To make eating your way around the world a little easier, we’ve rounded up 10 of the most tastetacular foods from around the globe.
Some of these treats may be difficult to pronounce, and some you may have never heard of before. All of these choices are popular in their home countries and nothing short of amazing. You can try these on your next trip or just cook up them up during your staycation.
If you are a fan of cheese, warm melted cheese that is, provoleta is a must have pre-meat dish for an asado. Provoleta is semi-hard provolone cheese in cylindrical form. When paired with asado this cheese is sliced thick and cooked on the grill until melted with a crispy exterior. Both sides are typically seasoned with a generous amount of oregano or other herbs and spices. A light sprinkling of dried red chili flakes may be included for the brave. The herbs and spices are pressed well onto the cheese in order to prevent them from falling of during the cooking process.
Read More: Culinary Basics: Argentinian Cuisine
Trying Vegemite is a must-do cultural experience if you make your way to Australia but many travelers make the mistake of layering it too thickly.
Most Australians will tell you that you only need to add a very light layer to your buttered toast or crackers. This is more than enough to give you that wonderful flavor. Not to be confused with peanut butter as a spoon full is not something that even the most die hard Aussie fans could stomach.
In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find an Aussie home that doesn’t have a jar of Vegemite in the cupboard.
Read More: Culinary Basics: Australian Cuisine
Menemen is made from tomatoes, peppers, eggs, and onions. This savory dish is a distinctly Turkish breakfast comfort food.
Menemen is especially popular in the summer, when ripe tomatoes are abundant straight from the garden or farmer’s market. While purists will include only tomatoes and eggs you can also be creative and add fresh herbs, shallots, chiles, or green or red pepper. Cook this dish slowly, stirring infrequently, until the eggs form billowy puffs.
Serve topped with feta cheese or lamb sausage, with any warm flatbread on the side.
Read More: Culinary Basics: Turkish Cuisine
Haggis, the national dish of Scotland, is composed of the liver, heart, and lungs of a sheep (or other animal), minced and mixed with beef or mutton suet and oatmeal and seasoned with onion, cayenne pepper, and other spices. The mixture is packed into a sheep’s stomach and boiled.
Haggis is usually accompanied by turnips (called “swedes” or “neeps”) and mashed potatoes (“tatties”)
Read More: Culinary Basics: Scottish Cuisine
Pastel de nata
Pastéis de nata is not a new culinary treat and was actually created pre-18th century by Catholic monks who used egg whites to starch clothes. The left-over egg yolks often became cakes and pastries. As religion changed in Portugal, the monks sold sweets to earn money, but in 1837 the recipe was sold to a sugar refinery and its owners opened the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém. A business that is still run by descendants of that sugar refinery today.
Read More: Culinary Basics: Portuguese Cuisine
Ash e Reshteh
This heart healthy soup traditionally known as Ash-e Reshteh or Ash Reshteh, is perhaps the most popular Persian soup. It is appreciated at festive times such as the Persian new year, but it is also served around the year.
This noodle soup is similar to the Italian minestrone, but instead of tomatoes the base is made up of well cooked herbs and greens. It is a sophisticated recipe that uses a long list of ingredients, creating a captivating taste that will have you coming back for seconds.
Read More: Culinary Basics: Persian Cuisine
Ikan Pari Bakar
Ikan Pari Bakar (Grilled Stingray) is a popular dish in Malaysia where marinated stingrays are grilled in banana leaf with a special hot and spicy sauce. Stingray may seem a very unusual fish to grill but it is really good. When cooked correctly stingray has a very tender and juicy texture like tuna, it flakes so easily and you will not have issues with fish bones since there are no bones obstructing the meat. It is grilled to perfection and eaten with a spicy and tangy dip.
Read More: Culinary Basics: Malaysian Cuisine
The only thing better than soup with bread? Soup that not only has chunks of bread in it, but crunchy croutons on top as well. This (vegetarian!) Italian classic is about as comforting as it gets, packed with hearty greens, meaty beans, and plenty of rich olive oil and umami-packed Parmesan. A note on that cheese: If you’ve been throwing out your Parm rinds all these years, that stops right now. The rind is full of flavor, and makes a great addition to any broth-y, stewy situation.
Read More: Culinary Basics: Italian Cuisine
Moules-frites is a classic dish in Belgian and French bistros for good reason. Mussels and crispy fries go together like spaghetti and meatballs.
Mussels are a Belgian staple – in expensive and abundant, they were originally considered a poor man’s meal, and have been paired with fried potatoes for a long time at the country’s famous fry shops. It is believed that this dish originated in Belgium, because Belgians were the first to pair the mussels with fries.
Read More: Culinary Basics: Belgium Cuisine
Ajvar is a roasted eggplant-sweet pepper mixture, sometimes referred to as vegetarian caviar. It can be chunky or mashed, depending on personal taste. Ajvar can be served as a relish, vegetable or spread on country-style white bread like pogacha as an appetizer. Its smoky flavor is a great match for grilled or roasted lamb.
Ajvar is also typically served with cevaps sausage, also known as cevapcici, and a bread called lepinje. Ajvar can also be used as an ingredient for cooking. The mild saltiness and rich texture make it an easy stir in for pasta, or used as the base of a more flavorful creation. Ajvar’s ripe red color makes a pot of risotto pop, and it adds bite and cohesion to grain or bean salads along with some crisp vegetables. You can even use it as a starter for a puréed and chilled soup, a kind of cheater’s gazpacho.
Read More: Culinary Basics: The Balkan Cuisine