Simple Ways To Ensure Travel Cuisine Translates Well In Your Kitchen

Thursday, January 27, 2022

While we all enjoy different aspects of travel, one thing that most keen adventurers would agree on is the joy of trying new and exotic cuisines. It’s hardly surprising, then, that a lot of us are keen for those impressive dishes overseas to translate well in our kitchens once we get back home.

Unfortunately, when you turn to these dishes to help you through the post-vacation blues, it isn’t unusual to find that you can’t even come close to replicating them. That can be a real blow, but there are steps you can take to make this back-home translation a little easier to manage. Admittedly, achieving complete replicas of authentic dishes may still be a little difficult to achieve, but you’re guaranteed to get a lot closer to the real thing if you take these steps to make it happen.

#1 - Buy cookbooks abroad 
Often, the things that make foreign dishes so astounding are the small local touches that rushed online recipes you find back home are never going to give you. For instance, tandoori ovens are the secret to countless great dishes in India, while tagines are a must for any authentically good Moroccan creation. Equally, specific local styles of cooking, such as confit or salt baking, can be crucial. The best way to remember those small but simple touches is to scrap the pale replica recipes and instead invest in a local cookbook that’s going to result in far more authentic, and simple to achieve, dishes. Admittedly, language barriers can be an issue here, but the great thing about cookbooks is that they’re pretty easy to interpret. Making sure to invest in a book with plenty of pictures can especially see you getting along well enough as long as you grasp enough of the language to translate the ingredients list. 

# 2 - Explore inspiring local eateries

The more inspired you are by the food you eat overseas, the more incentivized you’ll be to create those same dishes back home. And, the more determined you are to make this work, the better chance that it’ll happen. Stepping off-the-beaten-track to explore local eating institutions like Cafe De La Paix in Paris or Cafe Robin in St Martin will especially provide authentic and exciting eating that you’ll want to take forward with you. Diving into the most notable dishes at these eateries, including the famous salt fish served at Cafe Robin, will particularly see you inspired, especially if you also take the time during your trip to find out about Robin herself and why her cooking techniques are so iconic. Apply this same curiosity and passion to any eating excursions during your travels, and you should soon find that you can’t rest until you perfect every last element of those dishes that take you right back to some amazing memories. 

# 3 - Take the time to understand local ingredients 
As much as you’ll want to invest in a local cookbook to get to grips with cooking styles from the country in which your dish originates, it also pays to take the time to understand the local ingredients that often make all of the difference to a dish. For instance, fish sauce is a staple background for rich Asian foods, while plantain is a Jamaican staple. Their place at the very heart of local dishes especially means that skipping even these basic ingredients can leave taste significantly compromised. As such, you should explore local markets, and ask questions about additions like these during your trips. Then, seek Asian supermarkets or foreign food stalls that enable you to stock up even in your home kitchen. 

# 4 - Learn to cook intuitively 

All other pointers aside, it’s also worth noting that replicating great dishes relies on your ability to cook intuitively. After all, even with a great cookbook to hand, the reality is that most fantastic local chefs will cook by eye, and doing the same is the only way for you to get close to their creations. As such, taste the food you’re eating while you’re away, making sure to distinguish keynotes like garlic, ginger, and so on. Then, apply this same test taste method to the food you cook back home, making sure to recognize when things are missing, and considering from taste alone what they could be/where you could improve next time.

Replicating dishes from your favorite travel adventures can be tricky, but it’s certainly not impossible if you translate the best recipes using these tips. 

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