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Enjoy a Flavor-Packed Spring Staycation

Local Feature
By: Marla Cimini
Enjoy a Flavor-Packed Spring Staycation

Even if you're not planning a spring getaway, you can still enjoy the authentic flavors of exotic destinations at home. Whether you wish you could be on a sunkissed island or enjoying a jazz-infused dinner in New Orleans, you can infuse your cooking with the taste of far away places — no bag required.


Classic Mexican cuisine has evolved over many centuries, reflecting indigenous and European influences and varying tremendously throughout its various regions. On the Gulf Coast, Veracruz offers seafood specialties with delicate seasonings that include thyme, cilantro and parsley, while the northwestern area is known for zestier pork dishes flavored by chili peppers. Pair these classic Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa with a margarita for your own resort experience.


Located on the North African coast, Morocco has seen its cuisine influenced by France and the Middle East, along with neighboring countries. It's not unusual to taste lamb, chicken and seafood dishes accented by a savory-sweet combination of cloves, cumin, paprika, cardamom and cinnamon. Reflecting the region and requiring minimal prep time, Cardamom Scented Couscous is an aromatic accompaniment to any entree.


Jamaican cooking is a multicultural amalgamation, as the island's fare has evolved from Spanish, Native American, African and even Chinese influences. Jamaica's popular jerk - style seasoning infuses many island dishes with hot and spicy flavors, but the island is also known for traditional favorites like saltfish and akee (a Caribbean fruit), and hearty hotpots, with pork, chicken or goat meat and mixed vegetables. For a zesty virtual trip, try this recipe for Jamaican Curry Chicken.



New Orleans

Considered a food-lover's paradise, New Orleans is a place to sample fresh seafood seasoned with a spicy mix of Cajun, Creole and African flavors. Favorites include classics like crawfish, gumbo and jambalaya, and of course, oysters any number of ways. If you can't get to the French Quarter, play some jazz, pour yourself a classic Sazerac and cook up this Spicy Shrimp Remoulade with Angel Hair Pasta.


China is renowned for its gastronomic diversity. The Sichuan region, for example, is famous for its incredibly hot peppers and sauces that feature explosive tastes of chili, ginger and peanuts. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Cantonese region, incorporating lighter seasonings and sweeter notes into its dishes. You can enjoy your own culinary journey to China by preparing these Hibachi Beef Kabobs.


Greek cuisine encapsulates southern Mediterranean flavors, with accents of lemon, garlic and Kalamata olives in many dishes, accompanied by spices, such as basil, thyme and mint. Greek cooking is known for its emphasis on fresh seafood and lamb, phyllo-dough-wrapped delights, such as spinach-filled spanakopita, and an abundance of seasonal vegetables. Unpack these Lamb Chops with Tzatziki Sauce to savor Greek flavors.

Marla Cimini is a journalist with a passion for travel and culinary adventures. An avid globetrotter, she enjoys tasting flavors around the world, and has covered a wide array of food-focused topics, including Japanese cuisine from Tokyo, lesser-known Portuguese wines and Santa Fe's chocolate trail. She writes for USA Today and numerous publications worldwide. Twitter & Instagram: @MarlaCimini

Spice Islands® spices deliver high quality, authentic flavors from all over the world so you can put the most delicious meals on your table.

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