What Makes a Recipe Authentic?

Discussion time! What makes a recipe authentic? We’ve been receiving lots of comments lately from readers and passionate foodies who’ve joined us along the way, and it seems this topic strikes a cord for many of you.

What makes a recipe authentic? We're curious. | wandercooks.com

So today we thought we’d take the time to sit down with you and open up the discussion a little further.

What Makes A Recipe Authentic?

Wandercooks is, and has always been, about sharing our discoveries with you guys, our wonderful readers, so that you can explore the amazing flavours our world has to offer from your very own kitchens.

There’s no way we think you should have to miss out just because you can’t get your hands on a specific ingredient, or because you may not be able to travel to a specific country.

Shikoku Mountain-Style Udon Noodles - A foot-crafted recipes of delectable noodles from the Udon Master in Shikoku, Japan. Slurp yourself happy with this moreish dinner delight. | wandercooks.com

That’s why we’ll always try to help you sauce err I mean source what you’ll need to make each of our recipes, and help you with substitutions along the way, so you can experience a bite of another culture at home.

Wandercooks is also about sharing not just the recipes, but the experiences behind them. We want to take you with us on our world cuisine adventures into the heart of Turkey or Thailand or Korea. We want you there with us as we learn from our friends and mentors along the way.

We love teaching you about food so you can appreciate it so much more – beyond the flavour. We encourage you to embrace other cultures and recipes with an open mind (and a hungry stomach).

Koshary Egyptian Lentil Pasta Rice - The satisfying street food that feeds your soul. Bursting with middle eastern spices, it's an aromatic meal that you'll want every day of the week. Vegetarian. | wandercooks.com

Just like people, recipes come in all forms. While some may look the same, they’ve taken different journeys from paper to plate. Some are old recipes, handed down through generations of families, others are new creations forged through innovation and brimming with love for food.

To say that one recipe is more authentic than another is like saying that we’re more Australian than our neighbours. And that’s just not true.

One simple truth we’ve come to realise over our travels is – there really is no one way to cook a dish. After all, as they say, give the same recipe to 10 different cooks and each version will taste different.

Hell, cook our dishes and they’ll taste different from how we’ve made it. You might hate it, and think it’s yuck, and that’s okay. ☺ The best part about this is that you gave it a go. You tried it, you experienced something new, you pushed the boundaries of your own tastebuds and discovered something about yourself and the world around you. Friend – that makes you a true Wandercook. ❤️

We encourage you to mix things up with unexpected flavours and textures. Take a risk. Improvise. That’s what being a foodie is all about.

Vietnamese Crispy Rice Flour Pancakes (Banh Xeo) - Crispy, crunchy and golden brown… It’s flipping time to make these Banh Xeo already! | wandercooks.com

Did we say one tablespoon? Put in two if you want! You never know what might happen. ☺ Maybe you’ll improve on a recipe (if so – do tell us 😜). If not, you’ll have learned a handy lesson. (In which case – still tell us!).

Sometimes ‘accidents’ lead to the best kitchens creations.

Oooh boy have we learned a lot through trial and error. 😛

Vietnamese Crispy Rice Flour Pancakes (Banh Xeo) - Crispy, crunchy and golden brown… It’s flipping time to make these Banh Xeo already! | wandercooks.com

Most importantly of all – we want you to have fun and experience the joy of sourcing the food, cooking the food and eating the food. Create your own memories and share them with the world.

“Every recipe evolved from improvisation at some point. As people moved around and environments changed, cooks all over the world had to make do with the ingredients they could find. They made little tweaks over the years until now we have a dishes like gumbo and falafel and Yorkshire pudding.” – Emma Christensen, The Kitchn

So tell us, dear friends, what do recipes mean to you?

Here are some great examples to get you thinking!

It’s time to chat so leave your thoughts below and start the conversation.

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4 Comments

  1. Dave Purslow

    13/01/2017 at 10:37 pm

    It would be nice to have an alternative ingredient list as some of the more exotic Asian ingredients are hard to come by here in the UK, unless you live in one of the big cities, one of the worrying aspects is when trying out a new recipe and there is an ingredient that you have never used before or even heard of and is it critical to the flavour of that recipe if it is left out, a lot of times I cannot source ingredients like fresh galangal so I use fresh root ginger instead, so is there an alternative ingredients list?

    • Wandercooks

      17/01/2017 at 1:39 pm

      Hey Dave, thanks for your input! We know that for some of our readers it can occasionally be difficult to source certain ingredients. We usually suggest alternatives within our individual recipes, but think it would be great to have a list that shows suitable alternatives for the more exotic ingredients found in international cuisines. It seems like there are lots of substitution charts out there that focus on topics like baking, healthy alternatives, etc, but nothing suitable for our purposes. We’ll definitely take this feedback on board and look at creating our own to share with you! 🙂

  2. Such great thoughts guys! I have my favourite recipes that I love to make, and sometimes I am missing an ingredient (or two!). Because I believe in using what I have and being resourceful, I will add and alter ingredients all the time. That is cooking! That is living! It’s creative discovery and last time I checked that’s the most amazing thing in life!

    • Wandercooks

      13/01/2017 at 8:46 pm

      Couldn’t have said it better ourselves Rach! In fact I think that’s one of the most fun things about food – adapting to what you have, mixing things up, approaching a dish with a sense of curiosity, and learning something new along the way. 🙂

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