I am a bit of a foodie and one of my favourite things about travelling is trying out the native cuisine. I find it to be the best way to ‘live like a local’ and embrace the whole experience. I’ve also found that eating the local cuisine, particularly street food, can save an absolute fortune…as well as the fact it is almost always much better quality than typical western food is abroad.
Here are ten countries I have visited, along with some samples of the cuisine there!
I think a bit of background is needed here…I spent 5 weeks in India and ate solely Indian food for breakfast, lunch and dinner the entire time I was there and I did not get sick of it! The food is in a league of its own and is much more diverse than I could have imagined. It is even better than the Indian food that we get here in the UK. I returned home with a new found love of vegetarian dishes, such as Tarka Daal (lentil based) and Aloo Gobi (cauliflower and potatoes). Indians were always impressed at my love of spicy food, as they explained most westerners could not handle it!
Peru is a less obvious choice as it is not as famous for its cuisine. I have no idea why because I was pleasantly surprised by the Peruvian food and I can see it becoming quite popular in the UK in the next couple of years. It revolved around grilled meat, quinoa, avocado, sweet potatoes, seafood and hearty soups. My favourite food in Peru was the Causa (central image) which is a sweet potato cake filled with prawn mayonnaise and topped with avocado and tabasco.
Malaysia combines Chinese and Indian cuisine due to its cultural heritage and the presence of both these groups in its society. The first image is some typical Chinese food (chicken chow mein, chicken satay and egg fried rice) and was taken in Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur. The second is prawn fried rice served in a pineapple boat at Reggae Mansion, which is a chain of hostels in Malaysia.
A very obvious choice, but a top performer nonetheless. I think I came back a stone heavier after my 5 days in Rome! The food was absolutely fantastic. I really enjoyed visiting restaurants which maybe didn’t look like anything special on the outside, to be blown away by some of the dishes I was served. On the left we have my favourite pizza; Salami and Chillies and on the right is Seafood Linguini. Both of these meals were from little restaraunts we stumbled upon in Trastevere.
I only spent one day in Singapore, which is known for being one of the most expensive countries in the world. It was at the end of a big trip around South East Asia and I was a bit nervous about visiting due to my lack of cash! Naturally, I did a bit of research, where I read about Singapore’s traditional hawker centres. This is an indoor streetfood area which includes stalls from all over the world. I chose an Indian stall, which came with rice, naan, three types of curry and an additional chutney sauce. It was delish and I didn’t need any more food for the rest of the day!
Morocco is another place where I was pleasantly surprised by the cuisine. It includes many Tagines (clay pot dishes) and lots of tomato based dishes with chickpeas and beans. Above left is 5 different tagines and above right is some street food in the Jemaa Al Fna Square (chicken and vegetable kebabs, sausages, olives and fresh bread). It was all cooked in front of us and we sat at tables in the square and enjoyed it and we paid about 5 GBP each for it, including a drink
Vietnamese food is pretty similar to Thai, with lots of noodle-based dishes. The most famous Vietnamese dish is probably Pho (a sort of noodle soup) which I have to say I’m not a fan of. I did enjoy some interesting meals there though, similarly to India, the street food and small family restaurants are worth trying. The first picture was taken at a little street food stall in Hanoi and the second in a restaurant in Ho Chi Minh.
One thing about the food in Brazil is the ridiculosly massive portions! My boyfriend and I chose to share a portion of grilled chicken which must have been about a kilo! It came with chips, rice and feijao (Brazillian beans, which are delicious!).
We also visited a Churrascaria, which is a famous type restaurant in Brazil. The waiters parade around different types of meat and you choose whether you want them to cut some onto your plate. The meat is unlimited, as is the massive salad bar and range of desserts.
We visited a small, hippy beach town called Montanita,which had a row of about 20 stalls selling food and cocktails. Highlights of the menus were omelettes, smoothies, granola fruit and yoghurt. Above left, I picked up chilli con carne with nachos, which is an absolute guilty pleasure. Top right is my breakfast at our hostel in Banios, which was great value for money and set me up for a really active day. Bottom right is a #mojitoinquito at Azuca Beach, Quito.
Last but not least…I’d be crazy to exclude America from this list!
Pizza, nachos, burgers the size of your head: the junk food capital of the world!
That said, my absolute favourite thing to eat was smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels from the deli right next to our apartment in Williamsburg.
We also visited Smoresburg which is an outdoor food festival that runs over the weekend in Brooklyn, New York. It is a must do if you are visiting in the summer. It had great views of Manhattan and the usual culprits as well as more obscure choices, such as lobster rolls and Costa Rican food.