Curries simmering in huge vats, each pan the shade of a season. Crepes browning on griddles, flipped and smeared with molten chocolate. Tempting cries at the Jemaa el-Fnaa as spiced chicken is slapped onto searing grill plates. Eating is surely one of the greatest pleasures of travel.
When you can’t enjoy the luxury of strolling from patisserie to paelleria, pouring international influences into your cooking is the tastiest way to banish gastronomic monotony. For inspiration, Culinary Journeys asked the social community around the globe to tell us what they are eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The results are a mouth-watering smorgasboard that will undoubtedly tickle your taste buds.
We selected our favorites from the hundreds of submissions received.
In West Africa, garri is a popular foodstuff made out of dried and mashed cassava, which can be fried and pounded into a fine flour. UK-based Nigerian food blogger Chioma Ikejiofor bakes garri in oil, honey and vanilla extract before mixing it with raisins and nuts for a healthy “garrinola” to start her children’s day.
Meanwhile Frankfurt-based Instagrammer Michaela Thai is delightfully adapting the Middle Eastern favorite shakshuka with leftover chicken – adding tinned tomatoes, paprika, chili and egg to the shredded meat and roast veg.
Design kudos goes to Tai Thonglert from Chiang Mai, Thailand, who arranged her vegan breakfast into enviable rainbow strips. Not many of us would look to tomatoes and pumpkin for our morning meal, but Tai marries them with peanuts, raisins, black sesame and riceberry – a cross-breed of Thai rice with a dark violet grain, which creates a new variety said to be high in antioxidants and iron.
You’re not the only one who spends all morning thinking about lunch.
From Vancouver, blogger Pearlsa Bintomani sent in a picture of her homemade chickpea stew, following up her contribution with a recipe-laden email too.
“Heat olive oil in a saucepan, add one diced red onion, two cloves minced garlic; saute for three minutes. Add Ras el Hanout, cumin and turmeric (a teaspoon each); saute for about two minutes. Add a tablespoon of harissa paste, a cup of chopped tomatoes; cover and cook until tomatoes melt into a sauce. Add two cups cooked chickpeas, salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer for another six minutes, allowing ingredients to marry.”
“The first day we garnished with parsley and ate it with baguette. The next day we had the leftovers with basmati rice,” she wrote.
Heading east to Hong Kong, food-loving couple Gabriella Zanzanaini and Nicolas Petit, who blog their culinary adventures at The Funnelogy Channel, made a healthy yet irresistible vegetarian donburi, completed with that killer of finishing touches – “a just-there runny egg.”
Back west to Colorado, Tejana chef Yvette Marquez’s colorful enchiladas got us hankering for a taste of Mexico. From empanadas to champurrado (a warm, thick chocolate drink often served with churros), her YouTube channel is a great introduction to Latin cooking.
Whether it’s hummus, wraps, halloumi or shish, Middle Eastern foods have long cemented their spot in global appetites. Sawsan Abu Farha is a Palestinian expat living in the U.A.E., who blogs about her homeland’s cuisine.
She says her recipe for restaurant classic shish tawook chicken skewers is so good, “we don’t order it when we eat out anymore.” Try the punchy marinade of yoghurt, garlic, paprika and mustard to tenderize succulent chicken.
Staying with chicken – popular across cultures and efficient to farm, it is set to overtake pork as the world’s favorite meat. But tired of your usual chicken dish? Spice things up with this recipe from Ghanaian food blogger Jay Gyebi, who whetted our palates with her barbecued chicken wings. You can even make a cheat BBQ sauce by mixing ketchup, sugar, honey and soya sauce.
Crossing continents and cultures, we’re ending our Culinary Journey in Assam, northeastern India. Though famed for its strong, dark tea, Instagrammer Rukmini Baruah got our attention with this colorful array of traditional dishes – vegetable, fruit and meat curries served on a beautiful bell metal plate. Why not let your stomach decide your next holiday destination?
CNN’s Jenny Wong and Lauren Said-Moorhouse contributed to this story. Illustrations by Anastasia Beltyukova.