Cooking is like painting or writing a song.
Just as there are only so many notes or colors,
there are only so many flavors - It's how you combine them that sets you apart.

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Seafood paella, Spain

The sea is lapping just by your feet, a warm breeze whips the tablecloth around your legs and a steamy pan of paella sits in front of you. Shrimp, lobster, mussels and cuttlefish combine with white rice and various herbs, oil and salt in this Valencian dish to send you immediately into holiday mode. Though if you have it in Spain, you're probably there already.

Som tam, Thailand

To prepare Thailand's most famous salad, pound garlic and chilies with a mortar and pestle. Toss in tamarind juice, fish sauce, peanuts, dried shrimp, tomatoes, lime juice, sugar cane paste, string beans and a handful of grated green papaya. Grab a side of sticky rice. Variations include those made with crab and fermented fish sauce (som tam plah lah), but none matches the flavor and simple beauty of the original.

Tacos, Mexico

A fresh, handmade tortilla stuffed with small chunks of grilled beef rubbed in oil and sea salt then covered with guacamole, salsa, onions, cilantro or anything else you want - perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is the reason no visitor leaves Mexico weighing less than when they arrived.