Choripan in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contributed by Ingrid So
One of our favourite local foods is choripan, a beef-sausage (chorizo) sandwich (pan means bread). In essence, it’s a hot dog, but I find it really wrong to call it that. For the sauce, we definitely don’t use ketchup or mustard; we use the traditional chimichurri (a sauce made with different types of spices and herbs). Every reputable parrilla – barbecue steak house – is proud of its own chimichurri recipe and won’t tell you how they make it.
To get yourself a choripan, go to any parrilla. There are also small barbecue stands (usually found along the river) or small storefronts with a grill selling choripan at very affordable prices.
Recipe for Chimichurri
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley (should equal about 1/2 cup)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 tomato, peeled, seeded, finely chopped
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. paprika
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
hot chilli flakes to taste
Make sure all of the fresh ingredients are well washed and clean before preparing.
Combine all the ingredients, except the oil and vinegar, in a large bowl and toss well to make sure that the salt is spread evenly around the ingredients. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Add the vinegar and water and then mix well again. Set aside for another 30 minutes.
Add the oil and mix well one last time. Make sure that the liquids cover the rest of the ingredients. If not, add equal parts of oil, water and vinegar until the ingredients are covered by at least by a quarter of an inch.
Transfer to a clean bowl or jar that can be covered. Make sure to cover well.
Place in the refrigerator to allow the flavours to blend overnight. For better results prepare at least two or three days ahead of time.
If refrigerated, allow sauce to sit at room temperature for at least an hour or until the oil, if congealed, thins out before serving.
The Boiling Liquid Method: Many in Argentina like to add an extra step to their chimichurri preparation that includes boiling the water and salt together – sometimes the vinegar too – before immediately pouring the mixture over the rest of the ingredients before the oil is added. This helps to tame the pungency of the garlic and parsley, thus creating a more mild and smooth result. This method also works very well if you need a well-balanced chimichurri yet do not have the time to let it sit for a day or more before serving. Give it a try!
Barbecue in Brisbane, Australia
Contributed by Shaun Gilchrist
There is a favourite Australian pastime that is more popular in Brisbane than almost anywhere in the country: the good old ‘Aussie BBQ.’ Steaks, sausages, skewered meats/vegetables and chicken are always popular, but the great thing is that what you cook is up to you. That said, a BBQ is not always just about the varieties of meat (and even vegetables!) you find on an average grill; it’s something celebrated by all ages and backgrounds, a chance to enjoy time with friends or loved ones out in the fresh air.
Brisbane enjoys average top temperatures of over 20 degrees Celsius in winter, so a BBQ is something you can do all year round! In Brisbane there are many barbecue spots (complete with an actual barbecue) along the river, coastline and parks that are totally free. So you just grab your friends, pick up some food and a blanket, and get out early to grab the best spots!
If you prefer a more sophisticated dining or drinking experience, try Tukka Restaurant, which is famous for its modern take on Aussie ‘bush tucker’ (or bush food) and Cloudland, one of the city’s most interesting bars/restaurants/clubs, with quirky decor and a retractable roof.
Boerewors, Pap and Sous in Johannesburg, South Africa
Contributed by Lorell Strydom (Johannesburg Urban Adventures)
Southern Africans like to braai (barbecue), especially in the summer and when there is a sporting event on. A classic South African dish for these occasion is boerewors, pap and sous, which translates to ‘farmer’s sausage, maize and sauce.’ The boerewors are served with maize porridge all covered in a tomato and onion sauce. This dish is traditionally enjoyed with local beer or one of South Africa’s exquisite wines.
Another Southern African favourite is biltong – also known as beef jerky – which is salted, dried meat (beef or game). Biltong is often eaten at rugby matches.
Popular local eateries in Johannesburg include:
+ White boy shebeen – the emphasis is on Afro-fusion dishes
+ Mama shebeen – a shebeen is a traditional African pub
+ Carnivores – where you can try any kind of meat, including impala, warthog, crocodile and more
+ Moyo – upmarket traditional African restaurant with live music, drumming and face painting
+ Gramadoelas – a fine historical restaurant decorated with chandeliers and antiques, and dishes from all over Africa
Recipe for Boerewors, Pap and Sous (serves six to eight)
750 g boerewors
1 kg ready-cooked pap
For the sous (sauce):
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
150 ml dry white wine
1 carrot, grated
1 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
50 ml fruit chutney
Start with the sous:
Sauté the onion in a non-stick frying pan until soft.
Add the garlic, cook for a minute, and then add the wine.
Cook off the wine and then add the carrot, tomatoes and chutney.
Simmer for 20 minutes.
For the pap:
In a large pot, mix three cups of mielie-meal and one cup of cold water until smooth.
Add a further three cups of water and a generous amount of salt.
Place the pot on medium heat and simmer until the pap has absorbed all the water and is cooked through, which takes about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, braai the wors over a slow-medium fire until brown all the way through.
Serve with pap and sous.
Learn more about food and cuisine in South Africa.
Street Food in Phnom Penh & Siem Reap, Cambodia
Local street foods include barbecued meats, dumplings, sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and served in a bamboo tube or banana leaf, stuffed frogs, a huge variety of fried insects and lots more. Tropical fruits such as tamarind, mangosteen, dragon fruit, mangoes, rambutan and pineapples are in abundance, as is the stinky durian, king of all fruits.
Learn more about food and cuisine in Cambodia.
Bananas in Uganda
Contributed by Nicola Swann
Given at least six different varieties of banana in Uganda, it would be fair to say that life – as well as the food process – in Uganda revolves around the banana tree. On any visit to Uganda, your vista will take in miles of banana plantations, truckloads of bananas on their way to market and heavily laden bicycles being wheeled along the dusty road.
That’s not to mention several of the inventive uses of the banana plant, which include: baskets, mats and umbrellas (real and makeshift), which are sold on the roadside. The leaves are also wound into a circular shape and placed on people’s heads in order to carry things.
The most popular type of ‘banana’ is matoke (plantain). Though local food is based around a meat or chicken stew, it is almost always eaten with matoke; in fact, it is the staple diet in many parts of the country. Matoke is a cooked dish, served boiled or as a mushy, yellow mash and often accompanied by another Ugandan specialty: groundnut sauce. The ‘green bananas’ are peeled, wrapped in large leaves and then steamed over charcoal. Ugandans grow up on matoke – never invite a Ugandan over for dinner unless you intend to make it!
A few banana customs:
+ Waragi – Ugandan gin – is made from the Tonto banana.
+ A woman can share a Waragi with her husband, but she may not share a drink with other men.
+ A fine powder is made from the stems of the plant and is sniffed by elders as a means of ‘cleansing the head.’
Banana fact file:
A bunch of bananas is called a ‘hand’ and a banana plant should produce four hands per year.
Six ‘hands’ or more are often seen being transported on a bicycle in Uganda!
The Buganda Tribe use the sap from the bark for cooking.
Street Food in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Contributed by Shafina Bandali (whl.travel Dar Es Salaam)
Street food can be found in most parts of Tanzania and is sold at very reasonable prices since the locals can’t afford to eat at restaurants. In addition to the items described below (sold in the evening), karanga (peanuts) are a popular street-food snack.
Mishkaki is meat cut into small pieces, barbecued and served with chutney. The chutney is made of red chillies and tomatoes, which are cut into small pieces, seasoned with spices and boiled for about two minutes in water until the tomatoes are cooked.
Kuku and chips is barbecue chicken and fries.
Muhogo is barbecued or fried cassava served with salt and chilli powder or kachumbari (a mixture of cabbage and tomatoes cut into small pieces with some spices salt, green chillies/chilli powder).
Learn more about food and cuisine in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
Langos in Budapest, Hungary
Contributed by Budapest Urban Adventures
Langos (in Hungarian, it is spelled lángos) is kind of fast food you can find easily at markets and fairs, but grandmothers also prepare it at home. Imagine a big handful of yeast dough flattened out by hand and fried in hot oil. While frying, it develops air pockets, which makes it light and soft. It is eaten hot with roughly ground salt. I love to rub it with garlic and spread some fresh sour cream and cheese on top. Don’t think about your cholesterol level while enjoying it!
Coney Island Hot Dog in Detroit, USA
Contributed by Bob Goldsmith (Detroit Urban Adventures)
A ‘Coney Dog’ is the food item most associated with Detroit. It’s a grilled natural-casing hot dog on a steamed bun, with Detroit-style chilli, mustard, and onions. Detroiters have been devouring these delicious dogs for decades.