I don’t know about you, but there’s something about summer which makes me crave variety – the days are longer, which makes me feel like I’ve more time to experiment with new things, and it’s holiday season, which leaves me yearning for the fresh, varied flavours of distant lands. I’d love to simply hop on a flight from New York to Goa for a tasting tour, or drive down to Mexico for some fish tacos, but my holidays aren’t booked till August – boo! If, like me, you’re stuck at home for the time being but you’ve already been bitten by the travel bug, why not bring the world to your dining room table by trying some of these international favourites? Tasty, exotic and deceptively simple, there’s a whole world of flavours out there – get tasting!

1. Poutine, Canada

Canadian food is generally seen as the little sister of American cuisine and doesn’t get much rep – but as the country to bring us root beer floats, I reckon they’ve got something going for them. This French Canadian classic is comprised of French fries, cheese curds and beef gravy – super tasty and easy to whip up.

2. Steak & Chimichurri, South America

With so much amazing food on offer, it’s hard to isolate a single favourite from this region, but if there’s one thing South Americans can cook, it’s a whopping great steak. Whip up some garlic, oregano, parsley, hot red pepper, chopped onion and red-wine vinegar in your blender for the chimichurri sauce and serve your steak charred on the outside, medium-rare on the inside – eat outside in your garden for maximum SA vibes.

3. Jollof Rice, Nigeria

Spicy, herby, filling and flavoursome, jollof rice is the most amazing Nigerian dish, and so easy to customise. Boil up some chicken stock and tomato stew, parboil your rice, season it and then simmer it in your chicken-tomato broth – perfection!

4. Roast Beef, England

This comforting pub-food classic is a real taste of across the pond – simply buy some beef topside, give it a good season, chuck it in a deep pan with a couple of roughly chopped carrots and onions and serve with rich beef gravy, Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes and fresh peas.

5. Chow Mein, China

This is China’s number one export (recipe-wise!) worldwide and with good reason too – it’s delicious! This tasty stir-fry couldn’t be easier to whip up at home, and it’s healthy too - simply pick up some salted beef, fried noodles and spring onions, slice them all up (into large-ish sections in the case of the noodles) and then stir fry in a deep wok with a spash of oil. Add some chopped ginger, a generous splash of soy sauce, spoon everything onto your plate and you’re good to go!

6. Samosas, India

Indian food is delicious, but can seem a challenge to the untrained chef. Indian curries have to be tasted to be believed, but if you’re no great shakes in the kitchen, you’re better off visiting a restaurant (or hopping on that flight I was dreaming about earlier!) – but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little tasting teaser at home. With the magic of pre-cooked filo pastry, you can serve up enviable samosas – simply mash some potatoes with some peas, add a little curry powder, ginger, coriander and mustard seed and blob into the middle of your filo pastry triangles – shh! Your guests will never know the difference.

So if, like me, you’re having to wait for your holiday this year – don’t despair! It’s no reason to stagnate your taste buds – try these tasty dishes to keep your tongue tingling right up until your plane tickets arrive.

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