As someone who has worked in the restaurant industry, I am well versed in the overused catchphrases of diners. (As well as guilty of their usage! Fess up— who hasn’t cracked the, “You can tell I didn’t like this” joke when a server clears a plate of meatless bones?) But while these harmless clichés of dining are sufferable, there is one phrase that will cause my eyes to roll: “I have dined all over the world and I’ve never seen it done like this before.” Ironic how a phrase that’s supposed to convey so much worldly knowledge can come out so stale.
Sarah’s posts, each featuring a dish from a different country, are written in such an enthusiastic voice, I feel as if I am discovering and learning right alongside her. (The great pictures don’t hurt either!) While Sarah tackles some pretty exotic recipes, she does so with a humility that gives encouragement to home chefs with a more timid sense of adventure. Through this blog, Sarah proves that “dining all around the world” is a matter of research, a little experimentation, and a willingness to learn about differing food traditions — not your pocketbook.
Take her latest post featuring Slovenia’s Castagnaccio. The Slovenian people’s need to rely on scavenged nuts and berries during occupations and wars gave rise to this savory cake with a chestnut flour base. And like many recipes hailing from the Mediterranean region, neighboring countries have both influenced and imitated the recipe’s ingredients and process.
But if the recipe’s cultural origination doesn’t interest you, the flavor profile certainly will. As Sarah advises “Should you try this cake, do try to let go of your preconceived cake-as-I know-it notions and enjoy this rustic, savory confection.”
After all, isn’t letting go of preconceived notions the point of dining around the world? I’ve never seen a cake done like this before, and I can’t wait to try it!