Eastern Europe

It’s time to plow forward past the aromatic tastes of Asia and the Middle East and head back to Europe.

Yesterday I was on my way home from playing my first tennis match of the summer (which, I won.  Girl’s still got it!)  and was listening to a conversation on the train between three first year law students discussing their oral arguments (which every 1L has to do). They were talking about their speeches and their opening statements which would frame the rest of their argument before a panel of judges. It brought back a wave of panic and bad memories from my own time doing them almost 10 years ago.  And, as I was writing this post about what was to come in the way of Eastern European cuisine I realized that old habits die…well, never.

So, as I “tell you what I’m going to tell you,” here’s what I’ve got to look forward to eating, and what you’ve got to look forward to reading about, in the next month or so.  Eastern Europe.

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Slovenia

I really enjoyed the casual mosey that I did through the Middle East and it seems like an appropriate way to handle the eastern part of Europe.  Whereas it seemed like the countries in Western Europe had more “trademark” flavors and dishes that gave a lot of those plates a national identity, much of the trends in Eastern Europe cuisine flow from one country to the next, each borrowing from its neighbor, making it hard to pinpoint exactly where a particular entree may have originated.

Therefore, for the next month or so, I’ll be highlighting some of the favorites from some or all of the following countries, picking favorites from some and mashing them together into a collaborative regional dish.  I’m thinking three to four weeks of the following:

Bosnia

Croatia

Slovenia

Serbia

Ukraine

Belarus

Moldova

Macedonia

Slovenia

Slovakia

The Czech Republic

Romania

Bulgaria

A quick bit about Eastern European food:  In my mind, much of what I know of this cuisine comes in the way of heart-warming peasant foods- heavy on the meat and potatoes and dairy.

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However, because this region (as I divide it) spans such a large area, its natural resources provide a wide variety of raw ingredients influenced by climate, topography, proximity to open water, etc.  I’ll talk a bit more about these regions with the stuff I plan to make.  I think I can say now that it’ll be a lot more than cabbage rolls and schnitzel.

That’s the plan, Stan. Kapeesh?

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Me. Charles Bridge, Prague. Sunrise.

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