5 Must-See Places and Their Must-Try Foods
5 Must-See Places and Their Must-Try Foods
Travel has always topped people’s list of things they’ve always wanted to do. Many people are confined to their own small portion of the world, and find themselves yearning to see more.
While visiting other countries and cultures is persuading enough to travel the world, there tends to be one particular factor that everyone seems to prioritize: food.
Food is one of the most diversified aspects of the various cultures of the world, and food enthusiasts and travelers alike find themselves drawn to what dish each destination has to offer. Food tourism has created a rush of travelers looking to immerse themselves in different cultures through the unique food and drink experience that is iconic to each location.
It can be hard planning out your multi-course, international food adventure, especially when you’re unsure of what you’ll find at each place.
To make it easier for you to fulfill your lifelong dream of traveling the world while eating the best cuisine it has to offer, here are some must-see destinations and their must-try foods.
Bobotie – South Africa
Bobotie is often referred to as the national dish of South Africa and gifts the palate with an extraordinary combination of both spicy and sweet flavors. The dish is made with curried minced meat, which delivers the spicy side of the two-fronted flavor experience. It is baked with a fruit jam, often made from raisins, and topped with an egg-based substance with a creamy texture. Typically served with a yellow rice that adds a little more heat, it can also be paired with other starches such as potatoes or pasta. The dish originated from families making use of the leftovers from their Sunday roast and has transformed into a celebrated recipe. Your mouth will surely enjoy every minute of bobotie, as does all of South Africa.
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Gulab Jamun – India
Not every food you try will be a main entree style dish, and while there are many outstanding dishes to try in India, you can’t visit without trying some of their sweets. India is quite renowned for their sweets and upon visiting, you’ll surely find an abundance of shops that sell every deliciously sweetened morsel you could ever desire. One sweet, in particular, called Gulab Jamun, is arguably one of the most popular candy-styled foods in all of India. The dish is made from milk solids which are then kneaded into a dough and then separated and rolled into little balls. The dough-balls are then deep fried for taste and texture and then soaked in a sweetened syrup that is usually accented with saffron or rose water. The result is a little deep fried dough-ball, which is often dyed red from the syrup, that creates an explosion of flavor in your mouth.
Mole – Mexico
Mole (pronounced moe-lay), is one of Mexico’s most popular dishes. Ironically, there are numerous different ways you can have Mole, making it a truly unique dish that varies each time you have it. Mole is a rich sauce that is extremely common in Mexican cooking, and usually contains some type of chili, among roughly 20 other ingredients. However, the ingredients for the mole you might enjoy can differ from any other, making your mole experience quite exclusive to your dining experience. Mole actually takes quite some time to prepare, with constant stirring and some cook times reaching over a year! The most popular type of mole is probably mole poblano which is often paired with poultry such as turkey or chicken. However, if you’re lucky enough you can find Mole that’s made with chocolate, among many other ingredients. Sometimes mole is the dish, and you eat it with tortillas, and other times it’s an accent to a dish and enhances the flavor. Any way you eat mole is a good way to eat it, so if you plan a trip to Mexico be sure to find some Mole.
Pupusas – El Salvador
Natives of every country will claim that the food they had growing up was the best, and while that may be true, Salvadorians mean it. The dish consists of thick corn tortillas, which are stuffed with the savory fillings of (usually) pork, beans, or cheese. These handmade tortillas are rich in flavor and thrown on a hot griddle to cook, giving them an iconic texture to boot. On the side, the dish typically comes with a spicy cabbage slaw (or cabbage vinegar slaw) and tomato salsa. One of the beautiful things about El Salvador and Pupusas is that when you’re enjoying Pupusas, you’re eating a beloved dish that is a staple across the country. Salvadorians will promptly tell you how much they loved eating Pupusas as children, and how they still do today.
Pad Thai – Thailand
You might’ve enjoyed a Pad Thai dish somewhere in the states, possibly at a Pad Thai establishment, but there’s no substitute for a fresh dish right from the heart of Thailand. Usually served as a street food, although it can be ordered at restaurants, Pad Thai consists of stir-fried rice noodles paired with some type of meat. Commonly, Pad Thai is eaten with seafood or chicken (even if you don’t like seafood, it’s definitely worth the try), but can be a veggie dish if you wanted. Many people think that Pad Thai is a spicy dish, yet it’s actually more “sweet and sour.”
While five dishes from five different destinations seem like a lot for you to digest right now (get it?), you’ll find that your appetite for other places and dishes (there’s another one!) goes far beyond these pages. The best way to fully appreciate the many cultural dishes of the world’s farthest reaches (and even those close to you) is to go out there for yourself.
Plan a yearly food tourism expedition with a few of your closest friends and visit places you thought you’d never see and try foods you never thought you’d eat.
Experience what the world has to offer (and taste), and live your life one meal at a time.
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