10 National dishes to try in your lifetime
There’s no doubt about it: the most scrumptious way to get to know a new culture is through its food. Whether you’re planning a trip abroad or looking to try out the exotic fare at a new restaurant back home, here are the top 10 national dishes with which to treat your taste buds:
1) Pork adobo — Philippines
This unique dish gets its delicious flavor from slowly marinating pork belly in a mixture of vinegar, garlic, salt, and laurel leaves until little or no liquid remains. The dish is typically served alongside rice or mixed vegetables.
2) Weiner Schnitzel — Austria
Recognized as the flagship dish of Austria, the Weiner Schnitzel is made by breading thinly cut pieces of Schnitzel veal and deep-frying them until they are golden brown. It is traditionally garnished with lemon and served with potatoes or potato salad.
3) Coucou and Flying Fish — Barbados
Part of Barbados’ national dish consists of flying fish either steamed in lime juice or deep-fried and served with a spicy sauce. The other half of the dish consists of couscous, cornmeal, and okra porridge.
4) Tom Yum Goong — Thailand
Served hot, spicy, and sour, this Thai soup most famously features prawn as its signature ingredient. The delicious broth contains a medley of spices—lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce, and crushed chili peppers.
5) Pot-au-feu — France
It’s hard to pick one standout from French cuisine, but pot-au-feu certainly deserves a place here. This hearty beef stew is often cooked with oxtail, marrowbone, and root vegetables and seasoned with herbs and spices to taste.
6) Ackee and Saltfish — Jamaica
This Jamaican dish is made by sautéing salt cod alongside onions, tomatoes, black pepper, and the boiled ackee fruit for a tasty combination of flavors. It is served with breadfruit, dumplings, or fried plantain.
7) Moules-frites — Belgium
The national dish of Belgium consists of a tasty pairing: mussels and chips. The most recognizable variation cooks the mussels in white wine, shallots, parsley, and butter for an unbeatable taste.
8) Ceviche — Peru
Raw fish never tasted so good as the Peruvian variation, in which it is marinated in lime juice, spiced with ají, and topped with chopped onions, salt, and coriander. Sweet potato, corn, and lettuce are served alongside the ceviche to complement its flavors.
9) Bobotie — South Africa
This complex South African dish consists of minced meat with an egg-based topping. Tangy curry powder is often juxtaposed against dried fruit like apricots or raisins, while the egg topping works to balance out the milk-soaked bread.
10) Feijoada — Brazil
The Brazilian feijoada is typically prepared with black beans, beef, and pork products (bacon, ribs, sausage, and jerked beef), though pinto and red beans are substituted in some variations. It is traditionally served alongside rice.
Ready to begin your world food tour? Dig in. Just be sure all meats and vegetables have been thoroughly cooked before you indulge to spare yourself from holiday illness while abroad.