Experiencing a destination’s culture is just as much about the food as it is about the sightseeing and meeting the locals. With this in mind Booking.com has drawn on its expert knowledge of local delicacies to seek out the quintessential foods from these destinations. From New Zealand to Brazil and Russia, it’s a bucket list of dishes that you have to try before you die!
Dish: Kaikoura Crayfish
The Maori word ‘Kaikoura’ perfectly describes the beautiful South Island coastal town: ‘kai’ meaning food and ‘koura’ meaning crayfish. A freshly caught and cooked crayfish is an absolute must try when visiting New Zealand. Enjoy fresh at the various seafood shacks dotted along the roadside whilst taking in views of the snow-capped mountains meeting the Pacific Ocean.
Dish: Biang Biang Noodle
Biang biang noodles are touted as one of the ‘ten strange wonders of Shaanxi Province’ and are often described as being ‘like a belt’ owing to their thickness and length. These tasty noodles are light, chewy, sour and spicy, often served dry, with toppings of chili and pork belly. Even their name is remarkable. Most Chinese struggle to write the 57-stroke character for ‘Biang’ while this onomatopoeic name refers to the sound the chef makes when he pulls the dough into noodles and literally bangs them against the table.
Dish: Dim Sims
Steamed or Fried? Chicken, pork, duck or vegetarian? Dim Sims are a globally enjoyed treat – but did you know that the beloved Dim Sim was invented in Melbourne during the 1940’s?!
For the nation’s best dim sims, seekers of deliciousness need look no further than South Melbourne Market Dim Sims. Originally a humble take-away storefront, these dim sims now enjoy a cult following of Melbourne devotees.
Dish: Temari Sushi
Temari sushi is a cute style of sushi originally developed for Kyoto’s Geisha, and perfectly styled for those sophisticated women. Regular sushi can be found everywhere in the world these days, but it is hard to find this dainty variety in other countries. So you should try and enjoy them in Japan!
Dish: Oysters and Caesars
Canada is surrounded by three oceans, making it a natural hub for delicious seafood. Reigning supreme are the famous Malpeque oysters with their world-renowned reputation for supreme quality and great taste. Found in fine dining establishments, oyster bars, and kitchens across the world, Prince Edward Island is their natural home. And what goes best with oysters and seafood? A Caesar of course. This Canadian cocktail, consisting of vodka, clam nectar, lime Worcestershire sauce and celery salt is a favourite amongst Canadians.
United States of America
Dish: Lobster Roll
A well-known summer favourite, lobster rolls packed with tender, prized lobster are most talked about and best experienced at restaurants by the shoreline. Variations exist between States: those in Maine enjoy theirs chilled with mayonnaise, whilst on a trip to Connecticut you’d most likely indulge in warm lobster drizzled with butter. Nonetheless, the lobster roll is a must-try wherever you are in the U.S.
Moqueca (pronounced moo-KEH-ka) is one of the dishes that perhaps best represents Brazilian cuisine. Originally from India, it’s a baked fish with vegetables, with the recipe varying according to each region. In Bahia, Moqueca has African flavours; coconut milk, pepper, palm oil and cilantro, while in Espírito Santos, the Portuguese and Spanish brought onion, tomato and pepper to the dish. Each variant is delicious. Also try Farofa as an accompaniment, an amazing fried cassava flour that includes egg, bacon, and other yummy ingredients.
Dish: Chicken Tikka Masala
Hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, Chicken Tikka Masala is now regarded as a British national treasure. Many variations can be found on the curry mile on Brick Lane, London where the streets are lined with curry houses and touts trying to lure you into their restaurants. Famous residents of the area also include top artists Tracey Emin and Gilbert and George.
Bitterballen are a Dutch signature which truly represent ‘gezelligheid’, a lovely Dutch word meaning cozy, social and fun all at once. No party goes without them and it is hard to find a bar in The Netherlands that doesn’t serve them. For the real Dutch experience you can even take a bitterballen tour around Amsterdam!
Dish: Soupe aux truffles
Truffle soup was created by Michelin-starred Chef Paul Bocuse in 1975 for the French President and is still served in his restaurant located in Lyon. The soup is in fact two of Bocuse’s favourite recipes merged into one – foie gras and truffles covered in puff pastry plus vegetable soup. Delicious.
A much loved ‘fast food’ in Germany, Currywurst involves steaming pork sausage before frying and seasoning with a curry ketchup. This traditional dish is thought to have originated in Berlin when local cook Herta Heuwer obtained ketchup and curry powder from British soldiers in Germany to make the unique sauce. Curry Deutschland, the first Currywurst restaurant in Germany, offers creative twists on this classic dish, including Currywurst with Satay-Sauce.
Dish: Salsicce e friarielli
This Italian must-try dish consists of sausages and vegetables such as broccoli sautéd in oil, garlic and red pepper. One of the most typical dishes of Neapolitan cuisine, this comforting food is perfect to revive after a day of exploration.
Dish: ‘Old Clothes’
Renowned Spanish chefs are constantly reinterpreting traditional dishes, with one of the most famous being Pepe Rodriguez, owner of El Bohío restaurant and past participant in Master Chef Spain. The most prestigious of his great dishes is the triumphant ‘Old clothes with stew broth’, a hymn to traditional flavours. His restaurant is located in Illescas, close to Toledo, declared a UNESCO World Heritage City. A visit there combines high innovation (deconstructed cuisine) & tradition (popular dishes and historic city) for a mouth-watering experience.
These succulent parcels of delight, made with different kinds of meat, consist of a filling wrapped in thin, unleavened dough to form dumplings. They should be enjoyed at Café Pushkin which opened in a beautiful Baroque mansion on Tverskoy Boulevard in the Russian capital.