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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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

232px-Bahrain_2008_Nursing_b (1)


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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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Burkina Faso

burkina faso-flagGinger confit? Not having any formal training and learning as I go, I have heard about, but never made, duck confit. But ginger confit, was this a condiment or a method of cooking?

Confit comes from the French “confire” (to preserve), and was originally a way to slow cook foods like meats, fruits, and vegetables, and store in the sugary or fatty liquid to to form a barrier to bacterial growth. I recently learned that there is a big difference between barbecue and grilling (I probably watch a little too much “Chopped” on Food Network), and I believe the same analogy had been made between confit and deep frying, a matter of time and temperature. Low and slow, with the fat temperature between 190 and 200 degrees F.

So maybe it is just semantics, preparing a ginger “confit” to confit the chicken.

Additions/Omissions:  Always on the lookout for good substitutions for fish sauce (see link below for recipe)

Taste Test:  Very good

Zip Facts about Burkina Faso:

  • Formerly Upper Volta, named for the headwaters of three waterways, the Black, White, and Red Volta Rivers, Burkina Faso gained independence from France in 1960
  • Burkina Faso is second to South Africa in its production of GMO crops. As a landlocked country south of the Sahara Desert, drought is a major concern
  • In the Moore language, the country’s name means “Land of Incorruptible (or Honorable Men”)
  • Fertility rates in Burkina Faso are very high, Burkinake women average six children which has increased the population drastically in the last century
  • Africa’s most prominent film festival, the biennial Fespaco is held in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso HarounaHarouna Ouédraogo

http://harouna.centerblog.net/4.html

Link to Recipe: https://theworldfrommykitchen.wordpress.com/burkina-faso/

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

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