The story of global cuisine is as rich and multi-layered as the food itself. For the most part, it’s a story of problem-solving. Different parts of the world enjoy different kinds of weather and landscape, meaning different plants and animals can be hunted, gathered and domesticated. The result? The incredible variety of world food we see today.
In recent times, a wave of migration to the UK has exposed us to new kinds of cuisine. Tikka masala, chow mein, fajitas – just a century ago, these would have been virtually unheard of in most British households. Now, they’re considered pretty unremarkable.
But there are still plenty of flavours and textures that aren’t yet so familiar. And these are well worth exploring. If you’d like to broaden your culinary horizons, it’s worth trying some, or all, of the following five dishes:
This dish could be mistaken at first glance for a Cornish pasty. It’s made by folding dough over a filling and crimping on the other side. You’ll find empandas served across the Spanish-speaking world, and they come in more varieties than you can reasonably count.
Birria and Mole
Here we have a pair of Mexican dishes, which complement one another nicely. Birria is a kind of Jaliscan stew, traditionally made from goat meat. Mole (rhymes with holy, as in guacamole) is a sauce that’s loaded with sweetness and spice, and can be cooked in large batches to t
ake your chilli to the next level.
Key Lime Pie
This dessert originated in Florida. You’ll want to use the freshest, zestiest limes available, and use condensed milk to ensure that the filling is super-sweet.
Sushi is something that British diners are developing a taste for – even if it’s not quite at the same stage as some of the other kinds of international cuisine. If you’re going to try sushi, head to a bar and order an assortment of items from the conveyor belt. Be adventurous!
This is a mixed-rice classic that can be cooked in a single dish. It’s the most popular dish on the Indian subcontinent, by some accounts. Spend some time getting the technique down, and you’ll enjoy rewards in the kitchen for the rest of your life.
To get the most from any attempt at a new dish, it makes sense to do as much preparation as you can. Get the station clean, tidy and organised, and make sure that you have access to all of the appropriate cookware. A selection of quality saucepans is a necessity, as is a single quality chef’s knife.
The fresher your fresh ingredients, the better. There’s nothing worse than floppy, sad coriander. In fact, you might look into starting up a miniature herb garden, containing your favourite herbs from around the world!