One of the best parts of studying abroad is expanding your palate and experiencing an entirely new food culture. Think visiting unique restaurants, trying new traditional dishes, learning about local cuisine, and more. You may even try your hand at preparing a local dish, too! Wherever your study abroad experience takes you, make the most of your international culinary experience with these tips for cooking abroad.
1. Take a local cooking class.
Imagine learning the art of cooking directly from the experts. When you study abroad with IES Abroad, you’ll do just that – our Centers offer local food tastings and specialty cooking classes, making it easy for you to immerse yourself in the food culture of your host country. You’ll learn to make pasta from scratch in Rome, sample variations of olive oil in Granada, prepare a batch of pebre in Santiago, and more. Can you say bon appétit?
2. Host a potluck.
Gather your new local and international friends together for a family-style meal. Encourage everyone to bring an authentic local dish, and then indulge in the variety of delicious foods.
3. Shop local.
Explore the nearest grocery store, produce shop, or market, and peruse your options for the finest and freshest local fare. If you’re unsure of where to start, ask the staff at your IES Abroad Center about stores or markets that they would recommend. They might even suggest some must-try authentic foods and offer ideas on recipes, dishes, and more.
4. Learn a new recipe.
There’s no better way to master cooking a local dish than to learn the recipe firsthand from a member of your host family or from a local friend you made while abroad. Ask them to teach you one of their favorites. Before you know it, you’ll be cooking like a local master chef.
5. Buy a local cookbook.
Fresh out of cooking ideas? Visit a nearby bookstore or market and flip through the cookbooks and local food magazines. With a collection of recipes to choose from and step-by-step cooking instructions, you’ll be whipping up a tasty meal in no time.
6. Create a restaurant bucket list.
From the cute café next to your apartment to the downtown restaurant with scenic outdoor seating, compile a list of restaurants in your host city that you’re dying to try out. Feel inspired by your culinary experience? Try to recreate the meal on your own!
7. Be adventurous.
Navigating food culture abroad can be intimidating at first. But don’t be afraid to try something new! Each time you go to the grocery store, buy something you’ve never heard of before – you just might like what you find.
Are you ready to tackle cooking abroad? Do you have more questions? Contact an IES Abroad Ambassador. They’re recent IES Abroad alumni who volunteer to answer your questions on all things study abroad, and they’re here to help!