Assignment 113: Burundi

Location: East Central Africa Population: 11.9 million Capital: Gitega Geography: A landlocked, flat nation on Lake Tanganyika Language: Kirundi, French Signature flavours: Beans, corn, banana and plantain, cabbage, beef, mutton The Menu It seems to have become a tradition of the Wooden Spoon Wanderer blog that every so often, I’m apologizing again for a long…

Assignment 112: Luxembourg

Location: Western Europe, between France and Germany Population: 634,000 Capital: Luxembourg City Geography: A hilly, forested nation and one of the smallest in Europe Language: Luxembourgish, French, German Signature flavours: Dairy, pork, beef, apple, potato, cabbage, Riesling, strawberry, stone fruit, savory The Menu On a warm June day (not so many days ago at the…

Assignment 111: Germany

Location: Western Europe Population: 83.2 million Capital: Berlin Geography: A forested, mountainous nation with sea borders in the north Language: German Signature flavours: Pork, dairy, egg, bread, potato, asparagus, dill The Menu In an unprecedented turn of events, Eric and I swapped assignments. I had drawn Luxembourg and he had gotten Germany, but he was…

Assignment 110: Cyprus

Location: Mediterranean Sea Population: 1.2 million Capital: Nicosia Geography: An island nation in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Language: Greek, Turkish Signature flavours: Lamb, seafood, olives and olive oil, citrus, sesame, beans, cheese The Menu Eric’s foray into Cypriot cuisine was exhaustive. The more he learned about it, the more his menu grew. He…

Assignment 109: Iraq

Location: Middle East Population: 40.2 million Capital: Baghdad Geography: A mix of rocky desert, marsh, and mountainous regions Language: Arabic, Kurdish Signature flavours: Lamb, rice, citrus, dates, tomato, cardamom The Menu This fall, Eric and I moved into a new home. The kitchen was one of our favourite features when we first saw the house…

Assignment 108: Libya

Location: North AfricaPopulation: 7 millionCapital: TripoliGeography: A mostly flat desert nation on the MediterraneanLanguage: ArabicSignature flavours: Mutton, fenugreek, tomato, date, fig, citrus, nuts, olive oil The Menu Compared with its North African neighbours Tunisia, Egypt, and nearby Morocco, Libyan cuisine was more of a mystery for Eric when he headed into this assignment. One of…

Assignment 107: Comoros

Location: Off the east coast of Africa Population: 851,000 Capital: Moroni Geography: An archipelago of three main islands and many smaller islets Language: Comorian, French, Arabic Signature flavours: Seafood, rice, coconut, plantain, tropical fruit, beans The Menu If you have ever experienced seafood-induced anxiety, then you will know how I felt as I compiled my…

Assignment 106: Wales

Location: Great BritainPopulation: 3.2 millionCapital: CardiffGeography: A mountainous nation in south western Great BritainLanguage: Welsh, EnglishSignature flavours: Lamb, mutton, beef, dairy, leek, seafood, potato, cabbage The Menu Eric’s Wales assignment marked our first foray into British cuisine. He went in having heard only of Welsh rarebit — cheese on toast — which he learned was…

Assignment 105: Andorra

Location: Western EuropePopulation: 77,500Capital: Andorra la VellaGeography: A small, mountainous, landlocked nationLanguage: CatalanSignature flavours: Garlic, tomato, pork, chicken, cabbage, olive oil, egg The Menu I had no idea what to expect from Andorran cuisine, and went into this assignment ready to be surprised. In the end, I learned that Andorrans enjoy a sort of French-Spanish…

Assignment 104: Cuba

Location: CaribbeanPopulation: 11.2 millionCapital: HavanaGeography: A tropical island of flat fertile terrainLanguage: SpanishSignature flavours: Beef, pork, rice, beans, plantain, tropical fruit, spearmint, tomato The Menu Eric’s father was Cuban, and Eric lived in Havana until he was eight years old, so he is familiar with traditional Cuban fare, like ropa vieja (shredded beef), bistec de…