Assignment 87: Malta

Location: Southern Europe Population: 515,000 Capital: Valletta Geography: An archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea Language: Maltese, English Signature flavours: Seafood, almond, citrus, marjoram, garlic, olives, dairy The Menu Malta sits at the crossroads of Italian, Middle Eastern, and North African cuisines, and as such has a fantastically diverse flavour profile that I was eager to…

Assignment 80: Greece

Location: Southern Europe Population: 10.8 million Capital: Athens Geography: The country comprises a largely mountainous peninsula projecting into the sea, and some thousands of islands Language: Greek Signature flavours: Seafood, lamb, garlic, dairy products, oregano, olives and olive oil,¬†honey, nuts The Menu I grew up in Toronto’s Greek town, and Eric has been sharing in…

Assignment 79: Poland

Location: Eastern Europe Population: 38.4 million Capital: Warsaw Geography: A country of plains and mountains, with a coast on the Baltic Sea Language: Polish Signature flavours: Mushroom, potato, apple, beef, pork, chicken, fish, poppy seed, dill, dairy products The Menu Toronto is a great city to live in — it’s safe, contains a fair bit…

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 67: Portugal

Location: Western Europe Population: 10.3 million Capital: Lisbon Geography: A mainland of mountains and rolling plains on the Iberian Peninsula, and two Atlantic archipelagos (the Azores and Madeira) Language: Portuguese Signature flavours: Seafood, potato, tomato, egg, piri piri, olives and olive oil, pork, pastry The Menu Eric and I went to Portugal and the Azores…

Assignment 65: Ukraine

Location: Eastern Europe Population: 42.4 million Capital: Kiev Geography: Fertile plains Language: Ukrainian Signature flavours: Potato, beets, cabbage, mushrooms, pork, dairy products, fish, vinegar, berries, dill The Menu My research on Ukrainian food started and finished with The New Ukrainian Cookbook by Annette Ogrodnik Corona. I was inspired early on by her descriptions of the…

Assignment 60: Italy

Location: Southern Europe Population: 60.5 million Capital: Rome Geography: A largely mountainous country extending into the Mediterranean Sea Language: Italian Signature flavours: Bread and pasta, tomato, garlic, dairy products, coffee, basil, oregano, beef, olives and olive oil The Menu At the outset of the Wooden Spoon Wanderer project, Eric and I agreed that we should…

Assignment 41: Iceland

Location: Western Europe Population: 351,000 Capital: Reykjavik Geography: A sparsely vegetated, highly geothermic island nation Language: Icelandic Signature flavours: Dairy, lamb, seafood, potato, rhubarb, berries The Menu We receive our cooking assignments through a randomized process that narrows down our options first by region, then by country or territory. This assignment, however, is an exception…

Assignment 40: Norway

Location: Northwestern Europe, in Scandinavia Population: 5.3 million Capital: Oslo Geography: A long, mountainous, northern nation with a very rugged coastline Language: Norwegian, Sami Signature flavours: Seafood (especially smoked fish), dill, potato, dairy, lamb or mutton, rye bread, berries The Menu Eric and I travelled in Norway this past winter, and we loved it. Oslo…

Assignment 39: Bulgaria

Location: Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula Population: 7.1 million Capital: Sofia Geography: A mix of plains and mountains with a coastline on the Black Sea Language: Bulgarian Signature flavours: Beef, lamb, sirene cheese, paprika, bell pepper, phyllo The Menu Before I even started searching for Bulgarian recipes, Eric was hinting at what he would…