The University of Iowa

Durango, Mexico - Avery Jacques and Norma Pulgarin

ENCHILADAS: tomato, jalapeño, onion, chicken, queso Chihuahua, sour cream, garlic, flavoring CHIPOTLE PASTA: linguini, chipotle, sour cream, queso Chihuahua, half and half, cilantro, cream cheese, garlic ENCHILADAS VERDES: jalapeño tomatillo, garlic, onion, chicken flavoring, Chihuahua cheese, sour cream, chicken, corn tortilla ENCHILADAS BLANCAS: jalapeño, queso, chicken, sour cream, corn tortilla

We are representing the state of Durango. Most of the foods eaten in this state are seafood, lamb and chicken, along with special things like gorditas, sopes, and especially tacos. A lot of dishes in Durango consist of corn masa, whether it’s gorditas, tacos, enchiladas, chilaquiles, etc. Many of the veggies eaten in this area are a variety of different peppers and corn. The soups in this area—also known as caldos—such as menudo and pozole, have corn in them as well but it's known as hominy.

We chose these because they were some of our favorite things our family made during our childhood. 

Congo - Coralie Okouango

PARIS-BREST: eggs, flour, almonds, hazelnuts, cornstarch, brown sugar, lime, buttermilk, heavy cream, butter, salt, sugar and vanilla
This dish originated in 1910 and was created by pastry chef Louis Durand.  The dish's name came from a bike race in Paris-Brest. With the arrival of Europeans in Africa, this dish also traveled with them, and Africans adopted it. The dish is essential because it represents the joy of life and the family gathering.

Germany/Russia/Midwest USA - Brendan Correll

BIEROCK: wheat flour, yeast, butter, eggs, milk, ground beef, onion, garlic, green cabbage, Gruyère cheese, caraway seeds, paprika, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce

The bierock was brought to the Midwest by the Volga German Mennonite population immigrating from Russia. Many Germans arrived in Nebraska, Kansas and the Dakotas from Russia during a period of forced conscription and assimilation into Russian culture that was particularly threatening to pacifist Mennonites. They brought their food and culture with them, and it’s become a cornerstone of the culture of the midwestern United States. A Midwest food chain, Runza, sells their eponymous descendant of the bierock all throughout Nebraska, where it’s become a staple at football games all over the state. Growing up in far western Iowa, I came across this dish while visiting Nebraska with my family. Simple hand pies are a staple at cold and often wet Nebraska football games so I felt they would be a perfect fit for a food expo in deep Iowa winter, when I find something savory and hot that’ll “stick to your ribs” always hits the spot. I look forward to practicing making sauerkraut from scratch and a chance to workshop a reliable and pliant dough recipe for my own records.

Czech Republic - Devon Kellen

OVOCNÉ KNEDLÍKY: milk, sugar, yeast, all-purpose flour, eggs, salt, sugar, lemon or orange zest, fruit (strawberries, blueberries, apricots, etc.)

Most of the Czech food is extremely hearty and filling, more than likely due to the cost of living.  Tomatoes and potatoes are often added to dishes for thickening of sauces or increasing caloric density. The fruit dumpling is a sweeter thing but can be traditionally made with potatoes or flour or cheese which are all usually cheaper to buy and/or farmed by themselves. Knedlíky itself is often made of flour or potatoes and is used with the sauces again mostly because its cheap and its filling and it feeds a lot of people. There's a lot of other hearty fillings like beef and other meats, but I prefer fruit because it's more widely appreciated.

Germany/Poland - Emily Hopman

HUNGARIAN GOULASH: stew meat (beef), pork ribs, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, bay leaves, bouillon cubes, carrots, peas, salt, sugar, soy sauce, beef bouillon MASHED POTATOES: potatoes, milk, butter, salt

Though the closest equivalent online I can find is called Hungarian Goulash, this is a recipe from my late Oma. I’m not sure where the peas and carrots recipe came from- best I can guess it’s my Oma’s own invention. I just know we’ve always served it alongside her goulash and roasts. She was born in Poland and smuggled into Germany shortly before WWII by her mother. Later she married an American soldier, my granddad, stationed at the base there, and she immigrated here when my mom and her siblings were in elementary school. She loved to cook and to host, and I have many fond memories of spending the weekends at her home, often around the dining room table. My mom learned these recipes looking over Oma’s shoulder, and it’s a lovely way to remember her now, learning them from my mom the same way. 

Hungarian goulash is a national dish of Hungary, dating back to at least the 10th century. It was created as a portable source of food for shepherds, able to be transported dried and made into a stew by readding water. This is where it gets its name- gulyás means herdsman in Hungarian. It was during the 18th and 19th centuries, due to the imports from the Americas, where goulash began to traditionally include its now signature paprika.

El Salvador - Eunice Garcia

PLANTAIN EMPANADAS: Plantain, water, corn starch, milk, cinnamon, sugar, refried beans

Plantain bananas are deeply ingrained in Latin American cuisine. Plantains are denser than bananas and mostly used in cooking, whereas bananas are eaten as fruit. Plantains were brought to El Salvador by the explorers to the new world from Asia. In the Colombian Exchange, i.e. El Salvador, tropical climates plantains are plentiful. The debate of whether beans are Mexican or Salvadorian has been ongoing for many years. Beans are a common ingredient in many Mexican and Salvadorean dishes and have been a staple food in both countries. 

Empanadas poleada (milk) or refried bean empanadas are everywhere in El Salvador. You can find them in the street vendors places or the restaurants every afternoon, every day of the week. I picked this dish because it is a very delicious dessert after a dinner meal. Or just go for a walk and eat it as a snack. It is fun to make and delicious!

Midwest, USA - Kyle Whiting

SCOTCHAROO: Rice Krispies cereal, sugar, peanut butter, corn syrup, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips

Scotcharoo season may possibly be the most wonderful time of the year. It's an extra-special moment when a dessert that’s easy to make, handy to eat and impressive to kids from 1 to 92 reigns supreme. First made popular in the post-World War II period, the supremacy of the scotcharoo has less to do with any of Iowa’s historically dominant ethnic groups — the Germans, the Dutch and the Scandinavians all love desserts, but more to do with the fact that the recipe first appeared on the side of a Rice Krispies box. I chose this dish because it is my favorite snack!

Chicago, USA - Lametry Hall

CHICAGO-STYLE HOT DOG: beef hot dog, poppyseed bun, yellow mustard, sweet green pickle relish, chopped onion, tomato, Kosher dill pickle, sport peppers, celery salt. NO KETCHUP!

The Chicago hot dog (aka Red Hot) began in 1843 at the Worlds Columbian Exposition, a fair to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus arrival in the New World in 1492. The Chicago-style hot dog did not become a true staple in the city’s culture until the Great Depression, when where streetcart-style hot dog vendors offered this meal along Maxwell Street for a nickel. This sweet, salty, spicy hot dog has nine ingredients, assembled a certain way and ketchup is forbidden. Chicago has more hot dog restaurants than McDonald's, Wendy’s, and Burger King restaurants combined!

Norway - Michael Shaw

LAMB SHANK STEW: lamb shanks, garlic, celery, carrots, onion, tomato paste, red wine, chicken stock, orange zest, rutabaga, turnip, parsnips

BONE MARROW AND TOAST WITH MULBERRY JAM: Beef or veal marrow bones, parsley, shallots, capers, lemon, crusty bread. Mulberries, sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg, pectin.

Lamb and pork are the main proteins served in Norway, along with many types of salted fish. Bread is a Norwegian staple used since Viking times. Norway is known for its wild berries and have a bunch of desserts surrounding that flavor. I come from a long line of mixed cultures and always enjoyed cooking from these cultures, and I wish to share them with everyone.

South Dakota, USA - Seth Wimmer

CHISLIC: Beef or lamb, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and garlic powder, garlic salt.

Chislic is a cubed-meat dish created in South Dakota. Chislic is commonly made using beef, lamb, or venison meat. While beef is the most common choice in recipes today, due to its accessibility and lower cost, many argue that lamb is the most traditional and best-tasting choice. Sheep were a vital part of the pioneering life of individuals in the Midwest; therefore, it was easily accessible at the time. The history of chislic is only somewhat known and there is still debate over who originally brought the recipe to South Dakota. During the late 19th century, before South Dakota had even become a state in the U.S., many Germans began immigrating to the newly founded Dakota territories to escape from Russian nationalism. These German immigrants sought land for themselves to build homes on and create better opportunities to preserve their German heritage that was being threatened by Russian powers in the Crimean area of Europe and Asia. A German Russian from the Crimean area, John Hoellwarth, is most credited for the dish, though it cannot be determined exactly who brought the recipe to South Dakota. John lived in an area that is now modern-day Freeman, SD. Word of this dish spread slowly around Freeman and created the “Chislic Circle” for which chislic became a popular dish. Eventually, chislic was known and enjoyed throughout the state and there are now annual events held in Freeman featuring this South Dakotan “meat on a stick” dish.

I chose to make chislic because I was born in South Dakota and grew up living in Sioux Falls. Chislic was a common food that you could find in many bars and grills in the city. Until I moved out of South Dakota for college, I had never known that chislic was only regionally known and not common to find in other states. I have always enjoyed the simplistic approach to chislic and the salty tenderness of the meat and a side of fries and ranch was a must for me. Hopefully this dish is something many people find enjoyable and easy to make at home and this traditional South Dakotan dish can be shared in more places across the Midwest.

Vietnam - Shelly Davis and Cody Knapp

BUN BO NAM BO: Cold rice noodles topped with marinated beef, bean sprouts, fried shallots, fresh vegetables, herbs, roasted peanuts, and nuoc cham CHE THAI: coconut milk, sugar, water chestnuts, red food coloring, tapioca starch, ube extract, Ayu jelly, jackfruit, lychee, longan.

Bun Bo Nam Bo, a classic Vietnamese dish that originated in the city of Hue, which was once the capital of Vietnam, it’s said to originate from street vendors and is most popular in the Vietnamese capital. Available almost anywhere in Vietnam, Bun Bo Nam Bo is easy for vendors and restaurants to put their own spin on the dish, making it a must-try everywhere you travel in Vietnam. Note: it is known as Bun Bo Xiao in south Vietnam instead of Bun Bo Nam Bo in the north. Che Thai Vietnamese dessert can be easily customized to suit different tastes and can be tailored for dietary restrictions of flavor preferences. Traditionally, Che Thai has been served for special occasions such as weddings and special events. Che Thai is believed to have roots in the Southern regions of Vietnam. Some historians suggest the Che Thai may have been influenced by Thai cuisine, given its name and the use of coconut milk in the dessert.

Our father is from Vietnam and he really enjoys making dishes he grew up with. The Bun Bo Nam Bo and Che Thai was something that he would make for us, and we really enjoy it, and he took a lot of pride in it.

Germany - Pearl Vick

FLAMMKUCHEN: dough containing flour, oil, water, salt, a spread of crème fraiche, nutmeg, salt, pepper and topped with bacon and onion SPARGEL: White asparagus, hollandaise sauce containing butter, egg, lemon and salt. Topped with bacon or prosciutto DOLOMITI-EIS: Mixture of water, sugar, corn syrup, raspberries, lemons and Waldmeister syrup

Also known as tarte flambée, the pizza-like flammkuchen comes from Alsace-Lorraine, the border region historically contested by Germany and France. The dish was first cooked by farmers who baked bread in wood-fire stoves every few weeks; the leftover dough would be made into a flat bread and topped with curds and quickly cooked off in the hottest part of the oven. Germans lose their minds over white asparagus, white asparagus is the same plant as the green variety, it is simply prevented from obtaining any color by keeping it out of the sun. Once exposed, it will pretty rapidly pick up color. It can be grown in the shade, but usually farmers will cover the plants with dirt and then plastic sheeting to control the plant's exposure to sunlight. This delicate process means that the season for white asparagus is shorter, and its harvest is celebrated across Germany as “Spargelzeit”. The season lasts from mid-April to June 24th, St. John the Baptist’s Day.  The season is celebrated with festivals, and you can even make a pilgrimage along and Asparagus route in the states of Baden and Niedersachsen (where I lived), stopping at producers, markets, festivals, and restaurants. Dolomiti-Els is a three-flavor popsicle: lemon, raspberry, and “Waldmeister”. Or woodruff. The three colors are meant to represent the Italian flag—white, red and green—since the popsicle is designed to look like the Drei Zinnen peaks of the Dolomite mountains, in Northern Italy.  Waldmeister (“master of the woods” in German) is a flowering herb that grows across Europe and is popular in Germany as a flavoring in syrups, drinks, and other sweets. This dish is purely because I really want to make it. I originally thought of making an ice cream inspired by Berliner Weisse, a sour white ale from Berlin which is traditionally served with a shot of red- raspberry syrup- or green- Waldmeister flavor. But thinking about my other two dishes, I realized I was really thinking about my host dad.  He’s an amazing cook, and these were dishes that he would make for us at home. Think about my host dad and these flavors, I quickly came to the Dolomiti-Eis. Dolomiti-Eis was first sold in Germany when my host dad was growing up-it was introduced in 1973, and production was stopped in 1987. It was brought back for one year in the 1990s but wasn’t popular, but it was brought back one more time in 2014, when I lived in Germany, and I ate it all summer. My host dad loved that I loved the popsicle, because it had been his favorite as a child, and it brought back happy nostalgic memories.

I originally just thought of dishes that I love to eat and feel especially “German” to me, but once I realized how much my host dad was an inspiration to my two savory dishes, I had to change the sweet one to honor him as well. All these foods remind me so much of my host family in Germany and dear they are to me.