Join twowildtides on the country challenge. Each week, we’re going to be heading to a new country (in spirit). Primarily, we’ll be cooking a meal from each country; but we’ll also be watching travel documentaries, reading travel blogs, and listening to music. During the global pandemic, travel is largely inaccessible. We want to reignite our wanderlust, satisfy our travel bug as much as we can, and learn some new things along the way. I have a feeling our bucket list will have a number of items added to it through this experience as well. We created a simple alphabetical spreadsheet with all the countries of the world, and each week we will draw a random number that corresponds with a country on the spreadsheet.
We thought we’d hang out in Africa for a while and this week, we’re in Rwanda, which is one of the tiniest and most densely populated countries in Africa. Rwanda has a dark and upsetting past that for years, people (particularly White people) failed to recognize and acknowledge. The Rwandan genocide occurred in 1994, lasted approximately 100 days and saw the murders of between 500,000 to 1 million Rwandans. Despite this devastating (and recent) history, Rwanda has maintained its natural beauty and rich culture. I like this article about Rwandan travel because it highlights some memorial activities about the Rwandan genocide and holds travellers accountable to recognize the injustices that have occurred in the areas they explore:
The national dish of Rwanda stood out among all the other traditional Rwandan cuisine I researched this week. Brochettes are barbecued skewers with meat or fish and onions and they are commonly found as street food. We knew right away these would be a hit. We followed this recipe by Internation Cuisine:
The recipe recommended serving the brochettes with sweet potato fries, and we happened to have a fresh sweet potato on hand. I just quickly prepared my own recipe which involves simply chopping the potato into fries, tossing them in olive oil, garlic and onion powder, and salt and pepper, and popping them in the oven on a baking sheet for about 45 minutes on 400.
We opted for beef brochettes. This recipe was so easy. We prepped our skewers, veggies, and meat; marinated the skewers for 30 minutes; and put them on a baking rack in our oven on 450 for about 15 minutes. We haven’t bought a BBQ yet and it was -35 degrees out so even if we had a BBQ, you wouldn’t catch us using it.
Our brochettes turned out to be spectacular. The tomato sauce was so fresh that it made the meal feel light on the stomach but still filling. We were surprised by how healthy this meal was for a traditional comfort food, which in Western culture is typically greasy, salty, and heavy. Our only mistake was that we should have cut our beef chunks a little smaller to soak up more flavour and make the skewers easier to eat.
We would definitely make this meal again. In fact, I can see it being the perfect dish for camping! It’s easy to prepare in advance, just pop it on the grill or over the fire and you’re good to go!
We watched this video about Rwandan food while we ate (brochettes are featured at the very end!):
We’re taking our first week OFF from the country challenge next week. We’ll be away all weekend so we won’t have the facilities or time to cook. But don’t worry, we’ll be back the following weekend, and you won’t want to miss the upcoming country. It’ll be an exciting one.