Your guide to the food and culture of the tropics


5 Brazilian Fusion Dishes to Try at Home

Although there are many recipes that are Brazilian through-and-through, the cuisine in this part of the world has been heavily influenced by international flavors and ingredients for centuries. Immigration has had a huge impact on Brazil’s culture, including its food and drink scene, since the Portuguese arrived in 1500. Following this, the contribution of Indians and immigrants from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia have added unique, international flavors to Brazil.

Today, Brazil boasts an eclectic menu of fusion dishes (where traditional recipes have been infused with other worldly cuisines) that span every corner of the planet – from the tropical tastes of Thailand to the carb-loving foodie scene in Italy.

Here are some mouth-watering cross-cultural dishes you can whip up in your own kitchen.

Tuna Sashimi Tostada – Brazilian-Japanese

Brazil is home to the largest population of Japanese people outside of Japan, with around 1.5 million calling the country home. This is predominantly due to the Meiji Restoration which shook up the Japanese government in the late 1800s. During this time, thousands of Japanese people immigrated to Brazil to work on coffee farms after the abolition of slavery meant there was a high demand for laborers.

To celebrate the Japanese heritage in Brazil, here’s a twist on tostadas, a common accompaniment dish in Brazil. The crisp tortillas that can be topped with a diverse range of ingredients – anything from cheese, to refried beans, to shredded beef. In this particular recipe, the hearty tostadas are topped with sashimi tuna, a Japanese favorite.

Tuna Sashimi Tostada
For the coriander oil
  • 100g fresh coriander
  • 300ml sunflower oil
For the wasabi cream
  • 5 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise (slightly tangier than Western-style mayo)
  • 5 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp wasabi paste
  • A couple of drops of lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
For the tostadas
  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt flakes
  • ½ pink grapefruit
  • 150g sushi tuna
  • ½ avocado cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp red onion – diced
  • 4 tsp fish roe
  • ½ red chilli – deseeded and chopped
  • Coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp toasted white sesame seeds
  1. Wash coriander, dry, and chop. Heat it with the sunflower oil over a low heat until wilted.
  2. Place pan in a bowl of iced water and, once cool, blend in a food processor until smooth.
  3. Move processed coriander into a bowl and leave in the fridge for 2 hours.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the wasabi cream ingredients, adding more to taste.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F and line non-stick baking parchment around a tray. Prick the tortillas, brush with oil, and sprinkle with salt before cutting them into quarters and baking them for 3 minutes on both sides.
  6. Remove the flesh from the grapefruit and set aside.
  7. When the tortillas are ready, cut the tuna into small chunks.
  8. Spoon half of the wasabi cream over the tortillas and arrange the tuna pieces on top. Add the remaining wasabi cream to the top.
  9. Place the grapefruit pieces, avocado cubes, red onion, fish roe, and chili over the top of the tortilla and drizzle the coriander oil on it.
  10. Finish with sea salt flakes and the toasted sesame seeds.


Brazilian-Thai Fusion Fish Stew

Though Brazil and Thailand don’t have visible historic connections in the way Brazil and Japan do, the cuisines from both destinations feature a lot of seafood, hearty meat dishes, and local spices. The similar climates and the position to their respective oceans have helped each country develop dishes with comparable ingredients. As travel and technology encourage cultural introductions, fusions between the two food cultures of Brazil and Thailand are increasing.

One result of the Brazilian-Tha experiments, is a Fusion Fish Stew. This light, refreshing dish combines the zesty flavors of tangy lime, coconut, and Thai spices with the smoky flavors of paprika and pepper from Brazil. Together, the infusion creates a hearty dish with tropical undertones.



Brazilian-Thai Fusion Fish Stew
For the fish marinade
  • 1 lime for juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1.25lb white fish fillets, cut into chunks
For the stew
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
  • ½ bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped into chunks
  • 1 cup Cilantro Coconut Curry Sauce
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  1. Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add in the fish. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
  2. When the fish is ready, add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and zucchini to a pan over medium heat. Saute until the onion is soft and then add the marinated fish and the curry sauce. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the wine and coconut milk and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately.

Feijoada – Brazilian-European

Brazil is famously connected to Portugal after the 16th century invasion. Navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral landed in Brazil and claimed it under the name of King Manuel I of Portugal. Since then, Brazil has continued to keep strong ties with Europe, which is evident in the feijoada.

The feijoada may well be one of Brazil’s treasured national dishes, but it has had a lot of influence from Europe. Based on the Portuguese “cozido”, Italian “cassoeula”, and the French “cassoulet”, it uses Brazilian black beans to give it a local touch.

  • 1.4kg black beans
  • 2 onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 hot chili pepper
  • 1.5kg boneless pork loin
  • 1.5kg pork backribs
  • 1.5kg pork sausage
  • 0.5kg smoked pork sausage
  • 0.25kg pork rind
  • 1 pork tail (optional)
  • 2 pork tongue (optional)
  • 250g ham cut into cubes
  1. Soak beans a couple of hours before draining and cooking
  2. Cook the beans in boiling water over a medium heat. Add in pork rind, tail, tongue, and ham.
  3. In another pan, sauté the onion, garlic, and bay leaves in oil and set aside.
  4. Cut the meat (except for the sausage) into cubes and cook on medium heat. Cook the meats separately to ensure all are cooked properly (the juices should run clear and the meat should be piping hot throughout).
  5. Add the sautéed onion mix, raw sausage, cooked meat, and chili to the boiled black beans. Reduce heat and simmer for about an hour, until the mixture becomes thick. Add salt to taste.
  6. Serve hot alongside white rice or braised cabbage.

Brazilian Bitterballen – Brazilian-Dutch

Bitterballen are all the rage in Amsterdam, which shares a lengthy history with Brazil since the Dutch West India Company traded goods there in the 17th century. During this time, the two cultures were brought together and shared trade goods, including local ingredients.

Served in cafes and trendy bars, they are a delicious deep fried snack a bit like a croquette. Though their fillings can vary, they are usually stuffed with shredded meat. This Brazilian version includes cassava flour and rib meat for a South American twist. You may struggle to find this unique recipe in local restaurants, but it is a tasty one to try from home.


Brazilian Bitterballen – Brazilian-Dutch
  • 100g butter
  • 150g flour
  • 700ml beef bouillon
  • 30g minced onion
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 400g rib meat, shredded
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Oil
For the coating
  • Plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Cassava flour
  1. Grill the ribs beforehand.
  2. Melt butter in a pan and slowly add the flour, cooking for 1 minute until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Gradually add beef stock, stirring regularly to avoid lumps, and cook for another minute.
  4. Add in the fresh parsley, onion, and shredded rib meat, and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.
  5. Move to a bowl to cool, before placing in fridge for 2-4 hours.
  6. Once mixture is cool and firm, scoop spoonfuls of it into the plain flour and shape into a ball before quickly dropping into into the egg mixture.
  7. Roll the balls into the cassava flour and deep fry for 2-4 minutes until they’re golden brown.
  8. Drain and serve.

6 Places to Spend Spring Break if You Don’t Want to Party with Frat Bros

Want to plan a spring escape but don’t feel like dealing with the typical locales filled with wild foam parties and tequila-guzzling college students? Avoid spring breaking co-eds and set your sights on some alternative tropical destinations.

We’ve handpicked five alternative Spring Break destinations that all offer sun, sea, sand, and an added special something.

1. Railey Beach, Thailand

Get off the grid at Railey Beach in Thailand (also known as Rai Leh). This remote paradise hotspot sits on a picturesque peninsula between the bustling city of Krabi and the popular tourist haunt of Ao Nang. Only accessible by boat, thanks to the jutting cliffs that cut it off from the mainland, it’s the ideal place to escape the stresses of daily life.

Though the beach doesn’t get that busy, there is plenty to do for a week-long trip. As well as sunbathing and cocktail-slurping, there are plenty of reggae bars to check out, like The Last Bar and Joy Beach Bar, and the opportunity to rock climb up some of the impressive limestone cliffs.

2. Hanoi, Vietnam

For a more culturally-focused affair, Hanoi is the place to go. Packed full of fun travellers on the hunt for a good time, it also boasts an eclectic selection of museums, temples, and historic sites, like the Hoa Lo Prison and the Opera House, to keep your curiosity flowing.

When you’re ready to kick back with a few beers and soak up the good life, head to Ho Tay Lake, where spring break celebrations take place in full force every year. The areas surrounding the lake are alive with cool boutiques, bistros, and a burgeoning art scene.

3. The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador


If the idea of soaking up the sun on a paradise island floats your boat, but partying with the masses doesn’t, consider the Galapagos Islands as your Spring Break destination. Nature-lovers will feel right at home among the unique wildlife on offer – like giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and bright-footed birds.
When you’re not chilling out with the local critters, there’s plenty to get up to, including cruises, conservation projects (including sea lion monitoring and giant tortoise breeding), diving, and surfing. For adventurous Spring Breakers, nearby Isla San Cristobal offers the opportunity to snorkel alongside stingrays and sharks – how’s that for a holiday to remember?

4. Isla Margarita, Venezuela


Venezuela often gets overlooked in favor of its neighbors, but its islands are some of the best in South America. Isla Margarita in particular is a haven of shore-side antics for the American spring breaker.

Set 40km from the mainland against a backdrop of breath-taking scenery – we’re talking palm-fringed beaches, pristine white sands, and turquoise shallows that seem to go on forever – the island is a playground for thrill-seekers and beach-goers. The island’s history that dates back to Columbus’ colonization means there are plenty of pretty colonial villages to sip beer in, including Porlamar and Juan Griego.Visit San Carlos de Borromeo Fortress to see the colonial fortress that helped ward off island intruders in the days of pirates and privateers.

5. Diani Beach, Kenya


Diani Beach in Kenya offers all the ingredients for a perfect spring break trip, including soft white sands, clear blue waters, ample bars and restaurants – Madafoos is a popular choice, serving fresh African dishes right on the beach front. The samosas in particular come highly recommended from visitors.
But this isn’t your average spring break hotspot, because there’s also the opportunity of going on a spectacular safari trip during your stay. Book a excursion — options are available from day trips to multiple overnight excursions —  and you can see some of Africa’s most majestic creatures up close. You’ll definitely have stories to share when you get back about zebras, elephants, and other exotic wildlife you spotted.

6. Anjuna Beach, Goa

Exotic beach lovers, look no further! Goa’s mesmerising collection of sprawling beaches, palm-fringed forests, and impossibly blue waters make a paradise backdrop for your spring break. Among Goa’s beach collections, Anjuna Beach is the best of the best.


In addition to a lively collection of bars (enjoy a cocktail while puffing on a hookah pipe for a relaxing experience at Curlies Beach Shackk, for example), restaurants, and boutiques lining the shore, there are local markets and street stalls for the culturally-inclined spring breaker. Anjuna oozes a laid-back, hippy vibe, and is well-loved for its full-moon parties, where revellers rock out on the beach into the wee hours of the morning.
If you want your spring break experience to be more than raucous parties in the usual hotspots, but you still want the fun and the sun, these alternative destinations have you covered.




5 “Weird” Foods that Are Totally Delicious

When you’re tucking into dinner, do you ever wonder what someone halfway across the world is eating? While for some it might be a case of changing fries for baked potatoes, in some cases the difference in a dinner menu can be huge. A dish we might never dream of serving up can be a luxury somewhere else, and vice versa. Never has the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” been so apt when it comes to food.

The tropics in particular play host to an eclectic selection of dishes that might raise an eyebrow or two, but even the strangest of ingredients and flavors are considered delicacies in their country of origin (and are often very tasty). Here are some of the weirdest dishes that are actually surprisingly tasty.

Mexico – Jumiles

While in the western world bugs are pretty much a no-go when it comes to food, in many parts of the world they’re a must-have for that little extra crunch. This is the case in Mexico, where Jumiles (or live bugs) are a firm favorite in Taxco, a town just south of Mexico City.

Though Jumiles are often served up around the Day of the Dead, when families gather to hunt these creepy crawlies to commemorate the pilgrimage taken by The Aztecs to a temple dedicated to the jumil. The creatures are regularly cooked up in tacos with a heavy squeeze of lime. When bitten into, the Jumiles can continue to move around, and you’ll notice they have a strong flavor that’s a cross between mint and cinnamon.


Southeast Asia – Bird’s Nest Soup

You might be fooled into thinking bird’s nest soup is a fancy name for chicken noodle soup – after all, that’s what it looks like. But this luxurious dish is actually made from dried bird saliva taken from swiflets – cave dwelling birds indigenous to Southeast Asia. The spittle of these creatures is thought to contain medicinal properties that helps boost the libido.

Though there are some conservation issues surrounding the soup (taking the swiflets’ nests harms the species’ livelihoods), it’s still a coveted delicacy, particularly in the province of Palawan in the Philippines. Here, the town of El Nido (translated as “The Nest”) is surrounded by jutting limestone rocks that locals clamber up and harvest the nests from.

When the nests are collected, they’re soaked in cold water before they’re cooked with stock and cornstarch. The finished product is a hearty soup that tastes very much like a normal bowl of chicken soup with soft bits of nest that resembles egg.


South America – Cui (or Guinea Pig)

In the western world, guinea pigs are cute family pets. In South America, they’re coveted for a different reason – their meat. For centuries, guinea pigs or cui have been farmed in the Andes for indigenous meals and local ceremonies. But in the 1960s, when the boom of tourism hit the continent, it became much more socially acceptable for guinea pigs to be eaten by everyone – indigenous or not – thanks to the dish’s cultural history.

Today, it’s easy to find a restaurant that serves up deep fried guinea pig, cooked whole – complete with feet and head. Those that can get past eating what , in many parts of the world, is a pet, report cuitastes a lot like rich rabbit meat.  


Dominican Republic – Concon

Have you ever lost track of time and accidentally burnt your dinner to the bottom of the dish? We’ve all been there, and it usually ends up being scraped into the bin. But in the Dominican Republic, the crispy remains of the pan are a sought after part of dinner (people actually fight each other for it).

This is because all the good stuff that’s in the pot with the rice —  like the spices, milk, crabs, meat, and fish —  all converge at the bottom to create a layer of food that is packed full of flavor. It’s so coveted, in fact, that the Dominican Republic has given it a name – concon.


Laos – 

Soup is a dish that crops up a lot in Southeast Asia, partly because it’s a cooling treat in the intense heat, and partly because you can pack it full of delicious ingredients to make a different dish for every day of the week.

Pork, chicken, and vegetables are firm favorites in soup, but did you know that ants’ eggs are also a popular (and tasty) option? You might balk at the thought, but ants’ eggs have the same texture as overcooked rice, and there are no crispy legs or heads to contend with.

The eggs themselves are separated from the ants with a bucket of water, which makes the adult ants clump together to save energy while the eggs are free to pick out. Sometimes, there are a few rogue ants that get stuck among the eggs, which adds a slight sour kick to the soup. The common addition of hot pepper, tomatoes, onions, and tamarind usually overrides this, though, and gives it a fresh, spicy flavor.

6 Ways Love is Celebrated Around the World

Love makes the world go round, but how you show that love varies greatly from place to place. While the Western world gets romantic with flowers and chocolates, other places show their feelings through dances, parades, and even cake. Many of these romantic customs have been ingrained in cultures and societies for hundreds of years, and are passed down from generation to generation.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, here are some fun, beautiful, and romantic customs from the Tropics – expect lots of vibrant parties, national flowers, and good food.


Ladies Night in Niger

The ladies of the Wodaabe Fula tribe in Niger get the final say when it comes to love. At the Gerewol Festival, an annual event that revolves around romance and courtship, the men put their glad rags on in the hope of impressing the woman of their dreams. They don elaborate costumes and makeup before shaking their tail feathers and singing to bag themselves a bride.

When the show comes to a close, the women choose which dancer they’d like to pair up with. Many relationships and marriages are started this way – definitely a novel matchmaking ceremony.


Black Cake in the Caribbean

In the Caribbean, romance is tasty with black rum cake. Each island has its own recipe for creating the dark, sticky dessert that’s served up at weddings. Most often made with rum, cherry brandy, dried fruit and spices, this cake is very similar to Christmas cake (which it also doubles up as in the Caribbean).

This is an important part of a Caribbean wedding ceremony, as it showcases the traditional island flavours while the bride and groom cut the first slice together.


Lover’s Day in Brazil

Brazil’s Dia dos Namorados is an alternative to Valentine’s Day – it’s just celebrated on a different date. Usually observed on the 12th June, it brings a show of colour and music to towns and villages with parades, feasts, and live performances. Couples exchange flowers, chocolates, and other gifts, and share meals with family and friends. Traditional feijoada (black bean stew) is a firm favorite, as it’s easy to make and share. The celebration falls on the eve of St. Anthony’s Day, the patron saint of marriage, but it’s also a time to celebrate friendships and family relationships – something that makes it a little different to the all-romantic Valentine’s Day.  

  • 250g dried black beans
  • 100g streaky smoked bacon cut into slices
  • 500g pork ribs
  • 3 chorizo sausages
  • 500g pork shoulder cut into cubes
  • 3 chopped onions
  • 4 chopped garlic gloves
  • 1 pinch of chilli flakes
  • Olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Orange slices
  • Rice to serve
  1. Heat a large saucepan and fry the bacon until crisp. Once ready, remove and keep the oil in the pan.
  2. Start adding the pork ribs, the chorizo, and the pork shoulder, seasoning each batch with salt and pepper as you go
  3. When the meat is seared, remove and set aside.
  4. Add the onion, garlic, and chilli to the pan and fry until soft
  5. Add the meat, bay leaves, vinegar, and drained beans and cover with water. Bring it to the boil before simmering on a low heat and cooking for 2 hours.
  6. Serve with rice and orange slices


Mass Marriage in the Philippines

Though the Philippines tend to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the same way as Western countries, there is one slight difference – a tradition that’s spread like quick-fire through the country in recent years after it was started in 2004 by the government and a toothpaste company. On February 14th, hundreds of couples get married in joint ceremonies in places like malls, squares, and other public places. This new custom of celebrating love and renewing vows with thousands of others has been a huge hit, and there are now hundreds of mass wedding ceremonies that take place on Valentine’s Day each year.


Hoping and Wishing in Thailand

Single ladies in Thailand have a romantic tradition that takes place once a week, not once a year. On Thursdays, women looking for love head to the Trimurti shrine in the heart of Bangkok laden with red roses, candles, and incense sticks. At 9 o’clock they come together in front of the Hindu deity of love and pray for someone special to come into their lives.  


Offering Orchids in Peru

Peru’s national Carnaval celebrations take place in February at the start of Christian Lent, which means many Peruvians have the 14th off work. Everywhere from big cities to hillside towns get into the party spirit with parades, feasts, and dances, including a tradition where a hollowed out tree is filled with presents to dance around. Having the day off means there is plenty of time for Peruvians to prepare something special for their loved ones, like Timpu, the traditional dish of the Carnaval.


  • 5 peeled potatoes
  • ½ kg yucca
  • 5 ears of corn
  • 2 carrots cut up into circles
  • 5 sweet potatoes
  • ¼ kg garbanzo beans
  • ½ kg beef
  • ½ kg mutton or lamb ribs
  • ¼ kg salted meat
  • ¼ kg white chuno
  • 1 cabbage head
  • ¼ kg rice
  • 3 pears
  • 50g leeks
  • 50g celery
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • 1 stem of oregano
  1. Bring 3L water to boil in a large pot and add celery, leeks, carrots, pears, chopped garlic, oregano, and salt to taste.
  2. Once the vegetables are soft, add the beef and the salted meat (both cut into pieces) and cook for an hour.
  3. While waiting, cook the rice in a dry pan with the garbanzo beans for 10 minutes.
  4. In another pot, cook the corn for about 20 minutes.
  5. When the meat is tender, add the peeled and chopped yucca to the stew, the potatoes and sweet potatoes, and cook for 10 minutes. Add the cabbage leaves and boil for a few extra minutes.
  6. Once cooked, drain the broth into a big bowl and separate the veg and meat, and remove the pears.
  7. Serve up a bit of everything onto each plate, so everyone has an equal amount of meat and vegetables.

Peru on a Plate: Why Peru’s Contemporary Cuisine is Sweeping the Globe

In 2007, Peru’s government raised the country’s cuisine to National Heritage status. Since then, the foodie world has gone crazy for the South American cuisine that’s bursting with color, spice, and influence from all over the globe.

Today, Peru is known as a gastronomic centre for fusion cuisine, with Lima taking the trophy for the most creative food capital on the continent (helped, no doubt, by the World of Travel Awards naming it the world’s leading culinary destination). Among the exclusive boulevards and the backstreet neighbourhoods in Lima, there are more chef schools than any other city in the world and, across the country, there are around 80,000 student chefs learning the ropes.
Since 2007, the global interest in Peru’s cuisine has snowballed into a whole new phenomenon. In London, chef Martin Morales has turned the delightful dishes of Peru into a hot new foodie trend with Ceviche, a stylish Peruvian kitchen and Pisco bar, while Alejandro Saravia has brought the fine flavors of Peru to Australia with his hugely successful restaurant, Pastuso, in Melbourne. Peruvian people take pride in their national dishes, and chefs are now considered artists – a huge change from previous notions that becoming a chef was a risky career associated with the lower economic percentiles of the country.


The Ultimate Fusion Cuisine

But it’s not just Peru’s new status as a culinary hotspot that has people lapping up its local dishes. In fact, the base for success has always been there thanks to the country’s rich history.

From the Spanish invasion in the 16th century, Peru’s cuisine has taken a whirlwind journey through several cultures, picking up new flavors, ingredients, and cooking styles along the way. Before then, maize, potatoes and beans were the height of foodie interest until the historic Inca food culture was blended with Spanish, Arab, African, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, and French influences – all of which came about through conquests and, later, the impact of globalisation.

Each influence has stamped its ownership on Peruvian cuisine, resulting in a menu of colorful dishes that tell different stories from different parts of the world.

In fact, Peru’s cuisine is often called the original fusion cuisine because of its diverse collection of worldwide recipes. What makes it so interesting, though, is the pervasive underpinning of Inca heritage. Even today, corn, potatoes and chillies still form a major part of Peru’s dishes, but dashes of influence from elsewhere have made themselves at home in even the most traditional of dishes.
Take the Japanese-inspired tiradito, for example, a sashimi-style dish that’s now a firm favorite in Peruvian cuisine, or chifa, which refers to the fusion of Chinese and Peruvian food. Even anticucho, an age-old recipe of skewered barbecue meat was inspired by the African slaves colonised in South America – the dish was used to make meat scraps like beef heart more palatable. Even recipes like this that were once a lowly addition to Peru’s cuisine are considered national delicacies served at street stalls throughout the country, and at modern restaurants in places like London, Paris, and New York.


A Fresh Larder of Ingredients

Perhaps the most notable thing about Peruvian cuisine, though, is its eclectic mix of ingredients – all fresh, all colorful, all flavorful.

Diverse is the only way to describe the concoction of ingredients grown both on small and large scales in Peru, thanks to the country’s incredibly unique ecosystems. The ocean that spans the north coast is home to an abundance of seafood – so much, in fact, that Peru is known as one of the world’s most prodigious producers of fresh fish and shellfish. Further inland, the Andean mountains offer the perfect growing conditions for potatoes, quinoa, and meat, while the Amazon jungle and its fertile soil bursts with colorful plants, fruits, and vegetables.

Combine this wealth of produce with the influence of immigration and you have a menu that’s exciting, different, and open for endless experimentation.

Contemporary Eating Trends

These days, food forms part of a lifestyle which is determined, in part, by trends, fads, and new ideas.

Because the roots of Peruvian food lie in gluten-free goods, the cuisine is perfect for vegans, vegetarians, and gluten-intolerant eaters – trends that have boomed in the foodie industry in recent years. Through pride of their heritage and a dedication to preserving the history of their cuisine, Peruvian chefs are continuing these age-old traditions in kitchens all over the world.


A Hearty, Homegrown Tradition

To top it all off, Peruvian cuisine is, at its heart, comfort food – think filling meat recipes and starchy side dishes. Throughout the country, Peruvians eat large, laid-back meals with their families, where they mix fresh ingredients and experiment with worldly flavors.

It’s not just the recipes from Peru that have penetrated the globe, it’s the way of life that accompanies meal times. Dishes are usually served on small plates, perfect for sharing with family and friends, and dinnertime is the place for chatting, laughing, and trying new things – the latter of which is vitally important to the growth of Peruvian cuisine. Dishes may well hark back hundreds of years, but the classics are beginning to be reinvented in unique and contemporary ways. Restaurants in London, like Morales’ Ceviche, serve the traditional arroz con pato (duck with rice) with a twist – tender duck confit tossed with coriander and dark beer rice.

It’s the combination of influences, the abundance of fresh, hearty ingredients, and the idea that grandma’s home cooking can be brought into the present day that has pulled Peruvian cuisine from being a nobody to being the thing on everyone’s lips (and plates).

Spice of Life: Bring exotic flavors to your kitchen with these lesser-known spices

The ingredients of a dish can reveal a lot about a place, from its cultural history to its present day traditions. In the Tropics, spices form an important part of the cuisine, indicating the climate of a destination, its penchant for particular flavors, and the make up of its national dishes. Hot sauces and sprinkles of flavored powder provide a kick to local dishes, whilst dried chilies and colorful concoctions come together to give destinations like Thailand, Ethiopia, and Mexico distinct, flavorful recipes.

All over the Tropics, spice recipes bring dishes to life by using local ingredients that have grown for thousands of years in the warmer climates. Of course, visiting these destinations and discovering the local dishes firsthand is the ideal way to experience the unique flavors of these spices. Not just because the spices are grown locally and fresh, but because the locals have a special flair in working with the spices.  

Fortunately, even if you can’t travel to these locales to try the spices firsthand, you can still bring their fresh flavors into your home by preparing these lovely dishes.

Mexico: Adobo Sauce


Adobo sauce is a favorite in Mexico for marinating meats and adding an extra kick to stews and rice dishes. Made using a mixture of dried ancho, chillis, fresh ginger, and cumin, it’s most commonly used as a way to preserve chipotle, a spice made from dried jalapenos.

The sauce is regularly used in chicken stew, a local favorite because it’s easy to whip up and makes for a hearty, shareable dinner. You can try your hand at recreating this at home:

Mexican Chicken Stew
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp Adobo Sauce
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 red onion sliced into rings
  • Coriander leaves
  • Tortillas or rice to serve with
  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion.
  2. Cook for 5 mins before adding the garlic, sugar, chipotle paste, adobo sauce and tomatoes. Stir.
  3. Add chicken to the pan and smother with the sauce.
  4. Simmer for 20 mins until chicken is cooked.
  5. Remove the chicken and shred before adding it once more to the sauce.
  6. Sprinkle red onion and coriander over the top before serving with tortillas or rice.

Brazil: Annatto Seed

In present day the Annatto Seed pops up all over the world, because of the heavy exportation practices that scattered it across the Tropics. The seed’s life actually began in Brazil where it is still regularly used to dye and flavor foods like butter and smoked fish. Bright red in color and shaped like little triangles, Annatto seeds are often ground into a peppery paste that’s sweet with a mild kick.
Annatto Seeds are used in traditional Brazilian fish stew to add a peppery flavor to the simple ingredients. Make your own fish stew with this recipe:

Brazilian Fish Stew
  • ½ tsp Annatto seeds
  • 60ml Canola oil
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt (preferably sea salt flakes)
  • 1 kg Blue cod steak (or other white fish)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 8 drops of Tabasco sauce
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander
  • 400ml coconut milk
  1. Start by making the annatto oil by combining the seeds and oil in a pan. Cook on a medium heat for 10 mins until the sauce turns orange. Remove from heat and strain out the seeds.
  2. Mix together garlic, lime juice and salt in a large bowl and cut the fish into chunks.
  3. Add fish to the bowl and marinade in the garlic and lime sauce.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.
  5. Sauté the onion and peppers for 2-3 mins.
  6. Add in the tomatoes and Tabasco sauce and cook for a further 3-4 mins.
  7. Place fish in a layer on top of the pan mixture.
  8. Sprinkle the spring onions and coriander on and pour the annatto oil and coconut milk over the top.
  9. Cover pan and cook on a low heat for 20 mins.
  10. Serve when ready.

Thailand: Siamese Ginger

Siamese Ginger is a regional take on common ginger with much larger roots. It’s often used in tropical Thai recipes to make curry pastes and to add a zingy flavor to soups.

Chicken and coconut soup is a light meal perfect for the humid temperatures in Thailand, and the added Siamese ginger gives it an extra kick. Cook your own chicken coconut soup for a refreshing treat on warm days:

Chicken Coconut Soup with Siamese Ginger and Lemongrass
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 8 slices of unpeeled Siamese Ginger and 5 ½ ounces of common ginger
  • 1 large stalk of lemongrass cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 12 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 cans unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts cut into pieces
  • 2 tbsp Chilli Tamarind Paste
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ½ tbsp coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 ½ tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • ½ pound mushrooms
  • 5 small Thai chilies
  1. Add stock, ginger and lemongrass to a pot. Add Kaffir lime leaves.
  2. Bring stock to boil over a medium heat and boil for 1 min.
  3. Stir in coconut oil and return to the boil.
  4. Stir in the chicken and return to the boil.
  5. Add the Chili Tamarind Paste, lemon juice, sugar and fish sauce and stir until the paste and sugar have dissolved.
  6. Add the mushrooms and simmer for 1 min.
  7. Float chilies on top, turn off the heat and serve.


Ethiopia: Mitto Shiro


Made using ground chickpeas, Mitto Shiro is a vibrant orange spice with a thick and creamy flavor. A firm culinary favorite, it’s regularly used in tropical Ethiopian recipes including stews and rice dishes.
Ethiopian Shiro is the country’s most popular dish, which combines Mitto Shiro with Berbere, a blend of whole spices, including coriander and cumin seeds, green cardamom, dried red chili peppers, cloves, and black peppercorns. Try out this recipe to create your own hearty Shiro:

Spice of Life: Bring exotic flavors to your kitchen with these lesser-known spices
  • 2 onions
  • 1 tomato
  • ½ cup oil
  • ½ cup Shiro powder
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • Berbere
  1. Puree the onions in a blender and add to a hot dry skillet. Stir until water evaporates and onions start getting brown.
  2. Add ½ cup oil and about ¼ cup of berbere and cook for 1-2 mins.
  3. Puree one tomato and add to the skillet. Cook for 1-2 mins.
  4. Add Shiro powder gradually, stirring with a wooden spoon as you go.
  5. Once Shiro is mixed into the oil, add the water and stir well.
  6. Turn heat down as mixture thickens and cook for about 5 mins.
  7. When finished, it should be the consistency of thick gravy. Serve with rice, rolls, or bread.





5 Food and Drink Pairs that Were Meant to Be Together

The sun’s beating down, you’re on a vine-laden veranda overlooking the sea, and you’re browsing the menu for the perfect dish. Just as you’ve pinpointed which dish you’re going to order, the waiter comes over and asks what drink you want. Cue more frantic menu perusing. There’s an art to pairing food and drink, but when you get it right it can really add another dimension to your ethnic recipes around the world. Pretty much every food and travel guide will tell you which dishes to eat from where, and they might even tell which wines, beers, and spirits are most popular in certain regions, but they rarely teach you which drinks work best with which dishes.

Across the tropics there is a diverse range of traditional dishes, each one boasting its own unique flavor made from local ingredients and spices. To bring out the unique flavors in each dish, try pairing the perfect boozy beverage and make it a complete meal.

1.Mexico: Enchiladas and Pale Ales

Enchiladas are the quintessential dish in Mexican cuisine. Made using corn tortillas with a variety of fillings – everything from meat, cheese, beans, vegetables, seafood, and chicken – topped off with a hot pepper sauce, enchiladas are both savory and spicy.

To bring out the combination of savory and spice, pair enchiladas with a pale ale. A popular option is the American Pale Ale from Mexico’s neighbor to the north. The zesty, citrus flavor contrasts well with the darker, heavier flavors of the pepper sauce and sets off the slight sweetness of the tortillas perfectly.


2.Costa Rica: Ceviche and Light, Fruity Wine

Ceviche is a versatile Costa Rican dish served up in a range of different styles consisting of freshly caught raw fish that’s been marinated well in lime juice and herbs. It receives its fiery kick from a combination of garlic, hot pepper, and onion. Ceviche’s versatility lends itself to be served with tortilla chips, crackers, pita bread, or even in a bowl by itself.

Light, fruity wines like Riesling and Pinot Grigio are the perfect accompaniment to ceviche. Anything heavier makes the dish taste thick, but you need to have a bit of acidity in your wine to make the handful of flavors in ceviche really shine. Jill Gubesch, wine director of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in Chicago, says that “if the wine doesn’t have as much acidity as the dish, it can fall flat and the wine will taste sweet.”


3.Brazil: Moqueca and Caipirinhas

Brazilian seafood stew, known in Portuguese as Moqueca, is a classic favorite thanks to the powerful combination of fish and shellfish, vegetables, and coconut milk. Traditionally the stew is simmered for hours in a clay pot to create a tender and smoky flavor that’s both comforting and filling.

Brazil’s national cocktails, Caipirinhas – made with Brazilian rum, sugar, and lime – are the perfect accompaniment to moqueca. The cachaca (Brazil’s answer to rum) brings the tomato, coriander, and hot pepper in the stew to life.


4.Jamaica: Jerk Chicken and Dry-Sweet Wine

Jamaican food is notoriously spicy and the popular jerk chicken is no exception. The fiery jerk sauce is made with Scotch bonnet peppers (some of the hottest in the world), pimento, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Rubbed over tender chicken, jerk makes for a smoky dish that’s incredibly hot and flavorful.

Dry-sweet or a light sweet wine like Riesling or Pinot Gris works best with the harsh spice of jerk chicken. A wine that expertly mixes fruity tones with a sweet acidity will compliment jerk chicken perfectly. And, if you’re feeling the heat, the acidity of the wine will counteract the intense spiciness of the jerk sauce.


5.Malaysia: Curry Laksa and Hoppy Pale Ale

Curry Laksa is a tasty concoction of coconut, ginger, lemongrass, chilies, and turmeric. The flavorful broth is served over noodles with shrimp, tofu, fish balls, and eggs. The weird and wonderful selection of ingredients offer a rich and unique flavor that’s commonplace in Malaysia.

Spicy curries are best paired with pale ales that combine floral notes with a fruity bitterness. This combination cuts through the intense spiciness of the laksa and creates a balanced flavor that’s not too overwhelming. Indian Pale Ale is a popular choice in Malaysia and other South East Asian countries.



6 Indian Desserts You Need to Try Now

Indian menus are traditionally a savory feast for all the senses. Aromatic rice, chunky meat curries, and a shared basket of naan are the go-to dishes, often flavored with local spices to give them that extra tasty oomph. We could all probably recite some of the major Indian curries, from Dhalls and Vindaloos to calmer Kormas and Pasandas, but what about unique desserts ideas?

Sweet treats aren’t usually the first thing to come to mind when you think of Indian cuisine, but unique dessert ideas are on the rise in India, where Hindus cook up sweet delicacies to offer their deity. Known as Mithai in Hindi, Indian sweets are hearty, flavorful dishes that have sturdy milk, sugar, flour, and cardamom bases. Conquer these recipes to make the perfect finale for themed dinner party ideas.



Here are some easy dinner party recipes for a sweeter journey into the colorful culture of India.


Ras Malai

With roots in Bengalese culture, Ras Malai (or Rosh Malai as they’re sometimes known) are sweet sugary paneer balls soaked in malai (a.k.a. clotted cream). Their name comes from Ras, meaning juicy, and Malai, meaning cream. Combine the two and you have a succulent dessert that’s often finished off with a dash of cardamom.

Ras Malai
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon almonds
  • 1 tablespoon pistachios
  1. Mix lemon juice with ½ cup of hot water to start the paneer process
  2. Boil milk over medium-high heat, stirring frequently
  3. As milks comes to a boil, add lemon juice slowly
  4. Once the milk fat has separated from the whey, drain
  5. Wrap curd in muslin cloth and rinse with cold water
  6. Take out excess water by pressing paneer under a heavy pan for about 1 hour (to check the right amount of water is out, rub a small piece between fingers – in 15-20 seconds you should have a small but firm ball)
  7. Once drained, knead the paneer for 3-4 minutes
  8. Divide dough into 12 equal parts and roll into smooth balls
  9. Mix sugar and water in a pressure cooker on medium high heat until boiling
  10. Add paneer balls and cook on medium heat in pressure cooker for 7 minutes
  11. Wait a few minutes before opening the cooker
  12. Take out patties and squeeze lightly
  13. Boil milk on a medium heat in a frying pan until it’s reduced to 2 cups, stirring frequently
  14. Add sugar and the patties into the milk, cook for a few minutes
  15. Add cardamom and mix
  16. Serve chilled, garnished with sliced almonds and pistachios

Gulab Jamun

Deep fried dishes are all the rage in India, and these syrup-soaked waffle balls are ideal for a fun dinner party idea – their sharing nature makes them a laidback addition to the after-dinner menu. Particularly popular in Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh, as well as southern parts of India, they pack a punch for any sweet-toothed diner.

Gulab Jamun
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
  • 1 cup nonfat milk powder
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 cup sugar for syrup
  • 1 cup water for syrup
  1. Add water and sugar to a pan and bring to boil, stir until sugar has dissolved and then turn off heat (this is the syrup)
  2. Mix milk powder, all purpose flour, baking soda, and cardamom in a bowl and add cream. If dry, add 1-2 spoons of milk. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes
  3. Knead dough and divide into 18 equal parts. Roll them into round balls
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat and place Gulab Jamuns in, frying for about 7 minutes. Roll regularly so they evenly brown
  5. Let Gulab Jamuns cool off and place them in the hot syrup. Let them soak for 20 minutes before serving

Sevaya Kheer

Stemming from traditional Punjabi food, Sevaya Kheer is a strange concoction of sweet milk, vermicelli noodles, dried fruit and nuts. It might seem like a weird combination, but the tender texture of the noodles is the perfect accompaniment to the crunchy nuts and chewy fruits.

Ras Malai
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
  • 100g vermicelli
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 4 tablespoon raisins
  • 4 tablespoon slice almonds
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon powdered cardamom
  1. Break vermicelli into finger-sized pieces
  2. Add vermicelli, raisins and almonds to a saucepan and cook on low heat until light brown
  3. Add milk, stir well, and bring heat up to medium. Bring to the boil
  4. Simmer vermicelli, add sugar and cardamom and heat for another minute
  5. Serve hot or chilled


Sakkarai Pongal

The harvest festival of Pongal is an important time in the Southern Indian calendar. During the festivities, milk and rice are boiled in a traditional clay pot – if it cooks evenly on all sides it believed to be a sure sign of prosperity in the coming year. The end result is Sakkarai Pongal, a creamy rice pudding decorated with cashews and raisins.

Sakkarai Pongal
  • ½ cup rice
  • 2-3 tablespoons Moong dal
  • ½ cup jaggery
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5-6 cashews
  • 1-2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 Elachi
  • 1 Clove
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg powder
  1. Add ¼ teaspoon ghee and the moong dal to a pressure cooker or pan
  2. Add water, rice and salt. Mash when a thick consistency
  3. Powder the jaggery and bring to the boil with water. Dissolve and filter before adding it to the mashed rice
  4. In a separate pan, add raisins to heated cashews and 1 teaspoon of ghee until fluffy and move to one side
  5. Add cloves and elachi to the same pan and switch off the stove. Stir in nutmeg and powder the elachi
  6. Add powdered elachi, cloves and nutmeg to the pongal
  7. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat. Finish by adding the fried cashews and raisins


Payasam is a firm favorite at feasts in Kerala. Bringing together thin wheat noodles or rice and sweet milk, it is a popular contender on vegetarian dinner party recipes in India. It epitomizes the verdant use of dairy-based products in Indian desserts, with the added twist of a savory staple.

Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
  • 200g vermicelli
  • 25ml ghee
  • 1.5l milk
  • 100g sugar
  • 100g cashew nuts
  • 50g raisins
  • 5g cardamom powder
  1. Heat ghee and fry the vermicelli until golden
  2. Mix in cashews and raisins
  3. Add milk and boil for 5 minutes
  4. Mix in sugar and stir until dissolved
  5. Stir in cardamom powder and serve hot or warm

Hyderbadi Sweet Lassi

Lassis are the go-to refreshments in India during the warmer seasons. Their creamy, chilled flavor is created by blending water-thinned yogurt with fresh fruits like strawberries or mangoes for a tropical twist on India’s dairy desserts. In Hyderbad, Rooh Afza, a rose-scented syrup, is often used to create distinct refreshing Lassis for beating the late afternoon sun.

Hyderbadi Sweet Lassi
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
  • 2 cups plain, full-fat yogurt
  • ½ cup cold water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoon Rooh Afza or grape juice concentrate
  • (Optional) vanilla ice cream
  1. Chill mixing bowl in the freezer
  2. Add yogurt and water to bowl and whisk in sugar until smooth
  3. Whisk in Rooh Afza and pour into glasses
  4. Top with 1-2 tablespoons of ice cream

Sweet treats in India shouldn’t be reserved for the back page of a menu. They form a vital part of the dining experience for families and friends throughout the country, with authentic ingredients and recipes that span back generations. Any food travel blog will share savory Indian recipes, but delve into the dessert side of dinner and a whole new world opens up.

Which Hot Pepper Suits Your Personality?

The hot pepper is a common attendee at dinner tables around the globe. Even if they are not sliced up and added to a dish, they are placed on the table in the form of hot sauce – like the wildly popular Sriracha. Humans are the only species on the planet that consciously seeks out spicy flavours and the enjoyable pain they deliver. Turns out there might be a biological reason.

We have the ingredient capsaicin to thank for our love of hot peppers. It’s an active component in chilli peppers that produces the burning sensation in our mouths. The heat of capsaicin allows us to push the limits and flirt with danger without any real risks. When we dig into hot foods, capsaicin connects with our primary sensors for heat and pain – releasing feel-good endorphins. Those endorphins have us reaching for spicy dishes over and over again to experience that rush.

Hot peppers come in a variety of flavours and heat to suit almost any palate. Which hot pepper suits your personality best?


The Health Benefits of Hot Peppers

Hot peppers are as good for us as they are delicious. They are great for the heart and lower cholesterol as the capsaicin in them blocks a gene that encourages arteries to contract. Some studies have shown hot peppers can aid in weight loss because they increase satiety. They are a great pain reliever, too, by desensitizing our skin’s sensory receptors. The capsaicin triggers a signal deactivates sensitization channels in the neurons in our body, resulting in a numbing of the tissue.

The health benefits of hot peppers combined with the heavy quantities of vitamins and antioxidants make them a superfood – perhaps one of the reasons we enjoy their kick so much. There are so many healthy spicy recipes out there that it’s easy to enjoy a bit of spice every single day.


Which Hot Pepper is Best For You?

Cayenne – For the Popular and Versatile

Cayenne are popular hot peppers featured in a tonne of spicy sauce recipes from all over the world, like Romesco sauce and Louisiana Hot Sauce. Stemming from French Guiana, these thin, tropical peppers pack a punch with their fiery flavour and are the perfect choice for those looking to try a common pepper that gets around. These peppers are popular and versatile, making them perfect for social butterflies who can fit into any situation.


Jalapeno – For the Friendly and Outgoing

Jalapenos are one of the better-known hot peppers, showing up in all sorts of spicy food recipes – particularly those of Mexican origin. They are a familiar and fun way to turn any dish into a colourful party. With its thick flesh and distinctive, mild-to-spicy flavour, the jalapeno is the perfect choice for sharing sauces like salsa – making them the ideal hot pepper for fun-loving socialites.

Piri Piri – For the Small and Fiery

Piri Piri sauce has become a bit of a phenomenon over recent years, with its hot spicy recipes showing up in various regions around the world. The hot peppers it comes from are tiny and skinny in shape, but can easily set mouths on fire with their intense heat. Though they’ve gone global recently, you’ll usually find Piri Piris in tropical African cuisine. With their burst of hot flavour and tiny size, these hot peppers are perfect for fiery individuals.

Aji Limo – For the Fun and Fruity

Originating from the north coast of Peru, aji limo hot peppers are best-known for their part in sweet spicy recipes for ceviche though they can also be regularly found in tropical rice dishes. Their distinctive citrus flavour makes them the perfect ingredient for fruity dishes, but don’t be fooled – they’re still incredibly hot. The fun and fruity base flavour of these hot peppers make them ideal for free-spirited, fun-loving people looking for a little adventure.

Coban – For the Sultry and Stylish

Popular across Guatemala and southern Mexico, these tiny smoked chillies resemble Chipotle peppers but with a much heftier kick. Some of the best spicy recipes out there include these little gems for their unique, deep flavour, including many traditional, smoky Central American dishes. The sophisticated flavour of these hot peppers are perfect for stylish individuals who want to inject a sultry elegance into their food.

Carolina Reaper – For the Daring and Adventurous

This list wouldn’t be complete without featuring the hottest pepper in the world. The Carolina Reaper was given this title in 2015 and should only be reserved for the most adventurous eaters. With Scoville rankings reaching up to 2,200,000, this really is the most daring pepper you can put past your lips. The intense heat of these peppers is ideal for thrill seekers looking for a daring addition to dinner.

There are so many different varieties of hot peppers that it’s easy to find one to suit your mood and menu – whether you’re looking for a fiery kick that will get eyes watering or a fruity flavour that packs a zingy punch.


4 Reasons You Should Have Guacamole on the Table at Every Meal

The current popularity of avocados has made a quick, easy guacamole recipe like bringing a tiny party to every meal. Although you’ll never be short of an authentic guacamole recipe in this day and age, it’s actually not a new phenomenon. The Aztecs brought it to life, and after the Spanish conquest of Mexico back in the 16th century it has flourished into a popular dish that offers a menu of health benefits.

The term guacamole was the brainchild of the Aztecs, and it is literally translated as “avocado sauce”. Talking of avocados, did you know they’re often called “alligator pears” because of their shape and the texture of their skin?

This wonderful fruit should be a happy addition to the table at every meal.



Why Guacamole Should Make a Regular Appearance

1. It’s Easy to Make

There are thousands of healthy, simple recipes for guacamole out there because it really is so easy to make. Just mix together a couple of ingredients and – voila! – you have the perfect addition to every meal.

Here’s one of the best guacamole recipes (makes 1½ cups):

You’ll need:

  • 3 medium avocados
  • 1 diced tomato
  • ½ white onion
  • ½ chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare:

  • Scoop the ripe flesh out of the avocados and mash it with a fork until it’s the texture you want
  • Add in the other ingredients and mix together

That’s it! It’s done – eat right away or store in the fridge with plastic wrap over the top to stop it going brown.

2. It’s Healthy

Avocados are considered a superfood, so you’ll find plenty of healthy, tasty recipes for guacamole out there. Thanks to its avocado base and its collection of fine ingredients (think of the tomato, lime juice, and cilantro), guacamole boasts a number of nutritional benefits, including a healthy dose of unsaturated fat (the kind your body needs) which lowers cholesterol and vitamin C.

The mighty avocado in your guacamole harbors over 20 different vitamins and minerals, like potassium which replenishes cells, fiber for a healthy stomach, and antioxidants which are good for eyes, skin, and hair. Avocados are also heavy in vitamin B6, an immune system booster that works to break down protein cells in the body, and vitamin K, a nutrient important for blood clotting.


3. It Can Be Dressed Up or Down

Guacamole will never look out of place on the table because it has the perfect outfit for every occasion. Even just swapping the lime and lemon juice for bitter orange or grapefruit immediately creates two more healthy, simple recipes.

If you’re looking to go all out with your guac, though, there are an endless supply of good, healthy recipes out there.

Roasted garlic guacamole is a firm favourite, injecting a splash of sweetness to counteract the bitter lemon or lime. For a meatier version, slip in some blue cheese and bacon for an irresistible side dish or, for a fancy addition to your meal, mix in some crab and seasoning for a unique dish that’s stepped straight off the beach.

4. It’s Very Versatile

In the same way you can dress your guacamole up or down, you can also bring it to the party alongside a variety of other foodie guests. Guacamole goes hand-in-hand with a whole host of easy, healthy food recipes so you can literally serve it up with anything and everything.

We all know it’s the perfect accompaniment to tortilla chips and Mexican dishes, but have you thought about spreading it into egg or vegetable sandwiches? What about adding it to burgers for a tasty kick, or using it as a topping for scrambled eggs? Guacamole is also perfect for adding to quick and easy, healthy recipes for casserole, where it will enhance the flavor and really boost the nutrition levels (see previous point about the health benefits of guac!).


Guacamole really is an ideal addition to every meal thanks to its rocking health benefits and its ability to dress for the occasion – and let’s not forget how easy it is to make! By using one of the many easy avocado recipes out there you can have a fun and tasty dish in no time at all.