As most of you will know now, we are a multi-cultural bunch here at Pexel, with staff members from literally all over the world. Currently within our permanent staff members we have people from Argentina, France, Romania, Finland, Germany, Malaysia and the Czech Republic among many other countries if you include all our fieldworkers.
As the second part in our language and culture series, we thought it would be fun to explore the favourite dishes of some of our staff members from their native countries, or for those of us who are from Britain, their favourite dishes they’ve tried from around the world. Let us know in the comments below what your favourite dish is from your native country or from around the world!
Adam, Data Manager: Poutine
Poutine is a dish from Canada (although Adam is from London), made with french fries (chips!) and cheese curds topped with gravy as a fast-food snack in diners, pubs and sports arenas as well as being sold in fast-food outlets like McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King! There was me thinking that curly fries were strange being sold in those places here in the UK…
Silvia, Project Manager: Sarmale with mamaliga, or mici/mititei or ciorba.
Being from Romania, Silvia has shared three dishes with us!
Sarmale are stuffed cabbage rolls influenced by Turkish cuisine, recommended to be served with mamaliga, a type of polenta which can also be served on its own.
Secondly, Silvia has recommended mici – also known as mititei which is a grilled mix of beef, lamb and pork with spices – best served with french fries (chips!), mustard and muraturi (Romanian pickles).
Finally, Silvia has recommended ciorba. According to Wikipedia, ciorba is a general Romanian word describing sour soups with various vegetables and meat. Ciorba may contain a wide variety of sour ingredients, usually lemons or sauerkraut juice.
Nikke, Data Analyst: A plethora of Finnish dishes
Nikke is a recent addition to our permanent staff members, but has been a fieldworker with us since last year. From Finland, he has loads of interesting dishes to share with us for this blog.
Ruisleipa – Rye bread, to most of us! Comes in many shapes and forms but it’s better than anything you can get from the UK (apparently!) – unless it was imported from Finland
Lipeäkala – A traditional dish from some Nordic countries, including Finland and is usually eaten during the Christmas holiday. Aptly named by one of Nikke’s flatmate’s friends as “that stinky, rotten fish dish”, it is made from air-dried whitefish and lye and is apparently gelatinous in texture after being soaked for a few days in cold water – yum…!
Kraavilohi – A raw salmon dish, known better to us as Gravlax (they sell it in the IKEA cafe!). Similar to the Scottish smoked salmon we have here, but prepared in a different way, the salmon is “buried” in a dry marinade of salt, sugar, and dill, and cured for a few days.
Kalakukko – The Cornish Pasty of Finland! Fish is baked inside bread for a ‘complete packed lunch’ that can be kept for quite a while once opened – making it perfect for workers away from home. This is apparently mostly eaten in Central and Eastern Finland
Pavel, Operations Director: Vepřo knedlo zelo or Tlačenka with vinegar and raw onion
Our Operations Director has recommended two dishes – the first, Vepřo knedlo zelo is roasted pork, dumplings and sauerkraut – Wikipedia says it’s best served with pivo – beer!
The second dish Pavel has recommended is Tlačenka – the Czech/Slovak variety of ‘head cheese’ (meat jelly, not cheese!) and is bonded with a number of meat cutoffs and brawn. Definitely not one for the vegetarians out there! Pavel recommends serving it with vinegar and raw onions…
Kristen, Recruitment Analyst: Shakshuka
Served to me by some friends in Germany as a ‘Spanish’ breakfast dish, Shakshuka is a dish of poached eggs in tomato sauce, peppers, onions and spices usually served with a nice big piece of fresh bread to mop it all up! Although we were told it was a Spanish dish, it’s all a staple in Tunisia, Libya, Algerian, Morocco and Egypt.
Thanks for all the suggestions, guys! Do you have a national dish that you’d recommend to us? Or what’s the best thing you’ve tried in another country? Let us know in the comments below!