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 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…

Assignment 29: Egypt

Location: North Africa Population: 96.8 million Capital: Cairo Geography: Sandy desert except around the Nile Valley and Delta areas Language: Arabic Signature flavours: Pita bread, legumes, garlic, parsley, lemon, cheese The Menu I picked up a fantastic cookbook at a used bookstore a few weeks ago that I finally got to crack open for this…

Assignment 28: Sri Lanka

Location: South Asia, off the southern coast of India Population: 21.4 million Capital: Colombo Geography: A tropical island nation, mostly of plains, with a small mountainous area Language: Sinhala, Tamil Signature flavours: Rice, ginger, chilli pepper, curry leaves, fennel, roti, treacle The Menu Eric and I have been eating Sri Lankan food for years at…

Assignment 27: Malaysia

Location: Southeast Asia Population: 31.9 million Capital: Kuala Lumpur Geography: Coastal plains with a forested, mountainous interior Language: Malay Signature flavours: Rice, coconut, seafood, pineapple, pandan, shallot The Menu Recipes abound for Malaysian cuisine, and so it was a matter of narrowing down my choices (unlike some past assignments that saw me actually emailing tourism…

Assignment 25: Chad

Location: North central Africa Population: 13.7 million Capital: N’Djamena Geography: A southern half of savannah grassland, and a northern half of Saharan desert Language: Arabic, French Signature flavours: Millet, okra, peanut, fish, beef The Menu The main hazard of gathering recipes for Chad was thinking I had come across a great dish, only to learn…

Assignment 24: Madagascar

Location: A large island off the east coast of Africa Population: 24.9 million Capital: Antananarivo Geography: A varied landscape of grassland, rainforest, desert, and rice paddies Language: Malagasy, French Signature flavours: Peanut, rice, vanilla, seafood, tomato, root vegetables and their leaves The Menu Eric found that meals in Madagascar often consist of rice and laoka…

The Slippery Slope of Disordered Eating

For the past five months, I have been dealing with digestive issues that make me feel sick after most every meal. Often I wake up with nausea and cramping and it continues throughout the day, peaking after eating. In an effort to reduce my discomfort, I have chosen to eat less. I have also undertaken…

Assignment 23: Kiribati

Location: Oceania Population: 110,000 Capital: Tarawa Geography: A diverse collection of 34 islands in three main groups. Language: Gilbertese, English Signature flavours: Coconut, kabocha pumpkin, breadfruit, seafood The Menu Recipes for Kiribati cuisine were few and far between. Eric found a few, and then drew from general information on the cuisine to build other dishes….

Assignment 22: Timor-Leste

Location: South Asia Population: 1.2 million Capital: Dili Geography: Mountainous and tropical Language: Tetum, Portuguese Signature flavours: Seafood, chicken, ginger, hot peppers, basil, lemongrass The Menu I got to cook back-to-back assignments since Eric hasn’t gathered all his ingredients yet for Kiribati. Still recovering from my 56-course Japanese meal on Saturday, I had no idea…