theworldfrommykitchen

My Global Food Challenge


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Czech Republic

czech republic-flagWhile I really haven’t taken many short cuts so far, there are some days when I have more time constraints than others.  I wanted to make the pierogis, but hesitated because of the homemade pastry aspect, until I found this “Cheater Pierogi” recipe from Chef John using wonton wrappers.

Additions/Omissions: For the stuffed peppers, I left out the sour cream as usual and for the pierogis, I used beef bacon and different cheese blends, but did not use the sour cream and chives.

Taste Test: While the sauce was obviously redder and less creamy, it still worked out well, and was wonderful with the stuffed peppers.  

Zip Facts about Czech Republic:

  • Austrians Gregor Mendel, the Father of Genetics, and Sigmund Freud, the Father of Psychoanalysis, were both born in the Czech Republic
  • According to Czech etiquette on entering a building, a man is required to let his female companion enter first unless it is a restaurant
  • On St. Václav Day, during the last weekend of September, Czech families participate in the national passion of competitive mushroom hunting
  • The Czech Republic boasts the world’s largest per capita beer drinkers
  • After Slovenia, Czech Republic is the second richest country in Eastern Europe

Czech Andre Dluhos Tutt'Art@ (50)Andre Dluhos

http://www.tuttartpitturasculturapoesiamusica.com/2015/02/Andre-Dluhos.html

Link to Recipe: https://theworldfrommykitchen.wordpress.com/czech-republic

Link to Map:   https://theworldfrommykitchen.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/recipemap-europe.pdf

288px-Czech_Republic_Josef_Váchal


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Djibouti

djibouti-flagI am not sure why bananas and plantains give me such a hard time. I do eat bananas occasionally, but I really don’t care for plantains.  Either way, with the exception of peeling plantains, they should be easy to work with in both savory and sweet dishes.  I did not make the Banana Fritters from Djibouti, but left the recipe here anyway.  The only bananas available were still quite green. Being curious to see if they still could be used for this dish,  I peeled one and tasted it.  I was surprised to find it was more like peeling a plantain than an unripened banana.  And the taste..

Additions/Omissions:   used red chili paste for fresh chilis

Taste Test: the rice dish was very good, but I do want to discourage anyone from tasting a really green banana, although I don’t think I could put the flavor into words.  Chalk comes to mind, and definitely not sweet chalk, it is probably one of the worst things I have tasted in a long time.  Which is surely a good thing, since I am very far into this challenge.

Zip Facts about Djibouti:

  • At 52 feet below sea level, Lac (Lake) Assal is the lowest point in Djibouti and the lowest point in Africa. The heavy salinity of the lake (greater than the Dead Sea) allows for salt mining used personally and commercially
  • Djibouti, from the word “gabouti” (a palm fiber doormat), was named after the bottom of the Gulf of Tadjoura
  • Djibouti is the third smallest country in Africa (after Gambia and Swaziland) with the least number of inhabitants
  • A favorite national pastime is qat chewing, a medicinal plant with mildly narcotic properties
  • Young Djibouti poets follow the long tradition of composing and memorizing 100 line Somali forms of epic poetry called gabay

djibouti arts21-300x239Abdul-Wahab Youssouf

http://www.djibtalk.com/in-djiboutian-heritage-the-visual-arts-talk/

Link to Recipe: https://theworldfrommykitchen.wordpress.com/djibouti/

Link to Map:  https://theworldfrommykitchen.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/recipemap-africa.pdf

212px-Djibouti_1981_Fish_b


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Denmark

denmark-flagThis is one of the most ambitious dinners to date, I kept finding recipes that I wanted to try, and I am always looking to do a meatball version inspired by a meat recipe or a spice palette.

Additions/Omissions:  no additions, substitutions, or deletions

Taste Test:  The main entree was the steak and champagne, it was a very straightforward prep and quite delicious.  The meatballs were excellent as well.  I don’t normally like the consistency or texture of grated potatoes, unless I am frying them into flattened crispy potato pancakes, but the taste was actually OK. The pickles were similar in taste to the ones I have made in the past and were very good, especially if you like quick pickling techniques.  The biggest surprise was the danish pretzel.  Although I knew they would not have the familiar texture or taste of either the typical soft or hard pretzels, they turned out to be much more like surprisingly good scones.

Zip Facts about Denmark:

  • The Faroe Islands are now part of Denmark, the King of Norway lost the islands to the King of Denmark in a drunken poker game
  • The Tivoli amusement park in Copenhagen, the capital city, is one of the oldest in the world, and the largest and most popular one in Europe. Walt Disney was inspired to create Disney Land after visiting the park
  • There are many Danish contributions to the global market, including Carlsberg and Tuborg (beers), Royal Copenhagen (porcelain), Bang & Olufsen (audio), Lurpak butter, and LEGOs. LEGO is an abbreviation of “leg godt” meaning “play well”
  • Dannebrog, the flag of Denmark adopted in 1219, is the oldest independent nation flag still used today
  • “Hygge”, a Danish state of mind, means a coming together and enjoying the good company of others, a cozy way to get through the long winter months

Denmark anna-ancherAnna Ancher  (1859-1935) “On the Garden Bench”

http://pictify.saatchigallery.com/221497/anna-ancher-danish-painter-1859-1935-on-the-garden-bench-anna-helga-thorup

Link to Recipe: https://theworldfrommykitchen.wordpress.com/denmark

Link to Map:  https://theworldfrommykitchen.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/recipemap-europe.pdf

180px-Denmark_2007_Art_Stamps_a


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Dominica

dominica-flagChicken and fruit? What could be bad about that? A prepared mango chutney was listed in the ingredients, but I had the time to make one from scratch (see the Caribbean chutney recipe). In one of my Food Network marathons, I watched Geoffrey Zakarian, one of my all-time favorite chefs, easily cut a mango from its pit, close to the pit on the flat sides and trim to the pit on the other sides. Obvious, until you are working with a slippery mango.

Additions/Omissions:   Considering my family’s palates, I tend to go easy on the peppers, so half of a Habañero pepper was plenty for the chutney, and I omitted the mustard seed. I also used ripe ginger, since I had it on hand.

Taste Test: The chicken and mango salad were excellent, and despite the substitutions and omissions, so was the chutney.

Zip Facts about the Dominica:

  • Major scenes from both “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and “POTC: At World’s End” were filmed in Dominica
  • The economy of Dominica relies heavily on banana production and exportation. Tourism serves as a needed boost when banana values drop.  Watch out for the many inhabitants that carry cutlasses (machetes) around town
  • Dominica comes from the Latin word meaning “Sunday”, the country’s original name is Wai’tukubuli, which translates as “tall is her body”
  • Since 1978, Ross University (associated with DeVry USA) has been successfully educating the world’s doctors
  • “Boiling Lake”, in Dominica, is the world’s second largest hot spring

Dominica MarcellePauline Marcelle, “Bend Down Boutique 61” (2012)

http://arcthemagazine.com/arc/2012/06/pauline-marcelle-everywhere-is-somewhere-else/

Link to Recipe:  https://theworldfrommykitchen.wordpress.com/dominica/

Link to Map:  https://theworldfrommykitchen.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/recipemap-northamerica.pdf

602px-Dominica_2002_Kennedy_sheetlet_a


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Dominican Republic

dominican republic-flagAdditions/Omissions:  

Taste Test:                                                                                                  

Zip Facts about the Dominican Republic:

  • Dominican Republic (DR) is considered the oldest country of the Americas, reached first in 1492 by Christopher Columbus. It is the second largest Caribbean island (after Cuba)
  • The Amber Museum in Puerto Plata holds the amber with the trapped mosquito that appeared in the movie, “Jurassic Park”
  • Baseball, golf, and big game fishing are very popular in the Dominican Republic which sport some of the best golf courses in the world and has nurtured some of the best baseball players
  • Because DR grows, farms, or catches almost all foods served for meals there, it is considered the “breadbasket of the Caribbean”
  • Mamajuana, a DR drink similar to port wine and considered an aphrodisiac, contains rum, red wine, tree bark, herbs, and honey

Domican Rep Olivia Peguero Life SeasonsOlivia Peguero – “Life Seasons” (2003)

http://www.latinamericanart.com/en/artworks/olivia-peguero-life-seasons.html

Link to Recipe:  https://theworldfrommykitchen.wordpress.com/dominican-republic/

Link to Map:   https://theworldfrommykitchen.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/recipemap-northamerica.pdf

350px-Dominican_Republic_1994_WWF_-_Hispaniolan_Solenodon_MS


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Ethiopia

ethiopia-flagAdditions/Omissions:  

Taste Test:                                                                                                  

Zip Facts about Ethiopia:

  • Ethiopia is the only country in Africa with its own alphabet which consists of 209 symbols and 25 letter variants
  • Ethiopia is Africa’s oldest independent country. Its capital, Addis Ababa, means “new flower” in Amharic
  • Ethiopians mark time in a slightly different way than most of the world, they are the only country that follow the Julian calendar, 12 months of 30 days and a 13th month of 5 or 6 days, and roughly 7.5 years behind the Gregorian calendar. Time is measured from when the sun rises, so 6 am would be 12 o’clock, and noon and midnight are 6:00 in Ethiopia
  • Only two nations in the world have never been colonized, Russia and Ethiopia. Ethiopia was briefly occupied by Italy from 1936 to 1941
  • Coffee was discovered in the Kaffa region of Ethiopia

Ethiopia desta2

Desta Hagos, the first Ethiopian woman to have a solo art exhibition

http://www.afroriche.com/?p=2647

Link to Recipe: https://theworldfrommykitchen.wordpress.com/ethiopia/

Link to Map:  https://theworldfrommykitchen.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/recipemap-africa.pdf

180px-Ethiopia_2011_Martyrs_b


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England

england-flagAdditions/Omissions:  

Taste Test:                                                                                                  

Zip Facts about England:

  • Despite the saying “for all the tea in China”, the English consume more tea per capita than anywhere else in the world. They also produce and consume more cider than any other country
  • Big Ben is actually the name of the bell inside the clock tower, which is called the Elizabeth Tower. Windsor Castle, the world’s oldest and largest royal residence still used today,
  • The jury is out on England’s food choices, although it is clear the English love their food, especially the popular dishes with the unusual names, such as toad in the hole, bangers and mash, and spotted dick
  • It is considered a “no-no” (or treason) to place a postage stamp with the visages of the King or Queen upside down on a post
  • The flag of England is called the Union Flag on land and the Union Jack on the water because it must be flown on the jack mast of the ship

England Snow_Storm1842JMW Turner (1775-1851), “Steamboat off a Harbor’s Mouth” during a snowstorm

http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/2014/11/artist-of-month-jmw-turner.html

Link to Recipe: https://theworldfrommykitchen.wordpress.com/england

Link to Map:  https://theworldfrommykitchen.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/recipemap-europe.pdf

090423_England_Castle_small