Send your taste buds on an international tour.
With international travel still largely restricted, these artisan food producers are offering authentic tastes from around the world to enjoy at home. Savor each bite and look forward to a day when we can travel abroad safely once more.
Top Picks for You
Noona's Ice Cream
WHERE: South Korea
Hannah Bae makes some of the best ice cream in New York, specializing in Korean flavors like golden and black sesame, taro, turmeric honeycomb, makgeolli, and dalgona coffee. Toasted rice is her best-selling ice cream, inspired by her favorite childhood snack of caramelized crunchy rice—noo-roong-ji. Each flavor is made with just a few simple ingredients. Bae even toasts then grinds her own sesame seeds rather than using a paste for maximum flavor and aroma. She doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar storefront but you can order pints of Noona’s Ice Cream shipped nationally.
Ariana Malushi launched Balkan Bites with her aunt Alida to preserve her grandmother’s burek recipes and their Albanian heritage. Ariana’s mother is Croatian and her father is Albanian, from Kosovo, where he and Alida grew up before political unrest drove them to immigrate to the United States in 1991. Burek began as an Ottoman delicacy, a hearty comfort food with many variations found across Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. These flaky phyllo pies come in several flavors, filled with soft, gooey cheese and spinach, or a rich mixture of ground beef and caramelized onion. There’s even a sweet pumpkin spice variety for the holidays.
WHERE: Dominican Republic
Bean-to-bar chocolate maker, pastry chef, and chocolatier Roger Rodriguez grew up in Santo Domingo and immigrated to New York with his family as a teen. After spending seven years making chocolate at Cacao Prieto in Brooklyn, Rodriguez opened Vesta Chocolate with his wife Julia Choi Rodriguez this year. Most of the cacao beans he works with are from the Dominican Republic and he has personal relationships with all of his cacao farmers. “Dominican Republic beans naturally have the right amount of cacao butter content, fruity notes, and low acidity that make it perfect for all confections,” Rodriguez says. If you visit their Montclair, New Jersey shop, you must try their mocha, but all of their bars and bonbons are available to ship nationwide.
Steak connoisseurs can now get coveted Japanese wagyu from Hokkaido, Hyogo, Kagawa, Shiga, and Miyazaki prefectures shipped fresh, never frozen, from A-Five Meats. Chef Marc Zimmerman of San Francisco’s GOZU and partner Ben Jorgensen wanted to make rare varieties of wagyu like Kobe and olive-fed Sanuki, previously only available to a select few fine-dining chefs around the country, more accessible for home cooks. Working with small farms across Japan, he’s curated the most impressive collection distributed in the United States. It’ll be hard to go back to USDA Prime after tasting these beautifully-marbled specimens.
Tropical Fruit Box
WHERE: The Caribbean, Central, and South America
Desiree Morales founded Tropical Fruit Box a year ago in Miami to deliver the freshest tropical and exotic fruits from local family farms in Central and South America and the Caribbean to fruit lovers in the United States. There’s rambutan, mangosteen, cherimoya, jackfruit, passion fruit, soursop, durian, cacao fruit, and more. Choose from single fruit boxes, curated variety boxes, or create your own custom selection. All boxes are accompanied by fruit reference cards and authentic recipes by chefs from the fruit’s country of origin.
Chef Lilian Ryland is part of the Spice Bridge food incubator in Seattle, a newly-opened market concept featuring global cuisine from immigrant-owned businesses. At Naija Buka, Ryland ships the tastes of her Nigerian home across the country. There are ready-to-eat ripe plantains, ready-to-cook cubed yams, smoky jollof sauce, egusi soup, frozen meat pies, and thin-sliced beef marinated in suya seasoning, then vacuum-packed and frozen for an easy take-and-bake meal. Home cooks can try the jollof seasoning to make full-bodied stews and rice dishes at home.
Karaköy Güllüoğlu Baklava
Delicate, crunchy baklava are painstakingly crafted with 40 translucent layers of phyllo dough at Karaköy Güllüoğlu in Istanbul, then filled with pistachios, walnuts or hazelnuts and drenched in boiling sugar syrup. Turkey’s Antep pistachios are among the finest in the world—rivaling Sicilian Bronte pistachios. Enjoy your baklava with a dollop of clotted cream and a sprinkle of crumbled pistachios according to Turkish tradition.
Manukora Mānuka Honey
WHERE: New Zealand
New Zealand’s Mānuka honey is prized worldwide for its unique healing and antibacterial properties, thanks to the naturally occurring compound of MGO, which stands for Methylglyoxal. At Manukora Mānuka, you’ll find some of the purest Mānuka honey, with each jar of raw liquid gold tested for MGO content. The rarest honey of all is highly active and has been aged for two years for a bold flavor that’s as delicious as it is medicinal.
La Maison du Chocolat
Best known for their silky chocolate ganache and hand-rolled truffles, La Maison du Chocolat sets the bar high for French chocolate, with boutiques around the world tempting your sweet tooth. Beautifully packaged gift boxes are sure to impress and for the holidays there are limited edition surprises like a giant cracker advent calendar, holiday-themed hatboxes, and glazed chestnuts.
Chinese fast-casual restaurant Junzi Kitchen is offering a limited pantry essentials kit for the holidays, comprising five elements of the Chinese home kitchen. Each collection includes Junzi chili oil, Hai-tian premium soy sauce, classic Zhenjiang black vinegar, Chinese Lay’s chips, and three flavors of Junzi house-teas—jasmine, hawthorn, and pu’er.
Inspired by the flavors of her native Somalia, Hawa Hassan created a line of small-batch, hand-crafted organic condiments all batched and bottled in Hudson Valley. Basbaas is the only packaged Somali hot sauces and chutneys available in the United States. A tamarind date sauce blends sweet heat with tart, fruity undertones, while a textured coconut cilantro chutney is light and versatile—herbaceous with just the right amount of heat.
Every month, Bokksu curates themed boxes of sweet and savory Japanese snacks delivered to your door. Past themes have included cherry blossoms, mochi madness, snowy Hokkaido, and glamorous Tokyo. Not every bite will be a favorite, but with 20-25 different items in each box, it’s like a tasting menu of snack food. Try lotus root and black sugar baumkuchen and soy-glazed mochi monaka, then stock up on your new favorites in the marketplace. An accompanying brochure highlights the history and heritage of each snack, with a map illustrating where each snack is produced.
Laconiko Koroneiki Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Incredible olive oil should be a kitchen staple and the 100% extra virgin olive oil by Laconiko is among the world’s best. Laconiko is a boutique, fourth-generation, family-owned business and the Pierrakos family work exclusively with koroneiki olives from their organically farmed 50-acre private estate on the southeastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula.
WHERE: South Africa
In South Africa, rather than beef jerky, they make biltong. The protein-packed preserved meat snack is marinated in vinegar, seasoned with dry rub, and air-dried to lock in flavor and nutrients. Biltong can be made from wild game like springbok, kudu, and ostrich, but at Stryve they stick with beef. Choose from slices, sticks, and slabs in an array of flavors like Cajun, spicy peri-peri, zesty garlic, and new Southwestern-inspired favorite—hatch green chile.
Brooklyn-based Nidhi Jalan grew up in Calcutta and moved to the United States to study ceramics at art school. She founded Masala Mama to recreate the flavors of the food she grew up with and to help Americans make easy, healthy, and delicious Indian food. All of her sauces—vindaloo, coconut curry, tikka masala, and korma—are vegetarian or vegan, low in sodium, and made with no added sugar.
Seed + Mill Halva
Halva has been a popular sweet snack (vegan and gluten-free!) for thousands of years throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Lisa Mendelson was inspired to create Seed + Mill with two friends after moving to the United States from Israel when she was unable to find her favorite childhood treat. At Seed + Mill, they grind sesame butter or tahini fresh from Ethiopian sesame seeds at Chelsea Market then stir in chopped Turkish pistachios, raspberries, or ground coffee beans for a light and fluffy halva cake.
Irvins Salted Egg
Irvins Salted Egg snacks are a household name in Singapore but they just launched in the United States this year. Salted egg yolk crab is a signature Singaporean dish and restaurateur Irvin Gunawan reimagined the distinctive umami flavor as a packaged snack—coating fried fish skin and potato chips in salted egg sauce with a touch of red chili pepper and curry leaves.
WHERE: Trinidad and Tobago
Husband and wife team Khalid Hamid and Shelly Marshall started making refreshing sorbet, ice cream, and popsicles for street fairs after vacationing in Trinidad and enjoying Caribbean flavors like sorrel, mango, passion fruit, soursop, and guava. Now, they have a brick-and-mortar store in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights, and Island Pops ships nationally as well through Goldbelly.
Ambitious home cooks can recreate traditional Mexican tortillas with heirloom stoneground corn grown by small subsistence farmers in Oaxaca and a Masienda Comal Pan. Masa is nixtamalized, stone-ground corn that’s the foundation for tortillas, tamales, and tostadas. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner—customers receive access to an exclusive live chef stream cooking class along with purchase.
Ibérico pigs are rare, found only in Spain and Portugal, and their ham is considered the best in the world for its savory, smooth flavor and rich marbling thanks to their 100% acorn diet. Cinco Jotas has been carving ham for five generations and the sliced shoulder or loin makes a great stocking stuffer, while the over the top Celebration Gift Set includes 16 pounds of meat—a bone-in ham with carving knife plus sliced loin.