|Columbus Food Adventures’ Trust Falls, such as this one from
Yemeni Restaurant, has become one of our favorite pursuits
One of our favorite developments of 2020 in the local food scene was one made of necessity. Built around guided tours, Columbus Food Adventures (note: I was slated to be one of the tour guides last year) pivoted to the Trust Fall with the COVID pandemic putting a halt to the traditional tours. Essentially a delivery service, the Trust Fall delivered meals to your doorstep many international and other intriguing restaurants around the area. The only catch, if you can call it such, lies in the name – you don’t know what restaurant you will be getting for your meal.
As noted on their blogpost, their Trust Fall proved to be quite successful, bringing 3,600 meals representing 40 nationalities. Discovering staples from various nationalities and countries has been always one of our favorite things while dining out and traveling, and the Trust Fall proved to be a great way of doing that last year in a low- to no-contact manner.
Taking that desire for discovery in mind, this latest playlist takes some of the countries/restaurants featured on the Trust Fall last year and gives you a small sampling at what was popular in music in those countries during 2020 (playlist embedded at the end of the post.)
1) “Habib Galbi” – A-WA: Formed by three sisters from Yemen, A-WA has proven to be an international sensation, with “Habib Galbi” becoming the first song ever in Arabic to top the Israeli pop charts. In Columbus, you can get all things Yemeni such as Lamb Haneeth and Chicken Mandi at the appropriately named Yemeni Restaurant.
2) “Bet You Wanna (feat. Cardi-B)” – BLACKPINK, Cardi-B: From my research, K-Pop groups reigned supreme on the pop charts of numerous countries. BTS is definitely the big dog here, but the all-girl group BLACKPINK, formed in 2016, had as big a year as any group, including this team up with female New York-based rapper Cardi B. Last year’s trust falls included Korean-inspired specialties from eateries like Poong Mei, Ajumama and Nara.
3) “Un Dia Mas” – Corina Smith, Akapellah: Hailing from Venezuela, Corina Smith made her first mark on the Latin charts with her “La Dificil” and has been pumping out the music ever since, with a number of singles released last year, including this pairing with fellow countryman and rapper Akapellah. Long time staple Arepazo and newcomer Los Andes, working out of the kitchens of Si Senor Columbus, provided a bevy of Venezuelan food items on last year’s Trust Falls.
4) “Marikit” – Juan Caoile, Kyleswish: Tik Tok has taken over the social media world for viral sensations, and Filipino youngster Juan Caoile and his friend Kyle Capiles themselves the beneficiary of such, with a dance challenge that caught fire with a number of song lovers. Filipino food is not a huge presence in Central Ohio with two eateries, but both of them (Bonifacio and Kuya Ian’s Bistro) made appearances on the Trust Fall last year.
5) “Mojito” – Jay Chou: Similar to J-Pop, what’s now known as Mandopop had its origins in jazz music of 1920s and 1930s. Nowadays, all forms of Asian pop borrow liberally from each other and other genres of music, and the Taiwan-born Chou, nicknamed “The King of Mandopop”, has done this to much success since his debut in 2000, and as shown here in his mambo-styled “Mojito”. Chinese restaurants are some of the longer-lasting institutions in Columbus proper, but more regionally-focused eateries have gained popularity of late, including Trust Fall participants Jiu Thai, Xi Xia, N.E. Chinese and Noodle Topia.
6) “Titliaan” – Afsana Khan, Harrdy Sandhu, Sargun Mehta: India’s music scene is as diverse as its food, with a number of charts covering the various regions of the country (Telegu, Bengali, Mirchi, and so forth.) Titliaan, a Punjabi song about a deceptive lover (translated sample lyrics: “The days of him deceiving in secret are gone/Now, he looks in the eyes while he scams”), might be one you hum along to Trust Fall meals from Aangan Bistro and Tandoori Grill, whose menus contain many dishes of that region.
7) “Esta En Ti” (It’s In You)” – Adriana Rios: Putting out music during this pandemic has been a challenge for many musicians, but the Tijuana-born Rios did it better than most, putting out a song which was voted the best Latin quarantine-related song by Billboard Magazine. While Tijuana-based Mexican food isn’t a thing in Columbus, plenty of other Mexican food options are prominent in the area, including Trust Fall participants Dos Hermanos and Alebrijes.
8) “Mis Sentimientos (Version Salsa)” – Daniela Darcourt, Los Barraza: Born in Peru, Darcourt is one of the leading current voices of Salsa music, getting her start with in ballet, followed by numerous talent show successes, a stint with Son Tentación, and a solo career with has seen numerous accolades and awards for the twenty-four year old performer. Representing Peru on the Columbus Food Adventures has been Si Senor and the intriguing Somali/Peruvian mashup of The Mix.
9) “Ntyilo Ntyilo” – Rethabile Khumalo, Master KG: This South African pop star has good musical genes: Khumalo’s mother Winnie has been one of the country’s top entertainers for decades before Rethabile made her mark via the South African version of Idol singing competition shows that started in Great Britain. Columbus has two excellent examples of South African cuisine which made appearances on the Trust Fall last year in Hisham’s (Cape Malay-style cuisine) and the South African/Thai/Indian dishes of Fetty’s Street Food.
10) “Mufasa” – Amaal Nuux: Originally from Somalia, Nuux has been called the “Somali Beyonce”, with several well-received albums as an independent artist in Canada until being signed to RBMG Records in 2018, the same label as Justin Bieber and The Weeknd. With the second-highest Somali population in the United States, Columbus is not unsurprisingly home to several Somali or Somali-inspired restaurants, including Trust Fall eateries Hoyo’s Kitchen, The Mix, and Afra Grill.
11) “Plaigant” – Jahman X-Press: This relatively recent newcomer to Senegal’s music scene has ridden his mix of Afro-Soul and Hip-Hop to a series of hits on his country’s musical charts, including this 2020 release. Senegalese food has proven to be one of our most exciting finds of late, with Columbus’s Dabakh as the place to go (or, if you’re lucky, get it home delivered via a Trust Fall.)
12) “Level Of Concern” – Twenty One Pilots: Of course, plenty of American-styled cuisines based here in Columbus have made their way onto the Trust Fall, often with some special, fancier-style menu items (Chapman’s Eat Market, Service Bar, Comune, and Cravings Cafe come to mind.) Perhaps it’s only appropriate that we pick out a Columbus-based band to end this list, and perhaps no one is better suited than Twenty One Pilots, whose “Level of Concern” proved to be a catchy tune inspired by the pandemic, one that assured you that we’ll be all right, we’ll be okay, even if only for a few minutes.