Colombian Cuisine — Pollo Sudado: “Sweaty” Chicken

Pollo sudado (translation: “sweaty chicken,” recipe follows) is weekly fare for many families in Barranquilla, where the dish probably originated.  Its popularity spread throughout the neighboring area for good reason.  Chicken and potatoes, stewed in onions, broth, and spices, has all the makings of comfort food: easy to make, rich, starchy, and flavorful.

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Colombian Cuisine — Arepas: Corn Cakes

Colombia doesn’t exactly have a national dish; its cuisine is highly regionalized with dozens of contenders for the honor.  The country does, though, have a food that is eaten most often: arepas (recipe follows), pan-fried flatbreads made from ground corn flour.  Arepas are  served in a variety of ways, sometimes with jam, butter, or sliced avocado, or even split open and stuffed with cheese.

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Lebanese Cuisine — Shish Taouk: Grilled Chicken Skewers

A fine example of how Lebanese cuisine has been exported around its region, shish taouk (recipe follows) can be found in eateries from Egypt to Iraq to Turkey.  Marinated chicken cut into cubes is skewered and grilled over a fire until charred on the outside and is served (at least in Lebanon) alongside hummus or inside a pita with grilled vegetables and the Lebanese garlic sauce toum.

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Lebanese Cuisine — Fattoush: Bread Salad

Fattoush (recipe follows), the Lebanese salad of diced vegetables and toasted or fried pieces of pita bread, is gaining in worldwide exposure of late, now widely available at most Middle Eastern (and a lot of Greek and Turkish) restaurants.  It is our impression that most Americans, though, are unfamiliar with fattoush and its crispy texture and bright, fresh flavors.  We would like to do our part, however small, to change that.

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Lebanese Cuisine — Tabbouleh: Bulgur and Parsley Salad

Lebanese cuisine has been one of the most underrecognized, highly influential cuisines in the world.  Lebanon’s position at the far eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has historically made it a crossroads for travelers moving between North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, and as a result a surprising number of dishes popular from Greece to India owe their existence to the food traditions of the tiny country, including hummus, baba ghanouj, fattoush, tabbouleh (recipe follows), tahini, and every superhero’s favorite, shawarma.

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Taiwanese Cuisine — Hong Zao Zha Zhupai: Jujube-Marinated Pork Cutlet

Japanese colonization of Taiwan (from 1895 to 1945) left a lasting impression on Taiwanese culture.  Loan words from Japanese pepper the Taiwanese dialect, and like Japan, Taiwan has had a more Western-friendly attitude than some of its neighbors.  Food traditions, of course, were also left behind by the Japanese, and today a hungry visitor to Taiwan is about as likely to find sushi or ramen noodles as he or she is more traditional Taiwanese fare.

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