Traveling is our favorite pastime and journeying through the flavors of the world is one of our favorite ways to do it! Here’s a look at 20 typical dishes from 20 different countries.
As you know, traveling is very important for us at Musement! We like to travel by plane or by train, we like to take impromptu trips, but also on well-organized trips to faraway destinations—and we also love to travel through our imagination, and, most importantly, through our sense of taste. Here, we’re offering to take you on a journey around the world in 20 dishes, fully aware that our itinerary will inevitably overlook some delicious ones (which we are committed to getting a taste of in the future).
1. Pasta al Pomodoro
Everywhere you go in the world—North or South, East or West—pasta is the product that best represents Italy in everyone’s mind. Garnished with tomato sauce, basil leaves and a sprinkling of grated cheese (whether Parmesan, pecorino or hard ricotta, according to region and taste), it even seems to recall the colors of the Italian flag.
The original preparation from Valencia is made from rice, saffron, spices, vegetables, meat and also fish in the original version—but there are also delicious squid ink and vegetarian variations- try some the next time you’re in Spain.
The combination may sound bizarre, but this typical Belgian dish is a genuine treat: mussels, fries and incredible sauces like white wine or blue-cheese sauce. Yes, you read that right: blue cheese on mussels! It’s exquisite.
4. Bitterballen, the Netherlands
These delicious meatballs are served in the Netherlands alongside beer and are prepared from very tender beef and bechamel sauce, which is where they get that soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Or ‘snails’ to the layman, this world-famous dish has as many raving fans as it does detractors. The escargot is a refined and surprising dish to be enjoyed in Paris and elsewhere in France.
One of the most delicious foods ever: this staple of Danish cuisine is as simple as it is delicious and appetizing. Smorrebrod consists of a slice of buttered black bread topped with fish (such as salmon or the local smoked herring) or meat, cheeses, sauces of various kinds and pickles.
7. Toltottkáposzta, Hungary
These are traditional Hungarian rolls prepared from cabbage leaves, stuffed with meat and buckwheat and cooked in the oven in a delicious sauce.
8. Pelmeni, Russia
This Russian dish resembles large ravioli. They can be stuffed with meat or vegetables and are served in broth, with butter, paprika, dill or sour cream.
9. Samosa, India
A typically Indian street food, Samosas have a compact triangular shape that makes them easy to eat. This fried dough triangle is filled with potatoes, spices, chili, vegetables or meat.
10. Zighinì, Eritrea
A traditional Eritrean dish prepared as a combination of spicy chicken or beef stew, salad, cooked vegetables and legumes, all added together and served on enjera, sour pancakes that serve as both relish and a substitute for plates.
11. Feijoada, Brazil
Black beans with different kinds of pork meat (ribs, bacon, sausage), spices and white rice. This is the most famous Brazilian dish.
12. Arepa, Venezuela
This small buttery bun made with cornflour is stuffed with any number of delicious fillings, but most of all with Venezuelan-style pulled meat. Perfect and tasty.
13. Potjiekos, South Africa
This traditional South African dish has an interesting history and an equally fascinating mode of preparation. It takes its name from the three-legged pot used to prepare it, the Potjie. In Afrikaans, “Potjiekos” literally means ‘small plate of food’: in this case, the food must be prepared in the Potjie on the open fire, from meat marinated in beer or sherry, carrots, cabbage, pumpkin, cauliflower, potatoes or rice, topped with Dutch-Malaysian spices.
14. Kangaroo steak, Australia
Kangaroo meat is an Australian cuisine staple. It is found everywhere and in every form, such as steak, meatballs, hamburgers or sausages. It is very lean and high in protein, so it tends to be a fundamental of children’s diets.
15. Haggis, Scotland
We have already introduced you to haggis, the Scottish national dish. We can only say that the bravest and least squeamish of you will be highly rewarded with an explosion of unexpected flavors.
16. Amok, Cambodia
Perhaps the most famous dish from Khmer cuisine, Amok consists of fish fillet covered in kroeung (a sauce made from turmeric and other spices), roasted with peanuts, coconut milk and eggs, and sometimes wrapped in banana leaves.
17. Bao, China
Once upon a time, the most famous Chinese food was spring rolls—but nowadays they have relinquished the top spot to bao: sandwiches stuffed with steamed meat (pork, chicken or duck) or vegetables, most beloved by foodies from around the world.
18. Takoyaki, Japan
Speaking of famous foodie favorites, we can’t fail to mention takoyaki, a street food of octopus dumplings served hot with thin flakes of bonito and dried algae, which look like butterflies flapping their wings because of the heat rising up from the dumplings.
19. Pouding-chômeur, Canada
A name which sounds very sophisticated, but in fact points to the “humble” origins of this Canadian recipe. It simply means “unemployed pudding”: a butter cake covered with a syrup made from sugar and water to get it to a pudding-like consistency. It is often served with ice cream and maple syrup.
20. Hamburger and fries
The national dish par excellence in the land of stars and stripes, one that has helped export the American dream all over the world: this is the hamburger, naturally with a side order of fries. Here’s a fun fact: “Hamburger” is actually the German word used to describe the inhabitants of Hamburg, Germany, which points to the European origin of even the most American food you can possibly imagine.