Carrageen Moss Pudding – a sweet, silky Irish pudding with a seaweed as secret ingredient ~

Ever seen “carrageenan” at the end of an incomprehensible list of ingredients on the back of your ice cream tub (or your toothpaste tube, too)? Probably you didn’t know that this mystery ingredient comes from one of several species of seaweed, carrageen (Chondrus crispus). Know as carrageen “moss”, but actually a seaweed, is one of Ireland’s more unusual natural resources, and there are any number of ways to spell its common name: carrageen, carrageenan, carragheen and carragheenan, take your pick. But, in any case, they’re all derived from the Irish…

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Easter Lamb: in Sicily, Italy, it is sweet, caloric and made of almond paste!

Eggs, rabbits…we already know what these symbols mean. Also the lamb is one of the most prominent symbols of Easter. In Christianity, it symbolizes purity and sacrifice, two qualities associated with Jesus Christ, who is referred to as the “Lamb of God” in the New Testament. Sicilians prepare a traditional Easter celebration with the help of a little lamb. Locally known as “agnelli pasquali” or “pecorelle di pasqua”, this sweet figurine is molded from marzipan and often filled with pistachio paste. One distinct characteristic of the Easter sweet is the…

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Mignon Chocolate Egg: the chocolates inside of real eggshells

If there’s one thing Europeans always get right, it’s their undeniably delicious array of chocolates, sweets and candy. Thus, it’s no surprise that Finland proves no exception. However, should you stumble upon a Mignon Chocolate Egg, you may find yourself wondering what Finnish hens eat! These real eggshells are filled with creamy nougat and are a strong local Easter tradition. But on the outside, they’re practically identical of a hard-boiled egg. Karl Fazer introduced the seasonal delight in 1896 using a recipe he brought from Germany, and his company in…

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Fluff Screamer: a Pennsylvania’s delicious burger topped with Marshmallow Fluff

Deep in the heart of Pennsylvania coal country, a few miles from the smoldering, abandoned town of Centralia, you can try one of the oddest regional foods In the country. If you happen to find yourself in Girardville, be sure to stop into Tony’s Lunch, a repository of quirky but delicious contradictions. At first, it isn’t open for lunch, despite the name. But more importantly, it is the birthplace of the inexplicably delicious “Fluff Screamer” burger, one of the weirdest—and tastiest—burgers you’ll ever eat. It consists of a griddled hamburger…

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Democracy Sausage: come to vote, leave with a sausage!

In Australia, cheap sausages in cheap white bread lathered in cheap sauce help grease the wheels of democracy. On election days, humble sausages, also called affectionately “snags”, are barbecued outside polling areas either for free or to raise money for local causes. Slingers of “democracy sausages” can be sure to get lots of customers among waiting voters, since not voting in Australia gets you fined. In 2016, sausage sizzling at the polls reached its highest profile yet. During the year’s federal election, Twitter released a snag-on-bread emoji to accompany its…

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Mie Lethek Garuda – a traditional food from Indonesia

We are in the small village of Srandakan, in Indonesia’s Yogyakarta Sultanate, which is the last remaining Indonesian region to be ruled by a Sultanate. What is the reason for visiting this Special Region? Aside from the natural attractions, culture, and history, tourists want to try all traditional foods that they can find there. The region offers the classic one locally known as ‘Mie Lethek’. They are traditionally made with no machines, but with cows and workers, most of whom are middle-aged to elderly. It’s hard work being a cow…

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Frog Cakes, the cute amphibian treats and South Australian icons.

Here we are: Australia is home to more than 200 magnificent species of frogs, including one really delicious, comprised almost entirely of sugar! The frog cake is a sweet treat in the shape of a crouched frog, so beloved in its native Adelaide that it was recently deemed a South Australian Heritage Icon. At its heart, the frog has two pieces of sponge cake joined by a thin layer of jam and topped with a scoop of buttercream. To transform this pastry into a frog, bakers coat everything with green…

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Frog Eye Salad

Here we are: Frog eye salad is probably a sweet lie: of course not made of frog eyes and it isn’t even your normal lettuce-based salad. This sweet, creamy dish is actually a beloved dessert especially in the United States’ Rocky Mountain region. It is the favorite in particular among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and it is a staple of Mormon potlucks, cookouts, funerals, and holidays. It’s especially beloved on Thanksgiving, claiming the top spot in online Thanksgiving recipe searches in Colorado, Idaho, Nevada,…

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Lampreia de Ovos, an egg-based Christmas dessert which celebrate a bloodsucking fish!

Here we are: We are in Portugal, where for centuries nuns doubled as egg yolk–slinging pastry chefs, cementing the country’s specialty in yellow-coloured desserts. In religious houses, the egg whites were used for ironing, and the Convent Confectionery could evolve thanks to the use of the egg yolk surplus, which originated countless recipes. There’s for example ovos moles, small, seashell-shaped candies, or pão de ló de ovar, a decadent, gooey cake. Then there’s lampreia de ovos, perhaps the most unique among the yolk-based creations. The origin of the Egg Lamprey…

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Venezuelan Pan de Jamón~

Here we are: In Venezuela, traditional Christmas bread is made with ham, raisins, and olives! The name pan de jamón, which mean “ham bread”, doesn’t do this Christmas pastry justice: rather than imagining white bread topped with a piece of ham, imagine a cinnamon roll. Then swap the glaze and cinnamon filling for a golden egg wash and thin slices of savory ham, keep the raisins and add pimento-stuffed olives. Not enough strange? Add also some bacon! So, this is pan de jamón. If a Venezuelan feel the aroma of…

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Cougnou, a Christmas bread shaped like the baby Jesus

Here we are: We are in Belgium or in northern France, where bakers create a Christmas pastry that’s reminiscent of the shape of the baby Jesus himself! In the Southern Low Countries, is know also “bread of Jesus”. This pastry, often called cougnou, cougnolle, coquille de Noël, or with other different regional names, seems to have originated in ancient Hainaut, and it is a sweet brioche, sometimes studded or decorated with raisins, chocolate chips, or sugar crystals. Most often, it’s made of one large, elongated ball of dough in the…

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Poutine Râpée: the other canadian poutine.

Here we Are: When most people hear the word poutine, an image of Quebec’s famous fries-and-gravy poutine comes to mind. But this isn’t the only beloved poutine in Canada! A favorite in Acadian communities, poutine râpée is a boiled potato dumpling that’s traditionally stuffed with with a tasty seasoned salt pork. Poutines râpées is an Acadian dish eaten at Christmas and for special occasions, and besides the fact it also includes potatoes, it has little to do with its Quebecois namesake. Acadia was a French colony that stretched across what…

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Maryland: Smith Island Cake~

Here we are: This delicious island is known for its refined layer cakes! Smith Island is less and less inhabited. Once populated by over 800 people, the Methodist community twelve miles off the coast of Maryland now has fewer than 200 residents. The remaining men work mostly in a dwindling seafood industry, even as the coastline erodes and water levels rise. And the women from this remote place make something glamorous and delicious: Smith Island Cake! Grandmothers on the quiet island assemble this elegant dessert using 8-12 layers of yellow…

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Montreal: Peanut Butter Dumplings ~

Here we are: A curious take on Szechuan dumplings become a Montreal specialty… You haven’t never heard of peanut butter dumplings? No? You’re not alone. If you’ll go in one of Montreal’s Chinese restaurants, ypu can try these steamed meat dumplings, topped with a sauce of peanut butter, soy sauce, Szechuan peppercorns, and sugar. Even if the dish has spread to other parts of Quebec, it largely remains a local specialty. According to the fans of the dumpling, its lineage traces to similarly sauced Szechuan dumplings. The addition of Kraft-brand…

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