Balance Your Budget With a Peasant Diet

April 18, 2011  |  

(Daily Finance) — As a seemingly endless parade of pundits has noted, cutting out the daily latte or the weekly restaurant meal are both good ways to save. But seriously slashing your spending requires a bit more than simply avoiding Starbucks and eating at home. Luckily, there is an interesting, tasty route for cutting expenses in the kitchen without sacrificing flavor: peasant cuisine.  From Germany to Japan, Poland to Mexico, most of the world’s population lives on diets high in starches, low in meat and cheese, and strong on spice. Far from suffering on these economical diets, the poorer citizens of these countries have developed cuisines that are exciting, flavorful and distinctive. In fact, many of the best-known dishes from around the world were inspired by economy, not aesthetics. For example, Italy’s ubiquitous pasta and Spain’s famous paellas are both mechanisms for using cheap starches to stretch the flavor of more expensive sauces. Similarly, Germany’s famous sausages and Scotland’s infamous haggis are both techniques for making cheap cuts of meat (relatively) edible.

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