With coronavirus making travel a tricky and even potentially dangerous prospect this year, we’re embracing the summer staycation. All week (and all summer) long, we’ll bring you transportive flavors and travel-inspired ideas from around the world, so you can take your tastebuds on a trip and give your mind a mini vacation while you’re still at home. These pieces of international cookware serve as your personal passport to unlimited global flavor.
staycation. Admittedly, we never get sick of burgers, dogs, and BBQ, but sometimes taking your evening meal or small, socially distanced dinner party somewhere outside the States can serve as a welcome change of pace. One way to kickstart a culinary Both travel and dining out are still a precarious endeavor, so here at Chowhound, we’re celebrating the almighty tour de monde is through acquiring a new piece of international cookware. Throw a traditional Chinese hot pot party, for instance, fit with flaming rum drinks, or make tacos from scratch using a handy cast iron tortilla press (and many margaritas).
With globe-trotting plans mostly dashed, getting creative and festive with your next home meal can help bring the wide world to you, even if just for the night. Chances are you’ll discover a new recipe or two in the process too. Check out these great pieces of international cookware—all available for purchase online with safe shipping to your home.
This traditional Morrocan cookware achieves a similar result as a Dutch oven. But because many are unglazed, proponents of the clay tagine claim you’ll get a taste of the earthenware imparted as well. Tagines were traditionally used over low, slow heat sources like charcoal, but since that might not be possible at home, you can use it in your oven on low and slow, just like a traditional braise. Tagines look pretty darn cool too, and so you could, and definitely should serve food right in the base of the pot. This 2.5-quart clay tagine is glazed, but you can also snag an unglazed clay tagine without breaking the bank. Here’s a handy guide to getting started with your new tagine.Buy Now
Speaking of cookware that’s also perfect to serve in, a steamer basket is the absolute best for making and plating our favorite Chinese dim sum. Steaming keeps flavor locked-in better than boiling but leaves off the excess oil and grease associated with pan-frying. This lovely woven bamboo steamer comes in three sizes, and the only other tools you’ll need is a skillet wide enough for the steamer to fit in, some water, and a few homemade or store-bought dim sum to cook, of course.Buy Now
Related Reading: Dim Sum: A Culinary Odyssey
I likely don’t need to explain what a wok is, but you may be surprised at how easy and effective they are—especially when making a quick stir-fry. The high sloped sides allow you to circulate food for fast and even cooking without falling victim to a pan’s hot spots. When using a wok—which originates in Japan—you’ll want to keep things moving, but over time, a proper wok will take on deep flavor—not unlike cast iron skillets. This 14-inch nonstick wok from Sur La Table is light enough not to give your wrist trouble but big enough for just about any job. Buy Now
Related Reading: How to Use Your Wok on the Grill For the Best Stir-Fry Ever
Hibachi is simple Japanese cooking over a small charcoal fire. It’s often done communally with folks skewering meats, seafood, and vegetables and cooking them over the hot grill. This simple konro hibachi grill from Japanese retailer Korin comes with a sturdy wooden base and metal net screen to rest the skewers on. Buy Now
Speaking of skewers, grill some traditional hibachi skewers or Brazilian barbecue on your new grill with these Wüsthof stainless-steel skewers. The wide flat profile will keep food in place as it cooks, so feel free to load em’ up. Buy Now
Related Reading: 11 Super Skewers for Summer BBQs
There are few more fun and social ways to eat than Chinese hot pot— also called shabu-shabu in Japan. Assemble thinly sliced meats and vegetables for everyone to cook in a steaming and flavorful hot broth and serve it all with rice. Unless you have a free-standing burner, you’ll need a self-heating hot pot like this SPT shabu-shabu cooker. Buy Now
Homemade tortillas are the best tortillas. Making them at home is a lot easier than you think. You’ll benefit greatly from a press, but it’s a simple gadget so don’t overthink it (or pay too much). This cast iron number made by Smart Cook should do the trick. You can press any number of flatbreads in this too, like Indian roti or Japanese seaweed crackers.Buy Now
French crêpes are a tricky business and getting them exactly right starts with having the right pan. A crêpe pan, in fact. The low, sloped sides make it easier to flip and remove your crêpes, which is necessary to keep them from burning. This de Buyer pan is made from sturdy blue steel and is 9.5 inches across.Buy Now
When you think of raclette, images of oozy, gooey cheese probably start dancing in your head. Which is good because a raclette grill features melted cheese in spades. It’s sort of like if a fondue pot and shabu-shabu cooker had a child. Grill your meats and veggies on top while the cheese melts below into a perfect dipping sauce, ready to be mopped up or drizzled over the proteins before eating. This self-heating unit is just $40 at Macy’s. Buy Now
This breakfast staple is so popular you might have forgotten about its international origins. This slick Cuisinart Belgian waffle maker from Best Buy gets rave reviews from buyers and looks pretty darn cool too. *Vermont maple syrup not included.Buy Now
Header image courtesy of Getty Images / Yuriko Nakao. .