There are some dishes that are worth travelling across the world for
…and then writing it down in your recipe book so you can enjoy it again and again once you’rE home!
International cuisine has a sort of magic behind it. Indulging in flavors that are like nothing you have tried before is one of the most exciting parts of travelling.
The key to truly experiencing a new culture lies in the food. In this blog, we take you through some noteworthy dishes from around the world that will get your creative juices flowing in the kitchen and throughout your travel plans.
We will start out with something simple from our own backyard. Poutine originated in Quebec, Canada and layers french fries, cheese curds and brown gravy together for a very satisfying “warm hug” type of comfort meal.
Poke is a traditional dish from the islands of Hawaii that serves as both a main dish or as a pupu (snack or appetizer). The most common way of preparing this fresh salad is by mixing together Yellowfin tuna, soya sauce, dried seaweed and sesame oil. Today, you can find many variations of Poke including sweeter versions with pineapple and spicy versions with chili flakes. Either way, this dish is the perfect compliment to a sunny beach day.
You have likely tried tacos before, but have you tried authentic tacos from Mexico? Traditional Mexican tacos are small in size and made with a soft corn or wheat tortilla stuffed with a variety of fillings including pork, chicken, beef, fish or vegetables. What makes a good taco is the added fresh avocado, cilantro, cabbage and hot sauce. Enjoy 1, 3 or 6 of these tasty antojitos (little cravings or street food) during your next trip to Mexico.
Ceviche is a unique dish mainly because it’s “cooked” by the juices of fresh limes used to marinate the raw seafood. An unbeatable fresh taste is created by combining all of the different types of seafood, lime juice, onion and chili peppers. Best served with crackers or crostinis somewhere on a patio in beautiful Peru.
Poronkaristys translates to “sauteed reindeer” and is a famed dish from Finland, primarily the Lapland region. Thinly sliced or shredded reindeer is fried with black pepper and cream to make a mouthwatering entree, typically served with mashed potatoes. Perfect for a cold winter night or after a day of exploring in snowy Finland.
Made in Italy, gnocchi is not a regular dumpling. These small fluffy potato dumplings are handmade with love and drizzled with truffle cream sauce or a basil tomato sauce. Often you will find them served in a somewhat small portion size as they are just as filling as they are delicious.
Moules Mariniéres: France
Seafood and white wine…how can this dish go wrong? The beautiful flavour of fresh mussels is basted in a hot pot with white wine to create a very saucy, steamy dish that can be served with bread or pommes frites to soak up all the goodness in the extra sauce.
A tajine is actually the name of the pot used to cook this colourful dish. It’s a shallow cookware with a conical lid. The dish itself is bursting with all kind of flavours, from sweet to savory. Meat or fish is combined with vegetables, dried fruit and spices and cooked slowly at a low temperature to ensure that all the seasonings be released from the ingredients. Typically served with couscous to savor all the flavors.
Custard Egg Tarts: Portugal
If you have been to Portugal you know that these are one of the most addictive and delicious pastries known to man. The flaky crust is filled with a creamy custard centre and then broiled at a very high temperature to create the perfect crispiness on the top of the egg custard. You will want to get the recipe as soon as possible.
Blini is a mix between a pancake and a crepe. Slightly thicker than most crepes and crispy on the outside. Fillings range from sour cream to seafood to fresh fruit. This very versatile dish is celebrated at the week-long pancake festival in Russia known as Maslenitsa.
Also known as “spicy rice”, Biryani is a melting pot of flavors as various spices, meats and vegetables are layered together with cooked rice. India is known for its aromatic flavors and this dish is no exception. Topped with sauteed onion and egg, this dish is served slightly spicy and often paired with a side of fresh yogurt to cool the palate.
Beef Rendang: Indonesia
Tender beef is marinated in cloves, onion, coconut milk, cinnamon, and chili and then cooked to perfection at a low temperature for a long period of time. The mix of sweet and spicy compliments the creamy coconut milk perfectly, creating a very satisfying dish that is typically served with rice. This dish will impress your taste buds and is surprisingly easy to make at home, or even better served up beach side in Bali.
Panang Curry: Thailand
This thick red curry is dancing with flavours of kaffir lime, coconut, basil and peanut to create a sweet, salty, and spicy aroma. Panang curry can be found in multiple locations around Asia, but is simmered to perfection in Thailand where it originated. As with most curries, Panang can be served using beef, chicken or pork and with white rice as a side dish.
Bibimbap: South Korea
Directly translating to “mixed rice”, Bibimbap is a bowl of mixed delights including fresh vegetables, pickled vegetables, noodles, egg and meat topped with a namul sauce. Fresh and healthy, this dish is perfect just about any time of day as an entree or snack.
Japan is the land of noodle soups, and Ramen noodle soup is the most famed of them all. Thick wheat noodles are boiled to perfection in a meat-based broth and served with a variety of toppings including egg, meat, seafood, vegetables and dried seaweed. Even if you have tried Ramen before, this is a must-try meal if you are visiting Japan.
“You have to taste a culture to understand it” – Deborah Cater