Contributed by: News Canada
(NC) - Summer is almost here, which means backyard entertaining and patio parties with family and friends. As cross-cultural cuisine continues to gain in popularity, guests will be craving foods with more intense, diverse flavours this season.
The standard fare associated with the much anticipated barbecue season can be easily enhanced by adding Caribbean, Mexican or Asian influences to your summer meals. There are many ways to perk up the flavour of simple favourites such as adding unique spices to a light pasta salad, incorporating mouth-watering marinades to meats and vegetables or utilizing fruits, nuts and dips.
Asian cuisine incorporates a diverse set of flavours, ranging from mild to very hot, and from sweet to savoury. Asian sauces often incude sweet, spicy and sour flavours such as: lemongrass, plum paste, sesame oil, chilies and ginger. Asian cooking generally uses small bites of lean cuts of meat, flavourful marinades, quick cooking over high heat and dipping sauce accompaniments.
Caribbean cooking is the essence of fusion style as the islands were first settled by the Spanish, then the Dutch, French, British and Danish - the combination of these flavours developed the nature of the cuisine. Caribbean flavours tend to combine ingredients such as curry, allspice, lime, thyme, ginger, chilies and tropical fruits. A unique blend of spices and fruit components such as papaya, mango and guava can bring the vibrancy of an island sunset into any kitchen.
Descended from the food of the Mayans, authentic Mexican takes advantage of the varied food sources in Mexico with small meals often served wrapped in a fresh tortilla. Mexican and Central American cuisine incorporates beans, corn, tomatoes, jicama, chocolate, avocado, papaya, vanilla and chili peppers.
Experimenting with presentation, spices and seasonings, and flavourful rubs and marinades can bring a world of flavours to your own backyard:
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