Wherever we go on holiday, we plan to do some sightseeing. Famous places, monuments, museums or galleries – that is obvious. However, it is a good idea to use the opportunity to take a culinary tour. We do not have to live on fast food which is unhealthy and, despite appearances, not so cheap. Let’s try local delicacies prepared according to traditional recipes.

Dolma

Many holiday-goers choose to relax in the Mediterranean region, famous for its light cuisine, full of vegetables and herbs, as well as for the cultivation of grapevines. They provide not only fruit used in the production of various types of wines, but also leaves which are used in many cuisines of Balkan and Mediterranean countries.

Dolmades

Dolmades ©iStock

Dolma is a dish that you can taste throughout Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavian countries. These are grape leaf rolls filled with meat and rice stuffing. They can be prepared using fresh or pickled grape leaves. You can buy the latter in a hypermarket or an online shop and make such stuffed grape leaf rolls at home.

Grape leaves

Grape leaves ©iStock

The original Turkish grape leaf rolls contain mutton or lamb mixed with beef as Muslim do not eat pork. Prepare 1.3 lbs meat, 0.3 lbs uncooked rice, 2 grated onions, 1 bunch chopped parsley, 2 tbs dried mint, 2 tbs tomato concentrate, salt and pepper to taste. Blanch fresh grape leaves or rinse if pickled, cut off any stems. Place a teaspoon of stuffing on each leaf and roll. Dolmas are usually the size of 0.8 inch x 1 inch. Place the rolls quite tightly in a saucepan, pour some broth over them and cook until rice is soft. Dolmas are served warm, accompanied by yogurt mixed with chopped dill, crushed garlic, salt and a little bit of sugar.

Trator

Speaking of Balkans, you should try tarator – a Bulgarian cold soup, the favorite summer dish in the Black Sea region. We can do it at home as well, but we are going to need high-quality yogurt. The original recipe uses ‘kiseło mljako’, which translates as ‘sour milk’. Interestingly, it is a special type of yogurt that is produced in Bulgaria. Kiseło mljako uses a different bacteria strain which is not bred anywhere else. As we might have difficulty finding it in the grocery store, we can use Greek yogurt instead.

Tarator

Tarator ©iStock

Prepare 1.1 lbs yogurt, 2 fresh snake cucumbers, 4 cloves of garlic, 3 tbs chopped walnuts, 1 bunch of dill, 1 tbs sunflower oil (this is important, it should not be rapeseed oil), salt and optionally still mineral water. Peel the cucumbers, small dice (do not grate them because otherwise they will give too much juice). Chop the dill, crush the garlic, mix all the ingredients in the bowl and season to taste. Chill before serving. If tarator is too thick, add some water.

We do not have to live on fast food which is unhealthy and, despite appearances, not so cheap. Let’s try local delicacies prepared according to traditional recipes.

We do not have to live on fast food which is unhealthy and, despite appearances, not so cheap. Let’s try local delicacies prepared according to traditional recipes.

Kimchi

If you are going on holiday to the Far East, you should kimchi, a classic Korean delicacy. Its basic ingredients are Chinese cabbage and turnip, although you can also use kohlrabi and carrots. The other ingredients are: ginger, garlic, peppers and spices. Rice flour is an indispensable component of the marinade. Kimchi accompanies almost every meal served in the country, including soups, grilled meat, fish. It is also consumed as a dish with rice.

Kimchi

Kimchi ©iStock

When in Korea, try this specialty in one of many eateries which prepare it on the spot. Kimchi which is available in shops is usually enhanced with monosodium glutamate. Kimchi can be made at home – you will be able to shop all ingredients . However, you may have difficulty finding gochugaru, Korean chilli pepper, which is sometimes available online. There are numerous kimchi recipes on the Internet so everyone will be able to find the one that will include their preferred ingredients. However, Chinese cabbage is always a basic one.

Chilli con carne

Let’s move from Korea through the Pacific to Mexico. Although chilli con carne, meaning “chilli peppers with meat”, is considered a national Mexican dish, since 1977 it has been the official dish of the U.S. state of Texas, where it originated. Chilli con carne is also common in California and New Mexico, and it has been widely debated, where it tastes more authentic and is prepared according to the original recipe. There is even an organisation called the International Chili Society, which organises chilli con carne cooking contests. There are so many different chilli con carne recipes, nevertheless the basic ingredients are: finely chopped (not minced) beef, red beans, tomatoes, onion, chilli peppers and herbs. Some recipes also feature maize.

Chili con carne

Chili con carne ©iStock

The most traditional recipe includes: 2 onions, 4 cloves of garlic, 2 tbs lard (do not use vegetable oil), 1.3 lbs chopped beef, 0.9 lbs blanched and peeled tomatoes, 0.9 lbs red beans (canned will be fine), chilli powder, 2 smoked and 1 fresh chilli pepper, oregano, salt, pepper.

Fry the onion in lard. Add meat and garlic, then sear. Pour chilli powder and mix. Add tomatoes, cut and deseeded chilli peppers and cook for about half an hour. Next add drained beans and stew for a further half hour. Season with salt, pepper and oregano.
Traditional chilli con carne is served with tortillas, but it can be a baguette or rice as well. The dish tastes much better reheated the next day.

Although chilli con carne, meaning “chilli peppers with meat”, is considered a national Mexican dish, since 1977 it has been the oficial dish of the U.S. state of Texas, where it originated.

Dried chilli

Dried chilli ©iStock

Khinkali

Dumplings are found in a number of cuisines under different names. In Georgia they are called khinkali. These dough pouches are filled with mixed minced meat. Prepare 0.7 lbs beef, 0.3 lbs pork and 0.3 lbs mutton. Add 0.4 lbs chopped onion, 2 tbs chopped parsley, ½ tsp ground coriander, salt and pepper to taste. The filling is made by adding strong beef broth in such amount that it has a quite loose texture.

Khinkali

Khinkali ©iStock

The dough is made from just flour, a pinch of salt and water, without adding eggs to it. Work the dough so as it does not stick to your hand. Roll thinly on a pastry board, cut into circles, then place stuffing in the centre, pleat dough edges to form pouches. Place khinkali in salted boiling water.

They cannot be huge, as the art of eating chinkali is about putting the whole piece in your mouth. The idea is that broth, added while preparing the stuffing and trapped inside, does not leave the pouch because it contains the essence of the flavour.

Fondue

We’re getting back to Europe to try Switzerland’s most famous national dish in the world – fondue. It is also a paradise for every cheese lover. Although there are many recipes, fondue can have meat or chocolate as a basic ingredient, cheese fondue is still the most common and widely served in Swiss restaurants.

Fondue

Fondue ©iStock

To make this type of fondue, you will need a stoneware pot in which the ingredients will be mixed. Place the vessel over a stand with a container with spirit. Do not use methylated spirit – it must be an odorless fuel. Each guest is given a long fork with a wooden shaft and a saucer. Place a basket with stale bread cubes next to the fondue equipment. Spear a piece of bread using the fork and dip it into the fondue pot. Consume with chilled white wine as accompaniment.

A traditional fondue comprises several types of cheese. It must be high-quality cheese, not a cheaper substitute, what makes the dish quite pricey. The ideal recipe includes grated cheese such as: Gruyère, Emmentaler, Appenzeller and Vacherin fribourgois, 0.45 lbs each type, 12 oz dry white wine, 1-2 cloves of garlic, 4 tsp potato flour, 1.7 oz Grappa, 1 tbs lemon juice, pepper and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Meat fondue

Meat fondue ©iStock

Pour wine into the vessel, add all the types of cheese and set aside for two hours. Rub the inside of the stoneware pot with garlic. Mix potato flour with Grappa. With such semi-finished products you can start your fondue feast. Place cheese and wine in the preheated pot, add lemon juice . Heat slowly, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Add potato flour with Grappa, pepper and a bit of nutmeg. The mixture must have the texture of thick cream and be perfectly smooth.

A meat fondue is made using a tin pot with strongly heated oil inside of it (rice oil is the most odorless). Give each guest a fork for dunking a piece of beef sirloin in the hot oil, cook how you like it. Dip into the sauces (there are several to choose from) and eat. Sweet fondue, on the other hand, is made with melted chocolate to which heavy cream is added. Dip fresh fruit into it for a one-of-a-kind flavour experience.

More diet-related tips and articles can be found on Wygodnadieta.pl.