Food is our common ground, a universal experienceJames Beard
It’s back and now I’m hungrier than ever. Let’s get ready to nibble and feed our appetites with my latest installation of popular and traditional foods typically found in each country.
- Kebabs — Lamb kebabs are a popular favorite with most in this country! Served with rice dishes and naan, these deliciously meaty meals have become not only a favorite in Afghanistan but worldwide!
- Qorma — The Afghani food culture has been highly influenced by Indian meals, the qorma being a great example of this. Qorma is a rich stew comprised of meat, onions, tomatoes, fruits, vegetables, and a variety of spices.
- Mantu — Dumplings filled with onions and meat. Need I say more? Of course I do! These delicious morsels are topped with a tomato based sauce as well as a yogurt or quroot sauce. As if that wasn’t enough, they are topped again with coriander and mint.
- Seswaa — It’s the national food of Botswana, so we have to try it, right? Right! This meat stew is served over thick polenta and also features onions and peppers. Beef followed by goat are the most popular meats to use in this dish.
- Pap — Most meals will be accompanied by this maize-based food. There are many different versions of this dish and can be presented as dry and crumbly, soft and smooth, or even porridge-like. Depending on its form, it can also be mixed with vegetables in a sauce or eaten at breakfast with milk, butter, and sugar.
- Vetkoek — This traditional dish is made using fried bread dough. It can be eaten with syrup, honey, or jam. However, it is most commonly eaten as a full meal where it is stuffed with minced meat.
- Zagorski Štrukli — This national dish is most popular in the northern regions of the country but is a crowd-pleaser for anyone in the world. Thinly rolled dough is laden with cottage cheese, eggs, salt and sour cream then rolled and baked. Anyone else saying YES please?
- Black Risotto/ Crni rižot — Also known as cuttlefish risotto, this popular seafood dish is most commonly found in the coastal regions. It gets its black color from the ink used in the recipe from squid or cuttlefish. While it will dye your entire mouth black, I’ve heard it’s the best risotto in the world!
- Peka — Baking nearly any type of meat under a bell shaped lid covered in embers is unique to Croatia and its neighboring countries. The dish consists of meat, veggies, salt, spices, and oil cooked to perfection. I’ll take this any day of the week!
- Klao Niaw/ Sticky Rice — Rice is a staple of the Laotian diet, but they typically prefer the sticky variety. I happen to agree! Typically served with grilled chicken, boiled vegetables, and a fermented fish sauce, this dish can be found almost anywhere in the country and is a national favorite.
- Laap — This simple dish is typically served when a guest is coming to visit. It is a salad dish composed of a meat (most commonly beef or duck) , local vegetables, and seasonings such as lime juice and fish sauce.
- Khau Poon — This dish is so popular it’s spread to several neighboring countries and doesn’t seem like it’s stopping anytime soon. Does vermicelli sitting atop a long-simmered soup get your mouth watering? What if lime leaves, garlic, shallots, fish sauce and chilies were added? Then get yourself to Laos and order this dish!
- Skyr — Skyr is a dairy product similar to yogurt that has been a part of the Icelandic food culture for over 1,000 years. This staple can be served with milk and sugar, eaten as is, or even with porridge!
- Icelandic Fish — With over 300 species of fish to catch around the island it’s no surprise fish makes up a huge part of the Icelandic diet. Salmon, catfish, cod, halibut, you name it there’s a dish featuring it. So, you can see why I couldn’t pick just one. Treat yourself to them all.
- Kjötsupa Skyr — Because of the rugged environment of the island, large-scale farming never really took hold. Hearty vegetables and some grains were grown throughout history, but the main staple of the Icelandic diet revolves around meat. This dish is a traditional meat stew featuring lamb, spices, and lots of vegetables like carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, and potatoes.
Stomachs Rumbling Yet?
I hope so! I had a lot of fun researching these dishes, and, as always, I had a lot of trouble choosing just three. There were a lot of dishes and combinations I’d never even considered which was fun to discover. Which ones were your favorite? I want to know! Comment below and let me know what you think and which countries you want me to feature next!