Traveling the world can provide a plethora of new experiences. Immersing yourself in a different culture can open your mind and help unlock new areas of interest and hobbies. Traveling alone can help bring out inner confidence and change your outlook on the world. Seeing things outside your own perspective and comfort zone can give you a newfound appreciation for everything around you. Above all, tasting cuisines around the world beyond your usual palette can give you a richer traveling experience.
Choosing where to go can be difficult! Especially with so many places offering so many different environments, cultures and experiences. So, choosing based on cuisine and culinary delights can be a huge benefit. Let's take a trip around the world in eight dishes to decide where provides the greatest culinary experience!
Indian food is a staple in many people’s diets. Britain voted the Chicken Tikka Masala as the nation’s favorite dish. And curry houses are a popular feature of almost every town there. But the Indian food we can taste from abroad is just the tip of the iceberg. The ways of cooking Indian food in India vary from region to region and each provides an explosion of spices and flavors that will tell a rich culinary story.
As Deliveroo shows, even curry accompaniments – from chapati to naan – can change the meal and help bring out different flavors and sensations. Whether choosing a korma or a vindaloo, every Indian dish tells its own story. So if it's history you seek in your travels, India and its cuisine should be your top destination.
The beauty of Mexican food is that a few simple ingredients expand into an enormous variety of different dishes. Most people's mind's jump to the spicy chilis that forms the base of a lot of Mexican dishes. And indeed, hot food is a common theme across the country.
From tacos to burritos, empanadas to enchiladas, the basis of Mexican food is spicy tomato sauce with meat or beans. As a result of the cuisine has spread around the world, there have been new and exciting takes on it. However if you really want to experience next-level spice, Mexico is the only place you'll get that.
Chinese cuisine is revered across the world. From dishes based around noodles and rice, to those in which beef, pork, chicken or seafood is the star, the Chinese menu is almost endless. Authentic Chinese food is eaten with chopsticks and often bought in bustling markets, which serves to heighten the experience of discovering another culture.
It also varies from region to region: in the Zhejiang Province there's a popular dish called Beggar’s Chicken, which is essentially a roasted chicken in a lotus leaf; in the Yuannan Province you can find a delicacy known as bamboo rice. The 1000-year-old egg is a popular delicacy across the country – the taste is not for the faint of heart, but if you're prepared to experiment then China is a good bet!
American cuisine is arguably the newest on the block and primarily consists of the fast food. It has been propelled around the world by various American-led chains. From burgers and fries to fried chicken, hot dogs and Chicago-style pizza, American food has a lot of fans. Visiting America offers a prime opportunity to try the various different versions of the cuisine.
For example, the burgers served in Louisiana differ from those served in health-conscious LA. Pizzas in New York and Chicago have a distinctly different basis. And the fried chicken of Georgia's traditional down home cooking is different from its Kentuckian counterpart. If you’re not one for fast food, a selection of American-invented salads, such as the Cobb salad, could do the trick instead. But essentially, if comfort food is your bag you'll enjoy traveling the US.
French cooking is globally renowned for its richness and romantic connotations. Whether it's in the standard ratatouille that made its way from the provinces to the big cities, the armada of cheeses and wines or the garlic-heavy stews and soups. French bistros pride themselves on turning simple ingredients into culinary masterpieces.
Take the croque monsieur, for example: ostensibly just a fancy ham and cheese toastie. It symbolizes the way the French see cooking and food as a sensation for the senses, not just a means to an end. For the adventurous, there are always frogs’ legs and snails to help take you out of your comfort zone, but France is all about romance and love - for food.
The Italian cuisine is one of the most recognizable and nobody can resist its tang. Every take on pizza is different and every pasta dish has its own merits. You could go truly traditional and try the original Italian pizza, just tomato sauce covering the pizza base. Alternatively, load on the toppings or even choose a chocolate-flavored version. As for pasta, there’s spaghetti, tagliatelle, ravioli and more. With sauces ranging from simple olive oil and garlic to tomato-based arrabbiatas and classy carbonaras. All can be accompanied by their fine drinks (did you know that they have one of the youngest drinking age in the world?) 😉
Not like India, though, Italy's cuisine differs vastly from region to region. The North is home to the famous Risotto Milanese, luxuriously made with saffron. Panzanella, a summer salad made with hunks of leftover bread. It is a Tuscan tradition; arancioni, deep-fried balls of rice, meat and cheese, bedeck the market stalls of Sicily. Eating in Italy is mostly about authenticity and staying true to your roots - but they're also big fans of quantity. So if you're willing to unbuckle that belt and get stuck into culture, Italy's for you.
Greek dishes are formed of what was traditionally grown - and what continues to grow - in the country. As such, oregano is a huge part of Greek cuisines, as are olives and olive oil. The meat dishes on offer – moussaka, kleftiko, souvlaki - are cooked to ancient recipes based on the animals available and the flavorings that bring out the best of each cut of meat.
But for non-meat eaters, nothing compares to a traditional feta-based Greek salad complete with a selection of those locally grown olives. It may not be the first cuisine that pops to mind but if you live for sustainability, why not give Greece a try?
The Thai food explosion may be one of the more recent cuisines to reach the western world, but it has been worth the wait. Traditional Thai food helped proliferate the expression ‘street food’, referring to batch-cooked food - such as portions of curry and rice - served in markets.
Most people lean towards the Thai green or red curry. But Thailand is also known for such delicacies as the mincemeat and rice dish laap, fish sauce and phat Thai rice noodles, as well as the spiced papaya dish som yam. If you've been enjoying the street food trend for some time now, putting your well-honed skills to the test in a traditional setting will be right up your alley.
Eating as they do in other countries is a key aspect of traveling anywhere. Taking a trip around the world can be made just that bit more special by making it a culinary trip. The flavors and tastes of each country and each region of the country help tell the story of its culture, widening your perspective away from your comfort zone and what you're used to.
So, how did you like your trip on cuisines around the world? I hope that I've helped you foodies decide on your next destination. If you like it, don't forget to share this with your fellow food lovers and follow me for more guides to come!