One of the best (and certainly, the most enjoyable) ways to get to know different countries and cultures is through food.
Either it’s munching a portion of pad thai in one of Bangkok’s food stands, or savoring a juicy Italian pizza in a restaurant in Rome, these experiences stay with us long after the travels are over. No wonder local delicacies are usually the first choice when we think about what to bring back to our family and friends. What else can tell a better story about a place than traditional sweets or spices?
Today the world has closed, but you can still travel using your taste buds. Cooking mouth-watering dishes from various world cuisines will let you teleport to a different country each time!
We picked out 9 world cuisines (together with some great traditional or inspired recipes!) that are worth trying out at home during the quarantine. Bon appetite!
The Greeks say that they live to eat rather than eat to live. In this Southern European country, eating is an entire ritual that involves relaxing, savoring the food and a lot of socializing. Quarantine is the best time to try out this slow, Greek way of living!
Greek food is quite light and won’t be hard on your stomach. Almost no meal can be made without olive oil, and there’s also a lot of vegetables, fruit, nuts, fish, and seafood involved. Of course, let’s not forget the famous feta cheese that goes well with everything! Another important ingredient is fylo – a kind of dough that is used to make traditional Greek vegetable pies (spanakopita), as well as various pastries. You don’t have to make fylo at home – it can be found in most supermarkets.
Would you like to feel the Mediterranean spirit? Try out these recipes:
Once the rulers of the entire Ottoman Empire, the Turks have adopted various culinary traditions from other Central Asian, Middle Eastern, and Balkan nations. That is why Turkish cuisine involves a great variety of ingredients and dishes. Everyone can find something for their own taste!
Turks are true meat lovers, though their national kitchen is full of vegetarian options as well. From the latter, dolma (vegetables stuffed with rice) is the most popular. From the meat dishes, the absolute favorite is kebab (grilled lamb, beef or chicken served on a skewer, AKA shish kebabs or shashliks), and döner or döner kebab (grilled meat wrapped in flatbread). Let’s also not forget the famous Turkish sweets! Savoring baklava or künefe will definitely take you to the bustling Istanbul’s markets.
Have you been dreaming about Turkey? Here are a few Turkish recipes to try out at home:
Thailand is a real paradise for travelers. It attracts the crowds with its white-sand beaches, excellent weather, breathtaking temples, and fantastic local cuisine. There’s a wide variety of Thai dishes though most of them involve the same staple ingredients: rice and noodles, fried veggies, coconut milk, soy sauce, lemongrass, coriander, and lime juice. To add more spiciness, Thai chefs use chili peppers and garlic, while shrimp paste (Kapi) and fish sauce (nam pla) are used to give the food some saltiness.
Although some of the ingredients might seem a bit unusual, actually Thai food is quite easy to cook at home. Savoring spicy soups, curries, or fried rice will definitely let you feel the Thai spirit!
Need some ideas? Check out these Thai recipes:
Japanese cuisine is known as one of the healthiest in the world. Trying it out at home will inspire you to travel to the East as well as strengthen your immune system during the quarantine! The base of the Japanese diet is composed out of rice, boiled and pickled veggies, some lean meat, plenty of fish and seafood, and soybeans. The latter is eaten either green or processed in different ways. For instance, soy sauce or tofu (cheese made out of soy milk) are both widely popular and are great for salads and soups.
Fish in Japan can be eaten fried, cooked or simply raw. Apart from a wide variety of seafood, the Japanese also consume seaweed, a great source of minerals and vitamins.
If you‘re looking for something exotic, but also healthy and simple, try out these Japenese recipes:
It’s not easy to explain what exactly is Indian cuisine. This country has over 1 billion people and 29 states, each of them with a different culture and traditional food. But maybe that’s even for the better? With such a great variety of dishes, every stomach will be pleased.
Those who wish to travel to northern India, first of all, should get to know the local flatbread. There’s plenty of different kinds: chapatti, roti, naan, paratha… In the North, the locals also eat a lot of veggie stews, lentils, paneer cheese, and yogurt, while in the South, rice, fish, seafood and coconut milk are more used.
The easiest way to imagine yourself in India even for a short moment is by indulging in a cup of chai masala. This traditional hot drink is made out of black tea, milk, sugar, cardamom, and ginger (here‘s the recipe: https://www.feastingathome.com/authentic-masala-chai-recipe/). And if you’re looking for a bigger challenge, try out these Indian-inspired recipes:
Even those who have never been to Israel, have heard about its phenomenal local cuisine. Israel is a melting pot of different peoples, cultures, and culinary traditions – that is why the Israeli food scene is so diverse. Some dishes have been brought from the neighboring Arab countries, and some came together with the Jewish diaspora from Eastern Europe, northern Africa, etc.
Like in other Meditteranean countries, people in Israel consume a lot of vegetables, fruit, olive oil, nuts, and fish. Other staple ingredients, like chickpeas or tahini (sesame paste), have been adopted from Africa and the Middle East. Most traditional Israeli meals can be found in other countries as well (for instance, falafel or hummus). Though for every dish, Israelis have created their own interesting interpretations!
Would you like to visit Israel? These recipes will bring your dream closer:
Just like other Mediterranean nations, Italians have turned eating into a pleasant leisure activity. Maybe that’s why so many of us come back from a vacation in Italy with a few extra pounds? From cannoli with espresso for breakfast to mouth-watering pizzas – there’s so much to taste in this country!
To tell the truth, Italians themselves are not overweight. They’re always trying to eat slow and enjoy every single bite. Even though most of us associate Italian cuisine with pasta, cheese, tiramisu, and gelato, Italian families consume a lot of organic products as well, including seasonal veggies, beans, fish and poultry. Most dishes are accompanied by olive oil and balsamic vinegar – another healthy, low-calorie Italian product.
Would you like to indulge in food like a real Italian? Try out these simple Italian-inspired recipes:
Spain is composed out of 17 regions, each of them with a different climate, history, culture, and culinary traditions. Nonetheless, some staple ingredients are used in cooking throughout Spain: these include tomatoes, peppers, olive oil, potatoes, garlic, fresh bread, and some basic spices. It doesn’t look too fancy, does it? Actually traditional Spanish cuisine is not that complicated. Its history started with simple peasant dishes that later developed and evolved into the versions they are today.
If you‘re stuck at home but you want to feel like you‘re in Spain, first of all, you can prepare some simple tapas. These Spanish appetizers are adored by locals and are usually accompanied by a glass of beverage. The variety of tapas is neverending. It can be cold appetizers like olives, cheese, and various small bites, or hot dishes like meatballs or fried seafood (Here are some simple tapas ideas: https://www.recipetineats.com/easy-spanish-tapas-recipes/).
And if you don‘t mind spending more time in the kitchen, try out these Spanish recipes:
If you’re craving for something hot and spicy, look into the Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines. The ultimate comfort food, packed with chillis, fried veggies, beans, and loads of melted cheese, Mexican dishes are perfect for lightening up the mood during quarantine!
In Mexican cuisine, everything starts with a corn tortilla. In the Tex-Mex version, tortillas are made out of flour, but the point remains the same. Preparing tortillas in different ways and stuffing them with various ingredients will result in the most delicious bites! Either it’s enchiladas, tacos, burritos, or fajitas – these are all great meals made out of tortillas.
Both corn and flour tortillas can be store-bought or made at home (corn tortilla recipe here: https://www.mexicoinmykitchen.com/corn-tortillas-from-scratch/, flour tortilla recipe here: https://www.mexicoinmy kitchen.com/flour-tortillas-de-harina/). Put on a sombrero, turn on a soap opera and indulge in these Mexican-inspired dishes:
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