Must-Try Foods From Around the World (Part I)
Rewards Credit Cards
Avatar_160_hilary
Hilary Stockton
Google+

My Award Booking Service helps travelers book first class and business class with miles and points. As an independent affiliate of Cadence, I also have access to Virtuoso, Four Seasons Preferred Partner, Peninsula Hotels PenClub, Dorchester Diamond Club, Belmond Bellini Club, Ritz-Carlton STARS, Starwood Luxury Privileges, Rocco Forte and other 5-star hotel partners, so I can book, for no extra cost, your perfect luxury hotel or luxury cruise with VIP amenities not available anywhere else. Become a client and upgrade your stay!

GOT A BLOG POST IDEA?
Have a travel question we haven't covered yet? Want to share your secrets for traveling well for less?

Enjoy trying new foods? Good. Curious about trying them in some more exotic locales, such as Iceland and Kyrgyzstan? Even better! Here, in no particular order, are a few of my favorite traditional foods and local treats to whet your appetite. Tell us about yours in the comments!

Don't forget that when dining in restaurants, cafes, or anywhere that accepts credit cards, your best bet is to use a card that has no foreign transaction fees. Our favorites are the Sapphire Preferred Visa, since you also get 2 points for dining, or better yet, the Chase Freedom during a quarter in which restaurants are one of the 5X categories.

 

Hangikjöt (Iceland)

Hangikjöt, translated literally as "hanging meat" is smoked lamb thinly sliced and usually served carpaccio-style. Traditionally it was hung above the kitchen fire for many months, imparting a wonderfully smoky flavor. It is a must on many Icelandic Sunday tables and during the holiday season.

Hangikjot in Iceland

 

Chiang Mai Sausage (Thailand)

Sai Ua, also known as Chiang Mai sausage, is a spicy pork sausage made in the North, particularly Chiang Mai. Finely minced lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, coriander and chili are mixed with the meat, resulting in a tantalizing aroma when the sausage is grilled. Find it at many stands in Chiang Mai's night or Sunday markets.

Chiang Mai Sausage, Thailand

 

Bebek Betutu (Bali, Indonesia)

Many "traditional" dishes in Bali are really Indonesian, not Balinese (satay, ikan pepes, nasi goreng, etc.). But Bali does have some delectable traditional feast foods, and Bebek Betutu (literally, duck rice husks) is worth seeking out. The duck is stuffed with a fragrant spice paste and cassava leaves then wrapped in banana leaves or betel nut bark before being placed in rice husk and coconut husk charcoal and allowed to slow roast for hours. Given the preparation time, you'll need to request it at least a day in advance from the places that prepare it in Bali (well, unless you're game enough to try preparing it yourself!)

Bebek Betutu, Bali

 

Lepeshka (Kyrgyzstan/Central Asia)

Although lepeshka is found all over Central Asia, my own introduction to it was while working in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. These puffy flatbreads are baked in the Central Asian version of the tandoor, and it's hard to beat a freshly baked one, either plain or with the puffy edges stuffed with ground lamb or cheese.  

Lepeshka, Kyrgyzstan

 

Amok (Cambodia)

If you like mild versions of Thai coconut-based seafood curries, you'll enjoy Amok, a blend of fresh fish or crab with finely minced lemongrass, galangal, tumeric and coconut cream steamed in banana leaves and served with rice.

Amok, Cambodia

 

Hamachi Kama (Japan)

Sushi, sashimi, sukiyaki etc. are all well known and loved Japanese specialties. But one of my favorites, typically buried somewhere in the hot appetizer section of sushi restaurant menus, is hamachi kama, grilled yellowtail collar. It's an especially succulent part of the fish, and is the perfect light meal or shared appetizer when fresh and perfectly grilled with a bit of salt.

Hamachi kama, Japan

 

Beggar's Chicken (China)

The story goes that a beggar stole a chicken from a farmer and had started roasting it on a fire when he heard the farmer approaching on horseback. Quickly he wrapped it in a lotus leaf and buried it in the mud next to the fire. Not finding anything, the farmer rode away and the beggar dug up his chicken, which in the meantime had developed a hardened mud crust around the lotus leaves. When the beggar cracked it open, he found moist, perfectly cooked meat. Fable or not, this dish is well worth seeking out and requesting in advance.

Beggar's Chicken, China

 

Pasta Porcini (Italy)

While you've likely had a decent version of this dish somewhere made with dry porcini, it's especially wonderful made with freshly foraged porcini. A good place to find it is in Trieste or elsewhere in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy. 

Pasta Porcini, Italy

 

Laksa (Singapore)

Singapore is one of my very favorite food destinations, with its hawker stands serving up an intoxicating mix of Singaporean, Malaysian, Nonya, Indian and Chinese foods. If you enjoy spicy seafood soups, don't miss curry laksa, made with a rich seafood and coconut broth enriched with a spice paste of chili, lemongrass, shrimp paste, tumeric and candlenut, and served with noodles, shrimp, hard boiled egg, and of course laksa leaves. 

Curry laksa, Singapore

 

Macadamias (Australia)

Being from Hawaii, I know as well as anyone that macadamias are at least as much associated with Hawaii. But since they're ostensibly native to eastern Australia and originated there first, I'll credit Australia for them. Regardless, they're easy to find stateside and make scrumptious snacking as well as decadent gooey tarts, as pictured below. 

Macadamia tarts, Australia

 

Related posts

Must-Try Foods From Around the World (Part II)

6 Things to Eat in Singapore

7 Things to Eat in Bangkok

What are Bangkok's Best Neighborhoods and Markets for Street Food?

Need Award Booking Help? Our fee is as low as $75 per ticket if you book your hotel or cruise with us.

If you enjoyed this, join 200,000+ readers: please follow TravelSort on Twitter or  like us on Facebook to be alerted to new posts. 

Become a TravelSort Client and Book 5-star hotels with Virtuoso Perks and Four Seasons Preferred Partner Benefits

Photos: Ben Husmann, Wikimedia, casers jean, benpaarmann, Ben Yapp, Ron Diggity, scaredy_kat, McPig, scaredy_kat, David Jackmanson

  • |
  • Print
    print |
Related Articles
Comments
Picture?type=large Donna B. commented 08 Nov 2010

Waht a great list! It's interesting to see delicacies from around the world. Gorgeous photos, too!

Leave a Comment
Comment
Facebook-logo
Get Free Email Blog Updates
Popular Articles
Square_review-restaurant_gordon_ramsay-68_royal_hospital_road
8/9/2016
  This Review of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is from our recent visit to London. I was excited to try Gordon Ramsay's eponymous 3 Michelin star restaurant, having enjoyed lunch at Petrus, a 1 Michelin star Gordon Ramsay restaurant, a few years ago....
Square_activate_chase_freedom_5x_for_restaurants_and_wholesale_clubs_for_q3_2016
6/14/2016
  Starting June 15, activate Chase Freedom 5X for Restaurants and Wholesale Clubs for July - September 2016 spend. Restaurants, along with grocery stores, are my two favorite 5X categories. What other card, after all, gives you 5X points on all...
Square_pur_paris_restaurant_review-park_hyatt_paris-banquette_seating
6/28/2016
  This Pur' Paris Restaurant Review at the Park Hyatt Paris is part of a trip report including luxury hotel stays and Michelin star dining in Paris and London.  For the previous posts, please see: Review: Lufthansa First Class Lounge...
Square_review-the_clam_restaurant-nyc
6/11/2016
The Clam is one of the best NYC restaurants we've reviewed, although since it's not in our neighborhood it's been months since we were last there. We had a chance to revisit it last night, so here's our updated review...
Square_7_reasons_to_visit_costa_brava
6/17/2016
  Spain's Costa Brava (literally, "rugged coast") certainly enjoys a beautiful and dramatic landscape, but there's much more to it than meets the eye. Located northeast of Barcelona, the Costa Brava attracted Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro and other...
Square_review-hidden_paris_gourmet_walking_tour-leclair_de_genie-fraises_du_bois-caramel_beurre_sale
7/15/2016
  This Review of a Hidden Paris Gourmet Walking Tour is from our recent small group tour with our wonderfully charismatic guide, Eglantine. Hidden Paris also offers other small group tours as well as private tours, which I'll detail below....
Square_review-la_cuisine_de_philippe-paris_restaurant-25_rue_servandoni
7/5/2016
  La Cuisine de Philippe is a must on your next visit to Paris, if you enjoy souffles--it's a rare place that specializes in them. I've been meaning to go for years, but either the restaurant was closed or I...
Square_delta_amex-free_shake_shack_meals_in_nyc
6/8/2016
  Delta AMEX cardholders can enjoy a free NYC Shake Shack meal tomorrow and Friday. There was also free Shake Shack at the Madison Square Park location earlier today, 11-2pm, but that is now over. While Shake Shack tends to be...
Square_can_a_hotel_restaurant_cancel_your_confirmed_reservation
7/8/2016
  Can a Restaurant Cancel a Confirmed Reservation? I discussed Can a Hotel Cancel Your Confirmed Reservation in a prior post, but this time the issue is with a restaurant reserved for a special occasion. My client opted to return...
Square_nobu_new_york_review-restaurant_and_sushi_bar
7/29/2016
  Our Nobu New York Review is from our recent NYC Restaurant Week lunch. Some might argue that it's not fair to judge a restaurant by its NYC Restaurant Week lunch menu. Personally, I think that if a restaurant isn't...