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mid-week Connect: 11/24/21 ~ Dry Ingredients

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

Greetings and Happy Midweek!

What with a number of holidays coming up - however you celebrate them, I imagine you might be doing some special cooking and baking in the coming weeks. So, I thought this week we would explore a fun cross-cultural difference in some common ingredients you might be using. In our Global SKILLs training, one of our focus points is being able to make appropriate Applications* in a new cultural context, using perspectives and skills we are mastering. Let’s see how we might ‘apply’ all this…

For me, since I left the US as a young adult with few culinary skills, I learned to cook and bake overseas, mostly in Africa, using for the most part locally available ingredients. So, contrary to my American cultural background and what many recipes assume, to this day - I consider both milk and vanilla to be dry ingredients! The milk we consumed for all our years in Africa was powdered. The vanilla I used to bake came in little envelopes, a mixture of vanilla flavoring (real or artificial) and white sugar. Both were practical (easily stored and transported), best mixed in with other dry ingredients (flour, salt, etc).

The cultural message for me in this is twofold.

First, while commonly used items (or commonly held beliefs) might come in very different ‘packaging’ and be used differently, often the final product is the same, be it a delicious cake...or mutually agreed upon strategic insights into some complex cultural issue.

And second, it’s well worth applying your existing knowledge & skills (how to bake a cake or participate in a community event) using newly available ingredients (like dry milk or appropriate ways to greet people) - you might just find you prefer the culturally integrated final product!

How about you ~ what is one ingredient you use which has cross-cultural applications?

Share about that with a friend or note it here.

And check out the Global SKILLs LINKs below for more on these particular dry ingredients!

Thanks for being part of this Connect community.

Until next week,


* PROACTive Learning Strategies: PRO = PROfile, PROcess, PROgram

ACT = Application (which we looked at today), Collaboration and Transformation

~ contact me for more information on these strategies and how you might use them in your current programming


~ in case you want to try it out, a resource for dried CAMEL milk - read how this comes out of East African cultural preferences:

~ I’m definitely on to something scientifically - check out this abstract for a study on cross-cultural perceptions of dried milk:

(disclaimer - I don’t understand much of the discussion...but it’s just interesting there IS a noticeable and quantifiable difference across cultures!!)

2021 ~ Celebrating 40 years of working in

intercultural communications and global community building

Connecting, Collaborating, Cultivating Community

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