Getting to know new flavors
Researching international dishes opens up conversations between staff and students, and sheds light on “the numerous iterations a dish may have dependent on its environmental, social, political, cultural and religious influences,” says Anne Matthes, marketing manager.
Spain’s ultimate big-party dish, paella, is made authentic with saffron and mussels. Sourcing different specialty ingredients for the Flavors Abroad concept is done with lots of planning and ordering ahead of time from distributors. “With enough lead time, broadliners have access to many importer product lists,” Matthes says. “And we also source from local specialty shops.”
Crazy for crepes
First stop: France! There’s definitely an art to making this true test of classical French cooking skill: the crepe.
Creating the perfect crepe
“New techniques sometimes take a while to teach and learn, but it’s very rewarding to know that the staff have added these new skills to their repertoire,” Matthes says.
And from Eastern Europe, hearty kielbasa brings heft to this plate and purple cabbage perks up the dish.
Pierogis with brown butter
Another beloved comfort food from Eastern Europe, pierogis don’t need much extra to shine, but brown butter takes them over the top.
Flank steak with chimichurri
In South America, the legend of chimichurri goes that a mysterious visitor named “Jimmy McCurry” introduced the zesty herbal sauce.
This crunchy, palate-cleansing dish takes its cue from the acidic ceviches of South America.
And now over to Serbia for this savory strudel.
U of Iowa chefs are trained on rolling sushi, getting everything from the rice to the nori just right.
Beets are one of the year’s trendiest ingredients, and borscht is one of Europe’s oldest dishes. Here, the two come together in one bold bowl.
Mexico’s traditional stew with hominy and pork is similar to chili, but totally different at the same time.
Annatto fried chicken wings and mofongo
Mofongo is Puerto Rico’s powerhouse side dish, made with mashed and fried green plantains. It’s served at Flavors Abroad with chicken wings seasoned with annatto, a red-orange spice from the seeds of the achiote tree with a nutty, peppery flavor.
This Asian-inspired bowl is another signature item at Flavors Abroad, playing into the bowl trend beautifully and loaded with students’ choice of proteins and crunchy veggies.