You can learn amazing things about different countries and cultures through food

Food is an amazing reconciliator; an idea supported by Oscar Wilde who wrote, “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” (A Woman of No Importance). However, that isn’t all food is good for, additionally, food can be a gateway to understanding varied cultures from around the world. 

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Nairobi, being the cosmopolitan city it is, is one of the few places where you can try different dishes from around the world without leaving the country. Here are five dishes from around the world, you can cook at home or eat at a restaurant in Nairobi.

Macarons

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Macarons courtesy of Unsplash

These dainty cookies are popular in France and America but the history of these savoury cookies goes back further. The word Macaron comes from the Italian word maccherone meaning fine dough. It is believed that these cookies were born in Italy and brought over to France by Catherine de Medici.

The moist creamy filling and soft outer shell make for a wonderful treat. If this is the sugary treat you wanted to bake this weekend, give it your best shot.

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Or, you can order these treats from Le Grenier à Pain at KSh.170/- a piece.

Steamed buns and dumplings

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Chinese Dumplings courtesy of Unsplash

Steamed buns and dumplings are a staple of Chinese cuisine. Chinese buns are made from all-purpose flour, yeast (much like bread) but instead of baking, they are steamed. In contrast, dumpling dough can be made from bread, flour or potatoes but is cooked by steaming.

You can make them at home or order them from Chinese Kitchen and Dim Sum House from KSh. 400 to 600.

Tagine

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Moroccan Tagine courtesy of Unsplash

Alternatively spelt Tajine, this is a Maghrebi dish named after the ceramic pot in which it is cooked. It is popular in North African countries like Morocco, Algiers, Libya and Tunisia. It can be cooked with meat or it can be vegetarian.

This dish is said to date back to Harun al Rashid who ruled during the Islamic golden age. Some sources date the dish back to the Roman empire.

Want to cook something new this weekend? If not, you can order this dish from About Thyme for KSh. 1,700.

Tom Yum Soup

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Tom Yum courtesy of Unsplash

This is a Thai hot and sour soup made with shrimp. Not only is this soup iconic in Thailand but plans were underway before COVID-19 to include it in UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage list for 2020.

Not much is recorded about this dish but it is assumed that the soup became popular in Thailand because of its abundance of freshwater shrimp.

Here’s a recipe you can try at home or you can order in from Som Tam Thai restaurant on Mpaka road.

Poutine

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Canadian Poutine courtesy of Unsplash

Poutine refers to loaded fries, meaning chips topped with gravy and cheese, that originated in Warwick, Quebec in 1957.

If you want to put a spin on your fries, here’s your chance. Otherwise, you can order this dish from Snack Attack for KSh. 385.

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