From unusual spices to bizarre cooking techniques, there is a lot to love (and learn) when eating local cuisine overseas.
Better yet, foreign dishes can inspire our cooking long after a trip has ended.
One Reddit user asked fellow foodies about the cool and useful things they've learned from other cuisines.
Here is what they said.
1. "Indian cooking taught me that spices are fat-soluble, not water-soluble. In other words, if you're adding spices to a dish, add them at the beginning with the fats (such as coconut milk or yogurt) and aromatics. Don't save the spices for when you add water or stock."
2. "Chinese cooking taught me about the importance of velveting, which is a method of marinating to keep delicate meat and seafood moist and tender during the cooking process. I learned how to velvet chicken, pork and beef, and it has made my home cooking so much better."
3. "Learning how to make the specific Italian dish cacio e pepe helped me understand the meaning of 'less is more.' This dish is just pasta, good olive oil, fresh black pepper, and Parmesan cheese, but these simple ingredients work together to create something so delicious."
4. "Eastern Mediterranean cooking like Greek and Turkish really drove home the idea of acidity. I never realized how much an acidic ingredient like a big squeeze of lemon can do to liven up and enhance a seemingly lacking dish."
5. "Chinese cuisine has shown me that a wok can be used for literally anything. Invest in one and you can cook so many dishes in it from scrambled eggs and soup to steamed vegetables."
6. Grinding your own meat fresh is a game-changer, whether for sausage or burgers or ragú Bolognese. I highly recommend getting a $30 countertop suction-base dishwasher safe meat grinder. I use mine frequently.
7. "From French cooking, I learned the value in using very basic ingredients to create elevated meals. If you think about most French recipes, they are simple: French onion soup is onions, ratatouille is just chopped veggies, Niçoise salad is made of eggs, potato, and canned tuna, and cassoulet is beans and meat. But it's all about the technique and preparation that makes these dishes taste amazing."
8. "From Chinese cuisine, I learned a lot about how to make the most of every single ingredient available to me. This cuisine finds delicious ways to use ingredients so that nothing goes to waste."
9. "Texas bbq has taught me about patience. You can't rush the process if you want it to be fall-off-the-bone tender."
10. "Italian cooking is all about using fresh ingredients and letting them shine. For example, use only fresh garlic (never the jarred), good San Marzano canned tomatoes or tomatoes that are fresh and in-season, proper Parmigiano Reggiano cheese by the block (never pre-grated), and table wine aka the wine that's good enough to drink. If you focus on quality ingredients, the rest of the dish will follow."
11. "Cooking Asian cuisines like Thai and Vietnamese has shown me how versatile peanuts can be. I don't really like peanuts on their own or peanut butter (I was never a fan of PB&J sandwiches or Reese's), but I love using peanuts in a sauce for noodles or sprinkled on top of a vermicelli noodle bowl."
12. "There's like a thousand different kinds of soy sauce and they have different uses and flavor profiles."
13. "Asian cuisine in general taught me that MSG is amazing and, contrary to what American culture has taught us, it's not an ingredient to be avoided. Rather, it adds an amazing amount of umami to whatever you're cooking."
14. "Cooking dishes from Indian cuisine really showed me that being vegetarian or introducing more plant-based dishes into your routine really doesn't have to be that hard. Moreover, vegetarian dishes can be just as tasty as those containing meat. Indian cooking taught me that using 'fake meats' really isn't necessary at all."
15. "From Italian cooking I learned that pasta is really meant to be cooked al dente. To some people it might seem or taste undercooked, but the firmness to the bite adds to the desired texture of the dish and prevents it from becoming a plate of mush."
16. "Spanish cooking taught me a trick I use often now, which is how to grate tomatoes on a box grater to make fresh tomato purée. In Spanish cuisine, this is how you make pan tomate. Once upon a time, I used to peel, de-seed, and mash fresh tomatoes, which takes so long that I would often just buy the canned stuff. But now I just cut a tomato in half, scrape the visible seeds off, and grate the cut side like a block of cheddar. It's effortless.'
17. "I'm Italian, and since my native cuisine prefers olive oil to butter, I almost exclusively cook with oil. But after living in Kentucky for a few years and familiarizing myself with the cuisine of the American South recipes, I've how to use butter and lard instead of olive oil. There's so much you can do with these cooking fats, especially if you're not shy with them."
18. "Filipino cooking relies on lots of different sauces and vinegars like soy sauce, fish sauce, apple cider vinegar, etc. Now, I keep a whole slew of these essential ingredients stocked in my pantry, and I rely on them heavily. I use them for anything from jazzing up instant noodles or gravy to making stir fry or adobo. You can even take scrambled eggs to the next level with the help of some sweet soy sauce."
19. "Cooking Chinese food showed me how to flavour cooking oils. Now I add fragrant ingredients such as green onions or garlic to any stove-top oils and fry my food with them. It immensely improves the depth of the dish, and it's particularly delicious when making fried rice."
20. Frying tomato paste, if it's going into a dish, really adds depth to it.