There are 168 countries on my list (I only include countries with at least 1 million residents; smaller countries are included whenever I can find them), and I’ve managed to find food from around 140 countries so far. The last handful of countries? Not so easy.
So at this point, the United Nations of Food blog is pretty much an overfed social experiment. Basically, I’ll try to find friendly individuals from the last 30 countries, and then I’ll try to get into their kitchens.
How you can help
- Feed me. If you (or somebody you know) are from one of the countries listed below, please contact me at email@example.com. If you’re willing to lend your cultural and culinary expertise, I’ll happily pay for groceries and drinks. You certainly don’t have to be a great chef! I’m just interested in learning about cuisine and culture — I’m not a food critic. And I swear that I’m friendly, polite dinner guest who never chews with his mouth open.
- Talk to restaurant owners. Often, restaurants have generic labels: “Middle Eastern” or “African” or “Mediterranean.” If you think your favorite restaurant might be secretly owned by somebody from a country listed below, please ask them… and then please let me know if you’ve found a hidden gem.
- Email your friends. Even if you don’t know anybody from a country with hard-to-find cuisine, please forward this site to your friends — you never know when somebody might be able to help me knock a country off the list.
- Spread the love online. If you’re a social media user, click the “share” button of your choice, just in case one of your friends/followers might be able to help. Or find me on Facebook or Twitter (@UNofFoodNYC).
Here comes the list of elusive national cuisines. I’m always open to suggestions for great places to eat anything, but these are the countries of particular interest:
Asia: East Timor, North Korea, Papua New Guinea
Former Soviet republics: Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan
Middle East: Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
Latin America: Nicaragua, Costa Rica
Africa: Botswana, Burundi, Central African Republic, Djibouti, The Gambia, Kenya, Mauritania, Mauritius, Namibia, Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Rwanda, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Posts on meals from Togo and maybe Kyrgyzstan.
Contact me with ideas!