World Tour: Guest Post

[ 0 ] March 30, 2012 |

Top 10 Must-Try Foods from Around the World

Are you on the hunt for the world’s greatest steak, the finest ice cream or the perfect pizza?  Take a look at our culinary bucket-list for inspiration on where to find the best foods on the planet (  Time to cash in those American Airlines points.

Shake Shack cheeseburger

Many a restaurant has laid claim to the title of ‘world’s best burger’, so it’s no surprise that there’s more than one contender for the perfect patty. Despite tracing its history back to Hamburg, Germany, this is the quintessential all-American snack, and every state will have its favorite burger joint. New York is often named as the best burger destination, with Little Owl in Greenwich Village and Shake Shack in Madison Square Park cited as serving two of the finest. If you’ve got a small fortune, Las Vegas is home to numerous extravagant examples, including a Kobe beef and Maine lobster burger that sells for $777.

Hot dog
The humble hotdog is a universally loved fast food, and many countries have their own unique take on the sausage-and-bun combo. In Reykjavik, Iceland, you can sample the divine pyslur, braised in beer and served in a soft bun, or why not try chorizo and crusty bread topped with chimichurri from a roadside grill in Argentina? Boerewors is a South African specialty, combining minced beef and lamb or pork with a blend of spices including cloves and nutmeg. Arguably though, the best place for an authentic hotdog experience is Germany, where you’ll have a diverse variety of delicious wurste to choose from.

Buenos Aires is a steak-lover’s paradise, and a prime destination for any carnivorous connoisseur. Restaurants dedicated to grilling thick cuts of grass-fed beef are everywhere, and a Bife de Costilla (prime rib steak) from an Argentine steak-house is a meat-eater’s dream. Or for affluent diners, Tokyo is the home of Kobe beef, served simply with pepper or mustard for an eye-watering $370 per fillet. For those on a budget, try steak frites in the beautiful city of Paris, where the cuts are served rare with herb butter and fries to die for.

Paris is also a great place for cakes, with some of the world’s finest patisseries serving eclairs, pastries and elaborate desserts. If you’re feeling excessive, the incredible croquembouche — a conical mound of choux pastry and macarons dripping with caramel and chocolate — is traditionally served at special occasions. Confectionery buffs may also want to try Austria, well known for its tortes and complex cakes made with pastry, chocolate, fresh fruit and cream.

Potomac Pizza

To say the best pizza can be found in Italy is a bit of a no-brainer, but there’s much debate as to whether the finest can be found in Naples or in Rome. Traditional pizza Napolitana is a brilliantly simple affair of cow’s milk cheese, pomodoro and basil cooked in wood-burning ovens, since it’s felt that toppings can detract from the beauty of the crust. In Rome, you can choose from a rectangular pizza al taglio, or a thin and crispy tonda cooked on a wood fire.

No weekend in London would be complete without sampling pie and mash, the traditional East London cuisine dating back to the Victorian era. Typically filled with steak and kidney or minced beef, and served with an eel stock and parsley liquor, this tasty pastry dish is not as easy to come by as it was in its heyday, so it’s worth hunting down an authentic shop, as these have often been running for generations. Brave gourmets should try a side of jellied eels with chili vinegar, originating from a time when the spice trade imported to the nearby Docks.

Ice cream
If you’re looking for the finest frozen treats, there’s no question that Italy is your ideal destination. An authentic gelato is made with less butterfat than your run-of-the-mill ice cream, so not only is it more flavorful, but it’s also kinder to your waistline! Look for signs that read ‘Fatta in Casa’ (or made in-house) to guarantee fresh and seasonal ingredients, and don’t be put off by long queues — these are often a sign of quality.

Oh Fish sushi

Japan is the obvious place to find the world’s best sushi; head over to world’s largest fish market at breakfast time for the ultimate experience in a fast-paced and no-frills environment. If you can’t get to Japan, Paris has a number of excellent, if pricey sushi eateries. Japanese tourists flock to Isami, or try Kinugawa, near Tuileries for some kaiseki cuisine. And don’t forget Los Angeles especially if you can secure a cheap flight, home of the California roll, one of the most popular styles of sushi.

Texas is the indisputable barbecue capital of the world, where singed meat is a staple food. However there are several contenders for second place, including South Africa, where every backyard has a charcoal grill and popular specialties include grilled mussels, snook and lobster. Alternatively there’s Istanbul, home of the shish kebab, or Uruguay, where no part of the animal goes to waste, including chitterlings and sweetbreads, all cooked on wood-burning grills in open kitchens.

Looking for the ultimate meatball? Try Sweden, where they are a cultural specialty, made with ground beef or pork and served with boiled potatoes and lingonberry jam. If you’re looking for a more rustic version of this dish, head to Italy for the polpettine di carne, but don’t expect them served with spaghetti, as that’s the Italian-American way. If you’re looking for an authentic version of the pasta dish, head to Little Italy in New York, where you’ll find it’s a signature serving on most menus.

*These suggestions are provided by Show and Stay, the UK theatre break specialists.

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Category: Travels, World Tour

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

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