We recently spoke with Sarah Scoble Commerford, the blogger behind the international food blog What’s Cooking in Your World? Sarah’s almost two-year-old blog was born out of a challenge from her son: cook a recipe a week from each of the world’s 193 countries. Sarah rose to the challenge and we’re so glad she did! What’s Cooking in Your World is full of stunning food photography, interesting historical, cultural and geographical information about each country, and of course, recipes! We recommend the Mango and Lime Curd Tartlets from Tanzania, the coconut cookies from Samoa or Russian black bread and caviar. Here’s what Sarah had to say about cooking her way around the world, eating when abroad, and more:
1. How do you decide what recipe to make from each country? Do you research the overall cuisine or do you focus on a specific aspect/ingredient?
I search the web, my cookbooks and friends for inspiration. I try to pick something I know my family will like as well. Even though they're adventurous eaters, I do try to find things we'll all enjoy, as most often, the meals I make double as our dinner. I always look for a dish that's as authentic as possible and uses ingredients I can source (which is half the fun) - I try really hard not to substitute or adapt my recipes.
2 .What's your favorite recipe that you've made over the course of blogging the world's cuisine? And how about your son's favorite (since he prompted the idea)?
I can't say that I have one favorite dish, but I do have favorite regions: North African (Morocco, Tunisia), Mediterranean/Middle Eastern, Provincial and West Indian cuisine are my favorites. My son likes tropical cooking - anything that involves coconut, mango, papaya and curry.
3. Where is the place in the world you'd love to travel to most?
I'd love to go to Morrocco, and have been invited to visit from friends I've made through my blog. Also, I'd love to go to the island of Mauritius, where I've also met a friend through my blog. Honestly, though, I'd welcome the opportunity to travel and completely immerse myself in the culture of most any country.
4. Has it been hard to find some of the more unusual ingredients some of the recipes have required?
The harder it is to source the ingredient, the more I want to find it. I'm lucky to live in an area that has almost everything I need: wild boar, ostrich, durian, chestnut flour. And, local vendors have been wonderful about helping me find whatever I need.
5. Do you have any tips for eating when you're abroad?
Be open. Be respectful. Be gracious. Be adventurous. Leave your preconceived notions about what's good (or not) behind. And always, do your best to observe customs and rituals whether you're at a family table or in a restaurant.