Food From Another World

Food from another world: Lemongrass

I was recently browsing for Thai curry recipes online and one common ingredient I came across was lemongrass. A culinary herb, lemongrass is found as a common ingredient many in Asian cuisines specially Thai. Lemongrass is typically a tropical grass that thrives in hot and humid weather. That said, it can also be grown in temperate regions with some basic care. Check out this article for more guidance on growing lemongrass.



Lemongrass is an immensely fragrant herb – one can smell lemongrass from quite a distance! A lemony-lime zest merged with ginger flavor gives lemongrass a citrusy and herby taste.

Visually, it looks like spring onions or scallions but is much harder; in order to cook it,  the hard outer layers must be peeled until the tender inner layers surface. The outer scraps need not be discarded! They can be used to make a soothing herbal tea by steeping them in boiling water for 5 minutes. Cool off this summer with this Thai Lemongrass and Ginger Iced Tea!

Lemongrass is also lauded for its several uses apart from in food. Here are just a few:

·         Digestion: For a healthy digestive tract, lemongrass tea consumption on regular basis can help. Where lemongrass is native it is made into a tea called ‘fever tea’ that is used to treat diarrhoea, stomach cramps and headaches.

·         Anti-fungal and Anti-bacterial: Studies have shown that lemongrass kills multiple types of bacteria and fungi and has deodorant properties.

·         Cold and Flu: The antibacterial and antifungal properties help the body cope with coughs, fever and other cold and flu symptoms. Plus, it is loaded with vitamin C that boosts your immune system to fight the infection. You can use lemongrass oil to relieve pain in muscles and joints, as well as headaches resulting from a cold or the flu.

·         Skincare: Lemongrass steam causes pores to open up and clear out pimples and blackheads.

·         Aromatherapy: It is used in aromatherapy as a mood lifter.

Visit the nearest Asian market and grab some lemongrass – use it in curries, stir fry, rice dishes or even in your morning tea!

Lemongrass tea is usually not recommended for small children. Some people could also be allergic to lemongrass. So before consuming it, make sure to research in depth and/or check with you doctor.



Priyanka Kumbhat

Iskashitaa Refugee Network

Creative Writing Intern

Volunteer Experience

This week we would like to shift gears. Instead of discussing last week's harvest, which went great I must add, we would like to acknowledge one of Iskashitaa's summer interns. Her name is Cannelle Moriniere. She was with us over the summer and she spent her time helping us at our events. Cannelle also spent time interviewing the refugees we assist. Below is an excerpt from one of her interviews.

We are eternally grateful to have had Cannelle as part of our team. We wish her the best of luck as she returns to Prescott Community College to continue her studies.

What is it?

Cannelle Moriniere

Food is an edible and potable substance in which humans and other living organism metabolize and digest to sustain one’s energy source, growth, health and life. Without food, we wouldn’t have enough nutrition and vitamins to stay alive, thus our bodies will start to break down its own proteins to make glucose for energy. Essentially our bodies will literally cannibalize itself and eat way its own muscle tissue to stay alive (Fiona MacDonald, 6 Aug 2015).

Since food has always been around and is a basic need for humans, it has become a symbolic representation for different cultures. Many cultures have used food to represent special occasions and remember events and their concepts. Food comes from many different places and it uses are endless for recipes.

What makes food part of a culture is that it is passed down from each generation to be practiced and introduce to newer people. Passed down to her, Huda Innabi kindly told us her family recipe for Carob that we have collected from a harvest.  For the first time, she has made Carob jelly and juice which was her families recipe as it was very popular in Jordan (where she from) and in Egypt.  

 At her grandparent’s farm, she recalls good memories of her family members making Carob jelly and has she decided to make some at home. One of the reasons why Carob is a popular food is because it is very healthy. Carob is high in protein, calcium and many other benefits such as acid reflex, diabetes etc. Not only can you use Carob as a jelly or juice but you can also make:

·         Smoothies

·         Pudding

·         Hot or cold tea

·         Pancake syrup

For further information...

Watch: What Would Happen if You Stopped Eating?


6 AUG 2015

Food: An Important Part of Most Cultures

Written by Miranda Marquit 2017

Thank you Cannelle for all your hard work with us this past summer. Best of luck to your education and you always have a place at the Iskashitaa office!

Alfonso Cavada-Tavares

Iskashitaa Refugee Network

Social Media Intern