Not just for Shrove Tuesday: Latvian apple pancakes

Finding a Latvian dish to cook was not an easy task. We had Ash’s family staying with us and our initial plan was to make something Latvian for dinner. The problem was, we couldn’t find anything that really appealed to us. Our Lonely Planet Travel book suggested piragi, which it described as meat pasties baked in the oven, and that sounded promising until we realised that it was little more than a bacon roll and more of an appetiser than a main course. We were intrigued by a dish of grey peas with bacon, but we weren’t confident of finding grey peas, so that was out too.

Then we turned to the ever-trusty Global Table Adventure where we discovered a recipe for Latvian apple pancakes. Perfect! We had a recipe, we could make it for our guests for breakfast, and we could have boeuf bourguignon for dinner instead of grey peas. Continue reading


No-ue: Niuean takihi

Regular readers may have noticed that we’ve been AWOL for a few weeks. When this has happened in the past, it’s been for exciting reasons like exotic holidays or that small matter of our wedding. Whilst we do have another reception coming up in 11 days (eek), that actually has nothing to do with our prolonged hiatus. You could also assume that Ash’s dislike of coconut might have led to a deliberate delaying of cooking this coconut-heavy Niuean dish, but the reason is even less interesting than that. Ladies and gentlemen, we can reveal that we have not made an international dish since 17th September because…. we were waiting for papayas to ripen.

We found (to Ash’s dismay) that Niue’s national dish is takihi, a dish involving only three ingredients: papaya, taro and coconut cream. Our immediate reaction to this was that it must be a sweet dish, so we went out and bought some papaya and eddoes (substitute for taro) with the intention of making it for dessert. Unfortunately, only green papayas were available at our local market, so on Greengrocer Google’s advice, we sat back and waited a few days for them to ripen… and waited… and waited… Then, on Sunday night, we decided we’d had enough of waiting: it was time to get it over with. Continue reading

Starting the day the Swiss way: Bircher muesli

We’ve had a brief hiatus but we’re back on our culinary journey and have reached Switzerland. (Top marks to anyone who is thinking, ‘Hang on, they said they’d be going to Poland next.’ If that’s you, you’re quite right, but we’ve changed the route for a variety of fairly boring reasons. So, Switzerland it is.)

Switzerland is somewhere that reminds you on first glance just how beautiful this world is. Miranda visited Interlaken and Basel in 2007 and was struck by the fact that all you need to do is look out the window and you’re faced with majestic mountain scenery and a whole spectrum of vivid blues in the sky and the water. Walking around in that country – Interlaken in particular – could certainly never be boring. And then there’s Europe’s highest point just around the corner to add even more of a sense of wonder.


In terms of food, Switzerland must be most famous for its chocolate and its cheese. Toblerone, Lindt, fondue and raclette all scream ‘Switzerland’ as loudly as that cartoonish cheese with the holes in it (also known as Emmental) does. However, for our Swiss dish we’ve opted for an equally well known but perhaps less obvious traditional delicacy: Bircher muesli. Continue reading