Knödel is a classic dish from which country? ...too easy? Want a harder one? So, how about something more challenging? Where can you bite into a francesinha? What type of bean is in traditional bean soup? Check out our handy guide to eating and travelling around the world, gourmand-style.
For almost eternity, it has been known that traveling broadens the mind. However, all too often, our journeys are limited to sightseeing and experiencing the habits and peculiarities of nature. All the while, culinary impressions are also very enlightening. Cuisine goes hand-in-hand with culture and is directly correlated with the history of the nation you are visiting. Not to mention, that food is just pleasant and satisfying. The flavours and scents of food stimulate the senses, and we are happy and serene.
When it comes to cuisine, people are divided into two types: those who eat only what they already know and like, and those who like to experiment. For the latter, travelling abroad gives a great opportunity to open up new flavour palettes and discover new dishes.
And it isn't necessary to go to the other hemisphere to come across cuisine that is drastically different from our mothers’ home-cooking. Even European-styled dishes can be surprising if you do not confine your culinary desires to junk food.
Different countries, different specialities
Europeans are able to taste dishes which can't normally be eaten in their homelands. Being in the Czech Republic and not trying the pork roast with dumplings and stewed cabbage or fried cheese is a negligence. In turn, in Slovakia, we can find potato dumplings with bryndza and greaves, under the name bryndzove halusky. Meanwhile, Germany offers Maultaschen - square dumplings with sausage, bacon and spinach. In Lithuania, where potatoes reign in the kitchen, you can be tempted to try kugelis.
The further away from home a traveller gets, the more interesting the flavours become. One of Romania's culinary traits is sarmale, which is reminiscent of Polish golabki. In Portugal, francesinha deserves a special recommendation - a sandwich stuffed with sausage, bacon, sausage and onions and then enveloped in yellow cheese and fried with eggs - and as you can imagine, is a real caloric bomb. However, it's not for everyone due to its ingredients. Restaurants in Ireland serve a very comforting speciality - colcannon, a dish made of potato, collards, milk and spices. Greece's visitors can order a delectable and delicate bean soup made of white bean, olive oil and, depending on the region, carrot, celery, tomato or onion.
On the European border and on other continents, flavours get even more exotic. In Georgia, people eat khachapuri- a cake baked with cheese, egg and red bean paste. The most popular regional dish of Egypt is molokhiya leaf soup. In Brazil, you should look for a stew called feijoada, complete with black beans, a variety of salted pork or beef ,bacon, smoked pork ribs, and at least two types of smoked sausage and jerked beef. When travelling to China, we should indulge in the taste of noodles by the name of Xiao Long Bao. In Cambodia and Mexico, fried tarantulas and ant larvae are delicacies. Apparently, they are tasty …
Locals know best
Where should a travelling gastronome look for good cuisine? One basic piece of advice appearing in travel forums is to avoid tourist-filled eateries located in the city centre. Such dinners usually tend to be short-lived and not as tasty as alternative facilities. The quality of the dishes served as well as the attachment to local traditions aren't the priorities of the owner.
In order to get to know the original version of our sought after dishes, we should ask the locals. Generally, dining in a place frequented by natives is a proven way to eat fresh and tasty. It may not always be the cheapest option, but the savings can be found when exchanging local currency. Even before departing your homeland, it is beneficial to use the Internet's exchange services - which overcome traditional competition with lower prices and a richer offering. You can safely and easily exchange over 20 currencies with Conotoxia.com.
Good tastes on the Internet
The Internet is a great guide to restaurants in different parts of the world. Various websites and mobile applications can help in finding places recommended by those who have already eaten and enjoyed their time there. For example, on spottedbylocals.com we can find a lot of articles about several dozen cities in the world. This list itemises the possibilities of different places, including eateries. As the name itself indicates, the lists are written by locals who have splendid insight about where to go and which places to avoid. This website also has an application.
Apps from both Foursquare and Yelp are also very popular among the chowhound set. They list restaurants in a specified area, their ratings and comments. In addition, Foursquare is integrated with Facebook, so we can see if the restaurant has been visited by our friends what they thought of it. Those who love ogling food will love the Foodspotting application, where members post photos of dishes they ordered.
Have a great holiday and enjoy your meal! Bon appetit!