One of the perks of traveling abroad is the opportunity to sample different cuisines than the ones you typically eat. You can find unique foods anywhere, from a Michelin-starred restaurant to a roadside stand. The members of an online travel forum were recently asked to describe some of the best dishes they discovered during their travels, and their responses will make you want to book an international flight.
1. Som Tam Thai
This salad from Thailand is made from shredded green (unripe) papaya, peanuts, garlic, cherry tomatoes, Chinese long beans, lime juice, palm sugar, and a spicy chili dressing. One participant in the thread describes eating som tam every day when they lived in Thailand. The salad is commonly served with sticky rice and grilled chicken.
If you’re looking for comfort food while away from home, you need help finding a more comforting dish than Greek Moussaka. It’s traditionally a casserole made with potato, eggplant, and ground lamb or beef. It comes topped with a creamy, milk-based sauce. Other versions of the dish are also found in Egypt and Turkey.
Also referred to as Hungarian fried bread, it’s made from dough and potatoes. It’s a typical street food that can be eaten plain but can also be topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, or garlic sauce. A user in the discussion describes them as “the feral love child of pizza and a doughnut!”
4. Barbecued Beef Tripe
Beef tripe is used in cuisine from different cultures around the world. In Mexico, one of its uses is as a barbecued dish. Beef tripe, or cow stomach, is slowly cooked for several hours to make it tender. It has a very mild taste, absorbing the added ingredients’ flavors. One jet setter in the forum says barbecued beef tripe is so good it melts in your mouth.
5. Panna Cotta
If dessert is your favorite meal of the day, then you’d love panna cotta. Italian for “cooked cream,” panna cotta is a smooth, creamed dairy dish made thicker with gelatin. Adding vanilla extract gives it a light flavor, but it’s frequently topped with caramel, chocolate, or berries.
In the Netherlands, stroopwafels are thin, double-layered round cookies resembling a waffle. In between the two cookies is a layer of caramel. For at least one world traveler on the forum, the prepackaged stroopwafels pale when compared to the freshly made ones they tasted overseas.
7. Char Kway Teow
If you thought street food consisted of only handheld foods, then char kway teow will be a delightful surprise, especially if you visit Malaysia. This flavorful stir-fried flat rice noodles plate typically contains seafood like cockles (blood clams) and shrimp. Chilis are added to the stir fry to give it a spicy kick.
8. Pan Con Chicharrón
If you ever travel to Peru, you won’t have to search too hard to find this famous sandwich. It’s a perfect combination of sweet and salty flavors. It is made with crispy pork pieces and slices of sweet potato topped with a red onion relish on a bun. Pan con chicharrón is often eaten at breakfast.
9. Polvo à Lagareiro
Adventurous foodies with a penchant for seafood may want to try polvo à lagareiro, a Portuguese platter. It’s made from an octopus that’s been boiled and baked octopus cooked in olive oil and garlic, presented on a bed of diced potatoes. This meal is traditionally served on Christmas Eve.
10. Cachafaz Alfajores
To call this Argentinian dessert a mere sandwich cookie is a woeful understatement. Depending on who makes them, they are two or three layers of cookies with creamy dulce de leche caramel between each layer. The entire pastry is then covered with chocolate. It’s a favorite of several people in the online chat.
What is the most memorable, delicious food you’ve ever eaten while traveling abroad? Tell us all about it in the comments!