If you love food like Maddy and I do, then you probably find yourself constantly thinking about your next meal. You likely never stop scouring the internet for new recipes. And most of all, you’re always fantasizing about zipping off to foreign lands to discover exotic spices and flavors, and new culinary techniques and traditions.
After so much daydreaming about (and drooling over) all the foods we hope to try, in the places we’ve been longing to visit, we decided to write these legendary foods down, hoping that we might try them all someday. So without further ado, here is our food bucket list!
How many have you tried?
Mole Negro in Oaxaca, Mexico
Oaxaca is widely recognized for having the most authentic and most delicious mole negro. For those who haven’t heard of it, mole is a mixture of a chili peppers, Mexican chocolate, onions, almonds, garlic, and about twenty other ingredients. With some fresh tortillas and rice on the side, you’ll become a huge fan of this traditional pre-Columbian meal.
Edomae Sushi in Tokyo (Edo), Japan
Edomae Sushi is a modern style of sushi. Derived from the fast-paced lifestyles of former Edo residents, sashimi was paired with another Japanese staple, rice, to create Edomae. The specific type that makes my tastebuds tingle would have to be the tuna Edomae sushi, which soaks in soy sauce for a few hours, and is then paired with a spicy mustard sauce. Are you hungry yet?
Xiaolongbao in Shanghai, China
I first tried xiaolongbao about two years ago, and since then, I can’t get enough of the soup dumpling. So of course, it’s fitting that I’d include it in our food bucket list! The best kind of xiaolongbao is filled with pork and crab, because the combination is insanely rich in flavor and texture. This is the dish of Shanghai, and those Shanghainese definitely know what they’re doing!
Ceviche in Lima, Peru
Ceviche is a favorite dish throughout the Americas, but the majority of historians agree that it originated in Peru. The ceviche commonly made in Lima contains sea bass, freshly squeezed lime or orange juice, onions, chili peppers, salt, and pepper. Simple and delicious, but with the help of Japanese immigrants, the modern Peruvian ceviche might just be the best version yet!
Goulash in Budapest, Hungary
During the reign of the Medieval Kingdom of Hungary, Hungarian shepherds needed all the energy they could get, to brace themselves for strenuous work and low temperatures. That’s when goulash – an irresistibly hearty stew with beef (sometimes sheep), vegetables, and Hungarian paprika – was born.
Chole Bhature in Northern India
I can honestly say that I love Indian food, so one dish I needed to add to this food bucket list is chole bhature. This heavy breakfast dish is made with spicy chick peas, and is accompanied by onions, carrot pickle, green chutney, and aachaar. Traditionally, fried bread known as bhatoora is served on the side. Chole bhature is perfect for a late weekend breakfast!
Poutine in Quebec, Canada
Cold winters and a limited harvesting season led to the creation of the infamous poutine. It is loved all over Canada but has its origin in Quebec. French fries, cheese curds, and some light gravy make up the perfect winter/drunk meal!
Piri Piri Chicken in Mozambique
Africa rarely gets any attention for its culinary prowess, so I thought it would be cool to expose everyone to this dish. A mixture of African and Portuguese cooking skills created this poultry dish, which requires the chicken to marinate with piri piri peppers for hours. So simple, spicy, and delicious that you really can’t ask for much else.
Doner in Istanbul, Turkey
Doner has its roots in the ancient Eastern Mediterranean world, but it’s so delicious that it’s still commonly enjoyed today. To make doner, lamb is cooked slowly on a vertical rotisserie and it’s served in a sandwich with tomato, onion, pickled cucumber, and chili. Packing all that flavor into one fast food dish seems unreal, but the Turkish have proved that it’s possible.
Moules et frites in Brussels, Belgium
A huge pot of mussels, cooked with white wine and vegetables, served along with french fries, would complete the Belgian experience. Mussels are a luxury in most places, but the Flemish coast is filled with them. As a result, moules et frites has become the dish of Belgium and is enjoyed in most of Northern Europe.
Feijoada in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Colonization of the Americas brought the Portuguese. Along with them, came feijoada. Today, Brazilians typically enjoy this delicious stew of black beans, pork, beef, bacon, sausage, and a variety of vegetables. It’s heavy and hearty, but it will leave you wanting more!
Gai Pad Met Ma Muang in Thailand
It’s no secret that Thai food is delicious, but most people usually stick to the basics: pad thai, satay, cashew chicken, tom yum. Let’s step outside of the box now. Spice is an absolute must in Thai cuisine, and this dish is no exception. With seared chicken, onions, dried chilies, and crunchy cashews, gai pad met ma muang will definitely have a spicy kick, but it’ll also make your day!
Creole Jambalaya in New Orleans, United States
The United States is a massive country with influences from everywhere else on earth; it is the ultimate melting pot. So naturally, while jambalaya comes from New Orleans, the dish actually has Spanish and French beginnings. The Creole version of jambalaya will fill you up with shrimp, andouille sausage, chicken, vegetables, rice, and happiness.
Chili crab in Singapore
Singapore is a relatively new country, but has old cooking traditions. Without doubt, one of Singapore’s best dishes is the chili crab – simple and to the point. Throw together a mangrove crab, ginger, garlic, fermented black beans, tomato sauce, fresh chillies, and some mild chili sauce, and you’ll have Singapore’s most popular dish. Pair it with some Chinese buns and a cold beer!
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Hudut in Placencia, Belize
The Garifuna people of Belize are some of the most lively and friendly people that I have ever met. And I’m guessing that’s because every meal they have is spectacular! Hudut is no exception. This fish and plantain stew is like anything you’ve ever tasted. The fish is cooked in coconut milk, along with various spices, and is served with mashed, fried plantains. Simply excellent!
Over to you! How many of these dishes have you tried during your travels? Do you have a food bucket list? If so, what are the foods you’ve been dying to try, in the places you’ve been dreaming about visiting? Let us know in the comments section below!