Helping to create a global table that extends around the world, Tulsa’s Sasha Martin is promoting international togetherness through tastiness by cooking the world A to Z on her blog, Global Table Adventure.
Featuring fun and versatile recipes from each of the 195 countries on the planet, she gives readers the opportunity to transport themselves with their taste buds, bridging the worldwide cultural gap through what she has coined “stovetop travel.” What better way to break barriers than to break bread?
Your blog has widespread appeal. How do you believe it stands apart from other foodie travel media?
I love Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern, but I differentiate myself in the way that, for the most part, I choose recipes that people will find both interesting and approachable. I want people from all walks of life to want to explore these recipes. For example, I don’t do stuff like fried tarantulas. I feel like so many food travel shows tend to emphasize things like that, and it can take away from my mission, which is to reach as many people as possible.
Those kinds of foods seem to be more for shock factor than appeal.
Yes, it’s hard for us to relate to a culture when people are eating spiders, and it’s unfortunate because it makes people say “Ew!” They immediately feel separate from that country instead of closer to them. I’ve been amazed at how many things around the world are actually very approachable and easy to make.
What is one of the biggest similarities that you’ve found that keeps us all connected when it comes to meals?
Hospitality is across the board. When I’m researching countries, I’m constantly finding proverbs and things about hospitality. I think everybody wants to have people come to their homes and feel loved and appreciated, no matter what your culture is, and that is what you do by making and sharing a meal with them. The ritual of socializing and talking and coming together to share a meal is universal.
You challenge readers to imagine creating peace, “one bite at a time.” How do you believe that stovetop travel can contribute to accomplishing this?
I think that when you accept another person’s culture into your home and into your mouth, you make the world a little bit smaller and a little bit friendlier. Think about how we approach our neighbors nowadays. A lot of us don’t know our neighbors, but if we are fortunate to get to know them – maybe have a barbecue with them – we feel that much more comfortable with the fact of who lives next door to us. I think it’s the same idea on a global scale. It’s just making the table larger and making more people come together and see each other as humans who have the same wants and desires…to feed their families and to be healthy and happy.
You have a deal with National Geographic to publish your book, The Spiced Life. How does it differ from your blog?
It’s more of a memoir, but it goes along with my mission, and that’s really encouraging a positive and beautiful image of the world. It’s all things travel and food. It’s a story of growth and coming into motherhood and marriage and finding a place in the world after a lifetime of travel and transition, and how my blog has helped me do that. I look at the cultures of the world as inspiration, and there’s a recipe in every chapter. It’s definitely a book for foodies.