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 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…