Dinner Ideas: Five Tastes From Five Continents
Take a delicious palate adventure around the world with one of these internationally inspired dinner ideas.
Hosting an international dinner party? Why not take a delicious palate adventure around the world with one of these internationally inspired dinner ideas. Follow your fork to North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe and try these amazing dinner party recipes.
Jerk chicken and pork, Jamaica
Here’s one of many dinner ideas for the spice lover: jerk chicken. Jerk refers to the Jamaican method of seasoning and cooking meats, primarily chicken and pork, but also beef, goat, and fish. The origins of jerk-style cooking can be traced back to the early 1600’s, and most likely hailed from Africa. The mixture begins with a combination of pimento, also known as allspice, and the very hot Scotch bonnet peppers, also known as habeñero. It’s applied to the meat as a dry rub or wet marinade before the meat is cooked over fire. A popular street food, a jerk plate includes a side of rice and peas to counter the spicy heat.
Churrasco-style meats, Brazil
Translated from the Portuguese word for “barbecue,” churrasco is a South American version of rotisserie cooking. Its origins date back centuries, when the gaúchos of southern Brazil would roast their meals over fire. The dining experience at a churrascaria includes waiters continuously bringing skewers of different meats to the tables, including different cuts of beef, pork, chicken, sausages, and organ meats.
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Peanut soup, Senegal
There’s nothing better than homemade soup. This hearty peanut-tomato stew originated in the western region of the African continent, which included the countries of Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal. Peanut soup, also known as Ghanian groundnut stew, Nkate Nkawan or Maafe, is served as a protein-rich vegetarian meal, but can also be made with beef, chicken, fish, or lamb. In African homes, it’s usually served over a starch, such as couscous, rice, or sweet potatoes. Condiments served on top depend on local tradition, and may include chutney, coconut, hardboiled eggs, hot sauce, or nuts.
Tandoori chicken, India
Looking for South Asian dinner ideas? A popular dish from the Punjab region of India, tandoori chicken is named for its cooking method inside a tandoor, a cylindrical clay or metal oven. Before the chicken is roasted at a high heat in the tandoor, it’s marinated in yogurt and seasoned with a masala spice mixture. The addition of turmeric, paprika, cayenne or kashmiri red chili powder gives the meat bright color, ranging from yellow to red. Traditionally, the chicken is chopped and served over rice, accompanied by raita or chutney.
Spaghetti alla carbonara, Italy
An indulgent pasta dish, the origins of carbonara are relatively recent. While no one definitively knows who invented the combination of eggs, Parmesan cheese, black pepper and pancetta or other salt-cured pork, it’s generally thought to have been created in the middle of the 20th century in Rome. When you request this dish at La Carbonara restaurant in the Campo de Fiori, it’s served with penne, which becomes creamy after being tossed with beaten eggs while still hot.
Have any international dinner ideas of your own? Comment below and let us know what they are!