You know Mary, so many dishes are like that. Flan - the custard with carmelized sugar - also know in many parts of the world.
It makes me wonder how they get around. Did some things all come from one place and when people migrated, they took it with them?
It would be interesting to see a 'food tree' - I saw something like I'm thinking for languages. Yes, they called it a language tree and most everything comes from something they called Indo-European.
There is one offshoot - it goes to the Russian type cyrilic (sp?).
Do you have any idea if there is such a thing for food?
I'd be interested in seeing that!
Pam Hoffman http://seminarlist.blogspot.com
As I have a husband who's a sort of language buff, I can tell you that my impression is that the parallel is correct up to a certain point.
With languages, you might be tempted to think they all go back to the same root (Indo-European) only if you think in terms of modern European languages, and this - in turn - with exceptions (Finnish, Hungarian). African, Asian, native American languages all come from a different stock, so that the use of a single tree to trace a common origin may not be the right one.
With food, I would think more in terms of multiple original appearances on the one hand, and migration on the other.
With polenta, for example, we are dealing with a type of food that has been a staple for entire population in different parts of the world for millennia, so that it's not too far-fetched to think that the preparation of such food could have become widespread in different regions at roughly the same time in history.
With other, more recent (and, possibly, more elaborate) dishes, the reason for their ubiquity under different names may certainly be related more to 'migration' and the increasing movement that populations underwent later on in history.