Traditional Food Around the World: 50 Famous Dishes You Have To Try

Every foodie loves the prospect of eating the traditional food around the world, trying a new flavor on for size for the first time or finally getting to savor that uniquely traditional dish you’ve been hearing about.

It’s our favorite thing to do and the genuine pleasure of culinary travel — traveling to the world’s best countries for food and letting your palate guide the way.

What’s equally fun with food travel is when you get to the point where you have some culinary experience — where patterns begin to emerge and you take note of similarities among ingredients, dishes, cultural expressions, cooking techniques, geography, and other influencing factors.


Little by little, the more we eat our way around the world, the better our understanding of the world becomes.

And yet…the more those food stories become global and bound together, the more regionally defined they are….once again leading us to feel like first time foodies all over again — a pleasant conundrum.

Thankfully there’s always what lies ahead… a new food experience to enjoy, another dish to be devoured. So let’s eat the world, my culinary friends, in 50 famous and traditional dishes, starting in the good old USofA!

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North America


When it comes to regional food diversity, size indeed matters — with geography that is! And given the massive amount of land in the United States from sea to shining sea, it’s no wonder there’s no such thing as American food. But regional American food specialties? Oh yeah! Americans can claim some awesome regional food.

Truth be told, there’s far too many to include in this ‘Food Around the World’ post, so you’ll find more great America food destinations here. But these are our absolute faves.


United States of America

Lobster Roll

Crustacean on a bun? When the succulent meat from a monstah lobstah is lightly tossed with mayo, tossed with a pinch of chopped celery and stuffed in a roll — Yes please! The easternmost state in the USA produces one of our favorite American sandwiches, the ubiquitous Maine Lobster roll, easily one of the most famous foods in the US.

It’s a simple but expensive dish — one lobster roll will typically set you back $12-$15 dollars or more, even at a roadside walk-up. But considering the amount of meat that spills over and out the sides, and the fact that it would take you an hour to extract all that meat in a DIY lobster deconstruction, it’s worth every cent!

It’s easy to make lobster rolls at home, but for authentic New England lobster rolls,

you have to use split-top buns for New England-style lobster rolls and frankfurter hot dogs!

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Boudin

If you’ve been to Louisiana, chances are you tried a shrimp Po’Boy, étouffée, and of course a good crawfish boil! But have you tried boudin?

The only thing better than eating boudin in Louisiana is saying it, with a southern twang. Pronounced boo-dan in Looziana, this delicious sausage is traditionally made with pork, Louisiana rice, other assorted pork parts like hearts and livers, and seasonings stuffed in a natural pork casing. Recipes for the ratio of meat to rice and how it’s all seasoned varies widely from place to place.

We’ve had it in the traditional way in Lafayette, and also made with shrimp or crawfish. Then there are boudin balls which are most often served with a good local mustard. Take a trip along the Cajun Boudin Trail for some of the best food in Lafayette or if you’re in the area in October don’t miss the famous Boudin Cookoff.

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The Bagel

Ah, what can we say about the New York bagel, one of New York’s most perfect foods (we’re northeast Yankees and admittedly biased)! ;-)

Arguably the most traditional food of New York, the bagel is a simple food that’s not easy to make well, at least not outside the NYC metro. That’s because of one essential ingredient — water. The water in New York is what makes a bagel a New York bagel. It’s also sadly why no matter where you eat a bagel outside of NYC, the taste just isn’t the same.

The yeasty smell of an authentic New York bagel greets you as you tear it open like a loaf of fresh bread, chewy (not crusty) on the outside and gluten-y soft (not crumbly) inside.

As for how to eat a bagel? Well you can slather and schmear it with cream cheese and add lox (the traditional Jewish bagel) or any number of other toppings from red onion and capers to eggs and lunch meat. But the true test of a great bagel is how it stands up on its own.

No toppings, no props or gimmicks. Just the pure joy of a bare naked bagel.


Key Lime Pie

Florida is one of the biggest states in the Union with some pretty unique climate zones that yield a wide array of Floridan foods, from fresh seafood to citrus fruit.

But if you head to the Southernmost Point in the USA, all the way down highway A1A to the tropical outpost of Key West in the Florida Keys, you’ll find some of the country’s most beloved foods with a Floribbean flair, and certainly some of the tastiest things to do in Florida The hands-down favorite of course is Key Lime Pie.

It’s hard to pick a favorite Key Lime pie with so many good ones in Key West, but they all have just three basic ingredients in common: 1) sweetened condensed milk, 2) fresh lime juice from the small and freshest local key limes, and 3) a good graham cracker crust.

When you visit Florida, plan a road trip down to the Florida Keys and taste one of the biggest — and most delicious — reasons to go to Key West!

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BBQ

Texas is known for its excellent food across the board, but among all the best Texas foods to try, none is more iconic than barbecue. Texas barbecue originated in the mid-nineteenth century, when German and Czech immigrants brought their traditions of smoking meat to the Lone Star State.

Mix cultural traditions with plentiful livestock and a booming cattle business, and Texas barbecue quickly exploded.

While there are many styles of Texas barbecue, what most non-Texans think of as the iconic “Texas” style belongs to Central Texas, where it’s traditional to smoke meats low and slow over open fires, coated in minimal seasoning (sometimes just salt and pepper!).

The most essential features of any plate of Texas barbecue are ribs, sausage, and--most importantly--brisket. Brisket is the pride and joy of many pitmasters (aka barbecue chefs), and an essential part of the traditional Texas diet. Eaten at all times of day (brisket breakfast tacos are not to be missed), the most die-hard fans will even claim that you shouldn’t put barbecue sauce on your brisket, but rather enjoy the meat just as it comes.

At traditional barbecue joints, you’ll order meat by the pound, and sides (think potato salad, mac n’cheese, and corn) by the pint. Your meal will frequently be served on white butcher paper, and will generally come with white sandwich bread, onions, pickles, and barbecue sauce, so you can pile it up however you like.

While choosing the best barbecue joint in Texas is impossible, you can’t go wrong with visiting the small towns of Taylor, Luling, or Lockhart (the self-declared barbecue capital of Texas), which are well-known for their concentration of excellent spots.


By Kate from Lone Star Travel Guide


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Philly Cheesesteak

Philadelphia is one of America’s ultimate foodie destinations. One of the most famous Philadelphia foods is the Philly cheesesteak. While locals will all tell you that it’s just called the cheesesteak, they won’t agree on where to get the best one.

In fact, most locals even avoid the two most famous cheesesteak shops — Pat’s and Geno’s in the Italian Market. Still, the story origin of the famous sandwich is owed to Pat’s cheesesteak stand.

The legend of the first cheesesteak dates back to the 1930’s. That’s when Pat Olivieri’s hot dog shop made a daily special of chopped beef and onions that were grill-fried and served in a loaf of bread.

A local cab driver is said to have tried the item and told Pat that he was onto something, should quit selling hotdogs and keep making this new sandwich. So he did, and Pat’s King of Steaks was born.

The new invention wasn’t served with cheese — that came later and the new local favorite spread around the city when a manager in their Ridge Avenue location added smoked provolone cheese to his sandwich. 

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In 1952, a new product called Cheez Whiz hit the market in the United States and millions of American parents turned to the convenience of spreadable processed cheese. So did Pat Olivieri who began adding it to his cheesesteak sandwiches and today, they’re the most popular variety of cheese topping.

Other toppings include peppers, mushrooms, marinara sauce, and of course onions. However you order it, the cheesesteak is a truly special American original.

By Derek and Mike of Robetrotting



PRO-TIP — Order A Cheesesteak Like a Local!

Philly cheesesteaks come WITH CHEESE, usually Cheez-whiz — Step up and Order “One Cheese WIT” (no ‘H’, it’s Philly slang) or however many steaks you want!

If you don’t want cheese, it’s a conversation starter. You might get the stink eye or they’ll ask where you’re from! ;-)


CANADA


Poutine

If you're traveling in Canada, one dish that you must try is Poutine, the Québécois dish made of fresh-cut french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. Although many variations of the dish now exist, including vegan poutine!


The origins of poutine are uncertain and several restaurants in Quebec claim to be the creator, although there is no agreed consensus. What's known is that the dish was created in the Centre-De-Quebec area in the late 1950s, and has now become a staple of Canadian cuisine. It's become so popular that you can now find the dish at many restaurants in the United States!

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There’s just something about the combination of fresh-cut fries with cheese and gravy that is endlessly satisfying. After a big night out, I often find myself craving poutine the next day. It’s the ultimate hangover cure and comfort food.

If you find yourself visiting Montreal, Quebec, one of Canada’s most charming cities, don’t miss the chance to try this Canadian delicacy. One of the best places for poutine in Montreal is La Banquise, a late-night restaurant which offers vast variations of the dish.

By Lora at Explore with Lora


Alberta Steak

Alberta beef is one of the most popular food items from Canada’s northern province of Alberta. This province is home to the iconic Canadian Rockies. 

Alberta Steak, as the name suggests, is produced in the province. It is ethically-raised and antibiotic-free beef. There are many local small businesses that have been working for generations producing high-quality beef, that you can enjoy during your trip.

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How cattle were raised in the province is very unique. Historically, Alberta was never overly populated, and in order to encourage migration large pieces of land were provided to ranchers. These settlers made Alberta their new home and led innovations in the field of irrigation and animal welfare.


Today Alberta produces the largest number of cattle in the country. The environment, animal diet, and climatic conditions also make the beef tastier. 


So when visiting Banff, Jasper, or the capital city of Edmonton you must try Alberta steak in one of the restaurants. You can order steak, with mashed potatoes and asparagus on the side for a fulfilling dinner. 


You can also purchase raw steak (including minced) from supermarkets and prepare it whichever way you like - from sandwich patties to BBQ. 

So when you head to Alberta next, do try out our steak! I am sure you will love it!


By Mayuri at Canada Crossroads

MEXICO

Chile en Nogada

Puebla is one of the most exciting cities in Mexico, known especially for its rich cultural heritage, a fusion of Arabic, Spanish and indigenous traditions, and its baroque architecture and colonial feel. For good reason, Puebla’s historical center was proclaimed a UNESCO world heritage site, but let’s not forget about the food in Puebla.

The” City of Angels” is, in fact, one of the most compelling culinary destinations in Mexico. Among all the delicious dishes that you can try in Puebla, the Chile en Nogada is the one that stands out for its peculiar taste and historical importance.

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Considered the unofficial Mexican national dish (that distinction belongs to molé), it was apparently invented on the occasion of Mexican independence. The way in which it is presented in fact, shows the colors of the Mexican flag — the white sauce, the red pomegranate seeds, and the green parsley. Because of the seasonal ingredients it carries, you can only find it from July through September.


The Chile en Nogada blends different flavors and textures, salted and sweet, not for every palate for sure. It’s a breaded sweet pepper filled with a mix of meat, dried fruits, and spices, cooked together, and stuffed into the pepper. The whole piece is ultimately covered in a white sauce made with different nuts (NOGADA), decorated with pomegranate seeds, and green parsley. 


In the right season, all restaurants in Puebla serve Chile en Nogada. It’s an elaborate and laborious dish that requires about 6 hours of preparation. So it cannot be cheap. Choose a high-end restaurant with good reviews to try it. Among the most highly rated restaurants are Porfirio, Casareyna, and Casa Barroca. Also, make sure you plan your visit to Puebla in the right months.

Oh, and if you are vegan, no worries. While it’s not the same, most modern restaurants have a vegan version. Always ask first!


By Isabella of Boundless Roads




Tacos al Pastor

If there's one word that's synonymous with Mexico, it's tacos! Some say, if you visit Mexico and don't eat way-too-many tacos, did you even visit Mexico!?

Well, if you visit Mexico City, and don't eat tacos al pastor, you really didn't experience Mexico's capital. Though many know tacos as a culinary monolith, there are actually many unique types of tacos, each one native to a different part of Mexico. In Mexico City, one type of taco reigns supreme — Tacos al pastor.

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As with all tacos, they consist of three components: a meat (in this case it’s pastor/pork), a tortilla, and salsa. The pastor meat is often red in color because it’s marinated in chile de arbol (tree chile) and chile guajillo, both native to central Mexico.


Ironically enough, these “tacos” actually have Middle Eastern origins. If you’ve ever seen the Arabian-style spit pastor meat is cooked on, you may have guessed as much.


Many aren’t aware of this fact, but Mexico had a pretty sizable influx of Lebanese and Middle Eastern immigrants from about 1875-1935. As with many mass migrations of people, they brought with them their unique customs, design esthetic, and of course, food!


While you can eat tacos al pastor all over Mexico, they are a decidedly Mexico City food — one of Mexico’s most popular foods but also one of the most regional too. Try them from a taquero at a street stand to ensure you get your daily dose of what locals call, Vitamin T.


By Shelley from Travel Mexico Solo






Central and South America


BELIZE

Fry Jacks

When you visit Belize, you may not expect the food to be one of the biggest highlights of your trip. In fact, many travelers never read anything about Belize’s food scene prior to their trip. Now, when I think about my favorite mouth-watering carbs, the Fry Jacks I feasted on in Belize always top the list. 

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Fry Jacks are a crescent- or circular-shaped deep-fried pastry, and a Belizean staple when it comes to breakfast foods. But they also serve as the perfect snack as you nurse a glass of Caribbean Rum. The pastry’s middle is hollowed out and filled with savory favorites like eggs, sausage, ham and refried beans.

It’s not a straight-forward savory dish, though. There’s something sweet and magical about that pastry dough that makes it unlike any pastry I’ve eaten. Some restaurants may offer you sweet alternatives like honey or jam to drizzle, which is just as delicious as the savory options. 


I affectionately remember Fry Jacks as a food that brings people together. It was while indulging in Fry Jacks that I learned the most about Belizean culture and how to truly celebrate their vibrant, yet often forgotten past. 

Briana’s Food Place is the local spot in San Pedros to order your Fry Jacks. The hot, fried-dough goodness is a favorite among locals and is a must-eat dish during your stay. If you’re looking to dive more into Belize’s traditional cuisine, including its Mayan and Creole roots, definitely partake in a food tour while in one of Belize’s most lively cities, San Pedro. 

By Martha of Quirky Globetrotter



PERU

Ceviche

Peruvian cuisine is world-famous for its unique flavors and incredible diversity from the alpine Andes to the tropical Amazon and the arid coastal region.

Various groups of native peoples and immigrants from around the globe have contributed to the many factors that ultimately gave birth to an unbelievably diverse fusion cuisine, called Creole cuisine. And among all the delicious Creole dishes that can be found in Peru, the most iconic one is without a doubt ceviche.

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Originating in the coastal regions of Peru, ceviche is one of the most unique foods in the world and a must-try Creole dish when in Lima. In its essence, Peruvian ceviche is raw white fish fillet marinated in lime juice and a couple of spices.

The lime juice keeps the meat moist and denatures its proteins, causing the fish to adopt a soft texture as if it were cooked - without applying any heat.

While the concept of ceviche is not too uncommon across Latin America, Peruvian ceviche is unique due to the high quality of fresh fish and seafood that is being used and the type of lime. It is usually served fresh with raw onions, rocoto, boiled sweet potato and choclo, and roasted corn.


Although ceviche may be as soft as well-cooked fish, it’s important to keep in mind that the acid of the lime juice doesn’t kill harmful microorganisms like heating would do.

From a food safety standpoint, it’s crucial to consume ceviche as soon as possible after the fish is killed. For this reason, you won’t find many restaurants serving ceviche in the evening since most of the fishing is done early in the morning.

Your best bet to find tasty ceviche in Lima is at Chorillos Beach around noon.

By Arabela from The Spicy Travel Girl



First Time to Peru? Check out this First Timers’ Guide and how to avoid altitude sickness so you can enjoy your trip!

Cuy (Guinea Pig)

When you think of guinea pigs, you might think of small little critters that make the perfect household pet. However, in countries like Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, guinea pigs (or cuy in Spanish) is a typical meat used for consumption. This practice originated in the Andes Mountains, where guinea pigs were used as livestock.

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Raising guinea pigs in large numbers requires only low maintenance allowing the Andean inhabitants to have a reliable source of meat. The consumption of guinea pig solves the problem of needing to refrigerate or preserve your meat.

Peru is one of the best places to go to if you would like to try cuy, where they are still raised to be consumed. As a stable part of Peruvian cuisine, cuy can be easily found in cities located at high elevations such as Cusco.

Typically you will find them cooked in one of three ways - grilled, fried, or roasted. Many compare the taste of cuy to the taste of rabbit, but like all meat, the seasoning plays a major part in the taste of the dish.


It is definitely worth a try when you visit Peru, but just don't have high expectations. Compared to other common meats used such as chicken or beef, cuy has very little meat in comparison.

By Sean at Living Out Lau



ARGENTINA

Steak

Tango, Buenos Aires, and fútbol are all images that might pop into your head when someone says Argentina. The country is also famous and well-known for juicy steak. There’s actually more cows in the country than people! 

Beef has been produced and exported in the country for centuries. It’s known to be some of the best quality grass-fed beef you can find. Typically the whole cow is used. Bife de Lomo (Tenderloin/Filet mignon) and Bife de Chorizo (Sirloin/New york strip) are two of the most common and delicious cuts of meat.

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Try the famous Argentine steak at a steakhouse, known as a parilla. You will find parrillas in every town and city in the country. The parillas in Buenos Aires are some of the best. You will receive a huge portion of the cut of meat you choose cooked to perfection.


One of the more traditional ways to eat your weight in steak is at an asado. Asado means grill but also refers to the social gathering that revolves around cooking the meats. You will see first hand how the meat is prepared traditionally over a large fire of wood or charcoal instead of on a gas grill. The process is slow, but worth the wait! 


Argentineans take great pride in their beef. Try it for yourself to have both the experience of having steak in Argentina and the taste of quality steak.

By Elizabeth of The Fearless Foreigner

Heading to Patagonia soon? Check out these iconic Chilean foods to try!



GUATEMALA

Pepián de Pollo

One of the most famous traditional dishes of Guatemala is Chicken Pepián also known as Pepián de Pollo. It's of indigenous Mayan origin as it features toasted squash seeds, chicken, tomatoes, and chiles, ingredients typically found in the highlands of Guatemala.

Although the country itself lies at a southern latitude — situated between Mexico and El Salvador — the altitude of the volcanic mountain ranges of the highlands means temperatures are often chilly especially in the evenings. This means that stews, soups and other warming meals are especially welcome.

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While authentic recipes for pepián de pollo vary among households and restaurants, pepián is generally a lightly-spiced, annatto-hued, thick tomato sauce containing pieces of chicken and an assortment of vegetables such as huisquil (chayote), green beans and potato. It's usually served in a clay or pottery bowl alongside white rice, avocado and hand-made corn tortillas.


Much like many other traditional Guatemalan dishes, the best place to sample pepián is in someone's home in Guatemala (or at many people's homes so you can experience the regional differences!).

But if you're unable to score an invitation to dine with a local family then your best bet is to seek out a restaurant serving comida tipica — typical food. In the historic colonial city of Antigua for example, Sabe Rico restaurant serves a version that is highly regarded while Kakao restaurant is popular among visitors to the capital of Guatemala City .


By Michele Peterson of A Taste for Travel



BRAZIL

Feijoada

Feijoada (Fey-joh-ada or feh-wha-da) is the most traditional national dish in Brazil, and whether you are planning a trip to Brazil or are just a food lover, I strongly recommend you try feijoada at least once in your lifetime. You typically can find feijoada in any traditional Brazilian restaurant in the town you’re visiting. 

What is so special about feijoada? As a traditional Brazilian girl, just saying this magical word makes me hungry. The name stems from the word “feijão” (beans) which is the key ingredient of feijoada. It is a perfect combination of black beans cooked on low heat with beef and pork for hours and hours, stewed to perfection! 

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Traditionally, feijoada is served with rice, collard greens, salsa, farofa (cassava flour) and orange, which helps with the digestion of all the heavy food on your plate.  


Feijoada is typically eaten during the weekend with family or a large group of friends, over an extended lunch period, and it is considered a comforting (and heavy) food. The right way to savor it is to eat it slowly.  


Besides the flavor, the origin of feijoada is also fascinating. It was created by slaves in Brazil who put together the beans and scraps of leftover meat from their owners to create a hearty stew.  


By Paula of Paula Pins the Planet




Cuba and the Caribbean


JAMAICA

Jerk Chicken


Traditional Jamaican food is always local — made from what is fresh and locally available from season to season. Street food rules in Jamaica, and the magic often happens in the most casual settings where half a 55-gallon drum or a simple metal grate over coals serve as a grill.


One of Jamaica’s most famous dishes is everyone’s favorite — jerk chicken. The bird is first dry-rubbed in the cook’s secret recipe of herbs and spices which can include garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and always pimento (allspice).


The addition of scotch bonnet peppers make one thing certain, jerk chicken is served from spicy to really spicy. It’s slow cooked over hot coals with a portion of rice and ‘peas’ (beans) cooked in coconut milk. Jamaicans prefer red kidney beans mixed with rice, and addition that’s not only filling, but helps to tone down the spiciness of the dish.



CUBA

Ropa Vieja

“Ropa vieja” may be a strange name for a dish. The literal translation from the Spanish is “old clothes” and it’s the unofficial national dish of Cuba. Named “old clothes” for the shredded beef which resembles shredded clothing, there is more to the story than just its name.


This delectable dish originated in the Canary Islands, an area many Cubans are descended from. The region was one of the poorest in Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries when inhabitants emigrated to Cuba.

One of the popular dishes of the time was a mishmash of whatever was left over, little shreds of meat and tidbits of vegetables in a tomato sauce spiced with cumin, pepper and other spices.

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As time passed and immigrants prospered, the dish evolved. Better quality beef was used, and the tomato sauce became thicker. Some recipes included peas and red peppers, but the dish always retained its foundation.  


Today, no self-respecting Cuban restaurant would dare to open its doors without prominently and proudly featuring Ropa Vieja, an exotic delicacy to non-Cubans but good ‘ole comfort food to the rest.  

With the popularity of Cuban food growing worldwide, you don’t have to go to Havana to try it. The Cuban food in New York City is delicious, and equally good in other parts of the world. Seek it out and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.      


by Talek from Travels With Talek  




Europe



ITALY

Spaghetti Carbonara

You can’t talk about the food in Italy without including pasta, and there are many. One of our favorites is Spaghetti alla Carbonara a simple dish originally from Rome. It’s a hearty dish made from al dente spaghetti noodles tossed with a raw egg yolk (the heat from the pasta actually cooks the egg) then topped with pecorino romano cheese and pancetta (an Italian bacon that is not smoked).


There’s an even richer version made with the addition of guanciali (pork cheeks), and variations using olive oil, garlic, and parsley.

If the addition of egg is not to your liking, try the uniquely Roman dish Cacio e Pepe, a spaghetti dish made with just cheese and lots of black pepper. The richness of Spaghetti Carbonara is quite decadent, and a must-eat when visiting Rome.

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AUSTRIA

Kaiserschmarrn

This fluffy caramelized pancake is as fun to eat as it is to say and is one of Austria’s most popular dishes. Made from a batter of flour, eggs, and milk, these traditional pancakes are baked, then split with a fork or torn into small pieces, and dusted with powdered sugar.

Traditionally, Kaiserschmarren is accompanied with Zwetschgenröster, a fruit compote made from stewed plums.

There are regional variations and sometimes you’ll find other ingredients included in the batter like nuts, apple pieces, raisins, and cherries, but these aren’t considered traditional. They are usually eaten as a dessert, but can also be enjoyed for a hearty lunch. No matter the ingredients or time of day, there’s always room for kaiserschmarrn.

SLOVENIA

Bled Creme Cake (Kremna Rezina)

Most travelers visit Slovenia for the incredible scenery and outdoor activities created by such lush surroundings. But foodies might just be going for the food! Slovenian food is a surprising amalgam of regional influences and is one of the best reasons to visit.

And if you’re headed to Lake Bled, one of Slovenia’s most beautiful settings, be sure and try a slice of the incredible creme cake Lake Bled is known for. Created at the Park Hotel in 1953, this decadent pastry is made with a layer of puff pastry which is filled with custard and sweet vanilla creme.

The dessert is so beloved, it has been granted the status of Protected Designation of Origin by the EU, and can only be served by the shops and restaurants at Lake Bled. Take a break and enjoy a slice of heaven with a hot coffee.

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FRANCE


Ratatouille

A classic French ratatouille recipe is something almost everyone loves. It is traditionally vegan and gluten-free. So unless someone is allergic to nightshade vegetables they will love that it is bursting with flavor.

Ratatouille originates from Nice in the region of Provence, on the Mediterranean coast of France. It uses fresh seasonal vegetables, and is often the prettiest vegetable dish with its layers of sliced vegetables in a tomato sauce that is roasted to perfection.

And while it looks complex, this is a rustic country dish. Once the slicing is done most of the work is done as it is cooked in one pan - making clean-up a breeze.


Some insist that a true ratatouille uses specific vegetables, but zucchini, eggplant and red peppers are most often found in the recipe. And each must be cooked separately to brown properly.

However, in the spirit of this being a true peasant’s dish using what is available, it is best to make it an easy roasted vegetable recipe relying on the quality of the ingredients.


Ratatouille is a stunning main dish. But it is also lovely as a side to a larger protein. It is wonderful to place on great french bread, and is delicious on fresh pasta or with a yolky egg on top.

By Ayngelina from Bacon is Magic

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Crêpes

Crêpes is perhaps the most famous Paris food, and they’re so yummy! They are the perfect cheap and quick food to eat on the go during your Paris explorations but you can also eat more elaborate versions in traditional crêperies, usually washed down with cider.

Crêpes were invented in Brittany in western France, but Parisians don’t have any problem in adopting things from other places when they are so good. Crêpes are always sweet and you can eat them with jam, Nutella, whipped cream, or just sugar plus lemon juice.

There’s also a salty version, named galette which is prepared with a variety of ingredients and is usually served with a small side salad.

The first crêperies in Paris appeared around Gare Montparnasse. This was the arrival point of many Bretons coming to the French capital for better job opportunities and more money.

These Bretons usually settled near the train station where they already had some friends or relatives some of whom opened crêperies. In the beginning, these crêperies were for the Breton community in Paris, but quickly they started to receive other Parisian guests.

Today you can find crêperies all around Paris, and it is always a good and cheap option for dining out with friends.


By Elisa from World in Paris

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DENMARK

Pastry

When you think of famous foods from Denmark, you’ll likely think of having pastries for breakfast in Copenhagen. While Danish pastries are famous around the world, and for delicious reasons, their origin is something few people are familiar with. 

Danish cuisine has always centered around the bakery. Dense rye breads make up the base of the famous open-faced sandwiches, but the pastries are often the most famous baked goods in Denmark. Their origin, however, actually goes back to Austria. In fact, the Danish word for sweet breads and glazed cakes is actually wienerbrød or “Vienna bread”.

It all started in 1850, when the bakers of Denmark went on a nation-wide strike. To feed the people, hundreds of Austrian bakers headed to Copenhagen from Vienna and occupied the abandoned kitchens. Along with the new bakers came traditional Austrian recipes and techniques which were immediately popular with the Danish citizens. As the labor dispute was resolved, many locals encouraged the Danish bakers to hire their Austrian replacements and several did. 

As the Danes learned from the Austrian bakers, the recipes were altered to adjust to local tastes and ingredients, but the Vienna bread was here to stay as far as the Danes were concerned. And while the world was happy to credit the Danes, in Denmark the Danish pastries are still credited to their old friends in Austria who took their knowledge to Copenhagen so that Denmark could spread their creations around the world.

By Derek and Mike of Everything Copenhagen



ENGLAND

Fish & Chips

Although it’s disputed who opened the first fish & chips shop in the UK, there’s no doubt that it’s a very British institution. At the turn of the 20th century, there were 25,000 fish and chips shops in the UK. This dish was so important to the nation’s morale that they were one of the few items not rationed in the country during World War II.

Fish and chips is a fairly standard dish - breaded deep fried fish and thick-cut fries - served with mushy peas. Traditionally, the fish was cod or haddock, deep fried in lard, sprinkled with salt and vinegar and served in newspaper to absorb grease. There are now healthier variations, such as vegetable oil instead of lard. Moreover, regular old newspaper has been discontinued for food-quality wrapper (when it is used).

There are also, of course, regional variations such as the Scottish use of brown sauce in lieu of vinegar. In a nod to the cultural variety of modern day Britain, you can even get curry sauce as a side dip.

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Even though the British are mainly Protestant, the tradition of eating fish on Fridays continues. There was a tradition of fish and chips for Friday dinner which some people still practice. My children have always had Fish Finger Friday for school lunch since the beginning.


If you want to delve deeper into the importance of this dish in the UK, check out the national fish and chips museum in Hull, England. National Fish & Chips day in the UK is the first Friday of June.

There are numerous competitors for best fish and chips purveyor and everyone has their own personal favorite. In North London, we love Seashell of North London (which also has been name checked by celebrities like the late Princess Diana).


By Shobha of Just Go Places


THE NETHERLANDS

Herring and Onions

Traditional Dutch food never conquered the world as Italian or Indian food did. And after learning about this particular traditional Dutch food you will surely understand why. The famous Dutch “delicacy” I’m talking about is raw herring with onions.

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The history of herring in The Netherlands dates back to as far as the middle ages (around the 5th century) when herring was one of the most important commodities, as it was a relatively easy fish to catch along the Dutch coast. Many fishermen towns existed solely on the profit from herring (my hometown Vlaardingen included).

Traditionally, herring is preserved in barrels by smoking and salting the herring and adding vinegar. Throughout the years, the Dutch fishermen added their own combination of herbs, spices, and brine, which makes the Dutch herring taste distinctly different from herring in other countries, usually a bit sweeter.

A traditional Dutch herring is served with raw onion and can be bought at fish stalls found at local markets throughout the country. If you want to fit in like a true Dutchman (or woman), you are supposed to eat the herring in the not-so-charming Dutch style, by holding the tail and hanging it vertically above your mouth.


By Lara of The Best Gifts


GREECE

Souvlaki

Think about the famous Atlantis and the idea of it that comes from Ancient Greece. It could have come about while Aristotle himself dined on some delicious souvlaki

The word is derived from the Ancient Greek word ‘Souvla’ which means skewer. The historical evidence suggests the dish was popular as early as 2000 BC. It is no wonder that Souvlaki is the poster child of Greece and Cyprus and pretty much everyone who has been to Mediterranean has had the souvlaki.

It is typically small cubes of meat grilled and eaten off the skewer. The meat often used in Greece is pork but for the sake of tourists they also have vegetarian varieties along with chicken, lamb, and beef. In some cases it is also called kebabs when the meat is minced.

Most people eat the freshly grilled meat on its own but it is also offered with friend potatoes, rice or pita bread. In fact the most famous version is meat sandwiched between the layers of pita bread filled with fresh or grilled vegetables and mostly chips and sometimes cheese. It is the best hangover beater as well as the best food after a drunk night out, it beats McDonald’s any day of the week.

Souvlaki is the best of Greek culture when it comes to fast food and a great way to get to know fast food Greek style. You just cannot miss it if you ever visit Greece or Cyprus, both countries offer great options be it food in Athens or Larnaca.

By Ucman of Brown Boy Travels

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Mousaka

Mousaka is one of the most classic Greek dishes you can eat on your travels in Greece. The dish is made with either eggplant or potatoes as a base. After the eggplant layer, you usually have minced or ground beef topped with bechamel sauce. There are veggie versions without meat though it’s not traditional.

In every restaurant, in every area of Greece, the dish will be served with slight local variants. Some Greek tavernas or restaurants will make only a certain amount of mousaka every day, and when it is gone, there is no more for that day. I have arrived at a restaurant at 8 pm to eat mousaka, only to be told that it was finished and this is in a place where most people eat late.

One of my favorite ways to eat it is when it is served in its own casserole dish. The result is a hard crusty top that keeps the heat in the mousaka. Keep in mind that you might not want anything else as the portions are known to be very large in some places if you order it.

By Tiffany of A Girl and Her Passport



SPAIN AND PORTUGAL


Paella

One of the most iconic dishes of Spain is paella, a rice dish originally from the region of Valencia, Spain. The first records of paella (pronounced pai·ei·uh) are from the 15th century. It was typically eaten by farmers and laborers who used the local ingredients from the countryside and rice fields. Since then, the recipe has spread to other regions in Spain.

The original and "real" paella is called paella valenciana with ingredients that include chicken, rabbit, white beans, and green beans. It also elevates the unique flavor of saffron to new heights. Outside of Spain, most people may be familiar with the paella de mariscos, or seafood paella, which has prawns, mussels, and shrimp.

Of course, many variations have been invented after that. While many cooks mix meat and seafood, Valencian paella purists say the two cannot mix!


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Traditionally, the paella is cooked over an open fire in a paella pan, which is a round, wide shallow pan. The result is pure deliciousness from the combination of chewy short-grain rice and slow-simmered ingredients that become layered in flavor.

Another standout feature of the paella is the socarrat, which is the scrumptious crispy rice crust at the bottom of the pan. For authentic paella, go to the Valencia region and experience it yourself. Eating paella at a restaurant is most fun when the waiter brings it out for everyone to share.

Not only does paella taste magnificent and nourish you, eating it is a social event that's meant to be special — a big reason why many Spanish families get together on Sunday to share a paella together for lunch!


By Justine of Latitude 41

AZORES

Colzido das Furnas

 São Miguel is the largest and most volcanically active island in the Azores. One of the main attractions is visiting Furnas to observe the geothermal hot springs, which double as an unusual outdoor kitchen. While boiling water and mud erupt from the ground, your lunch, Colzido das Furnas, is stewing below the surface. 

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Colzido das Furnas is a hearty traditional Portuguese dish made from various meats and vegetables.

Heavy pots layered with pork, beef, chicken, cabbage, kale, potatoes, yams, carrots, chorizo, and blood pudding are buried underground and slow-cooked for five hours in the steam of these underground volcanic vents. The only liquid that is used comes from the juices produced by the ingredients.

Although most places in the village of Furnas serve it, one of the best places to try Colzido das Furnas is at the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, which serves a savory interpretation of this traditional Azorean dish.

By Dana of Dana Freeman Travels



What for dessert in Portugal? Lisbon is famous for their egg tarts called Pasteles de Nata, but they’re delish for breakfast!



Eastern Europe



GEORGIA

Khachapuri

If there’s one dish that has come to symbolize Republic of Georgia’s underrated food scene on the world stage, it’s khachapuriThe famous ‘cheese bread’ or ‘cheese pie’ is featured on restaurant menus, bakery stands and kitchen tables across the country. It’s Georgia’s national dish and a staple of almost every meal.

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Khachapuri has just two basic components: Bread (puri) and cottage cheese (khacho). When most people hear ‘khachapuri’, they think of Adjaruli khachapuri – a particularly decadent pie that originated in Georgia’s western Adjara region.

This boat-shaped bread has an open top and is filled with molten cheese, a raw egg, and a small slab of butter. Served hot, the idea is to stir the filling with a fork to make a rich, oozy goo then break off pieces of bread and dip them in.

There are a few restaurants that specialise in Adjaruli – Retro is a popular choice and has branches in both Batumi and in Tbilisi.

 But you’d be mistaken for thinking khachapuri is one single dish – there are in fact dozens of varieties (more than 50 according to some researchers) traditional to different regions.

Imeretian khachapuri is the most ubiquitous – it’s a relatively simple, light pie that’s round in shape with a layer of local cheese sandwiched in the middle. Other versions feature slices of salty sulguni cheese on top (Megrelian khachapuri) or use alternative fillings such as hard-boiled eggs (Guruli khachapuri) or potato blended with cheese (khabizgini from Ossetia).

In Tbilisi, Sakhachapure n1, a humble cafeteria-style eatery, is a great place to try some of the more obscure regional renditions.


By Emily of Wander-Lush


Churchkhela

While Georgia is rightfully known for its savory dishes such as its famous khinkali dumplings, there is also a sweet Georgian dessert that every good foodie should know — Churchkhela, a Georgian dessert as colorful as it is delicious.

When in Georgia, it’s almost impossible to miss this colorful candy hanging in market stalls, looking a lot like freshly dipped candles. Churchkhela is traditionally a fall food, reflected in the candy’s autumnal reds and yellows and brown.

Why is it made in the fall? To take advantage of the grape harvest, as grape “must” — grape juice that is boiled in a bronze cauldron to remove impurities, then thickened with flour — is a key ingredient. The other main ingredient is walnuts, and occasionally hazelnuts or almonds, first softened in water, then threaded together on strings two to three meters long.

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Next, the churchkhela is dipped repeatedly into the wine must, the coating growing thicker each time. Then the strings are dried in the sun, and voila! Churchkhela!

It's less sweet than you might expect from a dessert. No sugar is added, so all you taste is the natural sweetness of the grape juice, along with delicious, chewy walnuts.

The origins of this colorful dessert are lost to history. But we do know Georgian warriors used to bring churchkhela with them as they rode off to battle. Why? Because it’s easy to carry and loaded with calories. It still is, but each and every calorie is totally worth it!

By Michael of Brent and Michael Are Going Places


BULGARIA

Tarator Soup

One of the most refreshing dishes to have on a hot summer day is the Bulgarian Tarator Soup. Tarator is part of a family of popular foods in the Balkans, Turkey, and the Middle East, all based on yogurt. With a few variations as to ingredients and thickness, you can taste tzatziki in Greece, cacik in Turkey, talattouri in Cyprus, or jajeek in Iraq.

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The Bulgarian soup version is made from cucumbers, yogurt, water, garlic, a drizzle of oil, and some dill. Local versions may also include walnuts, and sometimes the garlic is left out.

The soup is served chilled in all traditional restaurants throughout the country. Some fancier restaurants serve it in a jar or a glass as well.

Bulgarians have tarator as an appetizer or a first course instead of a salad and they often accompany it with a glass of rakia.

One of the best places to have a delicious tarator soup is Pavaj, one of the best restaurants in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. They usually have tarator on the summer menu along with some more delicious food.

One other variation of the tarator soup is a spread or dip called Snezhanka salad which means "Snow White". Snezhanka is a dry tarator made from strained yogurt with the same cucumbers and walnuts. Garlic is sometimes served separately, to be included or not to your preference. It's great as an appetizer or as a side for a meat dish too.

By Anda of Travel for A While

 

ARMENIA

Pasus Tolma and Mshosh

Formed over 2000 years ago, Armenian food traditions are one of the oldest in Asia and in particular the Caucasus region. The cooking method and ingredients used to make dishes hasn’t changed and the traditions have passed generations after generations. Armenian cuisine is meat-based, but it also uses plenty of lentils, bulgar wheat, vegetables, nuts and fragrant spices.

It is said that Armenians use more than 300 species of edible plants in their food. There are many traditional Armenian dishes that are naturally vegan or can easily be adapted to suit a vegan diet.

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One of the most popular dishes, Tolma (Dolma in Turkish), is a traditional dish of Armenian origin, but later went on to become popular in Europe. Tolma is one of the most common foods in Armenian cuisine and there are as many as 50 different varieties and fillings rolled in wine leaves.

One of the most popular is Pasus Tolma, made with fillings from beans and grains and rolled in cabbage leaves. This is traditionally vegan and vegetarian friendly food in Armenia during Lent. There’s even a national Tolma festival in Armenia.

Yet another popular, healthy, quick to make, budget friendly food is Mshosh, Armenian lentil salad made with brown lentils, dried apricots and walnuts. Mshosh is one of the oldest Armenian recipes and is usually prepared during Lent. Mshosh is very healthy and rich in protein and fibre, so it can be quite filling. Mshosh can be had alone, as a side, as a spread or on soup.


By Anu of Country Hopping Couple


LITHUANIA

Cepelinai

Cepelinai has been the national dish of Lithuania for 150 years.  With this kind of history, you know that it has to be good!  

Cepelinai are a hearty and filling meal made from potatoes – a staple in Lithuanian cuisine – and traditionally, a spiced ground meat filling or the vegetarian version of cheese and mushrooms.  They are often served with a bacon topping, sour cream, parsley and dill. 


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The process of making cepelinai is a labor-intensive one.  Potatoes are prepared in two ways to create the walls of the dumpling; finely grated and strained raw, and riced cooked shavings.  The starchy walls of this potato dumpling are thick, often ¾” thick, which makes this meal so filling in the freezing Lithuanian winters.

Cepelinai are typically made at home to celebrate the potato harvest every fall, but are available year round when traveling through Lithuania.  

These potato dumplings are served as a main course, typically 2 huge softball-sized portions or 3 slightly smaller football shaped ones.  Other traditional Lithuanian dishes to set at the table are cold beet soup and hearty dark rye bread.  

In the capital of Vilnius, cepelinai are easy to find at one of the many restaurants serving traditional Lithuanian cuisine. Try it for yourself and you’ll understand why this is Lituania’s national dish! 

By Monica of This Rare Earth


POLAND, RUSSIA, UKRAINE

Borscht

Borscht is a delicious soup that’s a a must-try dish in Eastern Europe. The typical main ingredient of beetroots is what gives it its famous deep red coloring, however, the broth can sometimes be made light and clear.

Each place you have it will likely make it a little differently. It can be made with beef, fish or entirely vegetables. The vegetables used in borscht also vary from carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, onions and more.

Many recipes also call for dill, and it is almost always served with sour cream. Borscht can also be served hot or cold. (It is better hot, in my opinion, though!)

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While its origin is hotly contested, Ukraine is usually credited with originally creating borscht. It is most popular in Poland, Ukraine and Russia. Once you try it, you’ll be eating it every chance you get. Some of the best restaurants in Moscow to try borscht are Café Pushkin and Mari Vanna.

While borscht is plenty hearty enough to be a meal on its own, it is typically served as a starter. It goes very well with pelmeni (Russian dumplings) on a cold winter day.

By Lindsey of Have Clothes, Will Travel





Middle East


IRAN

Fesendjoon

Persian food is one of the most underrated cuisines in this world. Not many people even know what to expect, which is perhaps why Fesendjoon isn't as famous as it should be. Not only is it one of Iran's national dishes, but it's absolutely delicious.


Fesendjoon combines some of Iran's most prized ingredients. The meat, often chicken or duck, is stewed for hours in a sauce made of walnuts and pomegranate syrup.

The end result doesn't look particularly good, but it is one of the most delicious dishes in Iran. Even though the use of spices in fesendjoon is very moderate it is nevertheless very rich in flavour. Some like it a bit more sweet. Others prefer the sour taste.

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Fesendjoon is one of the oldest Iranian recipes and it was originally from Gilan province near the Caspian sea. In this region there were so many wild ducks that in the beginning fesendjoon was made with duck meat. Nowadays it is chicken or even lamb.

Making fesendjoon requires a lot of patience and attention. It is also a bit of a festive dish that is on the menu on holidays and celebrations. As a result it isn't often on a menu, but when it is, consider yourself lucky. Your best bet are the traditional restaurants that serve both tourists and locals.

By Ellis of Backpack Adventures


SYRIA, LEBANON

Shish Barak

Shish barak are small dumplings (think Italian ravioli) made from a dough of unleavened wheat flour and stuffed with seasoned beef or lamb, and sometimes a blend of both with onions added, then either boiled, fried, or baked. In adherence to Islamic dietary rules, pork is never used as a stuffing.

Typically shish barak is served in a hot yogurt sauce with melted butter and traditional seasonings like sumac and mint — a delicious contrast between creamy and spicy. And toasted pine nuts on top offer the perfect crunch. It’s easy to see why shish barak is popular throughout the Middle East, but especially in Syria and Lebanon.


The dumplings are typically cooked in homes and not frequently served in restaurants, though sometimes a local food tour will include this dish.



Africa


SOUTH AFRICA

Bobotie

Bobotie is often considered as being the national dish of South Africa. It is definitely the most well known South African dish for tourists to try, especially when visiting Cape Town. The reason for this is that Bobotie is native to the Cape province.

Now there are various stories about the official origins of bobotie. One version says it was brought to South Africa by the slaves from Indonesia and Malaysia who settled in the colorful Bo-Kaap suburb in Cape Town, hence its alternative name Cape Malay curry.


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The other story is that it was brought to Cape Town by the Dutch settlers together with the spices from their colonies in Asia.

Even though Bobotie is considered to be a Cape Malay dish, you can find it in restaurants all over the country, not just in Cape Town. It is one of the South African dishes that is highly recommended to try during a visit to the country.

Bobotie is a casserole made with minced meat, dried fruits and lots of spices. Traditionally, lamb mince is used, mixed with raisins and dried apricots and spiced with turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger and apricot jam. The taste is rather sweet with a slight hint of spicy. It is usually served with yellow rice which is rice cooked with turmeric spice, and various sambals.

By Sabine of The Travelling Chilli



Bunny Chow

No one's quite sure how it came to be named, but Bunny Chow is one of South Africa’s most treasured street foods.

Originating from Indian indentured sugar cane laborers living in Durban in the 19th century, this beloved bread-bowl is basically a loaf of bread hollowed-out and filled with a blistering hot curry of whatever ground meat or veggie is available, from potatoes and beans to almost always chickpeas. For vegetarians, the meatless version that is equally spicy.

If you’re looking for South African’s favorite comfort food, bunny chow will fit the bill.Today, you’ll find bunny chow as takeaways in all major cities, but the best bunnies still come from Durban.

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MOROCCO

Harira

Popular as a starter or something light between meals, Harira is a traditional Moroccan soup traditionally served during Ramadan, and by Moroccan Jews as an end to their fasting during Yom Kippur.

There are regional variations to the recipe, but will generally include chickpeas or other types of beans, lentils, onions, rice, a bit of meat (never pork), tomatoes, beaten eggs, and a splash of olive oil. The soup stock is most often made from lamb and seasoned with ginger, cinnamon, cilantro or parsley, and tumeric for added color.

Once the ingredients are blended, the soup is thickened with mixed flour and water and often tomato paste, then finished with a squeeze of lemon juice on top.

The dish is simultaneously hearty but light in flavor — could you ask for anything more? — and usually served with locally available fruits like dates and figs, and homemade breads.

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EGYPT

Koshari

If you want a taste of what Egyptian families eat at home, you can't go wrong with koshari, a nourishing vegetarian dish which blends elements of Indian, Middle Eastern, and Italian cuisines.

Made of rice, lentils, macaroni, garlic and chickpeas, bought together by a spicy tomato sauce and sometimes topped with fried onion, and a drizzle of garlic vinegar, this popular street food is also considered to be Egypt’s national dish. It’s comfort food at its best when the rice, chickpeas, and lentils are cooked together.

You’ll see it spelled Koshary or Kushari, but no matter how it’s spelled it’s always aromatic and delicious.

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Asia


INDONESIA

Bubar Ayam

Pronounced bur-bar I am, this warm and creamy dish is Bali’s answer to chicken noodle soup, but interestingly it’s generally not eaten for lunch or dinner. This traditional Balinese breakfast dish is basically a warm slightly soupy rice porridge. Typically the dish is topped with shredded chicken, chopped scallion, crispy fried shallots, and sometimes with preserved salted vegetables or chicken broth.


If you’re lucky, there will be a garnish of fried puffy chicken skin resting on the top of the dish. The crunch of the chicken skin with the creamy rice is a perfect balance. If you’re in the mood for some comfort food while visiting Bali, definitely order Bubar Ayam for breakfast.

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TAIWAN

Xiao Long Bao

The soup dumpling (or Xiao Long Bao) is one of the most famous Taiwan foods. They are actually originally from Shanghai in China, but have become one of the most popular dishes sold in Taiwan and nearly every restaurant in Taipei offers its own version of it.


The Xiao Long Bao is a thin skinned flour dumpling which is filled with a pork meatball and also a gelatinized meat stock. When they are steamed to cook in a classic bamboo basket, the stock melts into a rich but delicate soup broth causing a juicy morsel when you bite in.

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The most popular place to eat Xiao Long Bao is at the Michelin-starred chain restaurant Din Tai Fung, where hour long lines of locals wait patiently for a table.

Eating the dumplings can be a little tricky. In Din Tai Fung first timers are provided with an instruction card that teaches you the correct way to eat a soup dumpling. First you dip the dumpling into a 60-40 mixture of vinegar to soy sauce. Then you transfer the dumpling into a deep spoon and use your chopsticks to poke a hole into the side to let the steam escape and the soup spill out and fill the spoon.

Drink some of the soup from the spoon, and then add some matchsticks of ginger on top of the dumpling before slowly enjoying eating it (being careful not to scald your tongue with the hot soup!).

By Caroline at CK Travels


SOUTH KOREA

Milmyeon

Busan is the political, economic, and gastronomic center in the Southeast region of South Korea. And many international travelers and ex-pats have favored Busan over Seoul for its hospitality, easy access to gorgeous beaches, and unique food scenes. 


Even for Koreans, Busan food is unique and exciting. During the Korean War in the 1950s, many refugees fled to the city as it became the last bastion for democratic Korea. The war refugees had to get creative to survive with scarce resources. When it comes to cooking, replacing the traditional ingredients with what’s available became a common practice. 


For example, Koreans during wartime had to make rice soup with pork bones instead of beef. Pork bones were cheap and easy to get from the U.S. army base. While beef remains a popular choice of cutlery for rice soup in other parts of Korea, today, pork rice soup has become a must-eat specialty of Busan.


Another dish you have to try in Busan is Milmyeon, cold wheat noodles. Koreans enjoy spicy cold noodles in summer, which originated from today’s North Korea. During the wartime, the North Korean War refugees used wheat flours handed by the UN troops to make comfort food, replacing the traditional buckwheat flours. 


Busan offers many other unique Korean food with history. As for the largest port city in Korea, you can also savor fresh seafood. When you visit Korea next time, take on the gastronomic journey to Busan.  


By Chloe of Chloe’s Travelogue

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JAPAN

Matcha Desserts

If you’re a fan of drinking Japanese tea and eating green tea desserts, then you must visit Kyoto’s Uji area for the day. Tea was introduced to Uji around 1190 and the production of Uji quality tea started in the 1500s. From then on, Uji is considered high-quality green tea.  

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Uji produces three different types of green tea - matcha, sencha, and gyokuro. Matcha is ground tea powder that is used for traditional tea ceremonies. Currently, it’s popular in foods such as soba, ramen, and desserts, for added flavor and vibrant green color. Sencha and gyokuro are chopped up tea leaves and consumed in tea. 


When walking through Uji, check out the displays of food replicas in front of restaurants so you can get an idea of what to order. Try a matcha dessert, whether it’s soft serve, ice cream, pancakes, warabi mochi matcha (a jelly-like mochi), pudding, or parfait to see if you like the flavor.


Two popular places to eat matcha desserts are Nakamura Tokichi Honten and Itoh-Kyuemon. If you visit Itoh-Kyuemon, try the matcha parfait. It’s a delicious concoction with layers of jellies, ice cream, shiratama dango (white mochi balls), adzuki (sweetened red beans), and topped with a thin wafer cookie.

Normally matcha powder has a slightly bitter flavor, yet everything is blended with the right amount of sweetness. You can also top your dessert with extra matcha powder. Eating a matcha dessert is a perfect way to conclude your trip to Japan.


By Jackie & Justin of Life Of Doing


HONG KONG

Pineapple Buns

The pineapple bun is one of the most unique local foods from Hong Kong. This baked sweet treat is known as the “pineapple bun” not because it has pineapple in it (it has none), but it is so called due to its sugary, crunchy, golden-brown crust topping that resembles a pineapple’s exterior. The crust is usually made with sugar, eggs, flour, and lard or butter.

As a popular breakfast pastry, it was listed as an intangible cultural heritage item by the Hong Kong Government in 2014. 

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Pretty much any bakery in the city will have a typical pineapple bun. However some places will offer pineapple buns with red bean, taro, custard cream, and even barbecue pork. Tai Tung Bakery in Yuen Long is one of the most famous for pineapple buns, having made them since the 1940s. 


The holy grail of pineapple buns, however, is the pineapple bun with butter. Typically available at local cha chaan tang (Hong Kong style cafes) or sometimes dai pai dong (street stalls), you’ll find pineapple buns with butter.

These delicious buns are cut in half, like a burger bun, and filled with creamy salted butter, usually from Australia. The best places to find this include Kam Fung Bakery in Wanchai and Kam Wah Cafe in Mongkok. 

By Constance of The Adventures of Panda Bear




Australia

Lamingtons

This tasty treat is one of Australia’s most famous foods, and if you’re a sweet lover, it’s one tempting morsel you’ll want to try.

Originally named for Lord Lamington, who served as Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901, or perhaps his wife Lady Lamington, the delicate piece of cake (typically yellow or sponge) covered in chocolate and rolled in coconut is about as perfect a confection as you can get.

Simple, yet surprisingly ingenious, it is thought by some that the tea treat became so popular at the turn of the 20th century because of the chocolate’s preserving qualities, making it a treat that traveled well and tasted fresh for weeks.


Like any iconic food, passionate lamington connoisseurs may also debate whether there should be a touch of jam in the center of the treat. But don’t let the addition or lack of it deter you from trying Australia’s most famous sweet. What’s not to love about a delicious bite of cake, chocolate, and coconut!

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Chiko Roll

The humble Chiko roll is a ubiquitous Aussie snack. It's a complete mystery deep-fried in the tastiest of coatings that will get your taste buds guessing for hours.

The outer layer of a Chiko roll is a golden crispy doughy layer sort of like a spring roll but fluffier. If you open up a Chiko roll, you'll never really know what's in it, sort of like the secret herbs and spices but more chunky. The orange bits you can guess to be a carrot, the green stringy bits are probably cabbage and you really want the brown clumps to be minced meat — but it doesn't really matter because all of this deliciousness is just waiting for you.

You can start eating it all by first by digging out the mashed up mystery and savor the outer layer! Or, if you are really keen, you can eat some of the insides then some of the coating and so on.

Now don't let this put you off. It may sound terrible but a Chiko roll is really a unique Australian delicacy you should try! You'll find these snacks on sale and ready to go at any good servo, and many Aussies have been known to pick one up for a lunch-on-the-run. The mystery of the Chiko roll simply adds to the taste!

By Bec from Wyld Family Travel


Vegemite

Don’t you just love a traditional food with a good story behind it? This iconically Australian food isn’t so much a dish as it is a cultural staple. And though the concept of a spreadable yeast by-product was originally invented in England, the improved rendition eventually named Vegemite was heavily marketed in Australia pre-WWII — eventually making its way into C-rations for Australian soldiers during the War — and is now one of the country’s most beloved foods.

With a saltiness that’ll tip the scales and an earthy umami taste, Vegemite is often eaten for breakfast or lunch, an oh-so-thin layer spread on bread, crackers, or mixed into a favorite baked good. It’s something you just have to try when you’re Down Under.

And if you can’t find the Vegemite brand in your local grocery story, see if the original English Marmite is in the baking aisle, or wherever your favorite yeast spread by-products are found! ;-)

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What has been your favorite traditional food around the world so far?

We’d love to hear it — and include it with out next round-up! So many tempting foods, so little time ;-)


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