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"Cook global, shop local," advocates Sasha Martin, a former ex-pat who spent six years abroad and has now taken up residence in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Despite her choice to settle permanently in the American midwest, Martin could not accept what that meant for her daily bread. And so, armed with the academic intensity of her Wesleyan days when she wrote an honors thesis entitled, "The History of Artisan Bread Baking," and the professional prowess of a degree from the CIA (the culinary school -- not that other one), Martin set out to make a culinary pilgrimage to each of the world's 195 countries. The challenge: 195 meals over the course of 195 weeks from her kitchen in Tulsa, "one meal at a time."
Determined to cure her husband of "Picky Eater Syndrome" and simultaneously educate her daughter's palate (see the education in action above), Martin outlines the project on her beautifully organized website Global Table Adventure. Chock-a-block with research and recipes on little known international cuisines, the site is an intelligent, accessible hub of in-depth information one might only gather from a meal with a local. Do not fear the site's ambitious mission -- you'll be thrilled, as we are, to have Martin and her family distill otherwise vastly diverse culinary cultures into immediately digestible form.
Literally: Martin's wonderful recipes will have you eating like an Angolan, Bahaman, or Dane in no time. Winning food52 Editors' Pick accolades for her Mushroom Stuffed Draniki from Belarus and Smoked Turkey Stewed in West African Gravy from Côte d'Ivoire, Martin's recipes are extremely detailed, tasty voyages in themselves. Or, follow the Global Table adventure's itinerary with a brainy weekly schedule that to keep even the most avid armchair -- or rather, dinner table -- travelers on their toes.
One of many admirable aspects of Global Table Adventure, however, is its democratic approach to foreign exposure. Each country gets a weeklong visit and a single meal, as she moves alphabetically around the world (her recipe repertoire is catalogued in the section Recipes by Country, which functions as systematically as your grandmother's recipe card box). Take, for example, the fact that Martin won't hit France or Italy for at least a few more months; even when she does, she won't stay for more than a week -- oh, the irony. For, as she so cleverly asserts, you'll never know what you're missing if you haven't eaten your way through Djibouti!