One of the best things about going to new places is being able to experience their food. Each country has its own unique flavors that are just begging us to love them, but travelling to each country is out of the question. Thankfully, some of the world’s greatest foods are fairly easy to make at home. So for your next date night, girls night, or family night, why not surprise your guests with some authentic and exotic new dishes.
Here are 6 foods from around the world that will make anybody’s taste-buds dance.
- For making a Simply Sweet Brunch: Finnish Korvapuusti
If you venture up North to Scandinavia you are bound to notice an unusual spice creeping into many of your pastries: cardamom! My favorite of these pastries, is the Finnish Korvapuusti (recipe here). This delicious pastry is the Finn’s version of a cinnamon roll. Their take, has the addition of cardamom and is topped with Swedish pearl sugar so you won’t even miss the frosting! Seriously, if you make these, people will be asking you what your secret is!
- For the Lover of Fried Food: West African AkaraThe size of the pots used to fry food on the streets, speaks to the popularity of their delicious fried snacks. One day, I decided to try something new: Acarajé/Akara (recipe here). Within the first bite I was transported 6,000 miles to McDonald’s, where I was eating a McChicken. Except, much to my surprise, Akara is actually made with beans and nothing remotely resembling chicken! The best part? These treats are really easy to make! I made them for my family and they were almost all gone before I could even get them to the table.
- For a Wine-and-Cheese-Kind-of-Night: Argentine Picada
The simplest on the list, the Picada is essentially a cold cuts and cheese platter, but you will sound extremely cool calling it a Picada. In addition to good cuts of meat (pepperoni, ham, sausage) and cheese (blue cheese, Parmigiano, pecorino), you can add bread, olives, peanuts, and a dip of your choice. It’s simple, delicious and all about the presentation.
- For the Experimental Health Chef: Burmese SaladsMy friend from Myanmar explained that they turn pretty much anything into salad. She recommended one salad in particular that wouldn’t completely surprise an American’s taste buds. The essentials are rice, potatoes, tamarind juice, fish oil, and, for those who are daring, dried prawns. You can also add in noodles and other vegetables that are to your liking. Once you try out this Burmese salad (recipe here), you may want to brave the more intense salads from Myanmar, like the fermented tea leaf salad. Just don’t be disappointed when they lack lettuce.
- For a Heavy Duty 3-in 1-Meal with Meat: Hainanese Chicken Ric
When discussing this Singapore national dish with my friend, she described it as, “fragrant.” She explained that eating food begins with smell, meaning not only does this dish taste good, but it smells great as well. This meal comes with rice, chicken and soup! The chile sauce used is fairly simple to make: shallots, garlic, salt, lime juice, and some hot chiles. Then, to make the rice extra flavorful, you can add shallots, garlic, soy sauce, and even cucumber. This recipe is definitely worth a try if you want to experience authentic Asian cuisine; something rare to find in the USA.
- For a Bittersweet Finish: Italian AffogatoYou can typically find this in a Gelateria, but if you have a commercial espresso machine then it’s simple enough to make at home. All you need is a scoop of vanilla gelato placed in a glass and then pour an espresso shot or two over it. This is a great treat when you know you will be up late studying for finals or having a Netflix marathon.
And there you have it! Six new foods that can help you escape for a night. Hate them, like them, love them if you may, but there is no denying the satisfaction you will get out of taking a risk and trying something new. Heck, you can maybe even try one of these out for a date. After all, the say the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach! Bon Appetite!