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The  International Food Alphabet 

by Saanvi Kapoor

S is for Sushi 

A is for Asiago Cheese

Served with pasta 

Or served with chicken

When added in gravy

It will thicken

Created more than one thousand years ago, Asiago Cheese is a decadent cheese. It was made in the Vento Foothills of Italy in the provinces of Vincenza and Trento. Traditionally, the cheese was made with sheep’s milk. In modern day, the cheese is produced  with cow’s milk. The cheese has a crumbly texture and creamy taste which makes it standout.

With two creators, Butter Chicken is a delicious dish. Moti Mahal made the actual chicken portion in New Delhi, while K Gujral made the curry part. Both, Mahel and Gujral made their parts of the dish in the 1950’s.  Everyone all over India loves to eat Butter Chicken. The ultimate way to eat Butter Chicken is with naan or rice.  

B is for Butter Chicken 

Buttery, creamy chicken

Served best fresh and hot

Add curry, spice, and tomatoes 

All in the same pot

C is for Chimichanga 

With lots of filling   

A tasty Crunch 

With 425 calories 

You can have it for lunch 

C is for Chimichanga 

With lots of filling   

A tasty Crunch 

With 425 calories

You can have it for lunch

The first Chimichanga was invented by an accident. A waitress in a Mexican restaurant invented the dish i 1922 when she accidently dropped a burrito in a deep fryer. She dashed to the deep fryer and immediately   took the fried burrito out. When it was tried by the staff, they enjoyed it and put it on the restaurant's menu. From there on Chimichangas became a popular Mexican dish.

Dumpling is a dish that was created to help sick people feel better. A man named Zhang Zhongjian created Dumplings during the Han Dynasty, which was from 206 B.C to 220 A.D. He invented the dish to feed the peasants in China that were sick, so he took medicine and food that would help them get better, wrapped the mixture in a dough. Zhongjian then boiled his creations. For over 1800 years, the people of China have called Dumplings Iiaozi.

D is for Dumpling

In small balls 

Chicken, Beef, or Pork

You can eat it with a chopstick 

Or eat in with a fork

E is for Eclair 

French for lightning 
And stuffed with cream
Topped with icing 
It’s a dessert dream

Delicious and delectable, Eclairs come in many flavors and sizes. It’s made with choux dough and can be customized to any flavor of cream filling and icing. Eclairs come in many different shapes. Some eclairs come in the shape of a rectangular prisms as well tiny balls. Some Eclairs are cut and piped like hot dogs, while others have a hollow holes stuffed with cream. 

A classic food, Falafels come from the Middle East. They are formed with ingredients like garlic, chickpeas, and olive oil. In 1018 A.D, Israelites invented the Falafel and it has become the national food of Israel. Falafels are popular in Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Israel. The divine food is served with tahini yogurt or green mint chutney. 

F is for Falafel 

In a pool of sauce

It’s easy to make

Topped with cilantro 

You can fry or bake

G is for Grapefruit

Outside is orange 

Inside is pink

Sour to semi-sweet

You’ll eat it in a blink

Growing in a warmer climate, Grapefruit is a type of citrus fruit. It comes from the same citrus fruit family as Oranges. The first citrus fruit was grown in the mild temperatures of Barbados. Now, it’s grown in subtropical countries like Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, South America, South Africa, India, Australia, and Israel. Being part of the Citrus family, Grapefruits are slightly bitter.

Hummus is a historic Arabian dip/spread that’s made with chickpeas. In Arabic, Hummus translates to  chickpeas. This dish is the most popular food made with chickpeas. The spread was first made by the Lebanese in the thirteenth century. Hummus is often served with pita chips and pita bread. 

is for Hummus 

With a beige tint

A creamy chickpea spread

Topped with spices 

Eat it with pita bread

I is for Irish Stew

On a cold, rainy day

A yummy stew

That helps soothe your throat 

It has a brown hue

Irish stew has an effortless recipe and a straightforward origin. It was made by peasants in the 1800’s. The Stew has three simple parts to it. The 3 ingredients are onions, potatoes, and mutton. In traditional recipes’ the preferred meat is mutton though beef or lamb can also be used.

Hailing from Asia where it’s popular, Jasmine rice  is very aromatic. When cooking Jasmine Rice, the air smells like flowers because of the aroma the rice has. The rice grows in Southern Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. Jasmine rice is used a lot in Asian cooking. Jasmine Rice is a bit different than other variety because of the longer grain. Eating Jasmine rice with veggies and soy sauce is a popular tradition in East Asian countries.

J is for Jasmine Rice

Found in southeast Asia

Sticky and sweet 

A soft white rice 

With your tastebuds it meets

K is for Key Lime Pie

Triple-layer pie

With a graham cracker crust

Topped with whipped cream

It’s a dessert must 

Named after the small key limes found in Florida Keys, Key Lime Pie is a delectable dessert. Aunt Sally, a cook for William Curry, was was making a lemon icebox pie, but ran out of lemons. They were in the Florida Keys, so Aunt Sally used the local lime as a substitute for lemons. Aunt Sally’s pie got popular all over the Florida Keys. The Key Limes give the pie a tart flavor.

Lamb Chops hail from sheep. It’s from the sirloin, ribs, and shoulders. The color of Lamb chops depends on how old the sheep is. If the meat is a darker color, that meat the lamb is older. Pinkish-red will be an younger sheep. Pale pink lamb chops will be from a baby sheep.

L is for Lamb Chops

Spicy or sweet 

Good to eat

With a bit of fat 

It’s a red meat

M is for Mac ‘N’ Cheese

Creamy and cheesy 

It’s easy to make

With a golden brown crust

A dish you’ll love to bake

With many different variations, Mac ‘N’ Cheese is a  savory type of pasta.  A common one is with a light orange sauce. This sauce is made with cheddar cheese or american cheese. The one with White sauce is made with white cheddar or parmesan cheese. Also, some Mac ‘N’ cheese have a crunchy layer of breadcrumbs and extra cheese.

Nachos were created by Ignacio Araya. He invented the dish in 1943 for U.S military wives at the Victory Club in Piedras Negras. When his chef wasn’t around, Araya was forced to come up with a Dish. He created Nachos by throwing everything in his kitchen on a plate. Now it’s a very popular dish in America and Mexico.

N is for Nachos 

Spicy, creamy, and crunchy

Made with tortilla chips

Bake it in an oven 

Down your throat it drips

O is for Okra

A deep green color 

With seeds on the top

Add some spices 

To make it pop

Okra come with many names and styles of cooking. In India, it’s called Bhindi. There it is fried with spices and onions. In Europe, it’s called Lady’s Fingers or Gumbo. It’s often roasted or baked with oil, meat and spices there. Across the world, Okra is known for the green seed pods inside a layer of veggie.

Pasta as a food has many misconceptions about its origins. Many people believe that it was invented in Italy, but it wasn’t. It’s from the same family of noodles that come from east Asia. Marco Polo brought this dish from China in the 13th century.  Since then, the world has created over 600 types of pasta!

P is for Pasta 

Spaghetti and Meatballs 

Fettuccine is creamy 

All this food 

Makes you feel dreamy

Q is for Quiche 

With a delicious filling 

A type of non-dessert pie 

It’s light yellow color 

Doesn’t come from dye

A Quiche is straightforward food with a uncomplicated history. The tart can be made of veggies, meat, cheese, cream, milk, or eggs.  Quiche was originally made by peasants in Germany in 1921. In German, Quiche means cake because it was made with a pastry crust. The tart tastes good hot or cold. 

Ratatouille is a German dish that comes in two forms. It can be presented in as layers of vegetables or as a stew. Ratatouille can also be served as side-dish or main-course. German peasants concocted the dish in 1778. Ratatouille translates to a motley stew in Occitan, one of the languages in Germany.

R is for Ratatouille 

Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Eggplant

Made in the town of Nice 

Baked in an oven 

You’ll be having this twice

S is for Sushi 

A dinner roll 

Made with fish

And vibrant colors

It tastes like a wish

Enjoyable, Sushi is made with different fish, rice, and seaweed. The rolls are vivid, vibrant, and delicious. Some of the common fish are salmon, yellowtail, tuna, and crab. Sushi can be presented in many ways. It can be in a roll or fish can be presented on top of the rice.

Made to help recover from sickness, Tapas were invented to help the king of Spain. During the 13th century, King Alfonso the 10th created the dish when he was sick and could only take small portions of wine and food at a time. They originated in Alfonso’s castle. After Tapas were invented, they were given to peasants to have on an empty stomach while working. The small servings of food has enough calories to help you regain your strength.

is for Tapas

Tasty, delicious treats 

There are many variations

With bright popping color  

It’s popular in Spanish nations

U is for Upside Down Pineapple Cake

With golden brown juices

 topped with pineapple and cherry 

Best served in summer 

The cake is very airy

Upside Down Pineapple Cake was invented in a contest. In the 1920’s, Jim Dole held a contest to see who could make an outstanding dessert out of pineapples. One lucky contestant came up with the idea of the upside down cake. The contest was held in Hawaii in the Dole factory. The winner used maraschino cherries to top the cake off.

Veal is a type of red meat that comes from Cattle. This meat tends to be slightly darker than other red meats. It’s darker color is a function of protein in the meat. The meat mostly comes from young cattle that are 6 to 7 months old. Veal meat can vary depending on the age of Cattle.

V is for veal 

topped with grill marks

a delicious meal 

in a pool of veggies 

it's one hundred percent real

W is for Wasabi

Eaten with dumplings

A paste that's green

served as a side

to the mouth it's mean

Wasabi is an extremely spicy Japanese paste. A farmer in Japan invented it by grinding up wasabi beans. When he sampled the paste, he soon figured out how spicy it was. Given how spicy it is, Wasabi is supposed to be eaten in very small portions. In most sushi restaurants, sushi is always served with the tiniest bit of wasabi so that the consumer doesn’t start crying of the extreme spiciness.

Xavier soup is a simple dish. It’s made with parmesan cheese dumplings, broth, and herbs. The broth is made out of the chicken stock. The broth for Xavier soup is clear and flavored with veggies and spices. The broth is strained from the rest of the mixture after the flavors mix into the liquid.

X is for Xavier Soup

Made of cheese

The dumplings sink

In a broth

that looks like a drink

Y is for Yam

A pop of color

That has a nice taste

With rough edges 

It can be made into paste

Yams come from the family of starch vegetables. Like all starch veggies, Yams are dry. The outside skin vary in color from purple to light brown. The inside is usually white. Yams are often confused with sweet potato which are more sweat and orange from inside.

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice rub with many uses. Za’atar is used in a lot of Middle Eastern Recipes. It’s made with dried out salt, sumac, oregano, thyme, and toasted sesame seeds. It’s used in bread with olive oil. It’s also used in breakfast pizza in Israel.

Z is for Za’atar

A chunky spice rub

With a dark brown tint

When mixed with butter

It shines with glint 

1) 6 tablespoons butter, divided    

2) 2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into chunks

3) 1 yellow onion, diced

4) 3 garlic cloves, minced

5) 1 Tbsp garam masala

6) 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger

7) 1 tsp chili powder

8) 1 tsp ground cumin

9) 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

10) 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce(or one 14 oz can would work)

11)2 cups cream

12) salt & pepper

13) lime & cilantro to garnish


How to make Butter Chicken

1) Take 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and stir until the chicken is slightly brown. They do not need to be fully cooked all the way through. 

2) Melt another 2 tablespoons of butter in another pan over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until beginning to soften. This should take around three minutes. Add the garlic, garam masala, ginger, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne. Stir and cook the onions in the spices. Wait for about 45 seconds before adding the tomato sauce.

3) Let the mixture simmer and cook for five minutes before adding the cream. After adding the cream, simmer the mixture again, add the browned chicken, and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. The heat should be low. 

4) Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and add salt and pepper. 

5) Garnish with lime and cilantro, and serve the dish with naan or rice


E M G U A V E N L P J A B G K 
C W S R W G A C O A S W U N E 
I T E C A C N H L I E A T I Y 
R I A T H P C A A A T V T L L 
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S A L E W V W S R M I D I D I 
A Z E H C I U Q I I J T C H E 
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E S E E H C D N A C A M E M M 
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F A L A F E L S U S H I Q U Y 
C N B O S I S A R K O R M S B 

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