Assignment 116: Kuwait

Location: The Middle East Population: 4.5 million Capital: Kuwait City Geography: A tiny nation on the Persian Gulf Language: Arabic Signature flavours: Rice, fish, saffron, sesame, citrus, cardamom, lamb, chicken The Menu Sometimes it’s weeks or even months between assignments, as we juggle life and work, source hard-to-find ingredients, or just put the blog on…

Assignment 115: Benin

Location: West Africa Population: 13.8 million Capital: Porto-Novo Geography: A nation of savannah yielding to a southern coastal plain on the Atlantic Language: French, Fon Signature flavours: Cassava, yam, corn, rice, tomato, crab, beans, hot peppers The Menu At first, finding Beninese recipes was challenging, until I remembered to consult the wonderful Africa Cookbook, which…

Assignment 114: Australia

Location: Oceania, between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Population: 26 million Capital: Canberra Geography: Diverse ecosystems across the oldest, flattest, and least fertile continent on earth Language: English Signature flavours: Beef, seafood, dairy, bread, beetroot, apple, Vegemite The Menu Eric saw barramundi — an Australian white fleshed fish — for sale at a local…

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 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 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…