â€¢ Blue Helmet Dining: Correspondent Nicholas Blanford has been covering the United Nations peacekeeping operations in Lebanon for several years now. Over time, he's developed his own personal "Michelin Guide" to Blue Helmet cuisine. "I've interviewed soldiers from Nepal, Fiji, Ireland, India, Spain, and Italy. Sometimes I stay with them, eat the food they eat, and take mental notes on the cuisine," he says.
For example, he says, the Irish diet is "fairly basic. One meat, two vegetables, including boiled potato."
UN Indian cuisine is "authentic, and the servings are big."
He remembers one midmorning nosh on a Spanish patrol. "It was an icy Saturday, and we stopped at an observation post. The commander made us a delicious snack of cold meats â€“ sausages and smoked ham."
While reporting today's story about UN troops working with Hizbullah (see story), Nick visited an Italian unit. "They were serving veal, several pasta dishes, fried fish, and risotto. I pride myself on cooking good risotto, but this had a simple mushroom sauce that was extremely good."
Italians: Three stars in Nick's UN cuisine guide.
â€“ David Clark Scott