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Jun 10, 2021

9 min. read

Want to take your senses on a trip around the world—without leaving home? Experience a culinary adventure with a curated picnic of globally inspired goodies. Here are some signature dishes to try from five destinations around the world.

Caribbean flavours

Banana chips in a bowl on a wooden table.

Channel some irie vibes with an island-style picnic featuring a batch of spicy jerk chicken to pair with a side of rice and peas. Or snack on some crunchy banana chips, flaky beef patties and sweet tamarind balls, which can be washed down with homemade tropical fruit punch or a bottle of Ting, a flavourful Caribbean soda.

An Italian spread

A plate of cheese, olives, and bread on a table.

Prepare a colourful spread of Italian antipasto and imagine you’re picnicking under the Tuscan sun. Dine alfresco on focaccia bread, olives, prosciutto and caprese salad made with fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and basil. To drink, enjoy a refreshing bottle of sparkling San Pellegrino mineral water or a San Benedetto iced tea.

A tangy taste of India

A bowl of fried calamari with sauce and salad.

Bite-sized Indian finger foods are easy-to-eat for a summertime spread. Tuck into crispy vegetable pakora, savoury samosas, masala vada (lentil fritters) and tandoori chicken pieces with an assortment of sweet-and-tangy chutneys, raita and spicy curry sauces. Mix a batch of mango lassi or iced chai tea to accompany your open-air feast.

The aromatic spices of Lebanon

A plate of falafel, salad and vegetables.

Escape across the Mediterranean Sea with an array of authentic Lebanese meze. Pack your hamper with grilled lamb skewers, crispy falafels and Arab-inspired dips like creamy labneh and baba ghanoush. If you want to add some greens, assemble a fattoush salad (crispy pita, lettuce, tomato and cucumber) tossed in a zesty lemon, garlic and sumac dressing. A chilled glass of fragrant rose water (sharab ward) makes the perfect post-meal refreshment.

Vietnamese street food

A white bowl with shrimp, avocado, and peaches.

Vietnamese bánh mì, a common street food in Ho Chi Minh City, are the perfect hand-held sandwiches for a picnic. Slice a crusty baguette lengthwise and top with savoury meats and pâté, crunchy pickled vegetables, cilantro, fresh chillies and aioli mayonnaise. For a lighter option, try a shrimp and mango salad (gỏi xoài) or vegetarian-friendly spring rolls (gỏi cuốn) stuffed with tofu, vermicelli, lettuce and mint leaves wrapped in soft rice paper. Finish by sipping on Vietnamese iced coffee sweetened with condensed milk.

Classic Canadiana fare

A pile of fried potato chips is shown.

You can of course pack your picnic with flavours close to home. Poutine, made with cheese curds from Quebec and loaded with gravy is a quintessential Canadian dish, as is a Montreal-style bagel with peameal bacon. And for dessert, butter tarts and Nanaimo bars are a sweet treat. And don’t forget the ketchup chips!

Feeling Inspired?

When you’re ready to travel again, speak with an experienced CAA Travel Consultant to plan your dream getaway.

Shop for ingredients and prepared foods for your next picnic with CAA’s Rewards partner. CAA Members save $10 when they order online from INABUGGY.

Image credit: iStock/AegeanBlue, iStock/mythja, iStock/5PH, iStock/Paul_Brighton, iStock/MmeEmil, iStock/loooby, iStock/AnthonyRosenberg

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