How to Travel with Your Taste Buds During Quarantine

For many Americans, the national lockdown in response to the COVID-19 outbreak has meant a lot of canceled flights and a lot of stocked up beans.

Beans are a budget-friendly pantry staple thanks to their versatility, long shelf life, and great source for protein and other vital nutrients. So it makes perfect sense that they were some of the first items to disappear from grocery shelves.

Currently, canned legumes taunt quarantined Americans while thoughts of postponed travel plans dance around their heads. But you can rescue your palate from bean boredom and help bring some of the outside world safely inside your home.

Here’s a compilation of bean-inclusive recipes from countries in Africa, Central America, Europe, North America, and the UK.

England

A bean-and-cheese “toastie” is the ultimate British comfort food that doesn’t take much effort but can take on a whole lot of nuance. These anytime-of-day toasts are taken quite seriously. You can obsess over them too, from the comfort of your kitchen thanks to this deep dive from The Guardian.

France

Cassoulets are trés important to the French. They even have the Grand Brotherhood of the Cassoulet de Castelnaudary organization, which holds competitions and celebrations centered around the hearty dish. Learn how to whip one up from a real French chef in this very helpful video from the French Cooking Academy.

Greece

Many have credited their long lifespans to the nutrient-rich Greek cuisine. So, now is a great time to be like the Greek and try out this bean soup via The Mediterranean Kitchen.

Italy

Travel to Tuscany in just 15 minutes by following Epicurious’s seven-ingredient, super-filling Tuscan white bean recipe.

Jamaica

There’s much more to Jamaican food than Jerk chicken. Like this Jamaican “peas and rice” recipe from Curious Cuisinière, which is actually kidney beans and coconut milk.

Mexico

Ok so you’ve put them on nachos and in tacos, but have you tried introducing some beans with traditional Mexican flavors into your mornings? Huevos Rancheros is the perfect beans brunch, and Feasting at Home has a recipe that works with all kinds of beans.

Morocco

Get your crunch fix from Food Network’s recipe for Moroccan spiced roast chickpeas. The cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper flavor combo will have you stuffing your face.

Nigeria

Akara originates from the Yuroba people in Nigeria, who fry cakes of starchy legumes for a satisfying breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If you like fritters, try this version of a bean fritter recipe from Chef Lola’s Kitchen.

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