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 45: Mexico

Location: North America, between the USA and Central America Population: 124 million Capital: Mexico City Geography: A mix of mountains, fertile valleys, desert, and coastal plains Language: Spanish Signature flavours: Chillies, tomato, beans, corn, avocado, rice, chicken, beef, chocolate The Menu Mexico was my most difficult assignment so far. Because this is a cuisine with…

Assignment 44: Eritrea

Location: The Horn of Africa Population: 5 million Capital: Asmara Geography: A mix of desert and fertile highlands and plains Language: Tigrinya, Arabic, English (working languages — Eritrea has no official language) Signature flavours: Teff, fenugreek, ginger, lentils, turmeric, berbere, lamb The Menu Like Uruguay to Argentina, Guatemala to Mexico, Eritrean cuisine’s online presence is…

Assignment 43: Fiji

Location: Oceania Population: 899,000 Capital: Suva Geography: A subtropical mountainous archipelago of two main island and almost 900 other islands and islets Language: English, iTaukei, Fiji Hindi Signature flavours: Coconut, seafood, curry, taro, tropical fruits The Menu This is our third assignment out of the South Pacific island nations, and while Fiji enjoys a nice…

Assignment 42: Uruguay

Location: South America Population: 3.4 million Capital: Montevideo Geography: A country of plains, rivers, and fertile coastland Language: Spanish Signature flavours: Beef, dairy, yerba mate, egg, pasta, dulce de leche, quince The Menu Uruguay, like its South American neighbour to the west, Argentina, is a land of many cows, and as a result, many beef…

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…

Assignment 38: Puerto Rico

Location: The Caribbean (a territory of the US) Population: 3.3 million Capital: San Juan Geography: A mountainous island with large areas of tropical rainforest Language: Spanish, English Signature flavours: Plantain, rice, beans, coconut, achiote, green olives, seafood, pork The Menu This is the first assignment from a place we’ve actually travelled to together. Eric and…

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…