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Cook food from a country you know nothing about

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Get a taste of global perspective from your own kitchen. From Azerbaijan to Uzbekistan, from Mali to Madagascar, there’s a whole world of cuisine that you may never have tasted. You could start on this page for “Global Table Adventure”: More than 600 recipes from every country in the world are linked there.

Pick any country and look up recipes from that nation. As you cook and eat, take a moment to learn why this particular food has become part of your chosen nation’s cuisine. If “you are what you eat,” you might just nosh on more global knowledge than you expected when you try this.



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Stories (4)

  • Ayako Ezaki

    Last year, when cooking together with a local friend who comes originally from the Gambia, I looked up the Gambia-related recipes on Global Table Adventure and tried it with the friend. I'd know a bit about the country because of learning about it from the friend, but cooking and trying out the typical Gambian taste helped make the experience more personal.

  • Patrick Holmes

    Then pick up a good book about the country. A well written book, non biased book, possibly written by someone from there. Then you will see that, us, the west, has had a very big impact on why they are in the situation they are in. Eat the food devour the knowledge. For dessert go someplace where you can meet someone form this country ask them about it, ask them why it is in trouble. For an after dinner drink go to this country find out for yourself why it is in the mess it is in. I have good Russian friends, Ukrainian, Italian, Malaysian, Polish, and so on friends, because I get a much better prospective of my place in the world by having these friends, a multi cultural group of people to break bread with. I do this all the time, eat their food and they eat mine. We need more friends from these countries to talk to.

  • Emily Dilling

    I grew up, like most Americans, with a fridge full of sauces. Standards like ketchup, mustard, and mayo lined the refrigerator door along with an array of salad dressings and sometimes something more exotic from abroad- like a ginger soy sauce marinade or any extra spicy salsa. It never occurred to me to make my own sauces and, when first confronted with making a very basic roux, I was intimidated and frightened. “You don't know how to make a roux!!” my Louisianan college friend admonished me, as I averted my eyes from the burning flour in the pan. This was meant to be the base of a vegetarian gravy for my first Thanksgiving dinner away from home, but it was quickly becoming unsalvageable. Luckily, the New Orleans native came to the rescue of my roux and I went back to buying condiments and sauces from the supermarket.

    Fast forward to many years later when I found myself in France, the land where sauce salade grows dusty on grocery store shelves and a béchamel is whipped up in a matter of minutes. Even my first Parisian boyfriend- whose cooking repertoire was maxed out at butter pasta and a cheese plate-would be inspired to whisk up a batch of fresh mayonnaise in honor of the arrival of spring artichokes.

    I decided it was time to overcome my fear of sauces and embrace the power of emulsion. I started small, with simple vinaigrettes; balsamic, dijon, etc. Then I got more adventurous. There's nothing better on a cold Paris night than a swiss chard gratin. On one such winter night I decided to once again tackle the roux. Whisking together butter and flour I was careful not to burn either, but watch them turn golden and bubble. Slowly adding milk I negotiated the balance between liquid and thick, adding a dash of nutmeg at the end. Pouring the sauce over my steamed swiss chard and topping it all off with a sprinkle of gruyère before popping it into the oven, I felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.

    With my first successful béchamel I left behind my dependency on store-bought sauces, learning to make my own mayonnaise and marinades and many other things along the way. Now the jars in my fridge are reused and filled with the favorite things I've learned to make while visiting Paris markets; rhubarb compote, nettle pistou, soupe de poisson. Now I know for sure that even if I leave France to go to my homeland, I'll never go back to buying sauce salade.

  • Sasha Martin

    It took us almost four years but we did it! We ate food from every country in the world. The best parts of the entire experience were:

    - My formerly picky husband now looks at food as an adventure, not an attack.

    - My little girl, now almost 5 years old, has grown up with an inherent appreciation and curiosity regarding other cultures and their foods ("Mama, what country is this from?" is a daily question).

    - I got to satisfy some of my wanderlust by looking at beautiful photos from around the world and learning more than I could ever imagine.

    My favorite countries to cook were the ones I didn't even know existed. My world feels at once bigger and friendlier than ever before.

    Recipes from all over the world are now in our dinner rotation - Frankincense ice cream, Vietnamese spring rolls, Syrian Kebabs, Mongolian Carrot Salad... and on and on... Now that I've cooked the world, I don't think I'll ever stop. The adventure continues!