Getting a taste of culture is easy when you sample its signature dishes. You can cook them up in your kitchen, or go out to a restaurant for the taste of a country. Here are some popular dishes you should try. As George Bernard Shaw once said, "No love is sincerer than the love of food." I would have to agree with him, judging by the sheer number of awesome dishes out there.
In our quest to find the world's most delicious foods, we've scoured the globe. Enjoy, but try not to drool, as we share some of the best foods that will inspire your next trip.
Dishes with Herbs
A dish can be turned into a masterpiece with the use of fresh herbs.
Basil is one of the best-known culinary herbs. Sweet basil, the most common type, is a delicious blend of cloves and licorice that is commonly used in French pistou; pesto is made in Italy. When married to tomatoes, basil is at its most flavorsome. For instance, in Caprese salad, tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil, and fruity olive oil are combined with tomato sauce, sandwiches, soups, and salads.
In the Mediterranean, mint is used as a companion to lamb and is often used as an ingredient in fruit and vegetable salads. Although seemingly used for a small decoration, mint is incredibly versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Rosemary’s needle-like leaves have a pronounced lemon-pine flavor that is excellent with roasted lamb, garlic, and olive oil. Rosemary's flavor can be overpowering, so use a light hand. Rosemary was once thought to be the symbol of the dead.
Greeks love oregano sprinkled on lettuce, while Italians dress their pizza in it and use it in tomato sauces. Use oregano in vinaigrette for a Greek or Italian twist on your favorite poultry, game, or seafood dishes.
You should never forget parsley in your refrigerator; it is the workhorse of herbs and can be added to so many dishes. Parsley's grassy, mild flavor allows other ingredients to shine through.
Dishes with Roots
People often suggest roasting root vegetables if they give you root vegetables. It's good advice! Roasting at high heat brings out firm roots' earthiness.
- Creamy Celery Root Soup With Tahini
This pureed beet soup with tahini and pistachios is a great way to enjoy the comfort of root vegetables. Root vegetables can add creaminess to soups without using actual cream.
- Easy Pickled Beets
The literal interpretation of beets can turn me off. As someone who falls into that camp, I also like them pickled, where zingy brines make them taste extra good.
- Black Radish, Endive and Apple Salad
If roasted, radishes are sweet, but sometimes the raw peppery bite is irresistible. Slice radishes thin and toss with endive and a sweet, crunchy apple as part of a cozy winter salad.
- Potato Tahdig
Tahdig, a rice dish traditionally characterized by a crispy layer of rice at the bottom of the pot, is one of the most popular styles. This popular version uses potatoes, offering two layers of crispy carbs
- Marinated Turnips With Orange and Pumpkin Seeds
Using this simple side is an easy way to make meals light. Choose sweet turnips and thinly slice them. Let them marinate as you assemble the rest of the dish.
Dishes with Classic Mushroom
Whether you're cooking up Italian pasta or Japanese-inspired soup, mushrooms are the secret to getting that warm, savory umami--which is why mushrooms are the secret ingredient in our Ultimate Veggie Burger.
- Creamy-ish of Mushroom Soup
Unless we forgot to say it before: this sweet and earthy vegan soup is creamy, earthy, silky rich, and has a great deal of body without compromising on flavor.
- Coconut Green Curry With Mushrooms and Chickpeas
The streamlined Thai curry recipe takes about 20 minutes to make. Our streamlined version is easy to throw together and is fresh-tasting. Blend cilantro stems, ginger, garlic, shallots, and green chiles in a food processor or blender.
- Pork and Shiitake Congee
We came up with a clever tip to save time when making congee on the stove: Rinse the rice and freeze it overnight.
- Sweet Potato Bowls with Spiced Lamb and Mushrooms
Easy weeknight dinners like these sweet potato bowls can be made in about half an hour: steam the sweet potatoes while sautéing spiced ground lamb, pickled fennel and onions, and a yogurt sauce all combine with steamed sweet potatoes.
- Crispy Mushrooms With Creamy White Beans and Kale
The intoxicating aroma and flavor of piney forest floors and freshly fallen leaves of maitake mushrooms make them a favorite of mine. This recipe showcases everything we love about them.
- Seared Mushrooms with Garlic and Thyme
A magic mushroom is a crisp, golden (legal) substance that can enhance grains salads, turn ricotta toast into a meal, or stand alone as a savory side dish.