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 32: Belize

Location: Central America Population: 388,000 Capital: Belmopan Geography: Mostly forested coastal plains and swampland, with low mountains in the south Language: English Signature flavours: Allspice, achiote, chicken, corn, seafood, coconut, rice, cassava The Menu Eric discovered that Belize has four distinct groups of people (Maya, Kriol, Garinagu, and Mestizos), and set about planning a menu…

Assignment 30: Palestine

Location: Middle East Population: 4.5 million Capital: Jerusalem/Ramallah Geography: A flat or rolling-dune desert with low mountains in the West Bank region Language: Arabic Signature flavours: Sumac, lamb, sesame, pita bread, thyme, mint, eggplant The Menu We try to keep WSW a place about food, the joy of eating together, our discovery of unfamiliar flavours…

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 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 26: Guinea-Bissau

Location: West Africa Population: 1.8 million Capital: Bissau Geography: Savannah in the east, and low-lying plains and swamp as the land approaches the coast Language: Portuguese, Upper Guinea Creole Signature flavours: Millet, rice, cashew, avocado, cassava, seafood The Menu As we’re often finding with the world’s tiniest places, it was hard to find recipes for…

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 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…

Assignment 21: Japan

Location: East Asia Population: 126.7 million Capital: Tokyo Geography: An archipelago of four main islands and almost 7000 others, with primarily mountainous, forested terrain. Language: Japanese Signature flavours: Rice, seaweed, seafood, soy The Menu Japanese food is beautiful, with a stunning composition of colours: green, white, red, black. Its aesthetic appeal can make it seem…