How America eats: Bringing culinary travel inspiration home

It happens all the time. I’ll travel internationally and become inspired — it’s all about the food. Somehow it just seems fresher, healthier and definitely tastier than what I typically eat at home. I’m not alone.

Culinary travel is booming. Food tours are popping up everywhere and entire trips are sometimes organized around favorite foodie destinations. So why is culinary travel so popular?

Follow Ladders on Flipboard!

Follow Ladders’ magazines on Flipboard covering Happiness, Productivity, Job Satisfaction, Neuroscience, and more!

The cultural connection

Culinary travel isn’t just about visiting local restaurants, it’s about making a cultural connection. One of the best ways to connect with a culture is through sampling the local foods. From cheese and chocolate in Switzerland to sausages and sauerkraut in Germany to the exotic spices in Moroccan cuisine, local foods are driven by a combination of cultural influences and geographical location.

No matter where you travel, food is always a strong factor that differentiates one place from another. On a recent trip to the Swedish Lapland, we dined on salmon lasagna made from fish caught fresh from the river just steps outside the guesthouse. I immediately asked the chef for the recipe vowing to make it as soon as I returned home. Several years ago during a visit to Peru, I was introduced to quinoa. This protein-rich grain wasn’t as prevalent in America then as it is now, but I made a mental note to find a way to incorporate it into my diet when I returned home.

I’ve purchased local spices in markets all over the world, attended cooking classes with world-renowned chefs, and posted photos of exotic cuisine to my Instagram feed to inspire me to try these new dishes at home. But here I am in my New York apartment eating my usual salads and vegetable soup without an ounce of creativity!

It’s the American way

It turns out I’m not alone. A recent survey commissioned by Knorr® revealed that although Americans are passionate about food, most aren’t creative enough in the kitchen to introduce new foods into their daily routines. According to the study, three in five Americans wish they were more creative in the kitchen. Most attribute their lack of variety to a lack of confidence in making a meal that tastes good. And there’s also a reluctance to spend too much time cooking. (I can relate to that.)

Other findings indicated that the average American spends just 42 minutes on prepping and cooking daily meals. It seems we lose that inspiration we get while traveling once we settle back into our routines. Fortunately, things are changing in America.

The tide is turning

With cooking shows increasing in popularity and foodies from millennials to boomers becoming more open to culinary adventures, there’s hope for bringing that culinary travel inspiration into our homes between our travels.

Founded in 1838, when founder Carl Heinrich Knorr pioneered experiments in drying seasonings and vegetables to preserve their flavor and nutritional value, Knorr® has become an international brand offering a wide range of bouillons, soups, seasonings, sauces, soupy snacks, dressings and ready-made meals. When the globetrotting sons of its founder began importing new ideas from overseas, Knorr® brought global cuisine to the forefront. And now, Knorr® is bringing that global inspiration to our table courtesy of its team of international chefs.

Global inspiration from Knorr®

Are you ever envious of friends who truly enjoy cooking? I am. Perhaps that’s why I’m eating those boring salads and soups. Knorr® believes cooking shouldn’t be a chore. As a result, its team of international chefs has designed products to give us confidence in the kitchen. Armed with tasty skillet recipes with instructions even a novice can understand, there’s hope for keeping that culinary inspiration alive long after our suitcases are unpacked.

While most of us are familiar with Italian, Chinese and Mexican cuisine, according to the survey 85% of Americans have never tried Moroccan food. And although cooking with grains is increasing in popularity, most of us have no idea how to incorporate quinoa and barley into our recipes. But it’s time we tried, so here’s a sample of one of the delicious Knorr® skillet recipes.

Moroccan style chicken with barley

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (seasoned      with salt & pepper, if you like)
  • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sliced carrots, about 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 package Knorr® One Skillet Meals-Moroccan Style Chicken with Barley
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 3 Tbsp. raisins


  • HEAT your olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Toss your chicken with flour and then cook for 4 minutes until browned.
  • ADD water, carrots and contents of Knorr® One Skillet Meals to the skillet and bring to a boil.
  • Cover and turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer 13 minutes.
  • ADD your cauliflower to the skillet, cover and continue cooking 10 more minutes or until barley is tender. (For perfectly cooked barley, make sure to keep covered.)
  • STIR in your raisins. Remove from heat and let stand covered 2 minutes.

You’ll find a complete list of the skillet recipes here. There’s a world full of flavor waiting for you!

This article first appeared on Travel Squire.

You might also enjoy…