Contributed by Cassie
If you love experiencing other cultures, trying new foods from other countries can be a great way to do that. Many countries have traditional foods and flavors for which they’ve become well-known. For most people, it’s not practical to take an around-the-world trip simply to taste new foods.
Luckily, though, there are other ways to sample delicious cuisines without packing a bag and heading to the airport. Here are five great ways you can try foods from other countries.
Probably the most obvious way to try foreign cuisines locally is a niche restaurant. Depending on the area where you live, there could be some authentic places serving unique and exotic dishes. The most authentic restaurants can usually be found in international districts of major cities. These locations tend to cater to first and second generation immigrants and offer a more accurate version of ethnic dishes than restaurants catering to a more mainstream audience.
In cities across the country, food trucks are becoming a large part of the food scene, offering every imaginable combination of dishes from chicken and waffles to grilled cheese and more. Since the overhead costs are so much less than a normal brick-and-mortar restaurant, the barriers to entry are much lower. The lower barrier to entry has resulted in a huge variety of food trucks accessible to many more people.
Food trucks are usually small enterprises, catering to a niche crowd. Most trucks offer a small, curated selection of items within their specialty. Since food trucks tend to congregate in the same areas, finding a location with food trucks will probably mean you’ll have the opportunity to try dishes from many different countries easily. Though the authenticity may not be the same as you’d see at a niche restaurant, you’ll still get a unique experience and the opportunity to try new dishes inspired by cultures around the world.
Specialty food markets are those that focus their offerings on ingredients for a particular style or type of cooking. Asian, Hispanic and Indian markets are common in many parts of the country. The specialty stores near you will vary, depending on the ethnic breakdown of the nearby population.
If you’re looking for a specific food you can’t find locally, there are also a lot of great online specialty markets where you can find and purchase nearly any ingredient in the world. If your ingredient search takes you to websites based in other countries, you’ll want to protect your computer and private information from potential threats by using a secure proxy software while shopping online.
If you enjoy trying new things and surprises, then a food subscription service might be your dream come true. Try the World offers subscription boxes including gourmet foods, snacks and staples from countries and cultures around the world. All of the foods are produced by small companies who follow traditional production methods.
Every month you receive a new box filled with unique food for you to try. With prices starting at $19 per month, it’s a fun and cost-effective way to taste food from around the world without even leaving your house.
If you love cooking, then trying new recipes from other countries in your kitchen might be the perfect way to try new foods from around the world. There is no shortage of information available online about cooking around the world. There are a lot of places to get expert instruction in various cooking techniques. Here’s a few:
• YouTube: YouTube has millions of cooking and food preparation videos posted by amateur and professional chefs around the world. Simply enter the cooking style you want to try in the search box, and you’ll have nearly unlimited videos from which to choose.
• Interactive Online Cooking Classes: America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School is one of many interactive online culinary schools. You can sign up for any number of classes and get expert instruction in a wide variety of cooking methods. Some of the choices include: “Modern French Stews,” “Chicken, Indian-Style” and “Mediterranean Meze.”
• Blogs: As with YouTube videos, there are millions of food blogs online, many of which are dedicated to specific cooking styles, such as Asian, Italian, etc. Most regularly send out new recipes and offer expert suggestions on cooking in a specific method.
While the best way to experience foreign foods is undoubtedly by traveling to the area yourself, there are still plenty of ways you can taste the food of the world without ever leaving your city. Whether you want to try your hand at preparing the food yourself or you want it hand-delivered to your home, there’s a solution that will offer you the opportunity to try food from nearly any culture in the world. Happy tasting!
About the Author:
Cassie is a freelance writer and nutrition expert. She loves that her work gives her the opportunity to travel and experience new food and cultures all the time.