Are you dreaming of travel? It’s been a long time coming, but we’re slowly being allowed to travel again. Here in the UK, the Rule of Six was introduced for domestic holidays, putting staycations with loved ones back on the agenda. For those seeking travel beyond the British Isles, travel out of the UK is also possible again, with the traffic light system announced recently.
However, there are still many countries that we’re not able to access yet. If you long to immerse yourself in other cultures, it’s possible to do so without leaving your hometown. In fact, you don’t even have to leave your house.
Until the world opens up again, why not get a flavour for life in other countries by recreating dishes from around the world? Here are some culinary ideas to try.
Fish and chips – UK
Ok, so we’re starting with a classic dish from right here in the UK, but fish and chips is something you can do to recreate that nostalgic feeling of summers at the seaside with family. Plus, now that restrictions have eased, it gives you a chance to get out and travel right here on home turf.
There are plenty of ways to indulge in this quintessentially British staple. One of the loveliest is to set off on a walking holiday somewhere in the UK and stumbling across a little fish and chip shop on the coast. This is perfect because it’s likely that, as you’re by the sea, you’ll be able to tuck into freshly caught fish. Combined with the salty air, you have the perfect setting for a delicious meal.
Pho – Vietnam
This Vietnamese noodle soup has grown in popularity in the last decade. This is likely down to the country becoming a major tourist spot recently, with visitor numbers soaring to a record high of over 18 million in 2019.
Pho is a combination of rice noodles and sliced raw beef, which is cooked by the steaming, spicy beef broth that’s poured over the top. Bean sprouts, hot chilies, and fresh herbs such as basil are added, along with some zesty lime. In its origin country, it’s eaten at breakfast, but it’s a tasty treat at any time of the day.
Tagine – Morocco
The term ‘tagine’ refers to both the Moroccan stew and the cookware it’s served in. It’s been one of the most important dishes for the country for hundreds of years and is a hearty meal that’s designed to sate the appetite.
The lid of the tagine traps steam, keeping the stew moist. This means that minimal water is required in its preparation.
Typical ingredients include spices such as cinnamon, turmeric, saffron and ginger, and include meats such as chicken and lamb, as well as fish. While these make up the basic ingredients, there are variations that incorporate dried fruit and nuts, herbs, and olives.
Whichever type you try, you’re sure to feel satisfied after a bowl of this delicious dish.
Paella – Spain
Paella is a key part of Spanish cuisine. Originally eaten by farmers, it was a combination of rice and any food that was to hand, from tomatoes and onions to rabbit and snails.
Over time, more variations on the dish cropped up, with 200 in the Valencia region alone. Today, a traditional paella still has a mixture of rice, chicken, rabbit, and snails, along with white and green beans. But seafood has become the norm for non-traditional variations and is a more common addition in place of snails and rabbit.
While the ingredients are important, the setting has equal significance. Paella is a sociable dish that’s designed to be shared. It’s placed in the centre of the table and diners dig in, adding to the enjoyment of this totally Spanish meal.
What continental cuisine are you cooking up?