theworldfrommykitchen

My Global Food Challenge


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Angola

angola-flagRed palm oil is not very prevalent in U.S. cooking, but it is probably second to soybean oil worldwide. It is not harvested from the coconut palm, but from the palm (Elaeis guineensis), endemic to the tropical areas of Africa.

Red Palm oil is very good for you because of its natural nutrients, carotenes (vitamin A precursors) and the super antioxidant tocotrienols (vitamin E isomers). The high concentration of these antioxidants also produce its red coloration. It has no trans fatty acids and has a stable shelf life.   The only contraindications are when using medications that slow blood-clotting such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Coumadin.   I have only used red palm oil twice during this adventure, but I will certainly consider its addition in my meals in the future.

Additions/Omissions: None

Taste Test: With the squash and the potatoes, the apple flavor (“for an apple soup”) does become overpowered. If you are really hankering for an “apple soup”. adjust the amounts of these three ingredients to taste.

Zip Facts about Angola:

  • While there is no single national identity, Angola has ties to Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking countries
  • Most Angolans drink affordable local beverages, such as palm wine and maize beer, although traditional celebrations, much fewer than in the past, call for soft drinks and bottled beer
  • Discovered a few years ago, the giant sable antelope, thought to be extinct, makes its home only in Angola
  • Its long civil war, from 1975 to 2002, affected all aspects of everyday life in Angola, from increasing the number of widows and incidences of polygamy to widening the age and gender gaps
  • Luanda, Angola’s capital city, is one of the world’s most expensive cities to live in with a meal or two that could cost $300US

Angola rtygP1015227Paulo Kussy

“What’s Angolan about my work is that I’m Angolan. I’m contributing to the development of my country. 
There should not be a preconceived idea of what is Angolan or African or black or white art. Art is all about the individual.”
http://paulokussypintura.blogspot.com/2009_11_23_archive.html

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

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

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Bahamas

bahamas-flagI chose this recipe because of the lime, despite my slight allergy to some citrus.  I used the suggested amount, but I am sure a little less would have been just as good.  Because of the evening time constraints I sometimes have, I changed the method of cooking, although I did marinate the chicken as described.  I preheated the oven to 375oC and added all of the ingredients to a roasting pan.  After 30 minutes in the oven, I raised the temperature to 425oC and brought the chicken over the top of the veggies, broiling for another 30 minutes.

Additions/Omissions: used boneless skinless whole chicken thighs instead of wings, because I had them on hand and needed to use them.

Taste Test: Quite delicious, especially if you like lime

Zip Facts about the Bahamas:

  • Bahamas comes from the Spanish “baja mar” meaning “shallow water”. It is an archipelago of about 700 islands, about 30 are inhabited.  Nassau, the capital and largest city, is found on the main island of New Providence
  • The Bahamas has no income or corporate taxes
  • According to Bahamian folklore, “chickcharnies”, three-toed sprites with red eyes, hand upside down from trees on Andros island, were known to spin men’s heads around backwards
  • Junkanoo is a carnival-like celebration held on Christmas and New Year’s, where costumed merrymakers parade to the drumming from goatskin “goombays”
  • Seafood and peas with rice are the most important staples of the Bahamian diet with the conch shellfish a national favorite

bahamas STAN-BURNSIDE-ART2Stan Burnside

http://artistsofthebahamas.com/artists.html

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

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

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Belgium

belgium-flagBooyah Chicken! This particular recipe came from a military base in Belgium and seems to be a fitting name for the dish.  However, the name Booyah does not come from the military.  The dish originated in Belgium and was brought to the northeastern part of Wisconsin in 1853 by Belgian immigrants.  It is a very hearty soup/stew made primarily with chicken but may include other meats, and has been referred to fondly as “Belgian Penicillin.”  There is some discussion about the origin of the name, some say it comes from the word “bouillon” or the French word “bouillir”, others insist that it comes from “bouyu” in the Belgian Walloon language.

Additions/Omissions: For usual reasons in this challenge, I did not use the pork and left out the rosemary.  Since the dinner fell during Passover, I had to leave out the peas (legumes) and the green beans (different groups say that green beans are OK for Passover since they do not soak up water and swell like other beans).  But when in doubt, leave it out.  I also cut the chicken and beef, before boiling, into small bite-size pieces.

Taste Test: very good, the smaller chunks of chicken and beef kept them very tender

Zip Facts about Belgium:

  • Belgium, considered one of the “low countries” with land at or below sea level, is populated by two major groups, the Flemish and the Walloons
  • Stamp collecting and model trains are popular pastimes for Belgians, who are known traditionally for crafts such as lacemaking, tapestry, pottery, hand puppets and marionettes
  • On Shrove Tuesday in Binche, the “March of the Gilles” parades men in padded costumes and white hats with ostrich plumes who pelt spectators with oranges and bags of water
  • The Cat Festival of Ypres celebrates the medieval overpopulation of cats that were brought into town to “fix” the rat infestation. Revelers toss stuffed toy cats off the rooftops to mimic the “fixing” of the cat problem
  • Among the very popular dishes in Belgium are the carbonades of beef stewed in Belgian beer. In addition to over 300 varieties of beer, Belgian specialties include chocolate and wafflesBelgium 3311_o_alfred_stevens

Alfred Stevens (1823-1906) – A Japanese from Paris (1872)

http://wiki.cultured.com/people/Alfred_Stevens/

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

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

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Belarus

belarus-flagIts been a great opportunity this year for holiday celebrations to look for a global recipe that might fit or enhance the festive meal. Well, Belarus coincided with Passover and I found one for a Byelorussian Kolduny Potato Pancake stuffed with ground meat. I did have some ground beef in the fridge

I followed the directions for the pancakes exactly, using a grinder to make the potato “batter” and, although it was smooth, I could not “form” the batter into pancakes with the amount of flour recommended. I was hesitant to add that much more flour so I altered the cooking method, finishing all the pancakes in the pan on one side, flipping them, and added the meat patties. I covered the patty with the cooked side of the second pancake, then flipped the whole stuffed pancake. They were finished off in the oven and kept in the warming drawer until the meal.

Additions/Omissions: did not use the ground chicken so doubled the beef, chicken would have added more moisture to the patty

Taste Test: I obviously had some difficulty with this recipe, using ground chicken might have helped with the juiciness of the patty, but the recipe was scaled down so it is possible that the consistency issues of the pancakes resulted from this adjustment. I do not think that the ratio of flour to potato batter worked well here. All in all, the overall taste wasn’t bad, but I would probably look for a different recipe, if I ever made this again.

Zip Facts about Belarus:

  • Called Belarus since the 12th C, Belarus has fought hard for its independence, from its Russian takeover in the 18th C, its 1918 independent Belarusan Democratic Republic declaration, overthrown again to become the Belarussian Soviet Socialist Republic, which joined the Soviet Union in 1922 and seceded in 1991
  • In Belarus, rites of passage into adulthood include graduations from high school and from college and entry into military service and are grandly celebrated
  • Many popular Belarusan dishes are made with potatoes, which are plentiful and can be prepared in a great variety of ways. Hot borscht (originally from Ukraine) which is a traditional soup of beetroot and cabbage, is served as a first course in the winter months, and a cold dish in warmer weather
  • Both Christmas and Easter are very important holidays in Belarus and are celebrated traditionally with food, performances, and religious services. Christmas (Kolady) starts with a special meal on Christmas Eve (Kootia) with a dozen or more Lenten dishes served in order, a portion of which is set aside for familial ancestors
  • Belarusian straw weaving, an art form from the 17th and 18th C which created intricate figures and traditional animals presumably for nature worship, was revived in the mid 20th C by contemporary artists for more abstract expressions

belarus - savitskyMikhail Savitsky ‘Partisan Madonna (of Minsk)’. 1978. Oil on canvas. National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus

http://artbelarus.by/en/news/39.html

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

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

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Bahrain

bahrain-flagBahārāt, the plural of bahār (meaning spice in Arabic), is a great spice blend usually found in Middle Eastern cuisine, the components of which differ regionally and culturally. I have used this mix before, for both Iraq and Syria (click on Syria for my take on the spice blend recipe, which moves more toward the savory than the sweet), and I have come to appreciate the aromas and flavors of these various global seasonings (see Spice Blends).

Additions/Omissions: I only used baharat spice blend and omitted the khaliji mixed spice (Gulf Spices – Ibzar).

Taste Test: As you probably can tell, I really like the baharat spice blends.

Zip Facts about Bahrain:

  • In 2002, a new Constitution was created which stipulated an elected Parliament and gave women the right to vote for the first time in Bahrain
  • “Bahrain” in Arabic means two sources of water (the dual form of “bahr” or sea), salt water from the seas and sweet water from the springs
  • Standing alone in the Desert of Bahrain is the “Tree of Life”, a 400 year-old Mesquite tree, the water source of which is unknown
  • According to some scholars, the area surrounding Bahrain was the ancient land of Dilmun, which bears some semblance to the “Garden of Eden”
  • Generally, greetings are lengthy and everyone stands when someone enters the room. After shaking hands, touching one’s hand to the heart is a sign of affection.  Men and women may shake hands but only if initiated by the woman

Bahrain Yousif A4-221Nasser Al-Yousif (1940 – 2006), “Hope” 1978

http://www.nasseralyousif.com/Nasser%20AlYousif/Oils%20%26%20Acrylics.html

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

Link to Map:  https://theworldfrommykitchen.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/recipemap-asia1.pdf

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Bhutan

bhutan-flagKewa Datshi (potatoes with chillies and cheese) is a favorite Bhutanese dish, made with sun dried red and green chillies and local semi-dry cottage cheese.  The recipe I chose called for chili powder, which I used, but I am sure it would even be better with red and green chillies. There are other “Datshi” dishes you might also like to try: Ema Datshi, which are just the chilies with cheese, or add mushrooms to the basic recipe for Shamu Datshi.

Additions/Omissions:   I used equal parts of swiss and gruyere for the Kewa Datshi.

Taste Test: The chicken and cucumber dishes were also good.

Zip Facts about Bhutan:

  • Bhutan is a landlocked country and is considered one of the most isolated nations in the world, not only because of its geography but also intentionally to preserve its identity, traditional culture, and its environment
  • Business Week named Bhutan the happiest country in Asia and eight on the list of the happiest nations in the world
  • Bhutan is the only country in the world where tobacco sales are banned. Television and internet access were also banned until 1999
  • Colors denote social class and status in Bhutan’s mandatory dress code, traditional dress is knee-length for men and ankle-length for women
  • Polygamy is legal in Bhutan, but not very common. Marrying foreigners is not permissible

Bhutan IMG_1483Phurba Namgay, “Dragon Has Nice Tail”

http://theculturetrip.com/asia/bhutan/articles/blending-the-ancient-and-the-modern-bhutanese-thangka-painter-phurba-namgay/

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

Link to Map:  https://theworldfrommykitchen.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/recipemap-asia1.pdf

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Botswana

botswana-flagThis recipe reminds me of how much I don’t know about making pastry, even the savory kind.  I did have some issues with rolling and folding the dough.  I could tell that my pastry was a bit too thick when I cut out the 6-inch circles.  I tried to roll it thinner, but the pastry did not hold up to the filling.

Additions/Omissions:   I followed this recipe exactly, no modifications.

Taste Test:  The filling by itself was incredibly moist and flavorful.

Zip Facts about Botswana:

  • Botswana is one of the “Four Corners of Africa”, the only place in the world where four countries meet, joining Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
  • It probably does not rain money in Botswana, but the national currency is “Pula”, which means “rain”
  • Batswana (the plural form of people from Botswana) sometimes refer to foreigners as “lekgoa”, which could be translated as “spat out by the sea”
  • Botswana is the world’s largest producer of valued diamonds
  • Despite the fact that Botswana has the largest elephant population in Africa, the national animal is the zebra

Botswana - GolliferAnn Gollifer, “What am I Doing Here? Ke Dirang Ha?” exhibition

http://anngollifer.com/gallery_images/kedirangha/large/single%20large.jpg

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

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

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