As the summer months roll around, that means playing frisbee with friends, tanning by the beach or taking a bike ride. No matter what you do to soak up all that free vitamin D, you’re going to want to eat at some point – what better way to do it than picnicking outside?
Picnicking is a fairly universal activity but can vary greatly from country to country. The degree of elaborateness or length of the affair may differ, but the main difference is the food. Here’s a list of countries and their versions of hotdogs and potato salads so you can start picnicking globally without going anywhere.
Everyone knows that when it comes to french food, there’s no kidding around – and their picnic baskets are no joke, either. Fill yours up with a freshly-baked french bread and marinated goat cheese with artichokes and tomatoes, a variety of french cheeses, green bean and tomato salad, bacon and leek quiche and a raspberry clafoutis. You’ll be saying “bon appétit” in no time.
2. South Korea
South Korean picnic foods don’t seem as fancy as clafoutis or quiche, but they’re just as delicious and conveniently made as finger foods. The quintessential Korean picnic food is the Kimbap, which is the Korean version of sushi rolls. Another dish you’ll see is Omelette rolls, which are essentially rolls of egg which you can dress up with spinach and vegetables. For dessert, packing some traditional rice cakes filled with red bean or honey and sesame seeds would be the way to go.
3. United States
Picnics in the U.S. are pretty diverse and versatile. It could be an outdoor barbecue filled with hamburgers, hotdogs and potato salads or it could be the red-checkered blanket with a woven basket type of event. The traditional picnic is usually thought of as the latter, typically accompanied by potato salad, fried chicken, lemonade, deviled eggs, sandwiches and some nice refreshing watermelon.
The British also use versions of classic picnic foods. Pork pies or chicken pies date back to the picnics during the Victorian times and are a big hit for their individual portions. Scotch eggs (breaded and fried hard boiled eggs) were commonly eaten on long journeys because of their convenience. These hardy eggs are now popular in picnics for the same reason.
For a simple, portable dessert, try a fluffy sponge cake coated with marzipan. Pack some Battenberg cake or simple pastries for a nice sweet finish to the meal.
You can usually find bento box lunches at most Japanese restaurants, but these individually packaged and portioned boxes lend themselves to being a perfect picnic food. Bento boxes are commonly filled with teriyaki chicken, tamagoyaki (rolled omelet), onigiri (rice balls) or inarizushi (rice balls wrapped in fried tofu). Other common dishes are sides like pickles, rice and vegetables.
In Turkey, picnics are on a different level compared to the U.S. Rather than a simple meal outside, Turkish people have turned it into an affair that lasts for the whole day. Turkish picnics can consist of flatbreads, nuts, a variety of cheeses, lentil soup and stuffed vegetables. They also involve grilling a variety of meats. Kuru köfte, a Turkish meatball, is made at home and is another popular dish for the elaborate picnics.