In no relevant order...
Austria - Most for the wonderful Erdapfelschmarrn, but also the Wiener Schnitzel
Argentina - Yay empanadas
Algeria - A lot of flavor in the couscous dish
Afghanistan - Tumeric chicken is a good way to start this thing
Azerbaijan - Grape leaves and Danielle do not mix.
Antigua and Barbuda - Overcooked. :-( Someone has to try this one and tell me how it actually tastes
Angola - Just kinda bland chicken
Albania - Who knew that veal could be that bad?
That's probably not what you came here for, although I would love to hear your opinions if you tried any of these or questions you have. It is nice to know if people are reading. :-)
"Discovery": San Salvador, one of the island of the Bahamas, was where Christopher Columbus first set foot on the New World
Location: Chain of islands southeast of Florida and northeast of Cuba
Size: Less than 14,000 sq km, slightly smaller than Connecticut
Population: Little over 300,000, 177th in the world
Median age: 29.9, which is much younger than most others I have seen, only 5.9% of their population is 65 and older
National anthem: "March On, Bahamaland!"
History: Many pro-British loyalists moved to the Bahamas after the Revolutionary War. Gained independence from Britain in 1973
The Bahamas started out like pretty much any other week. I looked for recipes. I picked one out. However, I was a little worried about the authenticity. I wasn't sure if I was actually finding recipes from the Bahamas or recipes of things people had eaten there. Based on the information and repetition of recipes I found a recipe for Chicken Souse. It is a spicy dish that I thought would be a little bit out of my comfort zone. Then everything changed. That requires a story.
Back when I hadn't been living here too long, before I had a job, Kevin recommended I go explore the city while he was at work. He also recommended that maybe, just maybe, the embassies might be able to help me with this quest. They were here in DC, right? Maybe they had some ideas.
One of my adventures brought me near Embassy Row, so I decided to check it out. It was the week of Angola, where I was having a lot of issues with finding something. I thought I might as well go for it, and tried e-mailing the Angolan Embassy. Yes, they have an e-mail address on their website. An AOL e-mail address. It came back saying that the inbox was full. Well harumph. Maybe I could stop by?
I had no idea how kosher this kind of thing was. But as I was walking past a lot of them, they had office hours. Maybe Angola would too?
|Embassy of Angola.|
|A bit utilitarian...|
...Please find below a couple of authentic Bahamian recipes. Peas Soup and Dough is excellent any time of day, although many people eat it for lunch. It is a bit heavy for breakfast, but that's up to you. The other dish, guava duff, is like our national desert. Made properly, it will blow your mind. [The secret is in the sauce. Pay extra careful attention to that!]
Generally, the recipes you find online as "Bahamian" are someone's modification of a Bahamian dish. True Bahamian cuisine is very simple, full of big flavours and easy to prepare. We do NOT use fruit in our savory dishes - that is from the other side of the world. In terms of where to get the ingredients, you can find them in most grocery stores that have a Latin food aisle.
I hope this helps!
Please let me know.
Peas soup and dough
Ingredients: 2 oz. pork fat, 2 oz. onion, 3 oz. flour, 4 oz. tomato paste, 2 oz. diced tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, 10oz. pigeon peas, 8 oz. salt beef, 1 qt. water, salt Tabasco sauce
Dough: (6oz. flour, water, ½ oz baking powder)
Method : Cut the pork into ½ inch dice and fry in the oil until brown. Add the herbs and flour and cook for 2 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, add the paste, peas, salt beef and water. Stir, bring to the boil and skim.
Simmer for ½ hour, add the dough and continue cooking for 1 hour. Season to taste. Note: Canned kidney beans may be used instead of pigeon peas.
Dough: (Combine the flour, baking powder and sufficient water to make a firm dough. Knead well. Allow to rest for 15 minutes, and then roll out and cut into one-inch squares). (Serves 6)
Ingredients: (Dough) 4 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 ½ tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, ½ cup vegetable oil, 2 cups finely sliced guava
Methods: Combine all dry ingredients and mix together. Add oil. Knead approximately 10 minutes until smooth and pliable. Place on a flat
surface and roll out to ¼ in. thick. Spread sliced guava over dough. Roll up into a long round loaf. Wrap in foil. Cook in a double boiler for 1 hr.
Ingredients: 1 lb. butter, ½ cup sugar, 2 8oz. tins sweetened condensed
milk, 1 cup finely sliced guava, ¼ cup brandy (substitute vanilla
extract for brandy)
Method : Blend butter and sugar together approximately 15 minutes. Add
condensed milk and guava and blend 2 minutes. Add brandy (or
vanilla) and blend 1 minute.
Cut dough into slices. Pour sauce over dough. (Serves 8)
Khyle Quincy Parker
Embassy of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas...
Holy crap. Obviously I immediately changed my plans and went back out to the international store. There was definitely some new stuff in there.
And yes, if you look these up, you can find these exact recipes online. But I guess that means that that website is authentic. And that was a lot of thats.
My first hurdle was the pork fat. I found some pork fat back at the store and thought that was the end of it. Oh what little did I know.
|Yay fa...wait, what?|
|Scoring the fat.|
|Measuring the fat.|
|The back of the skin, once de-fatted.|
|Not sure if this was working out as intended.|
|Mmmm, cooked fat.|
|Add herbs and flour.|
According to the ever-accurate interwebs, salt beef is called corned beef elsewhere. So that is what we went with. No hash though.
|Silly peas. You were at the wrong store.|
|Nice and workable.|
|There was a dough convention in the pot.|
As this boils, it was onto the duff! I had never worked with guavas before, but was happy to find them at the store. In cans. I didn't know that they were stuffed with seeds, and that led to some problems...
|Lots and lots of guavas.|
|They looked real, as if at one point they had actually been on a tree rather than in a lab.|
|Cut off the ends.|
|Roll it out and cut it up.|
|Uh-oh. That is not three cups.|
Then things got frustrating. If you read the recipe for the dough, it seems like something is missing. No liquid other than the vegetable oil. Not enough at all. I couldn't even get it all to be damp, none-the-less dough-like. I added more vegetable oil. And a little bit more. Things weren't working. I went and watched Kevin play football for a while because I just didn't know what to do. Things weren't looking so good.
After the break, I went back and worked it some more. I eventually got it to resemble dough slightly, but never completely right. Rolling it out was an interesting adventure.
|Stick, kinda grainy mess.|
|Somehow I got it rolled.|
|Not very smooth.|
|All rolled up.|
|That's what fit.|
|That was all left.|
|Not much can go in there...|
|Heart attack, anyone?|
|There was a bit of a thin film on top because of the lack of stirring.|
|Kevin and his milk.|
|Add salt at the end.|
|Looks much different after being served/stirred.|
Time to fast forward to the completed duff.
|It is completed, right?|
|That would be a no.|
|Here's what ended up coming out of the oven.|
Overall, I think the Bahamas had some potential, but the directions didn't give enough information to really follow through.
So that is my first adventure with an embassy. I'm trying it again, although I think my next country has some other things to worry about...
Side note: I don't fully know how Blogger works. Does it let you know when someone comments after you, so you can see their response? I'm looking to you, Katie.
Until next time, eat good food!
Oh, and yes, we made Simpsons jokes.
Last time: Azerbaijan
Next time: Bahrain