Italy

Benvenuto in Italia! Welcome to Italy! In my introduction to our Irish globetrot, I had talked about how some aspects of Irish culture, particularly St. Patrick’s Day, have seeped into American culture. I think Italy is similar, especially with regards to Italian or Italian-inspired cuisine in the United States–at this point, most Americans probably don’t…

Ireland

Dia dhuit! Hello from the Emerald Isle, aka Ireland. Having lived in Boston, we’re familiar with American interpretations of Irish culture, especially around St. Patrick’s Day: corned beef and cabbage, beer, and shamrocks galore. There’s that saying that everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day–I’m most definitely not Irish most days of the year, though Derek…

Hungary

Szervusz! Hello from central Europe, where we spent the weekend exploring the culture and cuisine of Hungary. If the name of the country itself is enough to whet your appetite, just wait until you see what we cooked up!

The Holy See

This weekend, our travels brought us to a “country” whose only sovereign territory is smaller than the city of Buffalo. The territory is so small, in fact, that it sits entirely within another nation’s capital. Give up? Our destination was none other than the Holy See—the secular authority over all 110 acres of Vatican City,…

Georgia

გამარჯობა! Gamarjoba! Greetings from the country of Georgia. Nestled in the Caucasus Mountains in the traditional border zone between Europe and Asia, this small republic sits at a crossroads between some of the world’s oldest civilizations. With that in mind, we knew that this weekend was going to be a real treat!

France

We didn’t forget about our final “F” country! We’re back to alphabetical order again with France. I think most Americans can identify something French in origin. Whether it’s crepes, Monet, a specific film, a wine, a cheese, an expression that’s been adopted into English vocabulary like “a la mode“–France has long been a cultural trendsetter….

Detour: Germany

Guten Tag! Another June weekend brings another globetrotting detour to a country whose name begins with a G—in this case, Germany. And once again, we were making the detour because of a local festival: not Greek Fest but Wurstfest. I had the pleasure of touring Bavaria (the country’s largest state) in 2008 with the Brandeis…

Detour: Greece

Yassas!  This weekend found us globetrotting to Greece. We haven’t forgotten about France, or the five other “G” countries that alphabetically come before Greece. We’re taking our first detour ever since we moved to Buffalo (and first detour since November 2015), because the Greek Orthodox church in our neighborhood, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, was hosting…

Finland

Hyvää huomenta! Good morning from Finland! Finland is one of the Nordic countries—together with Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland—but is not a part of the region known as Scandinavia. That distinction belongs to Sweden, Norway, and Denmark alone. While Swedish is also an official language of Finland, the Finnish language itself shares more in common with Estonian, the language…

Estonia

Tere! Our second globetrot of the spring took us to Estonia, one of the least-populated countries in the European Union and the northernmost of the three Baltic states, which also include Latvia and Lithuania. Today known for its booming tech industry (home to companies such as Skype) Estonia has had a long and delicious history at…