Who said bucket lists can’t be delicious too?
At Nikken Foods, our wanderlust often has us skipping the landmarks on our travels in favor of sampling the unique cuisines native to each country we visit. Famous international foods add flavor to the rich culture and heritage found in each corner of the globe. (Be sure to check out our post on the festive holiday foods around the world as well!)
To make things easier (and tastier), we’ve compiled a list of our 15 favorite foods from around the world that have become synonymous with their local land. Be sure to try each authentic dish the next time you get a chance to send your taste buds on a journey.
15 Famous Foods from Around the World:
- Fish and Chips, England
Maybe it’s the crispy crunch of vinegar-soaked fried cod or the perfect complement of golden chips that are piled alongside, but this enduring nod to the British working class is best enjoyed in the land that has been wrapping and serving it since the mid 1800s.
- Paella, Spain
Adorned with a myriad of seafood, including but not limited to cuttlefish, clams, shrimp, lobster, and mussels mixed with oil, salt, rice, garlic and various spices like saffron, paprika and parsley, this Valencian dish is as much art as it is a filling delicacy.
- Poutine, Canada
As if French fries weren’t good enough on their own – try smothering them in cheese curds and brown gravy. That’s Canada’s solution for the perfect snack – or let’s face it – meal when you’re looking for the perfect saucy mix of cheese and carbs to satiate your appetite.
- Tacos, Mexico
Everyone thinks they know tacos until they experience a fresh, handmade tortilla served from a street cart or a humble little cantina in Mexico. Typically, these flavor sensations feature chunks of perfectly seared, grilled beef that’s accompanied by guacamole, salsa, onions, cilantro and more.
- Hummus, Egypt
This is yet another dish best served by the Middle Eastern world that created and perfected it. Hummus, made with chickpeas, cumin, lemon juice, garlic and often tahini is a staple of menus in Egypt and served as a dip alongside breads, meats, pitas, vegetables and more.
- Spring Rolls, Vietnam
Pacific rim flavors are always a favorite and this unassuming treat is the perfect appetizer thanks to its light ingredients which are wrapped in rice paper and typically include pork or shrimp mixed with herbs and served at room temperature. As delicious as they may be on their own, it’d be foolish not to dip them in the sweet, murky Vietnamese sauce made of ground peanuts that’s served alongside this snack.
- Sushi, Japan
How can simple ingredients like raw fish and rice bring out such complicated flavor profiles and artistic presentations? Japan has created one of the most unique and beloved dishes with sushi and it can be interpreted in many different ways across a variety of ingredients, including seafood, vegetables, sauces, seaweed and more.
- Macarons, France
Known for simple, flavor-driven dishes, the French have elevated the cookie with this colorful confection that crunches on first bite and immediately returns a satisfying chewy nougat follow-up that’s typically a meringue-based, caramel, lemon curd or chocolate ganache payoff. Macarons are often as attractive as they are delicious since food coloring is used to make each presentation picture-perfectly pastel.
- Peking Duck, China
Known more for its syrup-coated, crisp skin than its meat, this slow-roasted duck delicacy was created in Beijing – once known as Peking – as far back as the 1300s and has been a favorite of locals ever since. Enjoy a meal fit for an emperor with pancakes, onions and hoisin or sweet bean sauce.
- Pizza, Italy
Everyone loves a good origin story and the world’s favorite food still calls Italy home. And while the world has been quick to throw every ingredient possible on the pie, Italy keeps it simple and is best known for the Neapolitan pizza which features sea salt, wheat flour, basil, fresh tomatoes and sometimes cheese – this wood-fired original comes out of the oven swinging.
- Schnitzel, Germany
Schnitzel may or may not have started in Germany, but it was certainly perfected there. And while Wienerschnitzel uses veal, German Schnitzel is made with pork. One thing they share in common: A delicious slice of thin meat needs to be carefully tenderized, breaded, fried and crisped then served alongside a lemon slice and potatoes.
- Irish Stew, Ireland
Mutton, anyone? While most people think of corned beef and cabbage as the Irish staple, it’s actually Irish stew that is more native to the country. Made with lamb or mutton alongside root vegetables, onions, carrots, celery, potatoes and parsley, this hearty, savory dish is best served when hot and hungry.
- Apple Pie, USA
What’s more American than this sugary treat? Found next to steaming cups of coffee in diners across the country, homemade apple pie is a traditional symbol of America, despite none of its ingredients originating there. If coffee isn’t enough, enjoy it with whipped cream, ice cream or even cheddar cheese. Expect a solid or latticed top layer of crust followed by apple filling and then even more pastry!
- Borscht, Russia
This beet-based soup is served hot and is beloved across Russia and the Slavic communities. What you see is an opaque purple-red broth with a dollop of sour cream on top and what you taste is a collection of hearty ingredients like meat, cabbage, carrots, onion, tomatoes, beetroot and potatoes.
- Asado, Argentina
As much a reflection of the social life of Argentina as it is the diverse flavors of the country, asada is an incredible meal that should be shared with family and friends alike. This barbeque-based feast features meat, chorizo and black pudding served alongside potatoes and salads, chimichurri and white bread.
Wherever your travels or your taste buds take you, let Nikken Foods’ extensive portfolio of natural ingredients and our deep expertise in developing perfect flavor profiles for a variety of dishes be your guide.
Contact us today to learn more about our specialty, all-natural ingredients.