The Best Places Around the World to Take a Cooking Class

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One of the best ways to experience another culture is to sample its food.

An even better way of developing an understanding with another culture is to learn how to cook their food for yourself by taking a cookery class.

On this page we’ll take a look at some of the best places around the world for expanding your cooking repertoire.

Thailand

When most people think about taking a cookery class abroad, they think about doing so in a South-East Asian country, such as Thailand.

This is no surprise, as Thailand has quickly become a favorite travel destination of those looking for adventure, and because their local cuisine is nothing short of extraordinary.

Although many people label all Thai food under the same umbrella, there are actually four distinct regions of Thailand, each with their own unique style of food and culinary traditions.

Traditional Thai dishes worth learning about are roti pancakes, egg fried rice (with pork or chicken) and Thai green curry.

Although a lot of Thai dishes (particularly the curries) contain a lot of herbs and spices, by no means are all of them hot (in the ‘spicy’ kind of way). The herbs and spices are there to provide a full and zesty flavor, rather than to burn your taste buds.

Apart from the great taste, Thai food is typically very low in fat, making it one of the healthiest around.

One of the best places to take a cooking class in Thailand is Chiang Mai – a reasonably small city in the northern region, where life is a lot quieter and slower-paced than in Bangkok. The great range of cooking schools here and the slow-paced nature of the city make it a great place to learn how to cook Thai cuisine.

Thai Crab Claws in Basil

Mexico

Mexican cuisine is very popular around the world (particularly in the United States), and there are many special dishes and local secrets to learn (such as how to make mole sauce, Menudo Soup or the Picadillo beef dish).

One of the best places in Mexico to take a cooking class is Oaxaca – a city in the southwest full of great cooking school.

The summertime is a great time to visit Mexico, especially if you arrive during the folk-dance Guelaguetza celebrations in July.

Cyprus

If you fancy learning about eastern Mediterranean food, Cyprus is a great place to do so. Cypriot food focuses heavily on using fresh ingredients (many of which are produced on the island) and using them to make classic, age-old recipes.

Typical Cypriot recipes include Afelia (a “specialty made from pork, red wine, mushrooms, potatoes and coriander seeds”), Stifado (a beef stew with tomatoes, onions, and various herbs) and Calamari (fried squid frequently served with lemon juice).

Finding a cookery course in Cyprus shouldn’t be too much of a problem (especially if you head for the capital city of Nicosia).

Italy

The roaming Italian countryside of Tuscany, the Colosseum in Rome and the buried Roman town of Pompeii are some of Italy’s most iconic images

The beauty of Italy’s imagery is matched only by the quality of its food, and there is no better place to learn about Italian cuisine than in the Italian countryside.

“But I already know how to cook Italian food…”

Just because you know how to put a pizza in the oven or boil pasta doesn’t mean you know how to cook Italian food!

Making your own hand-crafted pastas (such as Orecchiette or Cavatelli) is a great place to start, before taking a visit to the market to learn about the local herbs that go into so many of their dishes.

Japanese Food

Japan

The best places to study Japanese cuisine are in the big cities of Tokyo and Osaka (as that’s where the most cooking schools are), but you’ll definitely learn a thing or two by staying with a local family out in the countryside.

Traditional Japanese dishes that you can learn are Okonomiyaki (a savoury pancake containing a whole range of ingredients), Yakisoba (Ramen-style noodles with pork and vegetables in yakisoba sauce) and of course, Sushi (raw fish wrapped in rice).

Sri Lanka

Most people will have never heard of (or tried) Sri Lankan food, yet there’s a great deal on offer worth learning about.

The people of Sri Lanka massively value fresh herbs and spices, and try to include them in almost all of their dishes. Sri Lankans also like to make use of coconuts and fresh seafood in their dishes.

Sri Lankan food is often confused with Indian food, as they too share are well known for their curry and rice dishes.

Some of Sri Lanka’s best dishes include the chili fish curry, beetroot curry, Kottu (shredded pieces of bread, stir-fried with vegetables or meats) and Hoppers (pancakes cooked in a wok with coconut milk and wine).


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