Let’s be honest: one of the best parts of traveling is getting to taste all of the different local cuisine. You can learn so much about the region, history, people and politics of a place from the signature dishes its famous for. And sometimes, a meal is tasty enough it’s worth traveling across the globe just to get a bite of. Here are 5 dishes every traveler should try at least once:
This is real Chinese food—not the takeout variety. This Imperial dish’s sweet garlicky crispy skin alone makes Peking duck worth heading to China for, but it gets even better. When you order this duck, it will be carved in front of you. First, you’ll be served the skin, and then you can dine on juicy slivers of the meat served with steamed pancakes and spring onions and a hoisin sauce.
A Turkish meze is a collection of small dishes served before your meal—or, you know, as your meal. Though the specifics vary, expect a delicious array of free cheese, cured meats, pureed dips, seafood, pickled vegetables and more. Plus, since it’s made for sharing, a meze is a perfect option for a social meal with your traveling buddies.
Just thinking of zucchini flowers is mouth-watering. Stuffed with a Tuscany-inspired filling like herbed ricotta or mozzarella, dipped in a tempura batter and then fried in olive oil, these crispy cheesy bites melt in your mouth and are absolutely worth visiting Tuscany for. Seriously. Book your tickets now. They’re that good.
This green papaya salad—Thailand’s most famous salad—features every flavor Thai food is known for. It’s salty, sweet, sour and has that distinct chili flavor. Made with garlic, chilies, tamarind juice, fish sauce, tomatoes, peanuts, string beans, dried shrimp, sugar cane paste and green papaya, and served alongside sticky rice, som tam may be the best salad worth traveling for.
Oh, Canada, how you treat us right. Though poutine is becoming more and more popular across the globe, nothing beats the salty, greasy original Canadians are famous for. It may not look the most appetizing, but this is a dish you’ll be compelled to finish no matter how full it makes you. Thick French fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy, poutine is perfect for a midnight snack after a few beers, a hangover breakfast, or really, a savory snack for anytime of day.