The world is filled with mouth-watering cuisines, with only a small fraction known and familiar to the majority. Crowd favourites, like Thai, Western, Japanese and Korean, to name a few, have dominated countries and have constantly remained popular.
While these cuisines have contributed considerably to the culinary scene, there is still a large number of cuisines out there that aren’t given the attention and appreciation as they, rightfully, require. Despite the growing acceptance of international food, you might probably still be greeted with confusion or uncertainty if you asked someone about, say, Laotian cuisine. With that, it’s time to explore and appreciate the uniqueness that comes from the lesser-known cuisines.
Nestled in Africa’s eastern shores, Ethiopia boasts flavorful foods that are capable of staking a claim on the popular cuisine list. Ethiopian cuisine offers a wide range of dishes with the more popular ones being mesir wat, a combination of cook lentils with berbere (a hot spice) and doro wat, a combination of chicken stew and a combination of spices like berbere. However, one of the more notable dishes is injera, a soft sourdough bread that acts as the base for lentil, meat and veggie dishes.
Malaysian cuisine and our local cuisine are closely connected and similar in many ways. Malaysia, like Singapore, has three main racial groups, Malay, Chinese and Indian. Like us, the mix of cultures reflect in their dishes and result in a cuisine that has a unique blend of flavours and culinary traditions. Many of these dishes are found among singapore’s restaurant kitchen equipment suppliers. From rich coconut curries to meats and fishes skewered and grilled over charcoal and Nyonya cuisine to Roti Canai (locally known as prata). Malaysia has it all!
It’s said that grains and vegetables, lamb and cured meats, wild berries and fish are the staples of Norwegian cuisine. Norwegian cuisine consists of dishes that contain ingredients that much more “adventurous” than what we’re used to. For example, a dish named smalahove includes sheep’s head. However, they do produce dishes that are not as extreme as such as their famous Gravlax, which consists of salmon cured in salt, herbs and sugar. They are also known for their cheese which is usually paired with waffles or bread. While it might not sound like something original, give it a go and you might be in for a surprise!
Haggis, the national dish of Scotland is a combination of oatmeal and sheep organs served with turnips and potatoes. While this might sound like an unusual combination, it’s promised to be delicious and zesty. However, apart from that, the Scots are also known for their world-renowned seafood, Aberdeen Angus steaks and natural produce. If Haggis doesn’t appeal to you, consider trying out their seafood dishes like Cullen Skink, a soup based dish of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions.
Lao cuisine is relatively unheard of as compared to Vietnam and Thailand. Yet Laotian food is just as unique and tasty, with foods such as sticky rice, sweet-smelling noodle soups, flavoured minced meat and other staples like Padaek, a type of fermented freshwater fish, insects and bamboos. A popular dish in Laos is, larb, which is a hot and sour dish made with minced meat as well as fresh herbs and vegetables. Another local dish that might come as a surprise to you is green papaya salad. However, unlike the Thai ones, this version is made of pickled baby crabs, lemon basil, chilli, lime juice and padaek.
By learning about and exploring these cuisines, you may be one of the few that introduces a new cuisine to our local food scene while educating people about the variety available. Ultimately, sampling new culinary delights from different regions opens both taste buds as well as minds.