World Cuisine Wednesday


World Cuisine Wednesday

Thanks to the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) for making this World Cuisine Wednesday post possible. All comments, opinions and my love for exploring new cultures, tastes, and flavor combinations are my own!

Here's an idea for assembling a delicious meal while creating fun, teachable moments for the kids at the same time—and it's easy. We're calling it World Cuisine Wednesday.

If you're like me, you might worry about the time it might take to come up with ideas for a meal like this in the middle of the week. Don't worry. Just do what we did and set a time limit for brainstorming and ambiance prep. The decorations took just 15 minutes, including printing the world maps, as we limited ourselves to interesting objects already in the house.

Next, we selected a few World Cuisine-inspired dishes from the frozen and dairy aisles at the market and our Wednesday meal was transformed into family fun night! It was engagingly educational, too.

Kid pointing Italy in a globe -

Here are some ideas we used to make it more fun:

Pretend you're on a Trip around the World

The Food

Through food, our families teach tradition and history. But just as we appreciate our own Mexican Food, we also enjoy trying new foods and flavors while learning about other cultures. It helps us raise our kids to be citizens of the world. Our moveable feast started in Italy and then headed east on the map. Our rules: When you get to a country represented by a dish on the table, you have to stop and try the dish. The kids used their maps to let us know which dish to try next.

Kid looking at map -

Italy: Pizza and marinated mozzarella balls

We started with Italy and the marinated mozzarella balls. They come ready marinated in olive oil and spice which makes them so convenient. Then we shared a mozzarella and pesto pizza which I chose especially for that fragrant pesto taste. My boys love pesto. I told them about my trip to Italy with two college friends, too. They were particularly interested in hearing about the gelato, Italian ice, and pizza, but now the cheese, too. Strange, right?

The boys compared and contrasted the voices of Pavarotti and Bocceli and were split on their favorite (see music links below).

Marinated Mozzarella Balls by Galbani -

Bon Apetit Pesto, Mozzarella and Tomato Pizza -

India: Chicken Vandaloo

Next stop India. I chose this dish since it's a classic Indian dish, because it has tamarind in it and because I wanted my kids to try something new. The boys enjoyed learning about curry and we even had some tamarind in the house to show them. One of their favorite candies from Mexico is called tamarindo. We could have spent hours talking about India, but we had to get to Thailand. They enjoyed talking about Sanjay's Super Team, mongooses, cobras and elephants. They also enjoyed the music, especially Bharatha Natyam.

Chicken Vandaloo by Saffron Road -

Thailand: Lemongrass Basil Chicken

We loved this lemongrass infused green curry with a blend of garlic, ginger, peppers and spices. Thai food is a family favorite, but we don't get to have it as much as we might like. I appreciated this dish, and chose it because the price is family friendly.

My older boy noted the music we played from Northern Thailand sounded more like music you might also hear in China and the music from Southern Thailand sounded to him like it had more Indian influences.

Lemongrass basil Chicken by Saffron Road -

China: Egg Rolls

My older boy couldn't wait to get to China! I chose these egg rolls because that same boy loves vegetable egg rolls and the sweet chili dipping sauce. They are a generous size and crispy! I also like that they have a variety of vegetables inside.

We talked about Kung Fu, Dragon Dancing, Lion Dancing, fireworks, The Great Learning, and writing in Chinese characters. The music was beautiful, too.

Vegetable Egg Rolls by Pagoda -

Belgium: Belgian custard cream mini éclairs and blueberries

These éclairs are so convenient! I just need to take them out of the freezer 45 minutes before serving and the very creamy filling goes great with the blueberries.

Of course, the boys loved them, and we talked about Belgian chocolate, diamonds, Flanders, Benelux, and the Flemish, French, Dutch and German languages.

Belgian custard cream mini e-clairs -

Here are the yummy products used for the dishes we tasted:

World Cuisine Wednesday products -

The Traveling Music

What would World Cuisine Wednesday be without music? As the kids figured out which countries to stop at, we played a little music for atmosphere. Here are some ideas:

The Props

You'd be amazed what you can find around the house. Dishes, maps, books, globes, passports, fabrics, and crafts. These all make for interesting cultural touchstones to pique your kids' interest in the wider world. And I think most of us can agree that's a good thing!

Globe and maps -

Let your imagination be your guide and put together a night they won't soon forget—quickly, easily, and conveniently.

For more meal inspiration from around the world, check out the NFRA over at and our “Cool Food Panel” board on Pinterest.

Bon voyage! Enjoy!

Silvia Martinez
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