Dining Out of Our Comfort Zone

Dining Out of Our Comfort Zone

Dining out of our comfort zone often occurs when we’re traveling to places where we are unfamiliar with the language.  Trying out foods and flavors  on a hunch or recommendation  is one of the best ways to discover the nuances of a culture, as well as to test our sense of gustatory adventure.


At TOCA Events, we relish these moments in travel where we can give unidentifiable ingredients the chance to expand our palate. In this spirit we would like to offer you a few examples of exotic foods that we’ve tried and loved. The following all  began as mysteries and ended up on our list of favorite foods of the world


We only had to hear our Japanese friends from Osaka say the word, “okonomiyaki” to have our curiosity aroused. A sizzling omelette was made with spring onions mixed into the batter and then filled with cabbage, eggs, mixed vegetables and a choice of meat or seafood.  Cooked in a stock made with dried kelp and flaked bonito, this dish, which is often called ‘Osakan soul food,’ is served with several different sauces that create a tantalizing combination of sweet and salty.


One of our favorite dishes in Greece is “melizanosalata,” which is a tangy dip made with roasted eggplant and red peppers, garlic, and fish eggs. Spread on bread or placed on a baked potato, add lemon and olive oil and this Mediterranean delicacy is a wonderful appetizer, especially coupled with a good red wine.


If you are planning to travel to Istanbul, you will find an extremely diverse cuisine there, which makes it very exciting to eat out.  We love to eat “künefe,” which is a traditional pastry made with unsalted cheese placed in between very thin layers of dough. Soaked in a sweet syrup, it is served warm so that the cheese melts, creating a soft interior inside a perfectly baked crust.  Topped with pistachio nuts, the combination of cheese and sugar is euphoric .


Poland is famous for its meat and poultry dishes, with the most well known being sausages and dumplings called “perogi.”  One of our favorite Polish dishes is “golabki,” which is a white cabbage roll filled with minced pork, onion, mushrooms, and rice. You can have golabki stuffed with  mutton or chicken or even vegetarian style.

Ghana is a place where you can find some of the most unique street food. Try “red red, ” which is a dish made of red beans cooked in a curry sauce with fish or prawns. Spicy and savory, it is the perfect way to fill a hungry belly!


One of  South Africa’s staples is “chakalaka.” This dish is made with grated carrots, cabbage, baked beans, chillies, garlic, and a hot curry powder.  Covered in a gravy that includes chopped onions and tomatoes., you will almost always find chakalaka at barbecues and at many other types of South African meals.

There are many more exotic dishes on our list, and we heartily advise you to create your own.  For sure you can find many delicious meals from foreign lands not far from home as our world becomes more diverse and international.


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