Around the world in 43 plates at Folklorama
Give your tastebuds a trip around the globe without leaving Winnipeg until August 15 at Folklorama.
The world's largest and longest running multiculutral festival is now in full swing across the city and offers ample opportunity to knock back some plates, along with a worldly selection of beers, then take a cue from the entertainers and work the dance floors to keep that waistline in check.
This year there are 43 pavilions -- which would be an incredible feat of eating if you were to sample them all -- so we've created this basic guide of hidden gem highlights for you gourmands out there looking for that round the world experience.
At the African Pavilion (Holy Cross Gym, 290 Dubuc St.) you can go grab a cold bottle of Tusker, the beer of Kenya, before sampling offerings like Nigerian moi-moi (a steamed bean pudding) and some plantains, which are always nice, especially if you fry them twice. For dinner reservations call 204-330-7624 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Everybody loves deep fried bread -- even my wife who is gluten intolerant -- and you'd be hard pressed to find a better version than what goes down at the Hungary-Pannonia Pavilion (Burton Cummings Community Centre, 960 Arlington St.). It's called Lángos, and you should go have some and dip it in your gulyas, because we all need more deep-fried things soaked in paprika-spiced soup in our lives.
My workmate's husband from Madrid was at the Korean Pavilion (J.B. Mitchell School | 1720 John Brebeuf Pl.) last night (how Folklorama is that!), and he was raving about both the colourful performances and the food. Now, I love Korean food and I am telling you it is going to be the next big thing in the local culinary scene because once you go gochujang, you can't go back -- those spicy, fermented, red pepper flavours are addictive I tell you. Anyway, they of course also have bulgogi (thinly sliced Korean marinated beef, usually cut from short ribs) which is about as good as grilled meat gets, while the kimchi (which we should all be eating because fermented foods are the best for your gut health) will have almost more kick than their Tae Kwon Do demonstration team.
South Sudan, the newest nation in the world, is also being represented this year (Sudanese Community Cultural & Resource Centre, 129 Dagmar St.) where you can get a taste for Mola Bamiya, a stew-like dish composed of onion, tomato, beef and garlic which gets finished with okra.
Being of Swedish descent I of course have to mention the Scandinavian Pavilion (Scandinavian Cultural Centre, 764 Erin St.) as if is here you can get food from all five Nordic countries (they let the Icelanders and Finns in on the action -- a bit of geographic humour for you there) including heart-shaped waffles in the morning.
Finally, this being Winnipeg, I have to give a shout-out to the Ukraine-Kyiv Pavilion(Maples Collegiate,1330 Jefferson Ave.). They are celebrating dance this year, which you'll want to take part in, especially after you tuck into plates made with the loving hands of many babas that include varenyky -- which, despite their appearance, I've been told are not exactly the same thing as perogies (... something to do with boiling vs never hitting a pan ... it was an argument I seemed destined to lose), and everyone's favourite, holubtsi, those cabbage rolls you always seem to have room for more of. For dinner reservations go to their website.
Of course, I can't cover them all here, as I am but one small man with one small stomach, so please dear readers, tell us in the comment section about what pavilions and dishes we should be hitting over the next two weeks.