What's Cooking This Summer
Around The World?

Posted by Cindy Clarke on 7/15/2016
Posted in: Tauck’s Travelogue
Tags: Argentina, Australia, Food, Hawaii, New England, South America, cooking, recipes, family trip, Southern US, South Africa

hawaiian luauSummertime dining all over the world is synonymous with outdoor feasts, especially barbecues, aka South African braais, Australian barbies, Argentinian asados and Hawaiian luaus to name a few… And depending on where your wanderings take you, you can taste authentic culinary traditions in every sizzling bite.

Culinary cookouts that sizzle with tradition

Backyard chefs fire up their grills all over the United States when the weather warms up, cooking hamburgers and hot dogs with relish and enthusiasm, along with local barbecue traditions in different destinations.

lobster and clam bakeCruise along the New England coast on a family trip from quintessential Cape Cod villages like Chatham, Massachusetts, to Maine-stays like Portland and Bar Harbor, and you’ll find clambakes heating up the shoreline with steamed lobster, quahogs, mussels and crabs, freshly caught and perfectly cooked. New England lobster and clambakes are traditions that are older than America itself. The first pilgrims were introduced to them from American Indians, watching and learning as their new world neighbors gathered lobster, clams, mussels and fish and prepared them, often with locally harvested corn and potatoes, for dinner on the beach.

Back then, without today’s Weber grills and Big Green Eggs, they dug a sandpit and lined it with hot rocks and coals. They added the lobster and clams to the pit and covered them in fresh, wet seaweed and more hot rocks, steaming the lobster and shellfish in seawater. The New England clambake recipe we’ve included here lets you prepare your own summertime seashore feast the traditional way or the modern day way as you choose!

Down south, barbecue is king, and finger lickin’ fare, with pork reigning unrivaled at the top of the list, includes ribs, chicken and steak, flame broiled on the grill and blanketed in sauce that simmers with long-held recipes handed-down through the generations.

The origins of the American barbecue are not as clear-cut as the clambake's are with lots of different stories about how it developed. Etymologists claim "barbecue" is a derivative of the West Indian term "barbacoa" meaning a method of slow-cooking meat over hot coals. The popular Bon Appetit magazine reported that the word comes from an extinct tribe in Guyana who enjoyed "cheerfully spit roasting captured enemies." The Oxford English Dictionary traces the word back to Haiti, and some tongue-in-cheek claims say that it is derived from the French phrase "barbe a queue" meaning "from head to tail." My vote goes to the descriptive definition found in a 1982 issue of North Carolina’s Tar Heel magazine, stating that it came from a 19th-century ad enticing readers to dine at a combination whiskey bar, beer hall, pool establishment and purveyor of roast pig, known as the BAR-BEER-CUE-PIG.

bbq and sweet teaHead to Old South destinations like Hilton Head, Beaufort and Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia, and you’ll find barbecue pork, ribbed, pulled, hocked or whole hog, on menus and at roadside BBQ joints just about everywhere you look. Many of the best recipes call for slow cooking or smoking for hours before the meat meets the grill to ensure fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth reverie, slathered with tangy tomato-based sauces that kick up the dining experience a notch. Make a pitcher of Sweet Tea – another Southern staple, the first sweet tea recipe has been traced back to the cookbook Housekeeping in Old Virginia, published in 1879 – and try this traditional BBQ sauce on your favorite cut of meat, cook up some cornbread and fried okra or green tomatoes, and you’ll be dining and drawling (and drooling?) with the best of them.

Much like barbecue in the US, braai (rhymes with fry) in South Africa is very much a social event that gathers people around a fire to watch, smell and share a meal. It’s a place to eat, drink and tell stories for hours. Which is why the locals say “it’s not just about what you braai, it’s about how you braai, when you braai, where you braai and with whom you braai.”

A braai typically includes many different types of meat prepared over an open wood fire. And don’t forget the wine. South Africa’s wide variety of wines mixes and matches perfectly with the various dishes. Families traveling on Tauck Bridges South Africa: Epic Family Adventure get to taste the bounty of the braai at a bush camp in Kruger National Park and the fruit of the vines pleases travelers’ palates at a wine pairing dinner in the Cape Winelands on South Africa: An Elegant Adventure. We’ve included a recipe for South African Beef Sliders to get you in the mood for bite-sized braai fare.

Just the words “shrimp on the Barbie” conjure up images of Crocodile Dundee and his adventures in the lands down under for me so imagine firing up that backyard Barbie for a taste of Australia at home. Here’s an easy way and recipe to send your taste buds on a grand adventure: Shrimp on the Barbie.

churrasco meatA barbecue is called asado across South America (it goes by another name – churrasco – in Brazil), and is considered a national dish in Argentina, a country that prides itself on its beef. The most basic mode of asado is just a wood fire, burnt down to coals, which is then topped by metal crosses big enough to hold huge chunks of meat, but for practical purposes, the asado a la parilla, in which the coals are topped with a typical grill (the parilla), is much more common. Asado doesn’t typically use marinades or glazes, and most meats are just salted before and during grilling, to be topped with salsas once they’re done. If you can’t join us on the Essence of South America, enjoy it vicariously with this asado favorite: steak with chimichurri!

Luaus are an integral part of life in Hawaii all year long, serving up choreographed traditions and tiki-torch tastings with talk stories and hula dances that speak volumes about island culture. Savor an authentic taste of their bountiful buffets with Tauck on the Best of Hawaii, enjoying a fusion of Hawaiian, Polynesian and Asian-influenced flavors including lomi lomi salmon, chicken long rice, kalua pork, pineapple and lots of poi!

Cook up a world of regional favorites this summer.... Download all of our featured barbecue recipes here.


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