Whether you are visiting somewhere close to home or faraway land that you don’t usually get the chance to visit, one of the greatest joys of travelling the world is the food you get to try along the way. This can be a great approach to expand your palette as you work your way through fine dining restaurants or local street vendors all over the globe.
Experiencing food throughout your travels also presents a unique opportunity for those who want to take a little of the vacation experience home with them – as you can then learn to recreate these iconic dishes in your kitchen. Whether you’ve learned about combining various spices with foods you’d never imagine using it with, or you’ve come across a dish or drink you just can’t get enough of, this post will help you bring a piece of your recent destination back home.
With that in mind, here’s how you can go about recreating your favourite international dishes in the comfort of your own home!
Buy the Right Ingredients
Many recipes make clear the importance of using the right ingredients to create dishes that leave your mouth watering. As a result, you should pay close attention to all listed ingredients, even if this means you have to go out of your way to find certain additions outside of your local grocery store. For instance, if you’re wanting to cook up a delicious crab dish inspired by the fresh seafood you devoured in Alaska, you can actually order Dungeness Crab legs online. Most specialty spices and foods are just a few clicks away if you can’t seem to find them in your town.
Speak to the Chef
If you’re dining out when on vacation, try to speak to the chef should you want to know more about the recipe. While some may be unwilling to spill all of their culinary secrets, others will likely write them down so that you can follow their unique recipe step-by-step when you get home. Either way, they are likely to share tips and tricks that you can use to enhance your culinary skills and bring your favourite dishes home with you (without having to fill your suitcase with food and get hit with custom fees). Furthermore, this is a great way to show your appreciation for the time and effort they put into ensuring your evening was enjoyable.
When we dined at the Northern Lights Alpine Kitchen at the top of the Banff Gondola, Chef Clarence did not hesitate to give us the beef brisket recipe already printed on a business card because we loved it so much. Most cooks are flattered when you tell them you want to have their dish again, even if you can’t physically return to their dining joint as much as you’d like.
Be Prepared for Trial and Error
Unless you’re a highly-trained chef, it’s unlikely that you’ll get every dish right the first time you try to recreate it. This is because cooking certain dishes requires precision and skill that takes a bit of time to perfect – but that doesn’t mean you should give up. Remember, the more you practice, the better you’ll get – and the tastier the food you serve up will be. Once you’ve got the recipes perfected, you can become the envy of your friends and loved ones by hosting killer dinner parties.
I can’t count on two hands how many times I’ve failed at making French macarons before I finally got it right. It’s all part of the journey and honestly, you feel humbled by how difficult it is to perfect certain foods and it gives you a whole new appreciation for those who make them.
Watch Online Tutorials
Some people struggle to follow recipes when they are written down as it can be difficult to visualize the steps you should be taking – and while pictures are usually included, they aren’t always as clear as we’d like them to be. One way in which you can remedy this is by watching tutorial videos so that you can emulate what is happening on your phone or laptop screen. On a similar note, you can also use online tutorials to perfect your skill set – for example, you could learn basic knife skills that help you to chop and prepare any ingredients correctly.
How many times did I have to watch people get those stiff peaks just right on the meringue mixing for macarons before I truly knew what to look for. How many did you perhaps watch Salt Bae sprinkler the seasoning on the meat before you got the elbow action and height down to a tee. Often times we have to watch before we do, as most cooking, baking and cocktail making is truly an art form versus simply a science that is easy to follow.
I would say that food is an integral part of the travel experience, and when you can’t relive it by returning to your favourite destinations all the time, you can certainly relive it vicariously via your own kitchen.