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 70: Algeria

Location: North Africa Population: 42.2 million Capital: Algiers Geography: A country of varied desert terrain, including mountainous, coastal, and grassy desert Language: Arabic, Berber Signature flavours: Couscous, mint, dried fruit, dairy, lamb, cayenne pepper The Menu Eric’s Algeria assignment followed right on the heels of my Morocco assignment. We learned through our respective research that…

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 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 63: Paraguay

Location: South America Population: 7.2 million Capital: AsunciĆ³n Geography: Tropical, with a landscape of plains and some low hills Language: Guarani, Spanish Signature flavours: Corn, cheese, onion, chicken, beef, anise, yerba mate The Menu As inadequate as my Spanish is, I did my research in Spanish for this assignment. We are quickly learning that when…

Assignment 62: El Salvador

Location: Central America Population: 6.3 million Capital: San Salvador Geography: A tropical, mountainous nation with significant geothermal activity Language: Spanish Signature flavours: Corn, cheese, tomato, chicken, beans, chilli peppers, red onion, pumpkin The Menu Eric had eaten Salvadorian food once before, when he lived in Texas, where there is a large Salvadorian population. Flavours familiar…

Assignment 61: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Location: Central Africa Population: 78.7 million Capital: Kinshasa Geography: An equatorial country covered in jungle and savannah Language: French Signature flavours: Beans, roots vegetables, leafy greens, peanuts The Menu This was the first assignment after a holiday hiatus that gave Eric and I some much-needed rest. I have to say that I enjoyed taking a…

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 59: St Vincent and the Grenadines

Location: The Caribbean Population: 109,600 Capital: Kingstown Geography: A collection of 32 islands, the largest of which is St Vincent Language: English Signature flavours: Breadfruit, coconut, seafood, root vegetables The Menu St Vincent cuisine was not easy to research, and there was a definite dearth of resources. I didn’t get anywhere in my quest for…