(129) Ethiopia – Berbere Chicken with Ethiopian Lentils

Here we are, one country over from Somalia! Ethiopia also sits beside Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, South Sudan, and Kenya. Other than its tasty coffee, Ethiopia is known for believing in 13 months are apart of the year, over half of the continents mountains are found here, and vegetarianism is very common.

Blue Nile Falls. Source: matadornetwork.com

Ethiopian cuisine as stated above can often leave have absence of meat. Injera, a fermented pancake-like flatbread is commonly used to scoop up the stews such as wat, a spicy meat stew. When meat is on the menu it is often full of heat that can pack a punch. Due to religious reasons pork and shellfish are less commonly found and consumed here.

The dish we made has a special seasoning called berbere, that is made up of several warming spices. The seasoning’s name comes from the Ethiopian word barbare meaning “hot” or “pepper” and was thought to have originated when Ethiopia controlled the Red Sea route on the Silk Road back in the 5th century. The lentils also share the berbere flavors making the entirety of the meal peppery, heated, and hearty.

I chose to use canned lentils which the original recipe had not called for. I would recommend using dried lentils so they could absorb the flavor and increase the depth of the meal. The food preparation and cooking is pretty simple with equal time of active and passive cooking.

I really enjoyed this dish savoring the heat and subtle sweetness. The chicken was very tender and had a crispy skin which so stinkin good! The flavors overall were unique and the vegetable blend was nice. We rated this one 7/10- Ian is not a lentil fan and would have rated higher if it was paired with rice.. something we will have to try!

(128) Somalia – Bariis Maraq (Somali Beef Stew with Spiced Rice)

A unique aerial view of the Somalin coast. Source: earth.com

Somalia brings us to 128, an East African country positioned in the Horn of Africa. It can be found abutting Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, and the Indian Ocean. I didn’t realize this very dry, arid country had such vast coastlines (over 2,000 miles)! Another fact about Somalia is this is where the dromedary camel was domesticated.

Somalia has several specialty dishes including today’s meal and has been influenced by many cultures. The civilizations that helped shape Somali cuisine include Turkish, Arab, Italian, East African, and Indian. As many here practice Islam religion you will not find pork in their cooking. Customary foods of Somalian cuisine include various flatbreads, fava beans, hummus, rice, an array of warming spices, and surprisingly spaghetti! Mutton, beef, chicken, and even camel are proteins used. After eating in a Somali home you will likely experience the burning of incense or frankincense which is common practice.

Bariis Maraq is the national dish of Somalia and like many national dishes is eaten at celebratory events and gatherings. It can be prepared with either chicken, camel, mutton, fish, or less commonly beef and has a distinctive spice blend known as xawaash which translates to “spices” in Somali.

I was able to process the spice mixture with my cute little mortar and pestle set. Spices I was unable to get whole I replaced it with the appropriate converted powdered amount. I always revel in the toasting of spices and how it not only can transport the flavors in a dish, but your kitchen as well! As weird as it may sound cinnamon and tomato are a match made in heaven🌤️ 😇

This beef stew had a unique blend of flavors with a nice intense spice that warmed the palate. The bananas, cilantro, and lime helped tame the heat and the meat was very hearty making the dish feel like a hug in a bowl. We enjoyed this one rating it 8/10.

Bariis Maraq (Somali Beef Stew with Spiced Rice)

This warming stew has a unique blend of spices sure to please a crowd. The leftover spice mixture can be used in various ways to bring your meal to the next level.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine African, Somalian
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

Xawaash Spice Mix

  • 1/2 cinnamon stick broken into 1/2 pieces
  • 1/4 cup coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric

Stew & Rice

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 6 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 2 sliced red onions divided
  • 6 finely chopped garlic cloves divided
  • 1 lb beef chuck cut into 3/4" pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 7 cups water divided
  • 2 peeled russet potatoes cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 peeled medium carrot cut into 1/4" thick half moons
  • 1 sliced red bell pepper
  • 5 tsp kosher salt divided
  • 1 3" cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 sliced medium tomato

For Serving

  • 2 sliced bananas
  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  • 1/4 bunch of cilantro roughly chopped
  • green or red Somali hot sauce optional

Instructions
 

Spice Mix

  • Toast spice whole ingredients in skillet at medium heat for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned and aromatic, remove from pan and set aside.
  • Once spices cooled transfer to mortar and pestle or grinder to mix spices well, add in turmeric after and transfer to air tight container.

Stew and Rice

  • Allow rice to soak in large bowl in cold water, set aside.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in Dutch oven or large saucepan at medium heat. Add in half the garlic and onion stirring occasionally until just starting to soften and become translucent. Add 1 tbsp of the xawaash spice mix that was just made and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add beef and tomato paste mixing in well then add 3 cups water. Cover to cook until beef is cooked through at a simmer, about 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes add in carrots, potatoes, and peppers for about 15 minutes. Vegetables should be cooked and beef tender. Season with 1 tbsp salt. Thin water if needed.
  • Drain rice and heat up remaining oil (1/4 cup) in large saucepan at medium heat. Add the rest of the onions and cook until starting to become translucent. Add in the rest of the garlic along with aromatic spices cooking until aromatic for 1 minute. Add in tomato for 3 minutes (should start to break down). Add rice and cook for 5 minutes until lightly fried.
  • Bring 4 cups of water to boil in small saucepan then add water to rice along with 2 tbsp of xawaash spice mixture and 2 tsp of salt. Stir well and reduce heat to low to cook covered until rice is done and liquid absorbed (20 minutes.)
  • Remove rice from heat and lightly fluff with fork, divide rice serving stew over. Add in serving ingredients as desired and enjoy!
Keyword Africa, African, Beef, Beef Stew, Somalia

(127) Algeria – M’thouem (Garlic Meatballs in Spicy Red Garlic Sauce)

Source: kayak.com

Algeria is a North African country situated between Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, and Alboran Sea. 80% of Algeria is made up by the Sahara desert. The country is known for its artisanship- pottery, carpet weaving, and wooden sculptures.

The cuisine of Algeria is made up of several cultures; Berbers, Romans, French, Spanish, Turks, and Arabs. Common spices used in their cooking includes cumin, caraway, fennel, coriander, and marjoram. A typical Algerian meal will consist of meat (lamb, beef, or poultry), bread, fresh herbs, vegetables, and oil. Couscous is another staple of the Algerian diet. Pork is not consumed due to the majority of the country being Muslim. One would traditionally eat an Algerian meal at a low sitting table using their right thumb, index, and middle fingers.

Mtewem which is Arabic for “with garlic,” is classically prepared in a tajine pot with either a white sauce or spicy red sauce. The meatballs can be made with either ground lamb, chicken, or beef and like the name implies LOTS of garlic!

I found the dish was easy enough to prepare. The meatballs were not perfectly formed and seemed to fall apart a little while cooking. I used canned chickpeas to cut preparation time as well which is usually my go to! I used a mild olive oil as my cooking oil. To add a little more to this meal, all though not traditional we added jasmine rice.

This dish had slight flavors of cumin and lemon which was a nice pairing, the main character however was garlic! It overall felt light and healthy to eat. The almond flavor was mild, but enjoyable. We also discovered meat balls and chickpeas work well together! We just wished the sauce was more abundant. The dish was rated 8/10.

Algerian Hirshon Garlic Meatballs in Spicy Red Garlic Sauce

A flavorful meal of meatballs and chickpeas with subtle flavors of lemon and almonds
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine African
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Meatballs

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 head of garlic
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sauce

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1/2 head of garlic minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp harissa can use paprika
  • 1 15.5 oz can of chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup almonds Marcona if you can find them- ground
  • 3 tbsp argan oil or other neutral oil
  • 6 tbsp water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Extras

  • 1/2 cup parsley chopped
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • bread optional for serving

Instructions
 

  • Start making meatballs by kneading ground beef in bowl with a few tbsp of water. Keep kneading until all water is incorporated- this will increase meat tenderness.
  • Add the remaining meatball ingredients to bowl and mix well. Oil hands with neutral or argan oil and make walnut-sized balls transferring balls to platter.
  • Add meatballs to skillet/large sauce pan with warmed oil at medium heat. Brown on all sides and remove from pan. Add onions and cook until golden. Then add garlic, chickpeas, spices, ground almonds, tomato paste, harissa, and meatballs. Add enough water to cover everything and allow to cook for 20 minutes at medium low heat (until meat is tender).
  • Once meatballs are cooked through remove from pan and reduce sauce for an additional 10 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
  • To serve return meatballs in sauce and top with fresh parsley and lemon slices. You may also serve with bread to help absorb the sauce.
Keyword Algeria, Chickpeas, Meatballs

(126) Cameroon – Ndolé

Ekom Nkam Waterfall. Source: Wikipedia

Welcome back, for our 126th country we traveled to Cameroon. Cameroon is part of Central Africa and can be found bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, Nigeria, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo. The country is well known for its’ native music, 200+ linguistic groups, and football (soccer) team. Another interesting thing about Cameroon is that the country is actually named after shrimp! The name comes from the Portuguese word camaroes due to the abundance of ghost shrimp in the Wouri River that runs through the country.

Cameroonian cuisine is a mix of several African cultures due to the many countries it borders. You can expect to see an array of fruits and vegetables on the menu along with maize, peanuts, and rice. The country’s cuisine has Portuguese, French, and German influence however it sticks to its roots with honoring cultural traditions. The dish made today features the crustacean the country was named after. You can find the recipe here.

Ndolé is the best known dish of Cameroon and very popular in the country. Shrimp of course is the star of the dish, but it can be made with stewed beef or fish. The ingredient list is relatively simple, however the recipe I had used didn’t have one of the classic ingredients- plantains. Cooking was easy and straight forward.

So we felt this Cameroon dish had a subtle nut flavor in the broth, however the taste in general was more on the bland side. We felt it could have been better with more garlic and ginger. Additionally we thought it could have had more elements to make the dish stand out. We felt underwhelmed and gave it 5/10- Cameroon has been added to the new recipe list!

Next we will share our experience of Algerian cuisine 🍽️

England Day 4 – Toad in the Hole

We had to leave you with the most interesting dish for last.. Toad in the hole is yet another unique English creation from the 18th century consisting of Yorkshire pudding with sausages and herbs. This was another dish that was developed by the lower class using common ingredients to make a meal with sustenance to yet them through the work day. Originally meat such as sausage was more expensive so game, fowl, or even kidney meat was used.

If your are wondering where the name stems from you aren’t alone! We were quite curious to discover the reason behind the cheeky name. It literally was named after the title suggests- toads peering out of crevice. Another thought to the name came from a golf tournament in Northumberland where a toad poked his head out of a hole which caused the golfers ball to pop out.

The key to making the Yorkshire pudding is chilling the batter and pouring it into the hot baking pan to get a dramatic rise. It is a simple enough recipe if you follow the steps. As for the onion gravy you essentially caramelize the onions and get a jammy consistency that makes for a good pairing to the pudding and sausage. This heavier meal works well with a vegetable side of salad.

This last dish was a nice sweet and savory combination. The pastry was soft and we found the onions to be especially sweet. It was yet another meal like no other and fun to make. This dish was worthy of 7.5/10.

Toad in the Hole

This humorously named dish is easy to make if you follow the directions to a T.
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine British, English, European
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Toad in the Hole

  • 1 cup flour + 1 tbsp (140g)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup low fat milk + 1 tbsp (200ml)
  • 8 pork sausages we used a link of kielbasa that we cut into smaller pieces
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to preference

Red Onion Gravy

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 red onions sliced thinly
  • 2 tsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups hot beef stock (480ml)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 fresh thyme sprigs

Instructions
 

  • First you will make the pudding. Place flour in a jug and form a well in the center. Add eggs to the middle and whisk with the flour gradually working from the center out. Add milk and whisk well. It will likely be a lumpy in texture which is fine.
  • Allow batter to refrigerate for 1 hour (can chill longer but no longer than over night). The chilling will allow for a good rise!
  • Preheat the oven to 425F. Place sausages/kielbasa in a large baking dish and drizzle oil over them. Place them in the oven to cook 15-20 minutes or until browned. While this cooks slice the onions.
  • Next is the fun part! Take out the pudding mixture and add in salt and pepper. Safely, open the oven door and pull out the tray quickly pouring the batter over the sausages/kielbasa. Close the door immediately and allow to cook for 25-35 minutes. The pudding should rise and be golden in color.
  • While this cooks it's time to make the gravy. Place oil and butter in a large fry pan at medium heat. Place onions and sugar into pan reducing the heat to medium-low. Allow onions to cook for 15-20 minutes giving a stir every few minutes. The onions should caramelize. Heat beef stock at this time.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the onions cooking for 2 minutes. Add the hot stock and whisk until the gravy thickens. Add the salt, pepper, and Worchestershire sauce and keep at low heat to keep warm.
  • Once the Toad in the Hole is done allow to cool 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle thyme over the top and serve with red onion gravy. Enjoy!
Keyword England, toad in the hole, Yorkshire pudding

England Day 3 – Lancashire Hotpot

Day three in England we tried another popular dish with a cool name- Lancashire Hotpot. This dish is encompassed by layers of beef or mutton, carrot and onion, thinly sliced potatoes, and an herb butter. Traditionally mutton or lamb kidneys was used due to its accessibility along with other root vegetables. Another comforting dish that is hearty on its own or can be paired with other vegetable side dishes. The name “hotpot” is thought to have one of two meanings- either derived from the word “hodgepodge” due to the layers of ingredients or named after the dish used to make the stew. Either way the name is just as charming as the dish.

The dish was born during the Industrial Revolution in Lancashire. Although the local business of cotton was successful, the workers were paid poorly. Due to the low income and long work hours the creation of this meal gave the workers energy after stewing all day. Potatoes were extremely available due to their ease to grow and really give beauty to the layers of the dish. It is key to slice them thin to give them a crispness.

For the recipe I referenced the cooking time was significantly less than what had been done in the past, but I’m sure their are more traditional ways to prepare the meal that includes hours of slow cooking. I used stew beef as we are not fans of lamb and it was easy to cook. I liked that I used one pot essentially to cook everything. I removed the cooked elements and resembled them in the neat layers you see here. Man do I love my Dutch oven!

What a classic European dish. The meat was tender, check; the gravy was smooth, check, the potatoes were buttery, check check! The variety of veggies was solid and well seasoned. We rated this one 9/10! 🤩

Lancashire Hotpot

Look no further for a hearty meal that will keep you warm on a cold winter's night. This is a crowd pleaser!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp butter 1 tbsp reserved for brushing
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb lamb/beef I used stew beef, traditionally lamb neck/shoulder is used
  • 2 onions thinly sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups chicken/vegetable stock hot
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to preference
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1.5 lb potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp thyme

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325. Melt butter and veggie oil in oven safe pot/dutch oven on medium low heat. Fry meat until lightly browned then remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add onions to pain cooking until soft stirring occasionally. Then return meat to the pot and add the flour allowing to cook for a minute. Add stock, bay leaves, seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce mixing well. Bring mixture to gentle boil. Place in oven and cook for 30 minutes covered.
  • Once 30 minutes have passed add the carrots. Layer the thinly sliced potatoes starting along the outside and working into the center. Top with melted butter and thyme (or any other herbs you'd like). Place back in the oven, covered for 1 hour.
  • After an hour turn heat up to 400 and remove cover allowing it to cook for an additional 30 minutes. Serve with salad or other veggies and enjoy!

England Day 2 – Bubble and Squeak

Could a recipe with a name like this be bad? This English classic can be enjoyed at any time of the day and is named after the sound it makes while cooking over a fire. Traditionally either Brussel sprouts or shredded cabbage, thin cut beef, and mashed potatoes made up the trifecta that is “bubble and squeak” but this has since developed over the years. Of course in modern times other vegetables, different cuts of meat, various cooking oils/fats have been used.

Essentially you make a mashed potato “pancake” much like Irish boxty. We took the original recipe’s idea and fried an egg to serve on top which isn’t a usual B & P ingredient. This is a great dish to make if you have leftover potatoes! If you notice it wants to break apart using a tablespoon or two of flour will help. Another way this recipe strayed from the classic was the use of smoked bacon vs thinly cut fried beef (no complaint here). We also suggest trying it with ketchup.. sorry if that is a disgrace England 🤷‍♀️

Another day, another potato pancake. This was similar to others we had tried, but unlike the others it broke apart while I tried to make them. I thought egg and flour would have helped this dish out, but it was good nonetheless. The ingredients paired well and makes for good breakfast food. Ian discovered these buggers are great with ketchup! This one got a rating of 7/10 -8/10 with ketchup 😛

(125) England Day 1 – Chicken and Mushroom Pie

Welcome to England where we will spend 4 days having classic dishes that make you think “quintessential England.” Most of these dishes we had never heard of, but we won’t be forgetting them that’s for sure!

Source: sykescottages.co.uk

England is apart of the UK and borders Wales, Scotland, the Irish Sea, the Northern sea, the English Channel, and neighbors with Ireland and the Isle of Man. With all that said you can never be further than 70 miles from the ocean due to its several coast lines. England is the largest country of the United Kingdom and mostly comprised of flat land, however the northern aspect has its mountains and hills. It is home to Stonehenge in the South and Windsor Castle just west of London.

A traditional English meal consists often of meat and vegetables. Potatoes are a common staple whether it be in their main form or in fry form (fish and chips anyone?). Roasting, smoking, boiling, and pie making are some of several different preparations of food. Cornish pasties, scones, and Yorkshire pudding are some of the classic treats enjoyed here.

Chicken and mushroom pie is a common pie enjoyed throughout Great Britain complete with a creamy filling and a puff pastry crust. This flavor combination is one of the most popular and we can see why! The actual origins of chicken pie are found in Greece where they started serving artocreas without the pie top. The Romans later on added a top crust which made the beginnings of the chicken pies we known and love today.

In the 16th century when Britain began to make their own chicken pies they were decorated with flowers and other fancy designs mostly for the royals or the higher class. I couldn’t locate the origins or history of this particular flavor pairing however I’d assume its simple ingredients made it easier to prepare throughout the region.

I was left with extra filling (the issue with converting a 8 small pie recipe to 1 large pie) however that really wasn’t much of a problem! I skipped the traditional short crust pastry and regret not attempting it at this time, but I feel this was one I made during the week and it was just a lot easier to attempt with a premade crust. I had no issues getting all the ingredients and the filling prep was easy.

For our first day in England it was well spent. Thyme was a flavor note that carried through the dish, the filling very cream and stew-like. The mushrooms brought a subtle nuttiness, overall the flavors were very comforting. Unfortunately the crusts were too tough to eat (over cooked 😣) which would get a big thumbs down from some of you diehards out there, but trust us it was worthy of a 8.5/10 rating!

England’s Chicken and Mushroom Pie

This savory pie has a nice creamy filling that pairs well with the tender chicken and mushrooms. This recipe uses premade pie dough to keep things simple!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine British, English, European
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb chicken breast cut into cubes
  • 10.5 oz chestnut mushrooms sliced
  • 2 medium leeks finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter softened
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup double cream heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1 egg + 2 tbsp water whisked together for brushing
  • 1 premade pie crust I used Pillsbury

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet add the olive oil turning the heat to medium. Allow leeks to cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken and cook on all sides for about 5 minutes, then add in the mushrooms. Pour in the wine and season with salt and pepper. Allow the wine to evaporate then add a third of the chicken stock. Let it simmer until the chicken is fully cooked.
  • In a saucepan add the butter and allow it to melt on medium-low heat then whisk in the flour. Add in the remaining chicken stock and whisk to prevent lumps from forming. Turn the heat to low and allow the sauce to thicken. Once thickened add to the pan with chicken. At this time preheat the oven to 375
  • Add the thresh thyme and double cream cooking for another 5 minutes until fully incorporated and thickened more.
  • Grease pie plate and place 1 layer of pie dough in plate, press the bottom down to fit the sides. Add filling to nearly the height of the plate to decrease the chances of it bubbling over (like mine did). Secure top pie dough on top using fork to press down edges. Brush with egg wash and place in oven cooking until golden brown- rotate half way through if oven isn't convection. Baking time should take 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Allow pie to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. We ate the pie without sides but if you are feeding a crowd side dishes of mashed potatoes, salad, or sautéed green beans are good options!

Notes

I had additional filling that didn’t fit in the pie- I adapted the original recipe in which 4 smaller pies were made using homemade dough.
Keyword Chicken, Chicken Pie, England, Europe, European, Pie

(124) Isle of Man – Buttery Scallops

Source: planetware.com

The Isle of Man is a self-governing land under the British Crown Dependency. It was home to Vikings over 1,000 years ago and is full of dramatic landscapes. The island is 30 miles long by 10 miles wide and use to have its own language called Manx, however it has since died out.

The Manx cuisine largely consists of local seafood and due to its location has similar cuisine of its near by neighbors. Cattle, pigs, and sheep are locally raised on the island. Queen scallops, fondly known as “Queenies” are a delicacy found on the island. The island is also known for its dairy products and local sheep, Loaghtan, which has a desirable dark, rich flavor that attracts top chefs. The dish I made for the Isle of Man honors their prized queenies. Unfortunately between my original preparation of the meal and writing up the post the recipe is no longer available and I haven’t been able to find a similar recipe.

Preparation was straight forward if you have even sautéed scallops before. The sauce I made for the dish used a lot of butter so I had to be mindful it didn’t brown or burn. Luckily Maine scallops were on sale so I was able to get the best quality seafood for the meal, yum!

Buttery and rich scallops- what is there not to like? The meal was simplistic but packed a decedent punch with a lovely sauce. We definitely thought the meal needed a solid side, but what we had to try was great. 7.5/10 was our final rating. I will keep an eye out for the recipe and hope to be able to share that with you soon!

(123) Greenland – Suaasat

Greenland is a very large island country found up north between North America and Europe. It is the world’s largest island and 12th largest country in the world which borders the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. Despite its size it has the lowest population density of about 56,000 people. Greenland is actually part of the kingdom of Denmark, the Faroe Islands also being apart of this kingdom. Opposite as the name implies Greenland is actually made up of 80% ice and is the home to the second largest ice sheet in the world.

Source: global.udn.com

Cuisine of Greenland is limited to its natural resources which include an array of game, the diet consisting of high amounts of protein. Over time with international trading the cuisine and culture has been influenced by Canada, Denmark, England, and America. Some of the more traditional foods of this nation include mattak (underlying layer of fat from a whale), lumpfish roe, musk ox, ptamigan, a medley of local seafood, and of course suaasat.

The national dish of Greenland is suaasat, which is a traditional soup that includes local game like seal, whale, seabirds, or reindeer. The seasoning is simple consisting of salt, pepper, and fresh herbs and thickened by either rice or barley. You can find the recipe here.

It was tricky finding a dish to represent Greenland since most traditional meals include local game such as seal and reindeer. Luckily the next closest thing to reindeer is venison (thank you Eric for the meat)! I also had barberries on hand (which isn’t traditional) so I opted to use them vs the dried cherries. I don’t think the flavor would have been dramatically different. Of course if you don’t have access to venison or any kind of game meat I think chicken or beef would be acceptable substitutes!

This dish was unlike any other that we had tried so far- soup with berries was a new one for us! The soup gained a sweet note from the berries and a highlight of tart/tanginess from the lemon zest. The venison and veg mixture was very hearty. I enjoyed the consistency the barley brought to the soup which one can compare to a wild rice soup. It wasn’t our favorite, but respectable- 6.5/10. I would be very curious about what whale or seal could bring to the flavor profile vs the venison…