A list of weird and wonderful dishes from around the world to tickle your tastebuds
South Africa: try bobotie (spiced mince meat), ostrich egg omelettes, stir-fried termites, sun-dried mopane (worms!) with curry sauce and Bunny Chow from Durban
Ethiopia: the more adventurous should try kifto, a lean, meaty delicacy, served only just warmed through, sometimes even tera sega – ie. raw!
Namibia: don’t leave without tasting a giant bullfrog
Ivory Coast: have some chitoum – dried out beetles – as a crunchy snack
Ghana: you won’t escape without trying fufu, the local staple, made from cassava, yams or plantains
Tunisia: branch out with brik (a deep fried pastry), chermoula (a marinade for fish) and lablabi (a delicious chickpea dish).
Morocco: eat your fill of harira, tagine and couscous
Bahamas: make sure to have a bowl of conch chowder with fritters
Barbados: experience flying fish sandwiches!
Grenada: the national dish is oil-down, a stew filled to the brim with salted meat, breadfruit, dumplings, callaloo and seasonal vegetables, braised in coconut milk
Jamaica: it’s got to be jerk chicken followed by a pile of ackee, a sweet local fruit similar to a lychee
Aruba: you can’t leave without trying this steaming cheese ball stuffed with spicy meat
Cuba: try ropa vieja, literally ‘old clothes’, a traditional dish of slowly braised flank, brisket or shirt steak in a hearty tomato base
Australia: Blamain bugs, pan-seared barramundi, barbecued snags, witchetty grubs, and, most importantly, double chocolate Tim Tams (a bit like a Penguin, but far superior)
New Zealand: don’t miss the Maori speciality, hangi, meat and vegetables stewed in an earth oven
Tahiti: sugary firifiri (doughnuts shaped in a figure of eight) and uru (breadfruit) cooked in a traditional underground oven
Iceland: if you’re brave, try hakari – fermented dried basking shark. Not for the faint-hearted
Norway: Smalahove is boiled lamb’s head, a national delicacy
Finland: here you must try lappkok, a dumpling made from reindeer blood and rye flour
Poland: for the boldest among you there are nozki, jellied pigs’ trotters
Russia: ikra is a type of caviar, not easy on the pocket, but delicious, or there are pelmeni dumplings for those looking to save
Sardinia: casu marzu is an unusual sheep’s milk cheese with added maggots
Italy: stracotto d’asino is a stew made from donkey
France: tete de veau is a traditional dish made from calf brains
Greece: kokoretsi is lamb or goat intestines wrapped around seasoned offal, served on a skewer
Belize: gibnut is a large rodent that tastes like rabbit, usually washed down with a seaweed shake
Canada: poutine – delicious french fries generously slathered in gravy and chese curds. Also try pemmican (bison or moose jerky) and tourtiere, a traditional spiced meat pie from Quebec
Costa Rica: don’t miss out on spicy chimichurri sauce and chorreadas, a kind of corn pancake
Guatemala: choose between kaq ik (turkey stewed in a spicy broth) tamales (lovely stuffed leaves filled with meat, cheese, vegetables, you name it!) and hilachaa (shredded beef in tomatillo sauce)
Mexico: there’s no excuse not to try the national dish, mole poblano de Guajalote
Panama: Panamanian doughnuts called hojaldras, and sancocho, a chicken stew, are unmissable
USA: Jambalay, crawfish pie, file gumbo in Louisiana, Dungeness crab in San Francisco and Seattle, grits, fried green tomatoes, Frogmore stew, and key lime pie
Antartica: pemmican and sledging biscuits
Argentina: nothing beats a simple parillada – the best of barbecued meats
Bolivia: try salteñas washed down with chicha, a drink made from fermenting corn whose production dates back to the Inca empire
Brazil: feijoada is a slow cooked stew of meat, beans and vegetables, plus the unmissable caipirinha cocktail
Chile: try sopaipillas, little deep fried pastries, served with sweet (manjar) or savoury (guacamole, or a spicy salsa called pebre) toppings
Colombia: the brave among you ought to try hormigas culonas – big bottomed ants – roasted in ceramic pans
Ecuador: you can’t not try cuy – guinea pig – with a side serving of llapingachos, potato patties.
Peru: all must eat papa a la Huancaina, sliced potatoes in a spicy yellow sauce
Venezuela: pabellon criollo is the national dish, a stew of shredded beef with refried black beans, fried plantain and cheese
Iran: delicious ghormeh sabzi is a herb stew that’s essential for travellers to taste
Israel: don’t miss challah bread with falafel and hummus
Jordan: try Athan Al Shayeb, a local variation on ravioli, literally meaning ‘the ears of the old grey man’
Lebanon: it’s got to be tabbouleh – a woman’s skill as a cook is often judged by her preparation of this salad made from cracked wheat and herbs
Oman: if you’re there for a festive occasion you may be lucky enough to try shuwa, a whole cow or goat wrapped in sacks made from dry leaves and roasted in a special underground oven
Japan: you can’t miss sashimi, sliced raw fish of the most exquisite quality
Korea: for the brave among you: bemju is an alchoholic drink made by infusing whole snakes in rice wine
Mongolia: fermented mare’s milk called kumis is a delicacy in the Central Asian steppes
Thailand: som tam is a delicious, often phenomenally spicy salad made from shredded green papayas, often with roasted nuts, chicken and sticky rice to finish.
China: doufulu is a type of fermented tofu with a red skin and salty taste. A real delicacy, it is often pickled with soy beans and chilli.
Vietnam: don’t miss nom hoa chuoi, a salad made from thick purple banana flowers, peeled and thinly sliced
India: the King of curries, the spiciest of dishes, a vindaloo is not to be taken lightly. Made with copius bhut jolokia chillies, it is considered one of the hottest dishes in the world.
Tibet: infamously worth its weight in gold, the caterpillar-like fungus called yartsa gunbu is found on fertile high alpine meadows and, when stewed in a soup or drunk as a tea, purportedly has miraculous medicinal and libidinous power.
Sri Lanka: soothe any chilli-overloaded tastebuds with kiribath, a simple but exquisite dish made from rice and coconut milk and commonly served for breakfast
Indonesia: bubur sumsum is a kind of black rice pudding flavoured with coconut milk, palm sugar and randan leaves, served hot and syrupy as a desert or snack
Malaysia: one of the country’s most popular dishes, oyster omelettes are a must
Laos: for an unusual spin on the traditional English bangers and mash, try the Lao sausage, filled with rice and meat, and left out for a few days to sour and ferment, giving it a distinct flavour.
Philippines: a balut is a semi-developed duck embryo which is boiled alive and eaten in the shell, often seasoned with chilli, garlic and vinegar. It is commonly sold as streetfood with a beer on the side.
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