We’ve all been at home a lot over the last few months. We’ve eaten plenty of take-out. But even some of the best places get a little old after awhile. If you’re like most people, your weekly menu has several staples and maybe an experiment or two thrown in here and there. Here’s an idea to try that works great for families, couples and singles alike.
After having a Disney trip canceled due to the pandemic, we became inspired talking about Epcot. Thinking about the different nations represented, and tired of eating the same old things, we though: What if we brought a piece of Epcot to our house and created different dinners to represent each country?
From there, the idea evolved and expanded.
Instead of just including the countries represented at Epcot, we got the family involved and let each member pick two countries. We asked everyone to choose countries that intrigued them, as opposed to countries where they like the food (i.e. - “I like spaghetti, so I choose Italy."). We also made a point to create a menu of food items we’ve never made before.
To make it work, the entire household needs to get involved. Menu suggestions can be a team effort, and having different people involved in different prep work turns the dinner into an event. You can have someone help with desert and another help decorate the table.
In addition to sampling international cuisine, it became a great learning opportunity. We asked that the kids each pull 3 facts about the country. They also created a national flag that was hung in the dining room. Plus, adding a cultural habit helped make it a special occasion. For instance, everyone took off their shoes when we celebrated Korea.
The more involved the participants are, the more interested they’ll be. You can go as big or as small as you like. Some kids may be too picky to try some of the food. So, maybe you just do a customary dessert or appetizer. Use the opportunity to have fun and inspire learning. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much curiosity it will inspire, and soon enough you’ll want to visit each country.