There’s not a whole lot of things that everyone in the world has in common, but eating is definitely one of them. Whether you’re the pickiest of eaters or a self-appointed food connoisseur, cuisines and the cultures they come from is one thing that really unites us as people. For that, food is a beautiful thing, and even better, it tastes pretty dang good, too.
In honor of food and all the joys it brings to people across the world, especially around the holidays, let’s scour the globe for some of the best dishes around.
So, grab a fork and prepare to dig in!
Pizza & Pasta
You don’t have to go to Italy for your fix of ‘za and pasta, but if you want the real deal, Olive Garden won’t cut it. Endless breadsticks and salad, or not. Although authentic Italian pizza looks a lot different than the cheesy goodness we have in the states, the general principle remains relatively unchanged –– thin, fluffy crust, delectable sauce and toppings galore. As for pasta, well, there’s so many ways to eat those carbs that we’ll let you choose your mouth watering way of choice.
Authentic Mexican tacos are a pretty straightforward dish. Choose your meat, put it in a tortilla (usually corn), add your sauce, a veggie or two and you’re good to go for any Taco Tuesday meal. The TexMex that we have here in the states, while delicious, isn’t exactly true to form. But we’re not about to tell you how to eat your Mexican food. That’s not what we’re here to taco bout...
Pho & Ramen
In the mid 1880s, pho became a popular dish in Northern Vietnam. With a heavy influence from Chinese and French cooking, the spicy rice noodle dish was best served with red meat. In fact, pho is believed to be derived from “pot au feu,” a French soup. Today, pho has become a popular cuisine in cities across the U.S., along with its counterpart, ramen. Although the dishes may look similar, there are some definite differences. For one thing, ramen is a Japanese noodle dish with hearty broth and wheat noodles, whereas pho has a herbal broth with rice noodles. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the noodles in pho are soft and translucent compared to the noodles in ramen, which are thick and chewy.
Indian & Curry
Who doesn’t love a good curry dish? There’s no other spice quite like curry, which really helps set its rich flavor apart from all the others. Whether you’re a butter chicken, Palak paneer or an Aloo gobi lover, you can be sure there’s bound to be some curry involved. And there should be, it’s delightful.
Hamburger & fries
When you really think about it, most of America’s favorite foods are that of other cultures. But, that’s not to say that we don’t have our own cultural dishes. While there are some discrepancies as to whether or not the hamburger originated in America, Germany or ancient times, one thing is certain, the hamburger as we know it today is most certainly an American creation. As for fries, well, technically they’re Belgium (not French), but we’ll let that one pass, too. Other notable American goodnesses … buffalo wings (of course), chocolate chip cookies (amen to them) and corn dogs. You know, all your favorite ballpark and sports bar dishes.
In case you didn’t know (I didn’t, I’ll admit it), gyro actually translates to a ring or circle, which refers to the rotation of the meat and how it’s cooked. Legend has it that Greek historians attributed the origin of the dish to soldiers from the army of Alexander the Great because these soldiers would skewer their meat on long knives, cooking it by repeatedly turning it over an open fire. Great history lesson, even better dish.
If you’ve never had a bierock, then Google where you can get one in your city right now because they’re amazing. Originating in Russian, bierocks were a flakey dough pastry pocket sandwich stuffed with savory fillings, typically meat (ground beef), cabbage and onions … sometimes grated carrots, too. I mean it’s like a hot pocket but waayyyy better. They made their way to the USA in the early 1870s thanks to German Russian Mennonite immigrants.
Fried chicken & Waffles
Fried chicken is another American staple that dates back all the way to the 1860s. Its a southern comfort food best served with creamy mashed taters, but, if you’re craving a little salty sweet combo, then not much can stand in the way of chicken and waffles. Don’t believe it? Then try it. You’ll soon see the woe in your ways. I don’t know whose idea it was to ever start flying food, but I can assuredly say, we all thank you. Apparently, it was the Egyptians back in 5000 B.C., a feat that may rival the pyramids. Just saying.
African dishes may be harder to come by than the majority of foods on this worldly list, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less delicious. Jollof rice is a popular cuisine of West Africa, but it’s also widely loved in Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana. It’s a basic rice dish prepared with tomato sauce and served with meat or fish. It sounds simple, but with all those juicy goodnesses mixing around during cooking, the final product is an orange treat.
Obviously, there are wayyyy too many countries to name all the most popular world dishes, but hopefully this list covered some new cuisines for you to check out.
Tell us, what’s your favorite meal from around the world?