Food is probably a topic that makes everyone happy. However, just like politics or foreign affairs, it is a controversial topic where everyone has strong opinions. Food goes hand in hand with travel and is one of many ways to discover new cultures. It represents also a strong memory for all those who love travelling. When we eat a dish that we have discovered while we were on the road with our backpack on, our brain goes immediately back to that memory, just like when we talk about our latest trips with our friends we often recommend a particular restaurant we ate at. Although, as I said, food is a controversial topic there are some countries that are widely known for offering some of the best plates you will ever eat in your life. Curious to find out our top 10? Then all you have to do is scroll down a little bit!
It definitely doesn’t come as a surprise! Italy offers a rich cuisine with a great variety of plates. Although pasta and pizza are undoubtedly the most famous Italian food, there is much more to discover! The beauty of this country is that every single region has its own cuisine with its own traditional dishes. If you are planning to discover the so called ‘boot’ of the Mediterranean you will be able to eat something different every day. From the delicious Sicilian arancini to the Apulian orecchiette to the Neapolitan pizza to the Piedmontese bagna cauda to the Emilian tortellini, Italian food is a whole new experience that will leave you asking for more. And don’t think you know Italian food just because there is a nice Italian restaurant nearby the 50th Avenue where you usually go. You need to visit Italy to truly understand what I am talking about!
The Mexican cuisine was influenced by the Spanish one with a touch of French and African flavors. In Mexico you can find any taste your palate likes: from sweet to sour to spicy. The meat can be cooked all the ways you want it: slow-cooked, marinated, poached, carbon-roasted or cooked on a kebab grill! And if you are not a meat lover then you can choose among a good variety of seafood or vegetables. Corn and bean-based dishes are the most prominent ones and won’t let you down. Oh and don’t even get me started on the guacamole and the margaritas…
Thailand has been acclaimed as one of the best countries to visit if you are a food lover. And I am pretty sure that no matter how much you will eat you won’t put much weight on. Thailand offers indeed, one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. If you are a fan of vegetables then this country looks a lot like paradise to you: you can be sure whatever dish you choose there will be so many vegetables the you will be hardly able to eat them all. Thai cuisine is a bit of a mix of the Indian, Chinese and Oceania cuisine and has the best of all three’s techniques and ingredients. If you like coriander and lemon grass, fish sauce, herbs and spices this is the place to be. Sour, spicy, sweet and chewy are probably adjectives that fit the description of any Thai dish.
Chinese food is one of the most sold food on the planet. And surely for a good reason! The Chinese cuisine originates from the diverse regions of China and it has changed over time in each region for local preferences, imperial fashions and climate reasons. Rice, noodles, soybeans and vegetables are the most used ingredients but Chinese are also great fan of meat and fish, which they cook with sweet and sour sauces, soups and tofu. Herbal drinks and tea represent also a big part of the Chinese food culture.
Sushi, tempura, sashimi, yakitori, ramen noodle, who doesn’t like them? The Japanese regional cuisine is a tourist attraction itself: the Japanese know how to make several varieties of one single dish so that it is hard to choose from a menu when you are at a restaurant. Japanese also have a very balanced diet so that their cuisine is one of the healthiest in the whole world. And if you are a fish, especially tuna, lover you will fall in love with this country. If you are planning a trip to Japan don’t forget to try the Yakitori, Kaiseki ryori and of course the typical miso soup!
We are now heading back to Europe to discover the great Greek cuisine. It is a typical Mediterranean cuisine: olives and olive oil, tomatoes and cucumbers represent its base. Oven fresh bread (try the delicious Pita), feta cheese, calamari, octopus and fresh fish, tszatziki, souvlaki and kokoretsi are just some of the best dishes and ingredients that will make your holiday unforgettable. Greeks are also great fans of meat so it won’t be hard at all to find dishes made with grilled lamb, pork or chicken. Greece is the perfect destination if you are looking to relax on some of the best beaches in the world, to loose yourself in the blue of the sky and the see and enjoy some amazing food.
French chefs have always been considered amongst the best chefs in the whole world. The French cuisine is rich in meat, cheese and vegetables and is definitely what you were looking for if you like duck, goat cheese or pâté. The French cuisine, like the Italian and Chinese one, is a regional cuisine too but there are some dishes that you will always find no matter where you go, including the delicious éclair, the quiche Lorraine, andouillettes, boeuf bourguignon, crepes and escargots. What really stands out is the way the French present their dishes: I swear your plate will look like a work of art!
Once again, the Indian gastronomy changes according to neighborhoods, towns and states. However, the bases of meals are rice in the south and roti in the north. Vegetables, fish or meat are usually partnered together with a mix of exotic spices that will make your mouth go on fire!! If you are a spices lover than this is the cuisine of your dreams as there are no rules for spice usage!! The Goa’s seafood should also be tried!
Spain is famous for its tapas, a wide variety of appetizers or snacks that can be served hot or cold, that in some select bars has evolved into an entire sophisticated cuisine. Spain offers a great regional variation with different typical dishes and eating routines. You will find a lot of meat and fish but also rice, cured meats and seafood. Gazpacho, paella, croquetas, cochinillo asado, chuletillas are just some of the dishes that will make you not want to leave this wonderful country, famous for its weather, parties but also for its cultural and stimulating environment.
Despite not being as famous as the other cuisines, the Filipino culture offers some delicious dishes that are definitely worth trying. Rich in seafood, tropical fruits, rice and leafy vegetables, the Filipino dishes will win your heart, despite having some Spanish and Mexican influences. Lechón, paella, hamonado, relleno are a must try just like the pan de coco and the Kababayan. As if you needed another good reason to visit this gorgeous archipelago…
Featured Image Credits: ©nAokO on Flickr