Recap: The D’s, E’s, F’s and Two Detours (Greece and Germany)

Now that we’ve finished the D’s, the E’s and the F’s, plus two detours to “G” countries, here are some highlights from the fifteen countries that we visited:

Favorite home-cooked meal:

Jess: This is a tough one. I really liked the socca, the chickpea flour pancakes we ate during our French weekend. Plus, they were very easy to make, and didn’t require any modification to make them vegetarian-friendly. They’re also vegan and gluten-free, so they could accommodate a number of special diets. The Far Breton dessert was also delicious, though not as healthy and accommodating of special diets. I also enjoyed the koshary we made during our Egyptian globetrot a lot. Several of the dishes we made from the Latin American and Nordic countries were also quite good, but if I have to pick just one country and meal, I’ll go with France and socca.

Derek: One of the most enjoyable meals for me was the breakfast of topoi that Jess cooked for Fiji. The chewy balls were very fun to eat!

Favorite restaurant meal:

Jess: We didn’t get to go to very many restaurants during this particular round of countries. Technically, we didn’t go to a restaurant for Greece, but I’d pick it as my favorite meal out. It wasn’t the best Greek food I’ve ever had, but the atmosphere really couldn’t be beat.

Derek: Eating a delicious meal at the House of Hummus and then peering next door to discover that the adjacent Jerusalem Hallal Market sells not only groceries but a colorful array of carpets, clothing, brassware, and other imported essentials as well.

Most memorable “live” experience:

Jess: Again, I’m going to have to go with Greece. Not only did the Greek Fest have a lot of food, but they also had many cultural displays and presentations (which Derek took more advantage of than I did).

Derek: I was very fortunate to be able to stay a bit longer than Jess at the Greek Fest (who was busy cooking a Greek dinner). After hearing a talk on the music of the Greek Orthodox Church, I attended a second lecture on how to cook trahana which ended with an impromptu discussion of where one can harvest wild greens in the area.

Film I’d recommend:

Jess: My favorite film from this batch is Good Bye, Lenin! from our German globetrot. I think it gave us a good sense of a certain historical time period in German history (the reunification of East and West Germany), with some humor.

Derek: the French film Entre les murs, known in English as The Class, was interesting for me because it offered a (fictionalized) glimpse into the pedagogy of an inner-city school. I am always looking for ways to make my own classroom more engaging!

An activity I wish we had been able to find/try:

Jess: A lot of our dishes during our Fijian globetrot reflected Indo-Fijian culture. It would have been great if we could have also done more with indigenous Fijian cuisine. But, I did enjoy cooking with cassava for the first time–the pre-grated frozen cassava in our local grocery store was a wonderful find!

Derek: We missed a couple of stereotypical Finnish activities, namely sitting in a hot sauna and eating black licorice.

Most challenging country:

Jess: I was really intrigued by Equatorial Guinea because it bears the distinction of being the only Spanish-speaking country in Africa, but it was difficult to find information about it. I was also hoping we’d have lots of Spanish-African fusion recipes to follow, but didn’t turn up any in our search.

Derek: With a population of only 72 thousand people, Dominica was already going to be a challenge. But then we realized that a web search for “Dominican” anything was likely to turn up results for the Dominican Republic instead!

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