A-Z tour of Latin America – Argentina

Sticking with A’s, we board an Aeroflot Ilyushin Il-76 and continue our culinary journey with an 18-hour, 15,668 km, direct flight to Argentina (in-flight movie – ‘Taken 3’, vegetarian option – chicken). Touching down at Buenos Aires International Airport, we take a cab to the tiny unspoilt fishing village of Mar del Plata where, overlooking the deserted picturesque bay, we …

A-Z tour of the world – Afghanistan

After the media sensation and critical acclaim of our ‘Celebration of Europe’ culinary road trip (‘A timely reminder of the beauty of cultural diversity’ – The Daily Mail), we thought we’d further defy the lockdown and travel the globe alphabetically in search of exotic treats and exciting flavours. Afghanistan seemed the obvious place to start as a, it starts with …

Braised aubergine with yoghurt dressing – Banjaan borani

Having acquired a taste for lockdown travel we thought we’d take a relaxing last-minute weekend break to Afghanistan. Along with the Speedos, flip flops and factor 50, we packed Parwana – Recipes and stories from an Afgan kitchen – the latest addition to the culinary wing of the Yumblog library. Banjaan borani is the first recipe taken from this book, …

Braised pointed cabbage with melted Emmental and crispy crumb topping

So after queueing for only ten hours at Passport Control, here we are back in Blighty (108,013 mainly avoidable Covid deaths and counting). We had filled our suitcases with all sorts of tasty European goodies gathered on our tour but regrettably, after negotiating the barbed wire and daisy cutters of no-man’s land, all were confiscated by a UK border guard …

A celebration of Europe #17 – Luxembourg

In contrast to yesterday’s simple snack, today we’re heading to Luxembourg for something a little more refined. Luxembourg, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a landlocked country in Western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south. As of 2020, Luxembourg citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access …

A celebration of Europe #16 – Lithuania

To be fair this ridiculously simple starter/bar snack may not be the best showcase for Lithuanian cuisine but apparently it’s a national institution and turns out to be very tasty to boot. Lithuania is a developed country with an advanced, high-income economy, a very high Human Development Index, a very high standard of living and favourable performance in metrics of …

A celebration of Europe #14 – Italy

Arguably an obvious choice. Undeniably a tasty one. There was mild panic when a trip to Sainsburys was met with an empty shelf where the Mozzarella should have been. Hopefully this was down to an oversight by the manager rather than a consequence of Brexit, but it is too dismal to speculate. On the fruitless walk back along London Road …

A celebration of Europe #9a – Finland

From Estonia we head north a little bit to Finland, a Nordic country located in Northern Europe. Finland shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, and Norway to the north. Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life and human development. In 2015, …

A celebration of Europe #8 – Estonia

Today we are eating pie in Estonia, a country in Northern Europe which borders the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland. Including more than 1,500 islands, its diverse terrain spans rocky beaches, old-growth forest and many lakes. Estonian citizens receive universal health care, free education and the longest paid maternity leave in the OECD. It is one of the world’s …

A celebration of Europe #7 – Denmark

Denmark is a Scandinavian country comprising the Jutland Peninsula and numerous islands. It’s linked to nearby Sweden via the Öresund bridge. Denmark is considered to be one of the most economically and socially developed countries in the world. The country ranks as having the world’s highest social mobility, a high level of income equality and the lowest perceived level of …

A celebration of Europe #6 – Czech Republic

The challenge Yumblog faces as a vegetarian/fish/seafood blog, is that many countries in Project EU lean towards a meat-centric and essentially pig-based diet. Added to this, fish dishes from landlocked countries invariably feature carp – a best-avoided flaccid, grainy creature which tastes of mud and has a texture not dissimilar to tripe. On a 2009 visit to Prague (some photos …

A celebration of Europe #5 – Cyprus

After the main course, where better to have puds than 1,898 km away on the sun drenched Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Officially called the Republic of Cyprus (this is probably not the best forum for discussion of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus), it is the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. On 1 January 2008 …

A celebration of Europe #2 – Belgium

Unfortunately Andrew the Fishmonger was closed today so we were forced to resort to the Sainsbury’s chiller cabinet of vacuum-packed disappointment. As I picked over the hermetically sealed packets of sweaty fillets I couldn’t help but recall the magnificent fresh fish departments of Spanish supermarkets. Anything with a gill, tenticle, sucker or shell that had ever swum, slithered or drifted …

Laugeneck

Along with the pretzel pre-injected with butter, the Laugeneck has been one of the more innovative baked-goods finds from our many visits to the bakeries of Berlin. This triangle of loveliness is essentially a cunning hybrid of croissant and pretzel, taking the chewy butteriness of the former and encasing it in the salty crunch of the latter. Unusually for Yumblog, …