I love cooking, but like many people I can fall into the trap of being repetitive and falling back on old faithfuls. I also tend to forget what I’ve made and what recipes I’ve used if I don’t document things – a combination of poor memory and a tendency to mash together a bunch of recipes to make what sounds best at the time.
In order to expand my horizons and attempt to keep track of everything I’ve made, I plan to make one dish from every country in the world in 2023. I’ve done the maths and that’s 16.25 new recipes per month. To make it a bit easier, these don’t all have to be main meals – it could be breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack, canapé, dessert, condiment, or drink. I anticipate there being some weeks where things run away from me so I’ll probably opt for the easier options, but I also want to cover a broad range of meals for any time of the day – who knows, I could find my new favourite sandwich or late night snack?
To make things a bit harder, all the meals will be vegan. I will use dairy alternatives, but I won’t be using plant-based meats. The reasoning behind this is that I’d like to discover vegan-first dishes rather than creating veganised versions of traditional meals (there are many, many, many places to go for these and they all do a better job than I will!). I will also aim to use recipes from creators from the country I’m featuring, and will be linking to their websites and tagging them, as well as linking out to any other information I used to land on the dish/meal.
Unlike previous recipes I’ve written about, I will not be giving a star rating for these dishes. I am wholly unfamiliar with so many cuisines, and my own cooking ability and knowledge should not be the lens through which we view a country’s cuisine. Also this is a side project, so my ability to spend enough time and do enough research to find a recipe which accurately reflects a country’s culinary tradition will be limited. And on top of that, not many countries have vegan food as their number one dish. The way I’m approaching these recipes is respect and a desire to learn a lot more.
Additionally I want to learn to be a better food photographer – I was not blessed with an artistic eye, but I’m sure that with enough trial and error and watching enough YouTube videos I can improve a bit? Hopefully I’ll look back at the first posts at the end of this year and laugh, so if anyone has any tips, please send them my way.
On that note, if you have any recommendations or ideas for a dish from your family traditions, cultural background, or simply places you’ve travelled, I’m all ears!