Trinidadian food vendors sell a decadent treat called kurma, little
sticks of fried dough covered in a cinnamon/cardamom sugar
glaze. It’s certainly on the sweet side, but a local and yummy
delicacy beloved by children and adults alike.
In Thailand, outdoor food markets are known for their diverse
well-seasoned meals and snacks on the go. Noodle dishes like
pad Thai, made with rice noodles and your choice of meat or
vegetables, is mildly spiced and a popular street food. Sticky
or mango rice is also a yummy sweet treat found in outdoor
markets. You can even find child-friendly curries, such as
masamun curry, often known as a “starter” or “training curry”
among Thai parents, for its mildly spiced, creamy coconut base.
Heading to Germany? As my family and I discovered during a
forced layover in Frankfurt, Germany’s outdoor food markets
are buzzing with flavor. Jet-lagged and hungry, we were cheered
up by a memorable lunch of freshly squeezed fruit juices, an
array of European cheeses and best of all, several types of
artisanal sausages, such as currywurst, bockwurst and bratwurst,
all seasoned in different ways and served grilled with applesauce
or bread. My daughter’s favorite was the currywurst!
One of our happiest family meals was in Nice, France, this past
summer. As Nice is only a short train ride to the Italian border,
the area benefits from both French Provençal-style cooking, and
Italian influences. A unique snack we encountered was called
socca (also known in Italian as farinata), and you can only find
it in Nice. Socca is a thin, crispy, crepe, made with chickpea
flour, a bit of salt and some olive oil. The ingredients are mixed
to make a thin batter, which is then poured into a large socca
pan and cooked over a wood-fired grill until crispy. It is served
wrapped in paper and meant to be nibbled as you walk and
explore. My children gobbled it up.
Food discoveries abroad can lead to new favorite meals at
home. Bonus? Re-creating a special meal from your travels is a
wonderful way to relive those happy holiday memories.
85 grams (1 cup) chickpea flour
45 ml ( 3 tablespoons) olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients
with 296 ml (1 1/4 cup) water until you have a smooth
batter. Set aside for 15 minutes or more.
2. Pre-heat a cast-iron pan under your oven’s broiler until
very hot. You can also pre-heat the pan at 232° (450°)
for a few minutes.
3. When the pan is hot, pour in a portion of the batter to
cover the bottom of the pan. You can either bake it in
the oven for about 10 minutes at 232° (450°) or broil it
until it is crisp and browned on top.
4. To serve, cut into pieces (they don’t have to be even
or perfect) and sprinkle with fresh rosemary, thyme or
herbes de Provence.