One of the best ways to improve your skills as a cook is to try new things. And what better way to expand your culinary horizons than by attempting to master dishes from around the world? But with 195 countries to choose from, how do you know where to begin? Different cultures and regions of the world have completely different styles and tastes. Some global cuisines favour hot spices and strong flavours, while others reflect a love of more simple, wholesome comfort food. By browsing a world map and taking your cue from other parts of the world, you will undoubtedly find a wide range of dishes to please everyone at your next dinner party.
If you are suffering from a limited cooking repertoire and want to branch out, here are five of the best global cuisines to try.
Italian cuisine is one of the most prevalent around the world, and for good reason. It is primarily known for pizza and pasta, but there is so much more to tantalize your tastebuds. Italian food relies on simple dishes with few ingredients but strong flavours. Rich tomato sauces with fresh herbs characterize signature dishes like pasta arrabbiata and chicken cacciatore, as well as delicious staples such as olive oil and cured meats. Those with a sweet tooth won’t be disappointed with sugary treats such as tiramisu and panna cotta.
The Mediterranean diet is supposedly one of the healthiest in the whole world due to its focus on nutritious, balanced foodstuffs such as fish, vegetables, and olive oil. Although it encapsulates multiple countries and cultures around the Mediterranean basin, it is a cuisine in its own right. Head to Greece for traditional gyros and souvlaki before jetting to Turkey to enjoy some authentic köfte and finally a gorgeous shakshuka in Israel. For a true crowd-pleaser, try cooking this delicious rack of lamb recipe from The Mediterranean Dish.
Authentic Mexican cuisine is worlds apart from the bog-standard Tex-Mex food most people are familiar with. There’s a lot more than fajitas, nachos, and enchiladas. Mexican food is characterized by a lot of chicken, chilies, corn, beans, and rice. If you’re a fish lover, try this refreshing ceviche verde recipe or get your comfort food on with these beef empanadas.
Food is an enormous part of China’s culture, and it’s easy to see why. Much of China’s cuisine can be eaten with chopsticks and often has rice or noodles as a staple. Expect to see a lot of meat and exotic parts of animals you may not have tried before. Get a taste of the Orient with traditional dim sum, spicy Sichuan pork, or a mouth-watering Peking roasted duck.
If you want to try cooking Indian food at home, be prepared for plenty of hot curries full of chillies and other spices. Many dishes are rice-based and are often vegetarian. Try the veggie chickpea curry channa bhatura or a rich lamb dhansak. Many dishes are served with traditional Indian bread such as chapati, roti, or paratha.
The opportunities for cooking global cuisine at home are endless, and you will find options to suit any preferences. You just need to open your mind and start exploring the world through your tastebuds.
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