Assignment 84: Brunei

Location: South Asia Population: 459, 500 Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan Geography: Two disconnected pieces of land on the island of Borneo, mostly covered with tropical rainforest Language: Malay Signature flavours: Seafood, shrimp paste, chilli peppers, coconut, garlic, tamarind, ambulung, pandan The Menu Sayur Lodeh: A vegetable and shrimp curry with cabbage, carrot, and green beans,…

Assignment 78: Russia

Location: Northern Europe and Asia Population: 146.8 million Capital: Moscow Geography: Varied mountain, steppe, tundra, forest, and coastal ecosystems across the largest country in the world Language: Russian Signature flavours: Dairy, pork, dill, cucumber, beet, hazelnut, beef, fish, mushrooms The Menu Eric’s parents met and married while studying abroad at university in Moscow (in what…

Assignment 77: Myanmar

Location: Southeast Asia Population: 53.6 million Capital: Napyidaw Geography: A country of lowlands and coastal mountains, with a tropical climate Language: Burmese Signature flavours: Seafood, rice, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, lime, pandan, coconut, chilli peppers, onion, shallot The Menu When we first began the Wooden Spoon Wanderer blog (way back in Bhutan…remember that?), we relied almost…

Assignment 76: Tibet

Location: Central Asia Population: 3.2 million Capital: Lhasa Geography: Extremely mountainous and receiving little precipitation, and host to the sources of several of Asia’s major rivers Language: Tibetan Signature flavours: Barley, beef, garlic, szechuan peppercorns (also called prickly ash), blue cheese, daikon, dumplings, scallions The Menu Eric and I fondly remember our trip to New…

Assignment 73: Georgia

Location: Western Asia, between Russia and Turkey Population: 3.7 million Capital: Tblisi Geography: Mountainous, with areas of fertile valleys Language: Georgian, Abkhazian Signature flavours: Dairy, lamb, beef, tarragon, egg, nuts, shallot, plum The Menu Georgia’s culinary tradition tells the story of its geography: nestled at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. This…

Assignment 71: Saudi Arabia

Location: Middle East Population: 33 million Capital: Riyadh Geography: A desert nation with coastlines on the Persian Gulf and Red Sea Language: Arabic Signature flavours: Rice, cardamom, cinnamon, tomato, parsley, sesame, lamb The Menu I ordered a couple of cookbooks from the library for this assignment. One ended up being more focused on Lebanon, but…

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…