One’s gotta eat. Especially on vacation. In fact, food is so important that oftentimes it can determine our destination! We get disappointed when we waste our stomach space on a flavorless meal, and rightly so. For the real foodies, tasting the cuisine is essential in order to discover all the flavors a new country has to offer.
For those planning to head to warmer climates this winter, here’s our pick of the top cities you should visit based solely on the cuisine.
Chaat is the Hindi word for street snacks. These are heavenly pieces of fried dough with crunchy mixtures thrown in, you eat it dunked in savoury and sweet sauces. Chaat stalls and carts are found around every corner! For travelers on a budget, Mumbai is the perfect place to experience flavorful food for as little as $3 a meal.
Some of our recommended eats include sev patata puri which are crisp flour crackers topped with boiled potatoes, chopped onion, chillies, coriander, and sev (fried chickpea vermicelli). A sweet and spicy chutney is also added. Get ready for a big explosion of flavor in your mouth.
Another must try dish is the samosa pav. This version has a samosa squashed between 2 milky buns filled with chutneys and mint yogurt. A very delectable delight.
A big Persian community settled in Mumbai in the early 20th century which resulted in a fusion of Indian and Persian dishes. Parsi Biyrani, a rice dish cooked with nuts, dried berries, and caramelized onions is a dish that resulted from this fusion. Definitely worth a try for something new and delicious.
South Africa’s cuisine is sometimes called “rainbow cuisine” because of the multi-cultural influences on the dishes. You will notice that Braai (bbq) is a favorite method of cooking using wood or charcoal for heat. You can find all kinds of meat on the Braai from beef, lamb, chicken, pork, and seafood.
Boerewors are a must try when attending a Braai, these are spicy sausages made of a lamb and pork mix spiced with cloves, coriander seed, pepper, nutmeg, and all spice. You can even have a Boerewors roll which is served in a bun with chilli, onion relish, and tomato. We also recommended you try the Braai Broodjies; bbq’d sandwiches filled with cheddar cheese, onions, and tomatoes and we find that these also go well with Boerewors.
A mix of sweet and curry can be tasted with what is considered to be the national dish of South Africa, Bobotie. It contains minced beef or lamb, apricot, banana, curry, and is topped with an egg mixture. Do not leave South Africa without trying this delicious meal.
Traditional methods of cooking outdoors are still used in South Africa, and one dish in particular is Potjiekos which is cooked outdoors in a cast-iron pot over coals or wood. All kinds of meats can be used in this dish, but one popular one to try is ox tail. All ingredients are put into the pot and left for hours to cook. You can have it with rice, pasta, mash, even bread to soak up all those juices.
Not only does Peru have beautiful scenery and temples, it also boasts a delightful cuisine which is starting to get the spotlight it deserves.
We decided to start out recommendation with the unusual dish of Cuy for the daring ones, which is the Peruvian word for Guinea pig. This has been a staple in Peru’s cuisine for over 5,000 years. The meat, is usually bbqed or grilled and served whole.
Peru is the land of Ceviche, do not leave without trying these delicious fresh dishes. Fresh raw fish is cured in lemon or lime, mixed with chillies, cilantro, and onions. A side of sweet potato or avocado is the perfect complement to this dish.
Ají de Gallina is another traditional meal that cannot be missed out on. Served over rice and potatoes, this gravy like sauce is made of Aji Amarrilo Peppers, which give the dish its yellow color, a walnut cream sauce with evaporated milk, and chicken. The dish is topped with boiled eggs and olives.
One disclaimer about Sri Lankan cuisine: be ready to put your taste buds on fire. It is one of the spiciest cuisines in the world yet so tasty.
Polos Curry, or jackfruit curry, is a beautiful combination of sweet and spicy. It is a curry cooked in Sri Lankan spices with chunks of the fruit. The texture of the fruit once cooked is similar to that of a potato.
All around the country, you can find carts or stalls making this famous street food, the Egg Hopper. Made from Coconut milk and rice flour, they are shaped into a bowl and topped with a cooked egg and spices. Get your hands on one of these.
A very homey dish is the famous Fish Ambul Thiyal. The cooking method was initially used in the south to preserve the fish but has become Sri Lanka’s signature dish with tamarind as a main ingredient that gives it the sour taste. This dish can last a week in a clay pot in room temperature.
Eating like a local is the best way to experience the city in an authentic way. We hope you enjoy our recommendations!