient must be added?

a) Creme fraiche

b) Cooking cream

c) Bechamel

d) Ketchup

Right answers are:

1) B d e f

2) B

3) A

4) A

5) B

6) C

7) c

Notoriously, none of the above answers involves ketchup. While internationals always fight about the ingredients and cooking time of dishes, which cuisine or wine is superior, we all agree on one simple fact: the biggest affront one can do to our cuisines is to add ketchup.