A journey through the world’s food cultures 2.0

Here we are on a new adventure to discover the typical dishes of the world’s food cultures.

The onset of cold weather makes us dream of hot and exotic destinations, such as Africa. And it is precisely here that we will resume our journey, heading towards one of the countries that hosts the highest number of animal species: South Africa. South African cuisine is a communion of flavors and dishes from all over the world. It is particularly affected by Dutch, Indian, British and Malay influences. In the country we can distinguish two different centers of culinary culture. The first is Cape Malay cuisine, where Cape Town’s traditions meet Indonesian ones, resulting in extremely spicy dishes. Bobotie is an example. It is a very spicy minced meat pie, topped with an egg and sambal sauce. The second gastronomic center is Durban. Here, the proximity to the ocean leads to a prevalence of fish dishes, mainly cooked on the grill: from crustaceans such as lobsters and oysters, to fish such as kingklip and snoek. Must try all over South Africa are vetkoekpotjekosmelktaert and red meat.

Cold weather and Christmas lovers will enjoy a trip to Northern Europe, instead. In Swedenhusmanskost (i.e. Swedish home cooking), is characterized by the massive presence of berries, mushrooms and tubers that accompany meat and fish dishes. One of the typical dishes is now found all over the world, in Ikea’s shops, which have made them famous. We are talking about köttbullars, meatballs (also available in other variations), which are accompanied by mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam. Herrings are everywhere. They are prepared in every way: marinated, fried, smoked. But desserts are the masters. What we know under the name of cinnamon rolls are actually called kanelbulles. Then there are gingerbread cookies (pepparkakor), rabarbero cake, kladdkakaprinsesstårtalussekatt and semla.

Homeland to the gastronomic capital of Latin America (Lima) is Peru. A mystical country, full of charm and rich in history, a melting pot of many peoples. Precisely for this reason, its cuisine is extremely varied. The place’s original ingredients include several superfoods among berries, cereals and vegetables; many varieties of potatoes and about thirty types of corn. It is impossible to forget that here are some of the finest coffee beans in the world, as well as cocoa and the fruits of the Amazon. The symbolic dish is undoubtedly the ceviche, consisting of chunks of fish, lime juice, onion, chilli and salt. Also worth tasting are the pollo a la brasa, spiced chicken cooked on the grill, and all the chifa dishes, which are the recipes blending Peruvian and Cantonese cuisine.

They try everywhere to reproduce its signature dish, but the paella that you can eat in Spain has no equal. There are different variants, but the original one comes from Valencia. Saffron rice combined with a mix of white meat, seafood (the so-called mariscos), and veggies creats a unique and inimitable combination of flavors. Other must try are: gazpacho, the cold soup made with tomatoes and other vegetables, and tortilla, the potato frittata, which is often found among tapas. They are soft, sweet and tasty and they are called churros. They are fried-dough pastry sticks covered with  sugar. In the Spanish tradition they are served with a cup of hot chocolate in which you can dip them before enjoying them.

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