Welcome to Head Roam’s July 2021 Global Cuisine picks of the month! This month, we’re highlighting the foods of three places we’ve been to and loved, and one more we’d love to get to.
August 2021 Global Cuisine, #1: Berlin
Our big surprise with food in Germany: It goes SO FAR beyond sausages, beer, and pastry.
For one thing, the country famously welcomes immigrants.
So for an authentically Berlin-esque dinner, get hold of the best Middle Eastern or Vietnamese or Italian food you can find.
That said, of course there are a few German dishes you’ll want to try. We’ve already mentioned spargel, the springtime obsession throughout Germany, in our July post recommending the Black Forest.
Additionally, keep in mind the following:
- Potato pancakes with applesauce and sour cream—preferably homemade apple butter with delicious apples, like you’d get in Germany. Although this version, which we got from a German restaurant, featured a Caprese salad on the side. We love this German potato pancake recipe from the Daring Gourmet, an excellent resource.
- Sweet and sour vegetables, like this simple mix of green beans with bacon in a vinegar sauce with a touch of sugar. The Low Carb Maven has a fine recipe for Sweet and Sour Green Beans. We had carrots to use up, so threw those in as well.
- Germans love their ground meats—which they call by the descriptive and terrifying name of hackfleish. These meatballs in a soft lemon and caper sauce are pretty special. Where Is My Spoon has a perfect German Meatball recipe. You could serve them over spätzle, homemade or not, or just get some nice wide fresh pasta. We were feeling like we didn’t need bread this night, and had them alongside the green beans.
- Pastry, natürlich. Back to Where Is My Spoon for an amazing 14 page of archive of wonderful German recipes—including plenty of pastry. Not feeling super bake-y? Cheesecake always works.
Do you have your own favorite Berlin or German recipes? Please let us know! Drop an email to [email protected], or leave a comment.
August 2021 Global Cuisine, #2: Iceland
We admit it: We were stumped when it came to Iceland cuisine, despite a propensity for bingeing on Siggi’s Icelandic yogurt, locally referred to as “skyr.” Here, with some oats, fresh strawberries, and…are those chocolate chips? Ah, the decadence.
Friends, I have done Iceland a terrible disservice, as Claire Volkman proves in her excellent article on Icelandic food for Vogue. In it, she rhapsodizes about Icelandic hot dogs, lamb, rye bread, and, of course, Skyr.
As long as we’re going on about Icelandic yogurt, and if you haven’t yet gotten addicted to Siggi’s, check out Skyr from Icelandic provisions, which, with luck, is at a supermarket near you.
Naturally, you’re on an island. A big one. In very cold seas. So the fish is pretty great.
This homemade gravlax is shockingly easy to make with Billy’s gravlax recipe.
For further inspiration, we like ogling the Food Tour offered by Wake Up, Reykjavik.
Or check out the menu from the beautiful and original Reykjavik restaurant, Forétta Barinn.
For cooking on your own, the Guide to Iceland offers a list of recipes that include carmelized potatoes and Plottfiskur, a simple fish chowder that looks delicious.
Once you’re done cooking, check out the site’s amazing photos and, if you’re serious, book one of their wonderful and nicely-priced trips. We’ve linked to one that includes accomodations, a car, and full itinerary starting at….$500 US per person. That’s a crazy great deal, folks.
Also, how fun is it to say “plottfiskur”?
Do you have your own favorite Icelandic recipes or eating experiences? Please let us know! Drop an email to [email protected], or leave a comment.
August 2021 Global Cuisine, #3: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Think Argentine cuisine and you likely think Cow. A great deal of Cow on your plate.
Which I am not going to show. Because I will get with the hackfleish (German for ground meat) on occasion.
But a steak?
I seriously cannot eat one.
So I was somewhat filled with trepidation when it came to the question of “what the hell will I eat in Argentina?”
I had no need to fear.
First and foremost: Empanadas!!
Ecuadorian chef Laylita offers a beautiful and, to my practiced empanada-consuming eyes, authentic recipe for beef empanadas, Mendoza style. She’s got a CRAZY variety of empanada recipes on her site: everything from pumpkin and asparagus to chocolate.
To give pretty much anything from steak to fish to chicken to tofu Argentina flavor, we love chimichurri.
Argentines pride themselves on being “Italians with Spanish Accents.” Again and again, we had terrific Italian food in BA, from these stuffed mushrooms atop polenta at Peron! Peron!…
…to pizza. It is difficult to get a bad pizza in Buenos Aires.
And salads. The climate here is similar to California, the produce is gorgeous, and the porteños treat it with love and creativity.
Over at The Spruce Eats, contributor Marian Blazes—such a great name for a food writer!!—completely gets the porteño Italian cuisine conncection. Her recipe for Milanesa Napolitana is spot-on. Also check her recipe for choripans, the great Argentine sausage sandwich, and her recipe for Torta Pascualina, a delightful spinach torte named for Easter, but popular pretty much all year.
Do you have your own favorite Buenos Aires recipes? Please let us know! Drop an email to [email protected], or leave a comment.
August 2021 Global Cuisine, #4: San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, like so many port cities, is an immigrant hub.
The ethnic diversity of SF staggers.
I am the first to admit that, despite pretty much annual trips to this, my favorite US city—I’m originally from San Jose and have friends who live here—I still don’t feel like I’ve made a dent.
Fortunately, many, many of my favorite places to eat—Nopalito and Burma Superstar are two must-do SF stops that don’t break the bank—have wonderful cookbooks. I love this list of great San Franciscan cookbooks from SF Eater because it offers links that allow you to support independent bookstores, and often the restaurants themselves, by buying from them rather from….the Other Place.
Should you visit San Francisco, definitely bookmark the deliriously beautiful blog Cyn Eats (and follow her crazy beautiful insta feed: @cyneats.) Based in SF and LA, Cyn travels the world and has great travel advice, as well as a limited number of terrific recipes.
But the real bang for your buck is in her curated lists of where to eat, thoughtfully broken up into a variety of price points. We naturally love the $0-20 range of CynEats restaurant picks best. Because we’re cheap. Or, put another way, love a bargain.
Seriously, don’t walk the streets of SF hungry without Cyn.
Meanwhile, a boisterous Huzzah! to my endlessly creative San Franciscan bud Callie, who whipped me up this little repast.
That spirit of having great stuff on hand to feed a hungry friend seems wonderfully San Franciscan to us.
Proving that the city breeds wonderfully creative folks: San Franciscan Kelly’s blog A Side of Sweet. Just check out her beautiful index of Snack recipes and you’ll never hand drop-ins a box of stale crackers again. Not that you would do that.
Here’s the beauty of San Francisco: Like NYC, London, Berlin, and so many other places we love, as long as the food’s creative, fresh, and beautiful, you can eat pretty much anything and feel like you’re in the city. Where clearly, I have left my heart.
Apparently that happens.
Do you have pictures, recipes, and/or stories to share from your own San Francisco experiences? Please let us know! Drop an email to [email protected], or leave a comment.
August 2021 Global Cuisine: Thanks for Reading!
Do you have experiences, stories, photos, videos, and/or recipes from any of the above places? Post them to the Head Roam Facebook group, or let us know on Twitter or Instagram! Or email [email protected].
Any requests for next month? Whether or not we’ve been there, we love your suggestions. And we’d be thrilled if you want to let us run your stories and/or visuals.