There is a diversity of cuisines in the Great Plains region of America. The sunflower with its seeds, the bees with their honey, meat, vegetables, just to mention but a few contribute to the ingredients used to make these great and delicious cuisines. Although the cuisines were made for the inhabitants of the region, some of the cuisines such as the Tex-Mex and the tortilla chips (Mexican dishes), were made for the visitors and the general American Market respectively (Wishart, 2004). Kansas being part of the region also has its own unique cuisines.
Making Sunflower Oil
Many people identify with the sunflower plant because of its commercial use. In Kansas, it contributes immensely to the economic position of the State. The plant became an economical crop because of the sunflower cooking oil acquired from it. In most Kansas households, the extracts are used as cooking oil. Sunflower oil is used in the different types of cooking especially shallow frying, deep-frying, and simmering types. Note that the oil is healthier than other cooking fats and therefore highly preferable.
It is also significant to note that most people prefer using this oil because it also gives the foods some sort good flavor and texture as compared to the other cooking oils.
Seeds Used in Recipes
Sunflower seeds are included in many recipes in order to give the food flavor and a crunchy texture. In most cases, the seeds are used in crusts of cheese, meats, breads, just to mention but a few in order to add the desired texture and flavor. They also give foods a different and nice appearance owing to the oil’s color.
Sunflower seeds are also served as a snack on their own. This is meant to increase the fiber intake in the body amongst other health and bodily functions. They are also used as salad toppings. In most cases, sunflower seeds are baked in breads and other pastries or just served as they are.
Flowers Used as a Dining Table Decoration
Sunflowers are still flowers as the latter word suggests, meaning that they can serve the functions of normal flowers. They are used as a dining table décor in order to enhance the general food ambience and room appearance. They can also be used to foretell the nature of food being served, for instance, one can place the flowers on the table if they are serving a dish that will include sunflower seeds. Note that, there are people who prefer sunflowers to other types to be served as a food appetizer.
Kole, C. (2007). OilSeeds. Berlin, Hiedelberg: Springer
Used as a Sweetener
Honey from the Kansas honeybees is very famous. Although there are many States which claim that honey is their basic economical product, Kansas produces over nine hundred thousand pounds of honey annually. Since honey is acquired in plenty in most parts of the State, chefs and workers in the pastry industry prefer using it as a sweeter instead of the normal sugar. This is quite interesting to the visitors especially if they can distinguish between foods made with the normal sugar and those cooked using honey.
Used for Medicinal Purposes
Honey is also used greatly in food preparation for its curative function. It is used in curative purposes for colds, mouth ulcers, sore throats, and other internal health illnesses. It is included as part of medicinal ingredients in order curative purposes towards the identified illnesses. Honey is usually eaten raw in this location as it is eaten in other parts of the world. However, it can also be added to food before it cooks or after the preparation process. In the pastries, which include bread, it is added during the mixing of the ingredients or applied to cooked pastries.
As a Preservative
Honey is usually mixed with cooking ingredients in order to act as a preservative. This is prevalently noted when baking breads, cakes, and other pastries that need a sweetened flavor. Some individuals use honey in common foods fore the same function.
White Castle Hamburgers
A Quick Snack
Hamburgers from the White Castle Restaurant in Kansas have been part of the people since 1921. The hamburgers are mostly made to act as snack before a main meal or during lunch breaks especially for schooling and working individuals. Although the restaurant offers different types of hamburgers, the bulk includes vegetable hamburgers for health factors.
Served as Part of a Main Course Meal
There are people, especially the female populace, who purchase the hamburger from the restaurant, crumble, heat the burger in spaghetti sauce and then pour it as spaghetti topping and therefore including it in the main course. The hamburger serves as an energy giving meal especially for those involved in energy consuming work.
Can be Crumbled and Used in Tacos
This mostly used in instances where numerous left over hamburgers either from a party or another event are collected and crumbled up for use in tacos. This avoids wastage of the remaining hamburgers.
As earlier noted, the meals in the Great Plains region define the people and their surrounding. They tend to maximize on what they have locally than what is found outside the region as some areas may have adopted. Although there are a few meals that they may have changed in order to suite a wider market, the ingredients in these dishes come from within the area. This is evident as honey and sunflower seeds are locally and widely available in this region.
Anthony’s Beehive. (2011). Pure Raw Kansas Honey. Retrieved from http://www.anthonysbeehive.com/Kansas_Honey.html
Bell, D. (2009). Herbal Living: The Many Uses of Sunflowers – The Herb Companion, 6 October. Retrieved from http://www.herbcompanion.com/herbal-living/the-many-uses-of-sunflowers.aspx
Entomology Kansas State University. (2011). Honey Bees Swarms. Retrieved from http://www.entomology.ksu.edu/p.aspx?tabid=687
Kansas Department of Agriculture. (2011). Africanoized Honey Bee. Retrieved from http://www.ksda.gov/plant_protection/content/350/cid/1300
Kansas Guide. (2011). Kansas Cuisine. Retrieved from http://kansas-guide.info/food/
Kansas Travel. (2011). Kansas Specialty Foods. Retrieved from www.kansastravel.org/kansasfood.htm
Kole, C. (2007). OilSeeds. Berlin, Hiedelberg: Springer.
Shreeves, R. (2011). Ten Uses of Leftover Cooked Hamburgers. Mother Nature Network. Retrieved from http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/10-uses-for-leftover-cooked-hamburgers
White Castle. (2011). Home. Retrieved from http://www.whitecastle.com/
Wishart, D. J., (2004). Encyclopedia of the Great Plains. Lincoln, NE: Centre for the Great Plains Studies.