And we’re back! Last time we spoke about how Middle Eastern and Vietnamese food should be the next feature of your plate. This time I would like to introduce you to 3 more cuisines that are under appreciated treasures of the culinary world, let’s get stuck in!
- South Korean
South Korean cuisine has also been gaining popularity in the recent years. Korean cuisine, much like the Middle Eastern, is centered around tradition and recipes passed on through the generations. Korean cuisine showcases some of the best stews, meats, noodles and fermentation techniques. Their cuisine is a strong part of cultural identity for the Koreans, and for good reason too: it is delicious and flavoursome!
4 dishes you have to try:
- Bibimbap- Although the name of this dish may sound like the name of some funky dance, it actually refers to a bowl of colorful mixed ingredients such as rice, vegetables, mushrooms, sauce, meat and is famous for its centerpiece an egg: sometimes fried, other times raw.
- Gogigui- Korean BBQ. Yum. This is not just a meal, but a full on dining experience. This meal includes cooking your own selection of meats and vegetables over a grill built into the center of your table. If you don’t trust yourself to cook, there are also restaurants which have a chef prepare the food live.
- Kimchi- Don’t let the sound of pickled, spicy, fermented cabbage scare you. This is one of the most traditional and delicious dishes that Korean cuisine has to offer. Over 100 varieties of this sour yet spicy delicacy exist! Kimchi comes with nearly every dish you receive in Korea, so make sure to indulge.
- Japchae- A delicious, traditional stir fry noodle dish made from sweet potato glass noodles. Famous for its sweet and savoury taste, each chef has their own unique spin to this dish!
Brazilian cuisine is another melting pot of nations: with the inspiration for its diverse culinary traditions coming from Portugal, Indigenous Brazilians, Africa, Japan, Germany and Italy. With the massive country, comes a massive food scene. Each region and area in Brazil have their own traditional celebrated dishes. From the rich nature, including the Amazon rainforest, come some incredible ingredients and delicacies that have become staples of Brazilian cuisine. These include: the Manioc root (cassava/ yucca), Açaí and Guarana.
4+ dishes you have to try:
- Feijoada with Farofa: This is one of the most common and famous dishes of Brazil, a hearty slow cooked bean and meat stew served with rice and a crunchy cassava or cornflour mixture. Each household prides itself for their own recipe of the dish, and oftentimes these recipes are passed on through generations and include a flair of personality. This dish is made with time and love, and you can definitely taste it!
- Bobó de Camarão- This dish originates from the northern state of Bahia, and is a fusion dish of Afro-Brazilian descent. This dish is a rich and flavoursome stew consisting of shrimps, coconut milk, dendê (palm oil) and manioc, often served on a bed of rice.
- The Snacks: The snacks of Brazil are really to die for! Let’s dig in to some of my favourites:
- Pão de Queijo- This is one of the most popular snack foods you can encounter in Brazil. Pão de Queijo translates to Cheese Bread, which is what it is. Delightful, fluffy, bread spheres filled with cheese. What more could you want? This is often enjoyed with a cold glass of Maté, a sweet, iced tea-like infusion of the Yerba-Maté plant.
- Coxinha- Another popular snack is the Coxinha. A breaded mound of gooey dough filled with shredded chicken and cream cheese. YUM!
- Açaí- Originating from the Amazon rainforest, this blueish superfood berry has become a popular frozen dessert and breakfast worldwide.. It is commonly enjoyed after a day at the beach! Many stalls selling Açaí have a variety of toppings such as crunchy granola, berries and sauces, so you can make your own sweet creation of this treat!
- Brigadeiro- The most famous dessert of Brazil. These chocolatey, gooey truffles are made from condensed milk and chocolate and are covered in a coating of chocolate sprinkles. There are many variations of this dessert, but the true Brigadeiro is the milk chocolate version. They can be found at every birthday party, gathering and social event!
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, home to hundreds of ethnic groups. This is why their food scene is diverse, exciting and full of flavour. There are hundreds of different dishes to choose from, but what all of these dishes have in common is their famous flavour. Nigerian food is known for its use of various spices, herbs, oils and spicy (and I mean spicy) peppers, to create deeply flavoured dishes. Ingredients such as maize, meat, vegetables and spices are common bases in many dishes.
4 dishes you have to try:
- Jollof rice- This is the star of the show, literally. This dish is enjoyed at all celebrations big and small. Did you know the Cajun Jambalaya is inspired from this dish? Jollof rice is made from a base of rice, tomato, onion and scotch bonnet peppers, and is often served with chicken. It is a popular dish in the rest of West Africa as well, and friendly rivalries exist over who makes this dish the best!
- Suya- This is a popular street food, made famous from the northern regions of Nigeria. Skewers of spiced meats fried over an open flame- street food- spicy peanut mix
- Zobo- tangy and sweet drink made from a hibiscus plant flowers called roselle
- Puff puff- A simple, yet tasty dessert made from deep fried sweet, fluffy dough balls. This dessert can be customized to your taste buds by adding cinnamon, coconut, sugar or spices.
Hopefully your mouth is watering and you are inspired to broaden your food horizons by tasting or creating one of these amazing dishes! Did I miss out on one of your favorite dishes or cuisines? Let us know in the comments, what is your favorite underrated dish or cuisine? Do you want to build your culinary skills? Look no further than our culinary programs in the USA! As the USA is made up of so many different cultures and cuisines, it is the perfect place to learn a new cuisine!
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