At the start of November 2012, reviewing posts from October and realizing that I had eaten dishes attributable to 14 different countries without even trying, I challenged myself to eat 30 dishes from 30 countries over the course of 30 consecutive days.  Eating at restaurants and cooking myself, I completed the project.  I kept it going for another 15 days, another 15 dishes, another 15 countries.

The 3-letter abbreviations for the countries are the official designations in the United Nations system.

  1. Cameroon (3.301 CMR Puff-Puff & Beans)
  2. Uzbekistan (3.302 UZB Plov)
  3. Philippines (3.303 PHL Bacolad-Style Inasal Chicken)
  4. Vietnam (3.304 VNM Spicy Brisket Pho)
  5. Hungary (3.305 HUN Beef Goulash)
  6. India (3.306 IND Non-Vegetarian Lunch Set A)
  7. Spain (3.307 Authentic ESP Seafood Paella)
  8. Paraguay (3.308 Assorted PRY Empanadas)
  9. Cambodia (3.309 KHM Nom Chienn)
  10. England (3.310 GBR Fish & Chips)
  11. South Africa (3.311 ZAF Meat Platter)
  12. Indonesia (3.12 IDN Mee Goreng)
  13. Pakistan (3.313 PAK Bohri-Style Broast Chicken)
  14. Singapore (3.314 SGP Black Pepper King Crab)
  15. Mongolia (3.315 MNG Khuushuur)
  16. Austrian (3.316 AUT Alt-Wiener Suppenhuhn)
  17. Republic of Korea (3.317 KOR Janchi Guksu)
  18. Greece (3.318 GRC Chicken Souvlaki)
  19. Japan (3.319 JPN Satsumaage)
  20. Turkey (3.320 TUR Lamb Doner Kebab Wrap)
  21. Thailand (3.321 THA Phak Boong Fai Daeng)
  22. Australia (3.322 AUS Vegemite Toast)
  23. Peru (3.323 PER Cebiche Mixto)
  24. Italy (3.324 ITA Pasta Fresca alla Ragù)
  25. Sri Lanka (3.325 LAK Devilled Chicken)
  26. Bulgaria (3.326 BGR Yogurt)
  27. Norway (3.327 NOR Smørbrød with Moose Sausage & Aioli)
  28. Mexico (3.328 MEX Chili Lime Shrimp Tacos)
  29. Morocco (3.329 MAR Chicken Sandwich)
  30. Sweden (3.330 SWE Kåldolmar)
  31. United States of America (3.331 USA New York Strip)
  32. Malaysia (3.332 MYS Cucur Udang)
  33. Czech Republic (3.333 CZE Pub Praha Special)
  34. United Arab Emirates (3.334 ARE Bamiya)
  35. Russia (3.335 RUS Lamb Pelmeni)
  36. China (3.336 CHN Lo Mein Noodle Soup with Shrimp Wontons)
  37. Lebanon (3.337 LBN Manouche Kafta)
  38. France (3.338 FRA Suprêmes de Volaille à Blanc avec Asperges)
  39. Nepal (3.339 NPL Mutton Set)
  40. Switzerland (3.340 CHE Baguette Sandwich with Emmental Cheese & Pork Pastrami)
  41. Egypt (3.341 EGY Ta’amiya)
  42. Germany (3.342 DEU Bauernsuppe)
  43. Iran (3.343 IRN Dal-Adas Curry)
  44. Brazil (3.344 BRA Churrasco)
  45. Ireland (3.345 IRL Stew)

In the end, I regret that I was unable to include 2 countries, Canada and Kazakhstan, that were represented by restaurants in the city – maybe next time.  Also North Korea, which didn’t even occur to me.

Sources: 30 in some sort of commercial setting – 8 restaurants were completely empty of other customers during my visit except for me or my party – 15 by me.

My favorite restaurant items were the Lebanese lamb sandwich and the Thai morning glory stir-fry, while my favorite home-cooked item was the Swedish cabbage rolls.

Overall, it was a great experience.  I encountered a lot of restaurants and national cuisines that I may never have otherwise.  I discovered, much to my pleasant surprise, that such a wide variety could be had with relatively easy access in Korea.  But I spent a lot of money in doing so.  And maintaining the streak for 45 consecutive days did constitute a major pain in the ass at times.  Still, I’m glad that I did it.

(See also BOOZE)



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