A taste of this year's Worlds of Flavor conference

10/29/2012

We spoke with Anne McBride, culinary program and editorial director for the strategic initiatives group at the CIA about the theme of this year's conference and what trends attendees can expect to see. You can read the full Q&A on SmartBlog on Food & Beverage.

What is special about this year's Worlds of Flavor theme, "Arc of Flavors: Re-imagining Culinary Exchange, from the Mediterranean and Middle East to Asia," and how did the CIA choose it?

It’s easy to focus only on geopolitical borders when thinking about these regions, particularly those one might be less familiar with. However, talking about them in the context of flavors, ingredients, dishes and techniques, and looking at that arc historically and contemporaneously, offers a different way of thinking about the world. The conference will dig at the origins of many foods we think we know and uncover many others that are completely new to American diners. This is not done haphazardly but rather by following an arc of flavor that is ancient and results from journeys and conquests centuries old. This year’s theme features a very wide range of countries and cuisines. To cover them all, or at least try to cover as much as we can in three days, there will be 73 presenters who represent 26 cuisines, from North Africa all the way to Asia. Looking at the similarities and differences in flavors between those regions offers a real understanding of why we cook and eat the foods that we do today. Some of the connections are obvious, some will be really surprising.

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