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WORLD FOOD FACTS - A

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AFGHANISTAN

CAPITAL: Kabul

NOTABLE RESTAURANTS: L'Atmosphere, Kabul; Flower Street Café, Kabul; Delhi Darbar, Kabul.

BREAKFAST: omelette or boiled eggs, cake, biscuits, or toast, rice with kofta, and tea.

SNACKS: Chai (tea)

BREADS: Mainly flatbreads such as naan, obi naan and lavash

CHEESE: kadchgall (ewe and camel milk), serat (sheep's milk), yoghurt and whey

POPULAR DISHES: qabli pulao (steamed rice with carrots and raisins), lamb or chicken kababs, lamb kofta

OTHER DISHES: mantu (steamed dumplings), shorma (soups)

PRODUCE: wheat, barley, maize, rice, grapes, apricots, pomegranates, melons, plums, berries, oranges, melons, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, saffron and pine nuts.

NEED TO KNOW: Eating with right hand, scooping food with bread.

UNUSUAL FOODS: A special meal served on a cloth on the floor is called dastarkhan or sofrah.

FESTIVE FOODS: Qabeli palau - Rice with chopped and fried carrots and raisins served at weddings.

HEALTHY EATING: always drink bottled water, without ice. Avoid eating ice cream or sherbet, or undercooked dishes, especially meat or fish.


ALBANIA

CAPITAL: Tirana

POPULAR RESTAURANTS: La Tavernetta, Tirana; Sofra e Ariut (The Bears' Table), Tirana; Villa Ambassador, Tirana.

BREAKFAST: pilaf, kukurec, f�rges� tirane, fried meat, eggs, tomatoes and liver.

SNACKS: thin, crisp pastries (identical to the Greek phyllo) with nuts, sugar or honey, cinnamon, and cloves.

BREAD: flat pancake-shaped corn bread.

CHEESE: kos (yogurt made from goat's or ewe's milk),

POPULAR DISHES: gjell� (slow-cooked meat), chicken livers, dolma (stuffed vine leaves), skewered meats, quofte (meatballs).

OTHER DISHES: pilaf, salads, seafood, pickled cabbage, cold fruit or vegetable soups, halva (halva), baklav (baklava)

PRODUCE: seafood, rice, olives, olive oil, lamb, mutton, dairy foods, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, and hazelnuts, corn, wheat, rye, oats, and barley, oranges, lemons, figs and berries, vegetables.

NEED TO KNOW: Lunch is the main meal.

UNUSUAL FOODS: stuffed sheep's intestines (kukurec).

HEALTHY EATING: Drink bottled water.


ALGERIA

CAPITAL: Algiers

POPULAR RESTAURANTS: Le Tantra, Algiers; Auberge du Moulin, Algiers; Le Dauphin, Algiers

BREAKFAST: tea or Turkish coffee and pastries.

SNACKS: sharbats - fruit or nut-flavoured milk drinks, sahlab , a sweet, milky drink, sweetened mint tea, brochettes or shawarma (kebabs)

BREAD: baguette, khabz (flatbread)

CHEESE: one soft cheese has an artichoke in the middle.

POPULAR DISHES: couscous with lamb, chicken or fish and vegetables, mechoui, a whole spit-roasted lamb, chick pea cakes, tajines and shakshusa (stew); chakchouka (eggs and spicy vegetables;)

OTHER DISHES: food is seasoned with ginger, saffron, onion, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, parsley, and mint; spicy merguez sausage, basbousa (Egyptian semolina cake), tamina (roasted semolina with butter and honey).

PRODUCE: wheat, fruit, dates, figs, vegetables, lamb, fish,

NEED TO KNOW: alcohol sales are limited, available in better restaurants.

UNUSUAL FOODS: wheat that ferments in silos is called mashruwwb?t and is used to make an alcoholic drink.

HEALTHY EATING: drink bottled water.


AMERICAN SAMOA

CAPITAL: Pago Pago

POPULAR RESTAURANTS: Sadie's Restaurant & Bar, Pago Pago. http://www.sadieshotels.com/

BREAKFAST: supoesi - soup of pawpaw and coconut cream.

POPULAR DISHES: Fia fia (suckling pig, or other meats, wrapped in taro leaves and cooked in the umu, or pit oven), fish, chicken and seafood.

OTHER DISHES: canned meat, and fish, palusami, or lu'au - cooked taro leaves, coconut cream and onions wrapped in uncooked taro leaves and cooked in an umu, or pit-oven.

PRODUCE: taro, yams, manioc, breadfruit, coconut, bananas, lime and mango, fish and seafood, tuna.

NEED TO KNOW: kava can numb the lips and tongue slightly.

UNUSUAL FOODS: Kava is a sedative drink made from the roots of a the kava plant

HEALTHY EATING: drink bottled water.


ANDORRA

CAPITAL: Andorra la Vella

POPULAR RESTAURANTS: Restaurant Can-Pere, Anyos.

BREAKFAST: Cereal, fruit and cold meats.

SNACKS: Pica-pica - tapas-like small dishes.

BREAD: Light crusty bread.

CHEESE: Brossat, a fresh sheep's milk cheese, sometimes served with sugar or honey, formatge de tupi -cheese fermented with garlic and brandy.

POPULAR DISHES: Trinxat - pork, potato and cabbage, spinach, raisins and pine nuts barejada (peasant's stew of meat beans and vegetables)

OTHER DISHES: Snails a la llauna, quince alioli, masegada cakes.

PRODUCE: Meat is raised, but almost all other food is imported.

NEED TO KNOW: This is refined mountain cuisine, Catalan with French influences. A 'borda' is a typical rural inn.

UNUSUAL FOODS: Pica-pica are tapas-like snacks served with wine.


ANGOLA

CAPITAL: Luanda

BREAKFAST: Manioc or corn porridge with meats.

SNACKS: Fruit is sold by street vendors

POPULAR RESTAURANTS: Luanda's restaurants include Farol Velho, Bordao, Coconuts and S. Jorge in the island. Chinese in Chicala, Clube dos Empresarios, and Tamarindo in downtown; Cine Luanda a little further and Arco-Iris in front of the quay to Mussulo.

BREAD: fried breads; chikuanga is a manioc bread wrapped in banana leaves.

CHEESE: Portuguese-style Manteiga cheese

POPULAR DISHES: Calulu, a dish of dried fish or meat layered with fresh fish or meat, onion, tomatoes, okra and sweet potato leaves, chicken muamba, mufete de cacuso - fish seasoned with pepper and lemon, and farofa (cooked manioc flour).

OTHER DISHES: cocada amarela, a sort of coconut custard is a popular dessert, doro wat (chicken stew) and nitter kibeh (a buttery sauce).

PRODUCE: rice, yams, maize, manioc, chicken, cassava, seafood, milk.

NEED TO KNOW: This is spicy food with Portuguese, Indian, Malaysian and European influences.

UNUSUAL FOODS: On Island Party day in November fruit and cooked food is thrown in the water for good luck. Catatos are garlic-fried caterpillars!

HEALTHY EATING: Many dishes are made using palm oil. Drink bottled water without ice, and be careful of cheeses, peeled fruits, green vegetables. dairy foods and any foods that are not cooked quickly at a high heat.


ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

CAPITAL: Saint John's

POPULAR RESTAURANTS: Curtain Bluff Resort, Old Road Village, Dogwatch Tavern & The Deck, Jolly Harbour East, Carlisle Bay Antigua, The Beach Restaurant, Dickenson Bay, Le Bistro, St Johns, The Cove Restaurant, Boons Point.

BREAKFAST: Saltfish, eggplant (troba), eggs and lettuce

POPULAR DISHES: Dukuna - sweet, steamed sweet potato dumpling, fungi - a cooked paste made of cornmeal and water and pepper pot, saltfish, lobster

OTHER DISHES: Jerk pork, roti, spicy Creole dishes, goat water stew.

PRODUCE: Sugar, seafood, rum, goat, tropical fruit.

NEED TO KNOW: Sunday lunch is a big family meal.

UNUSUAL FOODS: Hibiscus juice and soursop juice are popular drinks. Mauby juice is made from sugar and the bark of a local bush of the buckthorn family, and seamoss is made from coastal algae. Local black pineapple is also popular.


ARGENTINA

CAPITAL: Buenos Aires

ETHNIC INFLUENCES: Spanish, German, Italian - varies between regions.

POPULAR RESTAURANTS: La Bourgogne, Alvear Palace, Buenos Aires; L�Orangerie, Alvear Palace, Buenos Aires; La Brigada, Buenos Aires; Restaurant Las Lilas, Buenos Aires.

BREAKFAST: Dulce de leche on toast, coffee or yerba mate, croissants, churros.

SNACKS: Schnitzels, also in sandwiches, and empanadas.

BREAD: Crustless white bread (miga), patay (carob bread) in north-west, pan casero, made with manioc flour. A panaderio is a bread store

CHEESE: Queso Mar del Plata, queso Colonia, musarela (like mozzarella), provolone, goat cheese, chubut.

POPULAR DISHES: Empanadas (small meat turnovers), parrillada (barbecued meat), beef dishes (lamb and goat in Patagonia).

OTHER DISHES: morcilla (blood sausage), chorizo (sausage), chimichurri pepper sauce, dulce de leche (caramelised milk).

PRODUCE: Beef, lamb, goat, wheat, corn, milk, beans, soybeans.

NEED TO KNOW: The asado is a barbecue and some restaurants specialise in grilled meats. Dinner can be late, around 9pm.

UNUSUAL FOODS: Yerba mate is a type of tea sipped through a straw from a special cup. 'Policeman's or truckdriver's' dessert is cheese with quince paste.

HEALTHY EATING: Red meat, especially beef is a staple of the Argentinean diet.


ARMENIA

CAPITAL: Yerevan

ETHNIC INFLUENCES: Mediterranean, the Caucasus, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Balkans.

POPULAR RESTAURANTS: N�ran Guin (The Color of Pomegranate), Yerevan; Bellagio, Yerevan; Urarto, Yerevan.

BREAKFAST: cereal, eggs, omelettes, tomatoes, zeppoli (like doughnuts), coffee bread and jam,

SNACKS: boeregs

BREAD: Lavash flat bread, paghach flaky bread, matnakash leavened bread

CHEESE: labneh - yoghurt cheese,

POPULAR DISHES: stuffed cabbage leaves, stuffed vegetables, mezze appetisers, lahmajoun - thin pizza, boeregs - meat pies, grilled kebabs on skewers, herrisa - chicken stew.

OTHER DISHES: tahini, chee kufta, raw meat patties, okra and chicken stew (bami shokeb), topi - a large vegetarian ball, eetch, bulgur salad like tabouli.

LOCAL DRINKS: tahn - sour milk drink, beer, brandy, oghi (mulberry vodka), pomegranate wines.

PRODUCE: fruits and vegetables, lamb, maize, rice.

NEED TO KNOW: Haikakan style coffee is Armenian-style. Snack bars are strictly stand up and eat. Haggling is expected at markets.

UNUSUAL FOODS: Mahlab is powdered black cherry pits, used as a spice, chechil (tel banir) - braided and pickled string cheese.

HEALTHY EATING: Drink bottled water.


 

ARUBA

CAPITAL: Oranjestad

ETHNIC INFLUENCES: Dutch, Caribbean

POPULAR RESTAURANTS: Aqua Grill, Palm Beach; Driftwood, Oranjestad; Blossoms, Palm Beach

BREAKFAST: pastechi, similar to an empanada

SNACKS: pastechi

BREAD: corn bread, banana bread, pumpkin bread.

CHEESE: Dutch cheeses such as gouda.

POPULAR DISHES: Keshi yena (Gouda cheese packed with a spicy chicken or beef and then baked), stob� (lamb or goat stew), cala (bean fritters).

OTHER DISHES: Pastechi (meat- or cheese-stuffed turnovers), ayacas (leaf-wrapped meat rolls), funchi, a cornmeal pancake, pan bati, corn pudding formed into pies, soppi di pisca, fish chowder flavored with coconut.

LOCAL DRINKS: Soft drinks, Desnoes and Geddes flavors such as kola champagne and ginger beer. Rum punch. Tamarind juice.

PRODUCE: Little is grown locally. Seafood is plentiful.

NEED TO KNOW: Aruban style fish is pan-fried in a Creole sauce or in garlic butter. The Aruba Gastronomic Association (AGA) often offers special discounts to encourage travelers to sample the local cuisine.

UNUSUAL FOODS: Pan bread with vinegar sauce.

HEALTHY EATING: Tap water is said to be safe to drink.


AUSTRALIA

CAPITAL: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

ETHNIC INFLUENCES: Asian, European

POPULAR RESTAURANTS: Tetsuya's, Sydney; Quay Restaurant, Sydney; Flower Drum, Melbourne.

BREAKFAST: Cereal, toast, eggs, sausages, fruit 

SNACKS: Meat pies, sandwiches

BREAD: Sliced breads, sourdough, all varieties

CHEESE: Cows milk and goat cheeses 

POPULAR DISHES: roast lamb, fish and chips, meat pies, lamingtons, pavlova.

OTHER DISHES: Italian and Asian food is popular.

LOCAL DRINKS: Beer, wines, spirits and liqueurs. 

PRODUCE: Almost any food can be grown in Australia.

NEED TO KNOW: Mod Oz cuisine is contemporary Australian food, often using elements of various cuisines. BYO means that you make take wine to drink in a restaurant. Australians believe the true pavlova (a meringue dessert) was created by chef Herbert Sachse at the  Esplanade Hotel in Perth in honour of Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. New Zealanders claim it as their recipe.

UNUSUAL FOODS: 'Bush tucker' includes indigenous foods including emu, kangaroo, and native fruits and seasonings. Witchetty grubs are large fleshy grubs. 

HEALTHY EATING: Tap water is safe to drink.


AUSTRIA

CAPITAL: Vienna

NOTABLE RESTAURANTS: Coffee shops originated in Vienna. They serve coffees, cakes and light meals.

* The oldest coffee shop still in use, established in 1824, is Caf� Frauenhuber where Mozart is said to have performed.

* At Cafe Demel you may view the kitchen through a glass window and see strudel and other delicacies being made.

* Best schnitzels are said to come from Figlmuller. 

* Great experience: Sacher Rote Bar overlooking the Vienna State Opera in the square outside.

BREAKFAST: (Fr�hst�ck) rolls, coffee, sausage, even goulash.

SNACKS: Open sandwiches (belegte Brote), wurstsemmel, a roll filled with a sausage, cheese and pickle, available from butchers or delicatessens. Bosna (or Bosner) are available at sausage stands (w�rstelstands)

BREAD: Bread shops sell excellent seeded wholemeal bread and rolls

CHEESE: Liptauer

POPULAR DISHES: goulash, wiener schnitzel, strudel, sachertorte, linzertorte

OTHER DISHES: noodles, broiled beef (tafelspitz), dumplings (sch�berln), fruit dumplings (zwetchgenkn�deln)

PRODUCE: freshwater fish, beef, apples, cabbage, game

NEED TO KNOW: The main meal is usually at lunchtime.

UNUSUAL FOODS: goulash is sometimes eaten for breakfast

HEALTHY EATING: Very strict government controls are imposed on food producers.


 

AZERBAIJAN

CAPITAL: Baku

ETHNIC INFLUENCES: Turkey, central Asia, Iran

POPULAR RESTAURANTS: Karavan Sarai, Baku; The Oilman's Inn, Baku.

BREAKFAST: hash - boiled hoof served with garlic-vinegar and a shot of vodka. 

SNACKS: aromatic green leaves called goy, chorek (bread), tomato and cucumber salad, white cheese or qatik (sour yoghurt).

BREAD: lavash flat bread, chorek - round loaves 

CHEESE: white cheese (like fetta)

POPULAR DISHES: Dolmas - stuffed grape leaves, yoghurt soups, plov - saffron rice, shashlik, kebabs, kufta - bulgur and meat paste. 

OTHER DISHES: Balq - fish kebabs, qutab - stuffed pancake, pakhlava (baklava), halva 

LOCAL DRINKS: black tea, sherbert - a sweet cold drink, kvar - non-alcoholic fermented drink, made from malt.

PRODUCE: herbs, fresh fruit and vegetables, mutton and lamb, seafood, caviar.

NEED TO KNOW: Most fresh caviar is fully authentic but illegally poached.

UNUSUAL FOODS: A tart pomegranate sauce is called narsharab

HEALTHY EATING: drink bottled water, eat well-cooked meats.

 

Want to add anything? What is YOUR favourite dish or place to eat in any of these countries?

 

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