About the food of Syria

Lattakia Beach. Photo by Taras Kalapun.

Oh, Syria. This wedge-shaped land spreads from the west, where she dips delicately into the Mediterranean sea, back to the east, up, over the mountains, all the way to the Iraqi border. Along the way, her cliffs and canyons smooth out into hot desert and scrubby grasslands. Lost, towards the south, is the ancient city of Damascus, quite possibly the world's oldest city according to National Geographic.  While Damascus has all the allure of a teeming city and world heritage site, the fun … [Read more...]

About the food of Switzerland

Maps and flag of Switzerland, plus photo of the Mudac Museum for Contemporary Applied Arts in Lausanne. All courtesy of the CIA World Factbook.

The thing I remember most about Switzerland was skiing in the Alps. I remember, because I came ridiculously close to dying. I was a novice, skiing on a slope at least one level beyond my own . It was late afternoon and the snow that had melted slightly in the warm noonday sun had now begun to refreeze and harden. Suddenly, my skis caught in the ice and I could no longer get them to behave. Instead of turning with the rest of the skiers, I continued straight, towards a beautiful overlook. … [Read more...]

About the Food of Sweden

Delsbo, Photo by Calle Rosenqvist.

While I haven't been to Sweden, I have dated a Swede. And that just might be everything, ever. At least, when it comes to Swedish food. The one thing about dating a genuine Swede, is that you might begin to think you're in Sweden for the duration of the relationship; their national pride and is that strong. Especially if he still lives with his mother.   And why not? This is a stunning land, full of thick, verdant forests, airy, breathtaking mountains, and the crunch of … [Read more...]

About the food of Swaziland

Swaziland. Photo by Jenny M. Buccos.

This week we're back in Africa, in a little tropical/temperate country called Swaziland, just north of South African and Lesotho.  The Swazi people live in this beautiful land, among the mountains and undulating hills, tending their farms and rearing their cattle. From their smooth slopes, come pineapples, citrus, and sweet sugar cane. Many call Swaziland one of the world's most beautiful countries, and I can see why. While the traditional people might eat something as simple … [Read more...]

About the food of Suriname

Nieuw Amsterdam. Photo by  We El.

Welcome to Suriname; welcome to South America. We haven't cooked this part of the world in many months. And, in many ways, today might feel like we're still somewhere else. That's because Suriname's food scene is all about fusion. A melting pot, of sorts. The food is at once typical of South America, but also laced with components from Indonesia, China, Africa, India, and even Europe. Surely, this is because of Suriname having once been a Dutch colony. Long ago, the Dutch connected the … [Read more...]

About the Food of South Sudan

South Sudanese children. Photo by Photo Credit: Karl Grobl, Education Development Center Inc.

It is a rare thing to bite into a new country; so often we think of our geopolitical landscape as static. But countries are no more static than the mountains which shift and crack, and spew forth anew from the earth's molten core. There are surges and separations, and somehow, from the same old earth, something new emerges. Which brings me to this week. South Sudan. The world's newest country (as of July 9, 2011). She's hot, tropical, and bursting with jungle and swampland. She's … [Read more...]

About the food of North Sudan

Market in Darfur courtesy of COSV.

If you wander through the deserts and hot winds of Sudan, you'll be rewarded with a collection of richly spiced and lemon-laced foods, and even cooling cucumber and yogurt salads [Recipe]. You'll recognize many dishes traditionally enjoyed by the Sudanese from our previous Global Table meals, such as ful medames (also enjoyed in Egypt), kofta, and basboosa (beloved throughout the Middle East). That basboosa cake? It's soaked with lemon and rosewater syrup. I could eat that … [Read more...]

About the food of Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan elephants roaming in the Kaudulla National Park. Photo by Christophe Meneboeuf ( http://www.pixinn.net)

This week our kitchens take us to the small, pear-shaped island country called Sri Lanka. She's just southeast of India, loaded with tropical hills, mountains, and a fresh, dreamy sort of ocean breeze. She was once known as "Ceylon," a name which can still be found in the tea that grows abundantly on her slopes. Between the crocodiles, monkeys, and elephants, her lush forests hide coconut trees, one of the staple ingredients in Sri Lanka. So beautiful... My friend Ruby's … [Read more...]