Around the World in 80 Dishes

Andrew Zimmern, the chef and host of Bizarre Foods, once remarked during an interview that "[f]ood is the simplest way to learn about another culture."  That concept -- learning about cultures through cuisine -- led me to pursue a personal challenge.  I wanted to travel across the globe on a culinary adventure inspired by Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days. However, rather than completing this adventure in 80 days, I decided that it should involve 80 Dishes ... one main course from 80 different countries. This adventure would take me to more than just Egypt, India, China, Japan and the United States. I wanted to visit many more places, like Ethiopia, Mongolia, Uruguay, and Andorra, where the cuisines are not as well known, thereby providing me with an opportunity to learn about new cultures.

Returning to Andrew Zimmern, he also once advised, "be a traveler, not a tourist," and, "look beyond what's right in front of you" because it is a key to understanding the world in which we live. This advice guides me on my personal culinary adventure. With each challenge, I spend a lot of time researching the country, along with its cuisine and culture. I examine recipes and try to ascertain their historical and cultural importance. I also try to make, not just a main course, but also appetizers, side dishes and even beverages.  This makes each challenge not simply about a dish, but an experience.  It takes a lot of time to prepare for each challenge, and not everything that I read makes it into every post.  However, I try to approach each challenge, as well as each blog post, with one objective: to leave after each "visit" to a country with not only the knowledge of how to cook a dish, but also a better understanding of the culture and cuisine of that country.

I hope you will join me on my personal, culinary adventure. Each country that I have "visited" or each challenge that I have completed is listed below (with the dish that counts toward my challenge being underlined):


1.       Ethiopia
          Doro Wat (Spicy Chicken in a Red Chili Sauce)
          Yataklete Kilkil (Vegetables with Garlic and Ginger)
          Tej (Ethiopian Honey Wine)

2.       Czech Republic (Czechia)
          Veprova Pecene (Roasted Pork)
          Houskove Knedlicky (Bread Dumplings)

3.       Bangladesh
          Makher Taukari (Fish Curry)
          Bangladeshi Jasmine Rice

4.       Jamaica
          Jerk Chicken
          Ginger Beer

5.       Iran
          Kebab-e Jojeh (Chicken Kabob)
          Salad e-Shirazi (Tomato Cucumber Salad)

6.       Ecuador
          Ceviche de Corvina (Black Bass Ceviche)
          Locro (Creamy Potato Soup)
          Aji Criollo (Ecuadorian Hot Sauce)
          Cuaker (Oatmeal Beverage)

7.       Democratic Republic of Congo
          Chicken Moambe

8.       Greece
          Psari Spetsiotiko (Fish Baked with Tomatoes and Bread Crumbs)
          Domatokeftedes (Tomato Fritters)
          Tzatziki (Cucumber/Yogurt Sauce)
          Aginares Latheres (Artichokes with Vegetables)

9.       Mongolia
          Hushuur (Fried Meat Dumplings)
          Guriltai Shol (Meat and Dough Soup)
          Suutei Tsai (Milk Tea)

10.     Cuba
          Ropa Vieja
          Congri (Cuban Red Beans and Rice)
          Cuban Sofrito

11.    Libya
         Khalyat Alkadba wal Galoob (Fried Liver and Heart)
         Hararat (Libyan Five Spice)

12.    Paraguay
         So'o-Yosopy (Beef Soup)

13.    The Philippines
         Adobong Manok (Chicken Adobo)
         Tahong Ng Sabaw (Green Mussel Soup)

14.    Mozambique
         Matata (Clam and Peanut Stew)
         Camarao Mozambique
         Piri-Piri Sauce

15.    Uruguay
         Chivitos al Pan

16.    Andorra

17.    Haiti
         Griots (Haitian Fried Pork)
         Diri Kole ak Pwa (Red Beans and Rice)
         Accra (Malanga Fritters)
         Soupe aux Pois Rouges (Red Bean Soup)
         Bonbon Sirop

18.    Bhutan
         Kangchu Maroo (Pig Trotter Curry)
         Ema Datshi (Chile Cheese Stew)

19.    Eritrea
         Tsebhi Sega (Spicy Minced Meat)
         Eritrean Berbere
         Tegelese Tesmi
         D'Nish Zigni (Fiery Potato Stew)

20.    Australia
         Carpetbag Steak

SP.   Tibet 
         Sha Momos (Tibetan Meat Dumplings)
         Sepen (Tibetan Hot Sauce)
         Po Cha (Tibetan Butter Tea)

21.    Mauritius
         Mauritian Duck Curry
         Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)

22.    India
         Rogan Josh
         Daal Saag (Split Lentil Curry)
         Vegetable Pullao

23.   Pakistan
        Karahi Gosht

24.   Lebanon
        Shish Taouk

25.   Laos
        Beef Larb

26.   Morocco
        Mechoui (Meshwi)
        Chickpeas with Mint, Scallions and Cilantro

27.   China
        Peking Duck

28.   Italy
        Cuscusu (Couscous with Fish)
        Polenta Pasticcata al Gamberi (Polenta with Shrimp)
        Ostriche Arrosto (Roasted Oysters)
        Cozze allo Zafferano (Mussels with Saffron)
        Polpette di Pesce in Umido (Fish Meatballs in Broth)
        Calamari Piccanti (Spicy Calamari)
        Insalata di Polpo e Patate (Octopus and Potato Salad)

29.   Croatia

30.   Djbouti

31.   Panama
        Sancocho de Gallina

32.   South Korea
        Saengseon Gui (Grilled Fish)
        Olingeo Gui (Spicy Grilled Squid)
        Gulmuchim (Seasoned Fresh Oysters)

33.   Guyana
        Guyanese Goat Curry

34.   Ghana
        Jollof with Rice
        Chichinga (Goat Kebabs)

35.   Tonga
        'Ota 'Ika

36.   Myanmar
        Durus Kura

37    Dominican Republic
        Chivo Guisado
        Batida de Lechosa

38.   Belize 
        Recado Negro

39.   Somalia
        Surbiyaan Hilib Adhi (Lamb with Rice)

40.   Spain 
        Pato a la Jerezana (Jerez Style Duck)
        Gazpacho Andaluz

SP.   Palestine
        Chicken, Onion and Sumac Casserole
        Farmer's Salad (Palestinian Salad)
        Nine-Spice Mix

41.   Dominica
        Mountain Chicken with Provisions

42.   Gabon
        Coupe Coupe

43.    Turkmenistan
         Dograma (Shredded Meat and Bread Stew)

44.    Canada
         Bannock with Chokecherry Syrup

45.   Ukraine

46.  Portugal 
       Caldeirada de Peixe
       Polvo a Lagareiro

 47.  Sri Lanka
        Kukul Mas Curry
        Pol Sambol
        Dried Shrimp Sambol

       Marshallese Grilled Fish
       Grilled Pineapple

49.  Argentina
       Tira de Asado


The culinary adventure continues.  Here are some challenges that are in the works: 
       The Gambia
       Trinidad & Tobago
       Chicken Pelau
       Green Seasoning
       Saltfish Buljol
       Tomato Choka

       Beef Pho
       Asparagus Wok-Tossed with Mushrooms      

       South Africa
       Durban Curry

Please check back every once in a while to see what will be my next challenge, as well as what I learned from each experience.