Assignment 116: Kuwait

Location: The Middle East Population: 4.5 million Capital: Kuwait City Geography: A tiny nation on the Persian Gulf Language: Arabic Signature flavours: Rice, fish, saffron, sesame, citrus, cardamom, lamb, chicken The Menu Sometimes it’s weeks or even months between assignments, as we juggle life and work, source hard-to-find ingredients, or just put the blog on…

Assignment 115: Benin

Location: West Africa Population: 13.8 million Capital: Porto-Novo Geography: A nation of savannah yielding to a southern coastal plain on the Atlantic Language: French, Fon Signature flavours: Cassava, yam, corn, rice, tomato, crab, beans, hot peppers The Menu At first, finding Beninese recipes was challenging, until I remembered to consult the wonderful Africa Cookbook, which…

Assignment 114: Australia

Location: Oceania, between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Population: 26 million Capital: Canberra Geography: Diverse ecosystems across the oldest, flattest, and least fertile continent on earth Language: English Signature flavours: Beef, seafood, dairy, bread, beetroot, apple, Vegemite The Menu Eric saw barramundi — an Australian white fleshed fish — for sale at a local…

Assignment 113: Burundi

Location: East Central Africa Population: 11.9 million Capital: Gitega Geography: A landlocked, flat nation on Lake Tanganyika Language: Kirundi, French Signature flavours: Beans, corn, banana and plantain, cabbage, beef, mutton The Menu It seems to have become a tradition of the Wooden Spoon Wanderer blog that every so often, I’m apologizing again for a long…

Assignment 112: Luxembourg

Location: Western Europe, between France and Germany Population: 634,000 Capital: Luxembourg City Geography: A hilly, forested nation and one of the smallest in Europe Language: Luxembourgish, French, German Signature flavours: Dairy, pork, beef, apple, potato, cabbage, Riesling, strawberry, stone fruit, savory The Menu On a warm June day (not so many days ago at the…

Assignment 111: Germany

Location: Western Europe Population: 83.2 million Capital: Berlin Geography: A forested, mountainous nation with sea borders in the north Language: German Signature flavours: Pork, dairy, egg, bread, potato, asparagus, dill The Menu In an unprecedented turn of events, Eric and I swapped assignments. I had drawn Luxembourg and he had gotten Germany, but he was…

Assignment 110: Cyprus

Location: Mediterranean Sea Population: 1.2 million Capital: Nicosia Geography: An island nation in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Language: Greek, Turkish Signature flavours: Lamb, seafood, olives and olive oil, citrus, sesame, beans, cheese The Menu Eric’s foray into Cypriot cuisine was exhaustive. The more he learned about it, the more his menu grew. He…

Assignment 109: Iraq

Location: Middle East Population: 40.2 million Capital: Baghdad Geography: A mix of rocky desert, marsh, and mountainous regions Language: Arabic, Kurdish Signature flavours: Lamb, rice, citrus, dates, tomato, cardamom The Menu This fall, Eric and I moved into a new home. The kitchen was one of our favourite features when we first saw the house…

Assignment 108: Libya

Location: North AfricaPopulation: 7 millionCapital: TripoliGeography: A mostly flat desert nation on the MediterraneanLanguage: ArabicSignature flavours: Mutton, fenugreek, tomato, date, fig, citrus, nuts, olive oil The Menu Compared with its North African neighbours Tunisia, Egypt, and nearby Morocco, Libyan cuisine was more of a mystery for Eric when he headed into this assignment. One of…

Assignment 107: Comoros

Location: Off the east coast of Africa Population: 851,000 Capital: Moroni Geography: An archipelago of three main islands and many smaller islets Language: Comorian, French, Arabic Signature flavours: Seafood, rice, coconut, plantain, tropical fruit, beans The Menu If you have ever experienced seafood-induced anxiety, then you will know how I felt as I compiled my…