Taste is evocative in conjuring up a time and place, and culinary tourism allows people to learn and experience new cultures. Our globetrotting days may be on hold, but you know what? The next best option is to recreate these dishes in your very own kitchen. While eating Vietnamese Pho or grilling Mexican Corn at home may not be the same as eating the food in their native countries, you can still immerse yourself in the culture and escape the daily routine and monotony of staying home.

A Pantry of Spices

People are starting to appreciate more cuisines like Korean, Indian and Thai. Ethnic food which incorporate spices like Sumac, preserved lemons, pickled vegetables are making an appearance in the pantry, and with a little help from YouTube, it is getting easier to recreate these dishes with their original flavors. And that means using spices like red and green chili, cinnamon, cumin, cloves and lemongrass. Different recipes call for a combination of these spices, so be sure to stock up! Or you can just opt for ready-made pastes such as Tom Yum, Green or Red curry, and Laksa, which are readily available at your local supermarket.

Not Cooking? Order In!

Many have also taken to ordering food from ethnic restaurants without having to cook for themselves. In Singapore, restaurants specializing in Italian, French and Japanese cuisines have popped up in recent years while Halal versions are making their mark in Malaysia and Indonesia. These restaurant owners and chefs have diligently learnt about the different cooking methods and are eager to share their creations.  The pandemic may have put a damper on dining out, but you can still place your orders online and have these wonderful foods delivered to your door-step.

From ethnic restaurants, to your doorstep – you’ll be spoilt for choice. (Photo: Blogunity)

Virtual Cooking Classes

Forget about the plane and hop on to virtual food tours and classes. The Ti Yan Academy in Singapore provides the basic essentials for mastering French cuisine. The online classes provide step-by-step instructions and tips from professional chefs around the world, to offer the best experience possible. If you want to learn a new skill and have a little time to spare, be sure to check out these virtual cooking classes. Instagram Food Influencer, Carolina Gelen conducts virtual cooking workshops at a low cost of USD 25. In addition, Virtual food tours are gaining popularity, and many have taken their businesses online. These tours utilize Google Maps with the aid of videos, images, and slides. Through video conferencing, the guide takes you on a tour with teasers for travelers who are planning their next big getaway. Wine companies have started holding virtual wine tasting, with samplers from wine regions such as Italy, France and Chile, delivered to Zoom participants.

Virtual wine tours are a great way to discover new wines and vineyards. (Photo: Ninja Food Tours)