Traditional Food Around the World: Famous Dishes You Have To Try

Every foodie loves the prospect of eating the traditional food around the world, trying a new flavor on for size for the first time or finally getting to savor that uniquely traditional dish you’ve been hearing about.

It’s our favorite thing to do and the genuine pleasure of culinary travel — traveling to the world’s best countries for food and letting your palate guide the way.

What’s equally fun about food travel is when you get to the point of acquiring some culinary experience — where patterns begin to emerge and you take note of similarities among ingredients, dishes, cultural expressions, cooking techniques, blurring geographic lines, and other influencing factors.

Little by little, the more ipnuippnupati we eat our way around the world, the better our understanding of the world becomes.

And yet…the more those food stories become global and bound together, the more regionally defined they are….once again leading us to feel like first time foodies all over again — that’s a pleasant conundrum.

Thankfully there’s always what lies ahead… a new food experience to enjoy, another dish to be devoured.

So let’s eat the world, my culinary friends, in 50 famous and traditional dishes, starting in the good old USofA!

North America

When it comes to regional food diversity, size indeed matters — with geography that is!

And given the massive amount of land in the United States from sea to shining sea, it’s no wonder there’s no such thing as American food. But regional American food specialties?

Oh yeah! Americans can claim some awesome regional food.

Truth be told, there’s far too many to include in this ‘Food Around the World’ post, so you’ll find more great America food destinations here.

But these are some of our absolute faves.

Lobster Roll

Crustacean on a bun? When the succulent meat from a monstah lobstah is lightly tossed with mayo, tossed with a pinch of chopped celery and stuffed in a roll — Yes please!

The easternmost state in the USA produces one of our favorite American sandwiches, the ubiquitous Maine Lobster roll, easily one of the most famous foods in Maine and the US.

It’s a simple but expensive dish — one lobster roll will typically set you back $12-$15 dollars or more, even at a roadside walk-up.

But considering the amount of meat that spills over and out the sides, and the fact that it would take you an hour to extract all that meat in a DIY lobster deconstruction, it’s worth every cent!

It’s easy to make lobster rolls at home, but for authentic New England lobster rolls,

you have to use split-top buns for New England-style lobster rolls and frankfurter hot dogs!

Boudin

If you’ve been to Louisiana, chances are you tried a shrimp Po’Boy, étouffée, and of course a good crawfish boil! But have you tried boudin?

The only thing better than eating boudin in Louisiana is saying it, with a southern twang. Pronounced boo-dan in Looziana, this delicious sausage is traditionally made with pork, Louisiana rice, other assorted pork parts like hearts and livers, and seasonings stuffed in a natural pork casing.

Recipes for the ratio of meat to rice and how it’s all seasoned varies widely from place to place.

We’ve had it in the traditional way in Lafayette, and also made with shrimp or crawfish.

Then there are boudin balls which are most often served with a good local mustard.

Take a trip along the Cajun Boudin Trail for some of the best food in Lafayette or if you’re in the area in October don’t miss the famous Boudin Cookoff.

BBQ

Texas is known for its excellent food across the board, but among all the best Texas foods to try, none is more iconic than barbecue.

Texas barbecue originated in the mid-nineteenth century, when German and Czech immigrants brought their traditions of smoking meat to the Lone Star State.

Mix cultural traditions with plentiful livestock and a booming cattle business, and Texas barbecue quickly exploded.

While there are many styles of Texas barbecue, what most non-Texans think of as the iconic “Texas” style belongs to Central Texas, where it’s traditional to smoke meats low and slow over open fires, coated in minimal seasoning (sometimes just salt and pepper!).

The most essential features of any plate of Texas barbecue are ribs, sausage, and—most importantly—brisket. Brisket is the pride and joy of many pitmasters (aka barbecue chefs), and an essential part of the traditional Texas diet.

Eaten at all times of day (brisket breakfast tacos are not to be missed), the most die-hard fans will even claim that you shouldn’t put barbecue sauce on your brisket, but rather enjoy the meat just as it comes.

At traditional barbecue joints, you’ll order meat by the pound, and sides (think potato salad, mac n’cheese, and corn) by the pint.

Philly Cheesesteak

Philadelphia is one of America’s ultimate foodie destinations. One of the most famous Philadelphia foods is the Philly cheesesteak.

While locals will all tell you that it’s just called the cheesesteak, they won’t agree on where to get the best one.

In fact, most locals even avoid the two most famous cheesesteak shops — Pat’s and Geno’s in the Italian Market.

Still, the story origin of the famous sandwich is owed to Pat’s cheesesteak stand.

The legend of the first cheesesteak dates back to the 1930’s. That’s when Pat Olivieri’s hot dog shop made a daily special of chopped beef and onions that were grill-fried and served in a loaf of bread.

A local cab driver is said to have tried the item and told Pat that he was onto something, should quit selling hotdogs and keep making this new sandwich.

Poutine

If you’re traveling in Canada, one dish that you must try is Poutine, the Québécois dish made of fresh-cut french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy.

Although many variations of the dish now exist, including vegan poutine!

The origins of poutine are uncertain and several restaurants in Quebec claim to be the creator, although there is no agreed consensus.

What is known is that the dish was created in the Centre-De-Quebec area in the late 1950s, and has now become a staple of Canadian cuisine.

It’s become so popular in fact, that you can now find the dish at many restaurants in the United States!

Alberta Steak

Alberta beef is one of the most popular food items from Canada’s northern province of Alberta. This province is home to the iconic Canadian Rockies.

As the name suggests, Alberta steak is produced in the province. It is ethically-raised and antibiotic-free beef.

There are many local small businesses that have been working for generations producing high-quality beef, that you can enjoy during your trip.

How cattle were raised in the province is very unique.

Historically, Alberta was never overly populated, and in order to encourage migration large pieces of land were provided to ranchers. These settlers made Alberta their new home and led innovations in the field of irrigation and animal welfare.

Today Alberta produces the largest number of cattle in the country. The environment, animal diet, and climatic conditions also make the beef tastier.

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