Throughout COVID-19, people across the world have had to stay home and stay safe from the virus in an effort to slow the spread. For us travelers, this has meant putting a hold on our future travel plans until it is safe to do so. While our plans might have been delayed, the travel bug still exists in all of us. And what better way to (literally!) feed that travel spirit than through food? Here’s we’ll show you some of the great international recipes.
Incorporating signature ingredients and tastes, and always following recipes straight from their native countries, cooking distant-cuisine-inspired dishes is one of the best ways to celebrate different cultures without even stepping outside your home. Through our travels, we’ve tried some fantastic dishes that speak to the cultural expression of the wonderful countries we’ve visited. From these experiences, we’ve picked out some of our favorite dishes, inspired by those places, so here are our top five dishes from around the world for you to make and enjoy at home.
Älplermagronen from Switzerland
Älplermagronen is a type of gratin similar to macaroni and cheese, and often includes potatoes, cream and onions served with apple or applesauce on the side. It’s a rich comfort dish that originates from the Swiss Alps, often made in one pot for ease. This dish is incredibly popular, and comes in many forms for a cozy meal that’s bound to please. If you’re looking for a meal that makes you feel like you’re warming up after a long, cold day, try your hand at Älplermagronen.
Overall, the dish is relatively simple to make, with options to customize by adding some bacon or caramelizing your onions for another layer of flavor. You can find an easy recipe for Älplermagronen that involves both.
If you are interested in visiting Switzerland in the future (or just want to satisfy the travel cravings while you are not able to!) you can enjoy this and other great international recipes we’ve been able to experience.
Potjiekos from Namibia
Namibia is located in southern Africa and borders the Atlantic Ocean, next to Zambia and Botswana. One of the most popular dishes in Namibia is Potjiekos: meaning “small-pod food”, this dish is Dutch-influenced but has been popularized in the South of Africa as a traditional recipe and each country has its own spin on the dish. Potjiekos incorporates meats and vegetables, most commonly lamb, potatoes, carrots and greens. A dish bursting with flavor, Potjiekos is very popular for cookouts and picnics, where it is slow cooked for hours to obtain a tender meat and rich broth.
Though it is traditionally made in an iron pot over an outdoor fire, you can make Potjiekos at home using this recipe. It requires some level of patience, but your effort will be worth it: once it’s finished cooking, you’ll be left with a delicious meal to enjoy.
Not only does Namibia have some great food – it is also filled with sights and scenery that will take your breath away. (You can also take a look at the photos our writer Andrea Brockman captured in Namibia .)
Harira from Morocco
Though soups are widely popular throughout Morocco, one of the most notable by far is harira. A tomato-based soup filled with chickpeas, beans and noodles, the base for harira is beef or lamb stock, resulting in a flavorful soup you won’t soon forget. This soup is filled with spices often found in Moroccan dishes, such as ginger and cumin, that really give it that unique Mediterranean spice, culminating in a flavor profile that makes this soup truly unforgettable.
You can take advantage of this authentic harira recipe if you’re looking to experience Morocco from home. It will take a few hours to make properly, but it will be well worth the effort.
If you’re interested in traveling to Morocco in the future, take a look at our post on camping in the Sahara Desert. There is so much to see and experience in Morocco, and enjoying harira is a great way to celebrate the country’s culture.
Bánh mì from Vietnam
Bánh mì have become particularly popular recently, and it has been no surprise to us. These delectable sandwiches are available throughout Vietnam, offered in restaurants and on street corners. Bánh mì is influenced by French colonialism, and blends French and Vietnamese cuisine for a mouthwatering sandwich experience. Classic bánh mì are made with pork, topped with pickled carrot and daikon, and drizzled with a sweet hoisin sauce, all stacked on a fresh baguette.
You can make your own bánh mì at home using this recipe. It is relatively quick and easy to make, with much flexibility to add different meats and vegetables of your choosing.
Vietnam is a country overflowing with culture, and one with plenty to do. (We recently posted a blog about one of the most historical cities, Hoi An, and everything its visitors can expect.)
Soda Bread from Ireland
Irish soda bread is one of the most popular foods in Ireland, and definitely one of the great international recipes. Coveted by many, every family has had it and each region in the country has their own twist on the classic bread. Some Irish soda breads are made sweeter with dried fruits and honey, while others are made richer with the inclusion of Guinness beer in the batter. And you would never guess the secret, signature ingredient: baking soda! Regardless of how this might sound at first, Irish soda bread can be enjoyed year-round by anyone. It is even possible to clean with baking soda so it truly is an all rounder and a natural compound.
If you’re looking to try your hand at making Irish soda bread at home, you can use this sweet recipe that includes raisins. If raisins aren’t your thing though, you can find plenty other recipes that have different add-ins to truly make it your own.
Ireland is a beautiful country that has plenty of famous spots to visit during a trip. One of the country’s most famous roads, the Ring of Kerry, is surrounded by scenic views of mountains, beaches and more.
Great International Recipes
While we may not be able or quite ready to go back out and explore the world in 2021, you can bring the world to your home by cooking up some of these great international recipes. You can even use these foods and inspiration for your next trip!
- On our site: More recipes!