Needless to say, a lot of us haven’t been able to enjoy travel quite as much as we might have liked over the past year and a half. Aside from missing out on all manner of sights, attractions, and cultures, we might have been missing out on fantastic cuisines, too. So I have put together a few examples of excellent international cuisines worth trying to make up for the fact we’re not traveling, for the moment.
A cuisine that has been quickly growing much more popular, thanks to the increased interest in both kimchi, the fermented cabbage dish, and gochujang, a spicy chili soy paste that has been popping up more and more in supermarkets even in rural spaces. Korean cuisine relies on a great blend of vegetables bringing different tastes and textures and few show this balance just as well as a good bibimbap recipe, like this one from Maangchi. Seasoning and texture through additions like toasted sesame seeds, hot pepper flakes, and the aforementioned gochujang are some touches that you’re likely to use much more widely beyond Korean dishes alone.
Okay, so there are plenty of us who already utilize Mexican cuisine in a very wide range of the meals that we make. However, if you’ve never had the opportunity, then it’s extremely easy to follow this beef enchilada recipe and get just a small taste of Mexican cuisine. One of the best things about Mexican cuisine, aside from the fact that it’s one of the easiest ways to add some real spice to your roster of dinners, is that it often relies so heavily on fresh ingredients from a range of food groups.
If you want to go a little further south of the border, there are lots of different countries to explore, each with its own cuisine. One that often gets overlooked is the cuisine of Peru. there are a host of must-eat dishes that come from there, with a combination of two ingredients used extensively: potatoes and aji verde, a gorgeous spice that doesn’t get used enough but is used very well in this Peruvian chicken recipe at Feasting at Home. The combination of spice and heartiness makes Peruvian cuisine such a great choice for both summer and fall.
The nexus points of the world, where one region meets another, tend to get such an eclectic range of different tastes that they’re pretty hard to beat in terms of versatility. This is very much the case for Turkish cuisine, which brings much of the Mediterranean together to meet the Middle East, not to mention a seafood tradition that goes up against many of the great island nations of the world and competes with them taste for taste. However, one of the Turkish traditions that you might be most glad to introduce to your life is that of Turkish coffee, which is an absolute taste sensation that any fan of caffeine must try out, courtesy of just how fine that coffee has to be ground. You’ll need your own special grinder and pot but it will blow the socks off your usual coffee drinking habits.
If you’re a vegan looking for international food that doesn’t rely so heavily on meat, then Ethiopian cuisine could be just the thing for you. There’s no denying the Ethiopian cuisine can be hard to get in to (not everyone has mimita or korerima in their spice rack), there is such a wide range of vegan recipes, including those that center around injera bread, which is used as a staple and a replacement for cutlery, like this spicy lentil stew recipe from Connoisserous Veg.
Just as Turkey’s blend of foods is interesting due to a combination of geographical influences, Filipino cuisine is made even more interesting by a combination of Southeast Asian classics alongside Spanish influences due to its colonial history. A good Adobo recipe (bearing a Spanish name, but truly Tagalog in origin) is a great representation of this. It’s also extremely easy to make, which means it can quickly turn into a family favorite. The combination of savory, salty, and sour all goes together perfectly as a meat alongside rice, in a burrito, or anywhere you can use it.
Of course, there are plenty more cuisines to try than the few named just above. However, if you’re looking to spice things up in the kitchen a little and to enjoy at least one of the aspects of travel, then these are just a few options worth looking into.