Assignment 64: Afghanistan

Location: Central Asia Population: 31.6 million Capital: Kabul Geography: A landlocked, mountainous country Language: Pashto Signature flavours: Rice, lamb, rosewater, cumin, dried fruits, nuts, yoghurt The Menu Eric went straight to the Toronto Public Library for cookbooks when he was assigned Afghanistan. A newly-released and well-reviewed Afghan cookbook was on order for the library and…

Assignment 55: Singapore

Location: Southern tip of the Malay Peninsula Population: 5.6 million Capital: Singapore Geography: A highly developed island city state Language: English, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil Signature flavours: Seafood, kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), garlic, chillies, anise, noodles The Menu Recipes abound for Singaporean cuisine, so my challenge for this assignment was choosing between them all. Singaporean…

Assignment 52: Jordan

Location: Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia Population: 10 million Capital: Amman Geography: A mix of arable land and desert, with a short coast on the Dead Sea Language: Arabic Signature flavours: Lamb, rice, yoghurt, eggplant, nuts, cinnamon, tomato, garlic The Menu Eric discovered plenty of resources online. The first recipe he chose was the…

Assignment 51: Laos

Location: Southeast Asia Population: 6.8 million Capital: Vientiane Geography: A heavily forested and mountainous landlocked nation Language: Lao Signature flavours: Sticky rice, fish sauce, lime, mint, shallot, chilli pepper, lemongrass The Menu I love the flavours of southeast Asia, namely Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese foods. Having no experience with Laotian cuisine, I was looking forward…

Assignment 46: Bahrain

Location: The Middle East, on the east coast of Saudi Arabia Population: 1.4 million Capital: Manama Geography: A small, mostly flat desert island nation Language: Arabic Signature flavours: Saffron, rice, seafood, cardamom, cinnamon, lamb, rose water The Menu Bahrain is one of those teeny-tiny places with a very rich culinary tradition. Because it has been…

Assignment 37: Tajikistan

Location: Central Asia Population: 8.7 million Capital: Dushanbe Geography: Landlocked and mountainous Language: Tajik Signature flavours: Dairy, wheat, lamb, onion, apricot, mulberry, rhubarb, pumpkin The Menu Ah, Toronto, you continue to surprise us with your bounty of international resources, edible and otherwise. I found a Tajik cookbook in the Toronto Public Library system: With Our Own…

Assignment 30: Palestine

Location: Middle East Population: 4.5 million Capital: Jerusalem/Ramallah Geography: A flat or rolling-dune desert with low mountains in the West Bank region Language: Arabic Signature flavours: Sumac, lamb, sesame, pita bread, thyme, mint, eggplant The Menu We try to keep WSW a place about food, the joy of eating together, our discovery of unfamiliar flavours…

Assignment 28: Sri Lanka

Location: South Asia, off the southern coast of India Population: 21.4 million Capital: Colombo Geography: A tropical island nation, mostly of plains, with a small mountainous area Language: Sinhala, Tamil Signature flavours: Rice, ginger, chilli pepper, curry leaves, fennel, roti, treacle The Menu Eric and I have been eating Sri Lankan food for years at…

Assignment 27: Malaysia

Location: Southeast Asia Population: 31.9 million Capital: Kuala Lumpur Geography: Coastal plains with a forested, mountainous interior Language: Malay Signature flavours: Rice, coconut, seafood, pineapple, pandan, shallot The Menu Recipes abound for Malaysian cuisine, and so it was a matter of narrowing down my choices (unlike some past assignments that saw me actually emailing tourism…

Assignment 22: Timor-Leste

Location: South Asia Population: 1.2 million Capital: Dili Geography: Mountainous and tropical Language: Tetum, Portuguese Signature flavours: Seafood, chicken, ginger, hot peppers, basil, lemongrass The Menu I got to cook back-to-back assignments since Eric hasn’t gathered all his ingredients yet for Kiribati. Still recovering from my 56-course Japanese meal on Saturday, I had no idea…