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…

Almost Knead-less Bread (Recipe)

After deciding to stop buying bread earlier this year and start baking it instead, I’ve done a lot of experimenting with different recipes, flours, hydration percentages, proofing methods, and more. I’ve developed this recipe that suits my cool-ish Toronto kitchen and requires almost no kneading. A wrist injury in the summer left me unable to…

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 31: Liberia

Location: West Africa Population: 4.5 million Capital: Monrovia Geography: Plains and low mountains with some rainforest covering Language: Liberian English Signature flavours: Peanut, thyme, cabbage, rice, root vegetables, chicken, shrimp The Menu Liberian recipes were a little hard to come by, until I stumbled upon a large list of dishes on a website called Liberian…

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 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…

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…