Czech Food - Svickova

Svíčková Na Smetaně, Czech Republic’s National Dish

Svíčková, which you might remember from my review of Bohemian Spirit Restaurant, is a curious dish. Take its name, for example. The recipe’s full name in Czech is svíčková na smetaně, meaning tenderloin with cream. Literally, svíčková means little candle, and is used to designate the tenderloin — because of its shape. Obviously. But in many cases, […]

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Kazakh Cuisine - Beshbarmak

Beshbarmak, Kazakhstan’s National Dish

Here’s a dish that fits with my current Central Asian travel story series and also helps me keep my New Year’s resolution: beshbarmak, Kazakhstan’s National Dish. Kazakh cuisine borrows heavily from its neighbors, and doesn’t count many dishes it can genuinely call its own. This isn’t much of a surprise when you consider that one […]

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Albanian Cuisine - Tavë Kosi and Qofte

Tavë Kosi and Qofte Të Fërguara, Albania’s National Dishes

I’m finally starting to act upon my New Year’s resolution of blogging more national dish recipes! Earlier this month it was Liberland, now it’s Albania’s turn. And you even get two dishes for the price of one: tavë kosi and qofte të fërguara. Tavë kosi is a baked dish of lamb and rice covered with yogurt (in […]

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Bosanski Lonac

Bosanski Lonac, Bosnia’s National Dish

Call it my resolution for 2015: I’ve decided to extend (complete?) my collection of national dishes this year. I’ve already covered Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, maybe a couple more, so I’ve got, what, a mere 20 countries left? Today is Bosnia’s turn, with Bosanski Lonac. Bosanski Lonac simply means “Bosnian pot”, which makes me wonder if […]

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Bigos, Polish Hunter's Stew

Bigos, Polish Hunter’s Stew

A national dish of Poland, bigos is a traditional meat-and-cabbage stew, often referred to as a hunter’s stew. The history of bigos stretches back to the 14th century: supposedly, Lithuanian Grand Duke Jogaila, who became king of Poland, served it to his hunting-party guests. The stew is also mentioned in Pan Tadeusz, an epic poem written by Adam […]

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Georgian Food - Imeretian Khachapuri

Imeretian Khachapuri, or Simple Georgian Cheese Bread

I’ve written countless times about khachapuri. This cheese bread is featured in each of my Georgian restaurant reviews at least once, if not more, and it appears on the menus of many Russian restaurants too. I’ve posted my Adjaran version, but I’ve never posted an Imeretian khachapuri, the simplest kind, which consists of a round bread stuffed […]

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Vepřo-Knedlo-Zelo, a Czech Classic with a Twist

Vepřo-knedlo-zelo — literally “pork-dumpling-cabbage” — is Czech Republic’s national dish, but you’ve probably never heard of it. Maybe because the dish name contains one of the most difficult to pronounce letters known to mankind (the ř, affectionately called a raised alveolar non-sonorant trill in linguistics circles, is apparently shared only with the Kobon language of Papua New Guinea).  Or it could […]

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Buuzy, Buryat Meat Dumplings

Buuzy, Buryat Meat Dumplings

On my way to Moldova this past summer, I decided to brave the Russian bureaucracy (the eternal visa schemes) and traffic jams (2 hours from Sheremetyevo Airport) to spend one evening in Moscow. To make it count, I looked for restaurants serving cuisine that I was unlikely to eat anywhere else in the foreseeable future — […]

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