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In North Sumatera

Filed under: by: DiT

In contrast to the small island of Bali, the province of North Sumatera is large with one of the biggest lakes in the world, Lake Toba, at its navel. The continuous mountain of Bukit Barisan, which extends from Aceh at the tip of the island of Sumatera to Lampung at the bottom of the island, guards the province on the west side, providing home for thick, tropical jungles and lush vegetations. As you go down the western mountains towards the beaches of the east, mountain streams, strong rivers, and gorgeous waterfalls will accompany you.

Relative to Bali, North Sumatera has very heterogenous ethnic groups, and thus, cultures. The people of the eastern coasts, also known as the Malays (Melayu) have markedly different traditions and culture from the Batak highlanders who live around Lake Toba and Samosir Island. Further south, the Mandailings and Angkolas, and the Island of Nias, have yet more flavors of traditions and culture. There are many places to see in this cultural salad bowl:

The capital of the province of North Sumatera, Medan houses the government offices and business centers, effectively making it the largest city outside of the island of Java. Medan owes its cultural heritage to the kingdom of Deli, whose place of worship, Mesjid Agung (Grand Mosque), and palace, Istana Maimun (The Maimun Palace) undoubtedly show its past greatness. Lake Toba
Lake Toba, the crater lake in the middle of the province, is a popular tourist resort, especially the town of Parapat on its shore. Its cool and dry mountain climate makes it the perfect place to relax.

The Batak Toba and Batak Simalungun
The Batak Toba and Batak Simalungun people live around Parapat. The Batak people, composed of Batak Toba, Simalungun, Pak-Pak, and Karo, are known for their expression, which is often materialized in lively and sentimental love songs. If every person in Bali can carve, every person in Batak can sing or play the guitar.

The Karo highland
As you drive south from Medan into the Karo highland, the Great Bukit Barisan Forest Park greets you with its distinctive Karonese gazebo decorated with ret-ret, a two-headed, lizard-like animal that is carved on the walls of traditional Karonese family houses. Along the windy, mountainous road to the Karo highland, as you pass the Sibolangit National Garden, chants of monkeys and possibly orang-utans will accompany you, mysteriously appearing and disappearing from the thick jungle.

The town of Berastagi
The town of Berastagi, located at the foot of Mount Sibayak, will greet you with its lovely flowers. The smell of fresh vegetables and the colorful and aromatic arrangements of fruit will etch their place in your memory. Try markisah (Passion Fruit)... Sipiso-piso Waterfall and Tongging
Further south from Berastagi and Kabanjahe, the Karonese portion of Lake Toba is marked with a thin yet tall waterfall.

Island Off to the west of the island of Sumatera, the island of Nias provides another item in your cultural plate with its distinct culture. The water surrounding the island is a great place to surf and to scubadive.

Province Of North Sumatera

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The province of North Sumatra stretches across the island of Sumatra between the Indian Ocean and the Strait Malacca. It borders Aceh province on the northwest and Riau and West Sumatra provinces on the southeast. It has an area of 70787 km². The province contains a broad, low plain along the Strait of Malacca coast; the provincial capital, Medan, is located here. In the south and west, the land rises to the mountain range that runs the length of Sumatra; the mountains here are dominated by Lake Toba, formed from the caldera of an ancient volcano. Several large islands in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Sumatra are part of North Sumatra, most notably Nias, Tanah Bala, Tanah Masa, and Pini. North Sumatra has a population of approximately 11.48 million (As of 2000[update] census).

Sumatra Mandheling and Sumatra Lintong coffee beans are grown in North Sumatra and largely exported to the U.S. Mandheling is named after the similarly spelt Mandailing people located in North Sumatra, Indonesia. The name is the result of a misunderstanding by the first foreign purchaser of the variety, and no coffee is actually produced in the "Mandailing region". Lintong on the other hand, is named after the Lintong district, also located in North Sumatra.

Chinese Foods

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The phrase is a testament to the popularity of Chinese food around the world. Food is an important part of daily life for Chinese people. Chinese not only enjoy eating but believe eating good food can bring harmony and closeness to the family and relationships.

Bok ChoyShopping daily for fresh food is essential for all Chinese cooking. Unlike the fast food society of the U.S., the Chinese select live seafood, fresh meats and seasonal fruits and vegetables from the local market to ensure freshness. This means swimming fish, snappy crabs, and squawking chickens. Even prepared foods such as dim sum or BBQ duck for to go orders must gleam, glisten, and steam as if just taken out of the oven.

Chinese people in general are not as concerned about nutrition as Western culture. Chinese thousand year eggs
They are more concerned with the food's texture, flavor, color, and aroma. These are the crucial points for good Chinese cooking. Chinese daily meals consist of four food groups: grains, vegetables, fruit, and meat. Because of lactose intolerance, Chinese do not consume large amounts of dairy products. Instead, Chinese substitute these with soymilk and tofu, which also contain large amounts of protein and calcium. Vegetables, fruits, and meats are usually fresh. Some exceptions include preserved vegetables such as snow cabbage or mustard greens, preserved eggs, aka "thousand year old eggs" or salted and dried fish. Other exceptions include snack items such as beef jerky, cuttlefish jerky, sweet and sour preserved plums, or dehydrated mango slices. Canned or frozen foods are seldom eaten. Western desserts such as cookies, cakes, pies, and ice cream are eaten only on special occasions such as birthdays and weddings. After dinner, families usually eat seasonal fruit as dessert. Chinese desserts such as red bean soup, sweet white lotus's seed soup, or steam papaya soup are served every so often as a special treat on a hot summer's night.

Ethnic Chinese cooking does not involve a lot of deep fried cooking. The reason most of the Chinese restaurants in America have deep-fried dishes such as sweet and sour pork, almond fried Chicken, and deep-fried shrimp is to promote business and to please western tastes. This clearly reflects why there are more overweight and high blood pressure concerns in Western culture than there are in Chinese culture.

"Yi xing bu xing"
bird nest soupChinese hardly waste any section of the animal and have found ways to cook nearly every part. Chinese culture believes that "yi xing bu xing," which means by using any shape or part of the animal the same part of the human body can be replenished and strengthened. For example, shark fin soup and bird nest soup (bird's saliva) is served to replenish strength and increase appetite, crocodile meat strengthens the bronchia, dehydrated tiger testicle increases stamina for men, while monkey brains add wisdom. These are considered to be delicacies and tonics. Shark fin soup or bird nest soup is often served at special occasions such as at a Chinese banquet dinner. Other items are rarely prepared.

Health Food

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Health food is a term that has been used in the United States since the 1920s and refers to specific foods claimed to be especially beneficial to health. In contrast to a regular healthy diet, proponents of health foods claim that particular foods have specific favorable effects on health. Examples of health foods include alfalfa sprouts, wheat germ and yogurt. Natural foods and organic food are related categories. Health foods are sold in health food stores or in the health/organic section of supermarkets.
The term is often used for foods that are low in fat and/or sugar, since overconsumption of fatty and sugary foods is seen as contributing to the obesity epidemic.

Fears of high cholesterol were frequently voiced up until the mid-1990s. However, more recent research has shown that the distinction between high- and low-density lipoprotein ('good' and 'bad' cholesterol, respectively) must be addressed when speaking of the potential ill effects of cholesterol. Low-density lipoprotein is often prevalent in animal products, such as bacon and egg yolks, whereas high-density lipoprotein is more common in plant and fish tissues, such as olive oil and salmon.

Media coverage of mass-produced, processed, "snack" or "sweet" products directly marketed at children has worked to undermine policy efforts to improve eating habits. The main problem with such advertisements for foods is that alcohol and fast food are portrayed as offering excitement, escape and instant gratification. Particularly within the last five years government agencies have attempted to combat the amount and method of media coverage lavished upon "junk" foods.

Governments also put pressure on businesses to promote healthful food options, consider limiting the availability of junk food in state-run schools, and tax foods that are high in fat. Most recently, the United Kingdom removed the rights for McDonald's to advertise its products, as the majority of the foods that were seen have low nutrient values were aimed at children under the guise of the "Happy Meal".

The British Heart Foundation released its own government-funded advertisements, labeled "Health Food", which were targeted at children and adults displaying the gory nature of how fast food is generally constituted.

Diet Food

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Diet food (or dietetic food) refers to any food or drink whose recipe has been altered in some way to make it part of a body modification diet. Although the usual intention is weight loss and change in body type, sometimes the intention is to aid in gaining weight or muscle as in bodybuilding supplements.

In addition to diet other words or phrases are used to identify and describe these foods including light or lite, low calorie, low fat, no fat, fat free, no sugar, sugar free, and zero calorie. In some areas use of these terms may be regulated by law. For example in the U.S. a product labeled low fat must not contain more than 3 grams of fat per serving; and to be labeled fat free it must contain less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving.

After all, we are what we eat - Research continues to prove that eating healthy food promotes good health and unhealthy food habits lead to a diseased body. Foods contain vital nutrients that aid our body’s metabolic function.

However, a lack of consumption of these nutrients or feeding upon the wrong kinds of diet food leads to an accumulation of toxins within the body, resulting in chronic diseases in the long run.
A nutritious diet while ensuring overall well being, helps to maintain a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI), reduces the risk of several debilitating diseases like cancer, cardiovascular ailments, diabetes, osteoporosis and stroke.

Thus a nutritious diet is important in the prevention and cure of various diseases. Healthy Food Groups. Since no single food group can nourish the body with all the vital ingredients it requires, it is important that we consume a variety of healthy foods to derive the nutrition our body needs. There are five main diet food groups, they are:

• Fruits
• Vegetables
• Cereals and Pulses
• Dairy
• Poultry, Fish and Meat products

A healthy balanced diet of these five food groups ensures essential vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. The food group serving size will depend upon various factors like age, activity level, body size and gender. It is also important that one eat a variety of foods from within and across the food groups. As some foods from within a food group provide more nutrients than others.

This will ensure that one gets the maximum recommended nutrition from the diet food group; besides the food variety will make for an interesting meal. In conclusion, it must be noted that allopathic medicine treats the symptoms rather than the root cause of the disease, which is usually caused by wrong eating habits leading to an accumulation of toxins within the system. Whereas a nutritious diet can rectify underlying causes of diseases and restore one to wholeness of mind and body. Once we realize the connection between a wholesome balanced diet and good health, our food will be our medicine and maintaining good health will be a matter of making the right food choices and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Jasmine Flower

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Jasmine (Jasminum) (from Old French Jasmine which is from the Persian yasmin, i.e. "gift from God", via Arabic) is a genus of shrubs and vines in the olive family (Oleaceae),with about 200 species, native to tropical and warm temperate regions of the Old World. The majority of species grow as climbers on other plants or on structures such as chicken wire, gates or fences. The leaves can be either evergreen (green all year round) or deciduous (falling leaves in autumn).

Jasmine is widely cultivated for its flowers, enjoyed in the garden, as house plants, and as cut flowers. The flowers are worn by women in their hair in southern and southeast Asia. Many species also yield an absolute, which is used in the production of perfumes and incense. Jasmine tisane is consumed in China, where it is called Jasmine flower tea (pinyin: mò lì huā chá). Jasminum sambac flowers are also used to make tea, which often has a base of green tea, but sometimes an Oolong base is used.

The delicate Jasmine flower opens only at night and is plucked in the morning when the tiny petals are tightly closed. They are then stored in a cool place until night. Between six and eight in the evening, as the temperature cools, the petals begin to open. Flowers and tea are "mated" in machines that control temperature and humidity. It takes four hours or so for the tea to absorb the fragrance and flavour of the Jasmine blossoms, and for the highest grades, this process may be repeated as many as seven times.

Because the tea has absorbed moisture from the flowers, it must be refired to prevent spoilage. The spent flowers may or may not be removed from the final product, as the flowers are completely dry and contain no aroma. Giant fans are used to blow away and remove the petals from the denser tea leaves. If present, they simply add visual appeal and are no indication of the quality of the tea. The French are known for their jasmine syrup, most commonly made from an extract of jasmine flowers.

In the United States, this French jasmine syrup is used to make jasmine scones. Jasmine essential oil is now commonly in use. Its flowers are either extracted by the labour-intensive method of enfleurage or through chemical extraction. The reason it is so expensive is because of the enormous amount of flowers needed to produce a small amount of oil. The flowers have to be gathered at night because the odour of jasmine is more powerful after dark.

The flowers are laid out on cotton cloths soaked in olive oil for several days and then extracted leaving the true Jasmine essence. Some of the countries producing Jasmine essential oil are India, Egypt, China and Morocco. Its chemical constituents include methyl anthranilate, indole, benzyl alcohol, linalool, and skatole.