Our Top 6 Unique Summer Meals & Beverages from Around the World

Overview: Discover the most unique international summer meals  and get inspired

With the sun shining brightly above our heads, nothing speaks of summer better than the rainbow of fruits and vegetables available at the farm markets – the snaps of grape branches tickling off the trees – or the bursting taste of freshly harvested tomatoes from your garden.

With summertime providing a bounty of fresh foods, even the expert chefs may not share everything about turning those usual vegetables and fruits into great meals… Since you’ve made your way here to see what we’ve to share with you, we’re listing 6 unique summer meals and beverages from diverse cultures that will push away the heat and keep you refreshed and fuller for longer hours.

Breakfast: Gari Cereal (Nigeria): 

Garri, pronounced gah-ree, is made from granulated cassava, a root vegetable that’s poisonous unless you peel and cook it first. Commonly found in West Africa, there are two types of garri: yellow and white. The flavor depends on how long it’s been fermented and the presence of palm oil. Read more about gari here.


◻ ¼ cup Garri

◻ 3 cubes sugar/1 tbsp  

◻ 2 tbsp powdered milk

◻ 3 cups water

◻ Some ice cubes

◻ A pinch of salt


 Topping Options: 

◻ ¼ cup roasted groundnuts

◻ ¼ cup coconut

◻ Strawberries, Blueberries, or Raspberries (not traditionally added but worth a try)


  1. Pour water into cereal bowl containing dry Garri; sieve out extra particles floating on top (repeat this process 2 or 3 times)

  2. Add sugar, milk, and ice cubes to the bowl

  3. Top with groundnuts and/or coconut

Appetizer: Cau Lau – Summer Rolls (Vietnam): 

Cao Lau is a famous Vietnamese noodle bowl dish, specialty of Hoi An City. Thick and chewy rice noodles, aromatic broth, pieces of spicy barbecued pork, fresh greens, bean sprouts and crispy croutons are just some of the known ingredients. Read more about Cau Lau here.


◻ A packet of Vietnamese rice paper

◻ 300g prawns/tofu

◻ 2 large carrots sliced into thin batons

◻ 1 small cucumber cut into thin batons

◻ Lettuce

◻ 1 box of thin rice noodles

◻ Large handful of Thai Basil

◻ A handful of freshly plucked mint

◻ A handful of fresh coriander


  1. Soak rice noodles in large bowl of hot boiling water (around 5-7 minutes) then cover with a lid

  2. Once cooked, drain and run cool water then keep aside

  3. Slice prawns or tofu in two and mix with other ingredients (add salt or pepper to taste)

  4. Pour tap water into tray, quickly submerge rice paper, and take out instantly or the roll sheet will be too wet and sticky

  5.  Place small quantity of tossed vegetables, prawns or tofu, and spring onion on rice paper then roll swiftly until firm.

  6. Place on a serving dish and enjoy!

 Dipping Sauce: 


◻ ¼ cup fish sauce

◻ ⅓ cup water

◻ 1 clove of garlic (diced)

◻ 2 tbsp lime juice

◻ ¼ cup sugar

◻ 1 tbsp shredded carrot

◻ 1 small Thai chili pepper

◻ 2 tsp rice wine vinegar

◻ 1 tsp chili garlic sauce


Add all the ingredients except carrots in a bowl and mix everything until the sugar dissolves – we’d urge you to go for powder sugar as it mixes easily. Add the carrots at the end. Enjoy your spring roll with the dipping sauce.

 Lunch: Naengmyeon – Cold Noodles (Korea): 

This spicy Korean icy cold noodle dish isn’t very brothy, but it’s ice cold and made with a slightly sweet, vinegary, spicy sauce as well as some cucumber and pear. When you eat it, the first thing you need to do is mix it up in the bowl, which is why it’s called bibim, which means “mixed up” in Korean. Maangchi talks more about this on her blog.


◻ 280g dried Naengmyeon noodles

◻ 2 packets of powdered or liquid broth

◻ 2 packs of mustard oil

◻ ½ cucumber – cut into thin strips

◻ ½ tsp kosher salt

◻ 1 Korean pear

◻ ½ tsp sugar

◻ 1 tbsp white vinegar

◻ Ice cubes

◻ 2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

◻ 1 hard-boiled egg – cut in halves  


  1. Open concentrated broth and add 4 cups of water until dissolved then place in freezer for 4-5 hours to make it slushy (for quicker option, add crushed ice with 2 cups of water)

  2. Quick pickle: combine sliced cucumber with kosher salt, kosher sugar, and vinegar in a bowl then mix and set aside

  3. Peel pear, remove pulp, cut in halves and soak in the sugar water to keep them from getting brown; grate other pear half, add pulp to the cotton cloth, squeeze the juice out

  4. Combine brine with broth and add pear juice. Mix well and get to the noodles

Prepare the noodles as usual then serve a generous amount in a serving bowl. Add broth with cucumber and pear on top. Sprinkle noodles with sesame seeds and half an egg. Serve immediately. Click here to see the final look.

 Side Dish: Potato Salad (America) 

A mixture of mustard, pickle, and hard-boiled eggs makes for a savory and filling side dish. The key to making the best potato salad? Starchy potatoes. Let them get really soft, so they’re partially mashed once mixed. This gives the recipe a rustic, yet thick and luxurious quality. — A Spicy Perspective


◻ 2 pounds potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

◻ ½ tsp kosher salt

◻ ½ tsp freshly grounded pepper

◻ 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

◻ ¼ cup sour cream

◻ 1 cup mayonnaise

◻ 3 hard-boiled eggs

◻ 2 tbsp yellow mustard

◻ ½ tbsp sugar

◻ 4 sliced scallion

◻ ¼ cup parsley


  1. Place potatoes in large saucepan and cook for about 15 minutes until tender

  2. Drain, and transfer to a big bowl then add apple cider vinegar and ½ tsp salt before setting aside

  3. Whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, mustard, and pickle brine in large bowl then stir in celery, parsley, and scallion; add hard-boiled eggs, slowly pour the mayonnaise mixture, and fold the ingredients together

Finally, add the potato mixture and chopped eggs – cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour before serving. Sprinkle in freshly ground paprika and enjoy!

 Dessert: Halo-halo (Philippines): 

Halo-halo is the ultimate summertime treat: a layered dessert consisting of sweetened beans, fruits, shaved ice drizzled with evaporated milk, and ice cream. Check this blog for more details about the delicious dessert!


◻ 1 cup crushed ice

◻ 1 tsp sugar

◻ 1 tsp sweetened sweet potatoes

◻ 1 tsp red munggo

◻ ¼ cup fresh or evaporated milk

◻ 1 tsp garbanzos or beans

◻ 1 tbsp ube jam

◻ 1 tsp sabo or tapioca pearls

◻ 1 tbsp Leche flan topping

◻ 1 tsp nata de coco coconut jel


  1. In a tall glass, add a tsp of each ingredient

  2. Fill the glass with crushed ice, then press and add more

  3. Drizzle with milk

  4. Add topping of choice and serve

 Beverage: Sorrel Drink (Jamaica): 

Sorrel is a spiced-up floral drink that is super refreshing and the perfect drink for serving at parties. It’s a beautiful dark red color and has a captivating tang – some say the flavor is close to raspberries or cranberries.


◻ 3 cups dried Sorrel/hibiscus

◻ 350g grated ginger

◻ 10all spice berries

◻ 2 ½ cup sugar


  1. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add sorrel, grated ginger, crushed allspice, and garlic cloves until sorrel plumps (roughly 8 minutes on medium flame)

  2. Remove from the heat and keep refrigerated for 3 days

  3. Strain liquid using a cheesecloth or strainer, and discard the solids

  4. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in another pan and add sugar until dissolved

  5. Stir sugar syrup into berry mixture ½ cup until sugar is balanced

  6. Chill and serve over ice. 

 BONUS– for any meal: Gazpacho (Spain):  

This Spanish-style soup is made from tomatoes and other vegetables and spices,  and is served cold at any time of the day.


◻ 6-7 medium tomatoes

◻ 1 green Italian pepper

◻ 1 cucumber

◻ 1 clove of garlic

◻ ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

◻ A pinch of salt

◻ A splash of Sherry Vinegar


  1. Cut tomato into 4 slices and add to blender

  2. Halve, de-seed, and cut/slice pepper into a few pieces – peel garlic and onions and add into blender at high speed until smooth

  3. Add salt, vinegar, and olive oil while blending. Taste and adjust vinegar (if texture is too thick, add cold water)

Refrigerate for a few hours and serve very chilled