When visiting somewhere new, trying out the local food is often high up on my priority list. Pizza in Italy? Check. Reindeer in Finland? Check. Macarons in Paris? Check.
You get the idea.
But what happens when you’re not able to travel for a while? Maybe you can’t get time off work, you’re stuck puppy sitting, or you simply need a break from travelling for a bit? Should that mean you no longer get to try those foods?
You could choose to dine out at an Italian, French, Indian or other cool restaurant. Or you even could try making your own version of a local dish. Not only is this a great way to wind down at the weekend or during a free evening, but the results usually taste pretty good and can sometimes be incredibly Instagram-worthy.
Over the past few months, I’ve been clogging up my Instagram feed with some suggestions for what can totally be made or bought at home, resulting in some Instagram-worthy food and drinks to help transport you to your dream destination. You may even find a few fun food facts along the way!
1. Italy – Prosecco
Okay, so you’re unlikely to make Prosecco from scratch, which makes this first option the cheat’s way out. But who doesn’t love a glass of Prosecco in the sunshine? Especially when it’s a posh Rose Gold version!
Even though we were sunning it up in Devon and not Italy, I felt like we’d transported ourselves to some chic al fresco restaurant in Rome or something. So I will be repeating it again this summer.
2. Hawaii – Haupia Cake
Haupia Cake is a traditional Hawaiian cake that is usually eaten at celebrations like weddings, birthdays and at a “Luau”.
It’s a creamy dessert, slightly coconutty and is sometimes served with pretty Hawaiian flowers! And you can totally make this one at home…
3. Morocco – Mint Tea
Mint tea truly is a Moroccan staple, and is great for the digestive system!
Although you may struggle to source some original Moroccan tea elsewhere in the world, you could buy some posh glasses, a silver jug and other mint-flavoured tea. Dine with it al fresco, and you’ll barely notice you’re not in Morocco.
Okay, well, you’ll enjoy it anyway!
4. France – Macarons
Macarons are an interesting one. Most of you will probably think immediately of a posh cafe in Paris when thinking about them, but did you know they actually originated in Italy?
They were brought to France at a later date, and have since turned into more of a French than Italian staple food item!
Either way though, they can be fun to bake (albeit difficult), and they sure are tasty, served with tea or coffee in the afternoon!
5. Austria – Apple Strudel
Austrians are known for their apfelstrudel, aka apple strudel… but if you can’t hop on a plane to somewhere beautiful like Vienna just yet, make your own apple strudel (with a pretty twist)…
These roses are fun to make and taste delicious!
I just hope Austrians won’t mind me messing with their traditional dessert…
6. Switzerland – Chocolate Fondue
I bet you’ve heard that Switzerland are famous for Cheese Fondue. But did you know that a Swiss Chef is said to have also invented the Chocolate Fondue?
Konrad Egli introduced it in his Chalet Suisse restaurant in 1956 as part of a Toblerone campaign!
Now, I’m a firm believer in experiencing traditional cuisine when travelling and it seems I can add melted chocolate to that list now too!! Personally I opt for dipping marshmallows and strawberries… what’s your dipping food of choice?!
7. Scotland – Millionaire’s Shortbread
I’m always fascinated by food and its histories. We all know Scotland are renowned for shortbread, but what about “Millionaire’s Shortbread” aka “Caramel Shortbread”?
Food historians say the recipe can be found throughout Australian cookbooks. Could it be that Australia added to the traditional shortbread recipe? Or did the recipe still originate in Scotland and become a global phenomenon?
One of my Instagram followers thought that when the UK sent its convicts en masse to Australia as a penal colony, a proportion of those were Scottish, who adapted their shortbread recipe for local tastes.
Although this was only speculation, I think he was onto something. What do you think?
8. Germany – Christmas Market Food
Germany are synonymous with Christmas Markets, with Cologne said to have some of the best ones.
But if you can’t quite make it over there this year, why not see if a German Christmas Market comes to your town?
Bristol hosts one every year, and when it’s in town, I’m on the lookout for tasty treats.
My favourite last year was by far chocolate covered strawberries… I do love creamy European chocolate! What’s your choice of treat at Christmas markets?
9. The Netherlands – Dutch Pancakes
There are many different types of pancake available around the world. Americans make thick, fluffy ones, the French turn their’s into crȇpes and the UK celebrate Pancake Day every year.
But some of the most well-known ones are Dutch pancakes.
This might surprise you though. The Dutch didn’t invent pancakes.
In fact, many historians believe no single person or nationality did! What we do know is that the Ancient Romans ate a type of pancake, pancakes are different all around the world and the first Dutch pancake recipe was published in 1683…
But the most important question I’ll ask you now is – do you prefer a sweet or savoury pancake?
10. Mexico – Blackberries
Admittedly most people associate Mexico with fajitas, quesadillas, tortillas and things like that. But they’re not all that Instagram-worthy.
Instead, there’s nothing quite like picking fresh blackberries in the spring and summer months. And as Mexico is the leading producer of them, it should help transport you there in spirit.
Or maybe you’ll just enjoy eating some blackberries. That’s fine too. Blackberries are awesome.
Each of these suggestions I’ve just given you should help transport you overseas, or just give you something tasty to munch on or sip.
But what about when you can make it abroad?
Throughout all of my trips, the following are cities I’d highly recommend visiting and what you should try when you do…
1. Bristol – The Beehive Coffee House – Freakshakes
A trip to Bristol requires you to visit The Beehive Coffee House in Downend. Their freakshakes are award-winning and will rock the socks off anything you’ve ever eaten (or drunk) before!
Who ever said your milkshake can’t have doughnuts and pretzels in it? The Beehive make it happen.
2. San Francisco – Cafe Madeleine – Homemade Cakes
When I worked out in San Francisco for a couple of weeks in 2015, my workmates told me that I just had to check out Cafe Madeleine.
They weren’t wrong.
Their cakes are delicious, not too expensive and look great from behind a camera lens!
3. New York City – Stick With Me Sweets – Handmade Chocolates
I found the most incredible chocolate shop during my recent travels to New York City.
Stick With Me Sweets, headed up by Susanna Yoon, take 3 whole days to create their chocolates!!
Worth it? Yes!
Just look at how beautiful, shiny and Instagram-worthy they are… and of course, they are fantastically delicious!!
4. London – Patisserie Valerie – Afternoon Tea
Although Patisserie Valerie cafes can be found dotted all over England, there’s nothing quite like treating yourself to an afternoon tea experience in Britain’s capital.
But if you can’t quite fork out for a Fortnum & Mason affair, try out Patisserie Valerie instead (they won’t break your purse strings).
I’d also highly recommend combining this with your Christmas shopping. Their festive afternoon tea is DA BOMB! Plus, you get a box of homemade (free) mince pies to take home with you!
5. York – The York Roast Co. – Yorkypud
So you’ve heard of roast dinners. Brits are renowned for them, including egg-based yorkshire puddings. If you haven’t heard of those, where have you been? The complete British roast dinner is a must when visiting.
And where better to try a traditional roast with a twist? Why, York in Yorkshire, of course!
The York Roast Co. started the entire craze over roast dinners being put inside a yorkshire pudding wrap, imaginatively calling it the Yorkypud. Again, if you’ve not heard of it, you need to do some more research now…
Well, there you have it. Those are my current suggestions… I’m sure I’ll have more for you shortly. Over to you now – which foods do you try making or buying at home to remind you of somewhere? And where would you recommend travellers visit for the best grub when they finally do get out there? Jot a few thoughts down in the comments…
And if you love food, why not share this post with your friends and followers?