Regular readers of Nation Plates may have noticed that I skipped a letter in Round One.
This project ain’t perfect – but it’s going to be good, and I’m trying hard. So I skipped Iceland in Round One because I couldn’t come across some hakarl, the rotten shark meat that is foisted upon tourists as the national dish of Iceland.
On paper, Albania has the potential to be home to one of the world’s great cuisines.
It’s at that cultural crossroads sweet spot occupied by precious few other places, a meeting point between Mediterranean and Eastern Europe, the Christian and Muslim worlds, Italy and Greece.
There’s something about the brassica family that generally doesn’t agree with me.
Fry up the onions and fennel, then add rice.
Maybe it’s the sulfury notes of broccoli or Brussels sprouts. Or perhaps it’s the bitter flavor of underprepared kale that burns me. Maybe it’s just the general consistency of the brassicas that sends me running and screaming.
Whatever you call it, don’t call me late to eat brassicas – because there is no late on “never.”
I feel like I undervalue the humble bean in my cooking. They’re so pretty to look at dried, and can taste great cooked even if they lose some of their aesthetic value. But I never try to grow my own beans; I don’t like to use canned beans but it’s a hassle to prep dried beans… at the end of the day, seems like beans just end up taking up space in my pantry looking good and not doing much.
I come from a family so (Euro)diverse that it’s probably best that I just check “American” for ancestry on my census form. There’s a fair amount of Italian, Danish and Irish, plus sprinkles of English, Welsh and who knows what else thrown in the mix.