12 Regional Foods Worth Traveling For
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There are still plenty of hard-to-find local specialties around
Seriously, why can't you find gooey butter cake outside of St. Louis?
In today’s day and age, it seems like you can find just about any type of food you want, especially if you live in a big city. Want a super-authentic banh mi, or perhaps a traditional Belgian Liège waffle? There’s a food truck for that. Heck, even if you live in the middle of nowhere you can log on to sites like Goldbely and order food items right off the menu from some of the country’s most legendary restaurants. But from a stuffed sandwich in Lincoln, Neb. to a breakfast sausage that’s available only near Cincinnati, there are still plenty of regional specialties that are certainly worth traveling for.
12 Regional Foods Worth Traveling For (Slideshow)
When you think about it, all food started out as a regional specialty. Even pizza, one of the most popular foods in America, got its start as a regional style of flatbread in Naples before spreading like wildfire after immigrants introduced it to the American palate. For various reasons, some foods catch on in popularity and become household names, and others linger in relative obscurity, beloved to a handful of lucky locals while the rest of the country is barely aware of its existence.
When we talk about regional foods you won’t find anywhere else, we’re not talking about the many regional variations of pizza, or burritos, for example. While it might be tough to find a New Haven-style pizzeria in Boise, you can still find pizza. You’re not going to be finding runzas in Boise, or New York, or anywhere outside of Lincoln, Neb.
So while it may seem like it’s possible to log onto the internet or pick up the phone and get any food you can ever think of delivered to your door, there are still plenty of foods out there that you’re going to have to travel for, sometimes thousands of miles. It’s a big country out there, and there’s still plenty of food that’s known and beloved only by the lucky locals. Here are 12 of them.
12 Foods Worth Traveling Across the World Just to Eat
He that has never voyage believes that his mom is the main great cook on the planet” – Kenyan adage.
And keeping in mind that mother is the best cook, what number of moms exist in this world?
In the wake of coming back from any outing I’ll frequently reflect, peruse through my photographs, and understand that by a wide margin the most critical encounters I had all rotated around sustenance.
Also, that is nothing unexpected…
Because I’m a nourishment fixated individual, but since sustenance is a fundamental element of human life – endurance, culture, convention, way of life, celebrations, connections, solaces – nourishment has an impact in all things.
To handle this substantial rundown of 33 nourishments worth trekking the globe to chase down, I chose there was no preferred path over to ask other fly setting sustenance energetic bloggers to share their considerations.
Newly cut solid shapes of crude Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi) joined with soy sauce, sesame oil, ocean salt, stew pepper, sweet onions, and limu kelp is one of the incredible culinary manifestations of this world.
The fish (which ought to be gotten locally and never solidified) is the surface of ready papaya – so smooth and delicate I in some cases can’t help myself from biting with my lips rather than my teeth.
A chilled bit of jab joined with a corresponding measure of steamed rice in a similar chomp is a vibe that is so divine, it’s difficult to accept you’re still on earth.
This cute little Japantown place is in a bi-level mall, where shoppers dressed as anime characters drift in and out, buying costume accessories, strange plush animals dressed as pirates, and a meal or a snack at one of the restaurants or mochi-and-bubble tea stalls. The shoyu broth at Suzu is fiery hot with chili oil, and the fried chicken tidbits are sinewy and exquisitely marinated beforehand. 1825 Post St. (415-346-5083) This sleek new spot is one of several San Francisco places (including nearby Delfina Pizza, also in the Mission) to capitalize on the promise of thin-crust Neapolitan-style pizza, with fundamentally wonderful ingredients and cooking equipment imported from Mother Italy. This puffy, appetizer-size fried pizza showcases squeekingly fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes probably from Bi-Rite (a few blocks distant), and enough extra olive oil to slick down your hair when you’re done. 700-712 Valencia St. (415-565-1900, farina-foods.com)
Off the Beaten Menu: 8 Regional Foods Worth Traveling For
There is so, so much good food in the world, but sometimes it takes getting off the beaten menu, so to speak, to find something really worth drooling over. By all means, try pasta when you are Italy, steak in Argentina, and sushi in Japan, but after you finish, dig a little deeper and try some of these regional specialties that don't have much world-wide fame. And try not to get too angry with the locals for keeping them hidden from you for so long.
1. Ochazuke, Japan
Ochazuke (Photo: kossy/Flickr)
Ochazuke is a dish that the Japanese have been eating for thousands of years as a way to make use of leftover rice. It consists of a base of rice with toppings like pickles, seaweed, sesame seeds, wasabi, seafood, and roe, all soaked in green tea. Simple? Yes. Surprisingly delicious? Absolutely.
2. Chicken 65, India
Chicken 65 (Photo: haynes/Flickr)
Although it doesn't often show up on the menus of Indian restaurants outside of India, Chicken 65 is Indian food at its best. The dish, which originated in Chennai, is made by frying chicken and coating it in a sauce of ginger, garlic, chilies, vinegar, and plenty of spices. As for the name, no one has a definitive answer for how it came about, but the 65 could easily represent the number of times you will lick your fingers in bliss after finishing a plate.
Pozole (Photo: marthax/Flickr)
Some people (we're looking at you, America) think Mexican food is all tacos and enchiladas. But this country's cuisine was already delicious before restaurants north of the border started dumping piles of cheese and sour cream on top of it. Take pozole, for example. This corn-based stew has existed since the days of the Aztecs and is made to be both hearty and mouth-wateringly good. Try it at more authentic Mexican establishments in your neighborhood, or in the states along the western coast of Mexico.
4. Ful medames, Egypt and Sudan
Ful medames (Photo: avlxyz/Flickr)
This dish of cooked fava beans is a staple in much of North Africa, but difficult to find anywhere else. But don't let the obscurity fool you -- these beans have been popular for millennia (many were even found buried in the tombs of ancient Egyptians), so it's safe to assume that they've just about perfected how to eat them.
5. Khao Soi, Laos and Thailand
Khao Soi (Photo: avlxyz/Flickr)
Crispy, deep-fried egg noodles and boiled egg noodles are the base of this soup dish, which also has pickled cabbage, shallots, lime, chillies, and a coconut-curry sauce. Thai has long been a popular cuisine in much of the world, but this particular dish is still relatively unknown to foreigners. Head to the north of Laos and Thailand to try this regional specialty.
6. Pachamanca, Peru
Pachamanca (Photo: chosicarelax/Flickr)
The Peruvian foodie scene may have taken some significant strides lately, and even made some major progress in getting international attention, but there are still many nooks and crannies of the country whose regional foods have gone unexplored. Pachamanca, made by burying meat and vegetables under the ground under hot stones, is most popular in the central Andes. The key to this dish's finger-licking factor? The delicious marinade of Peruvian spices and the long cook time that makes the meat tender and, well, finger-licking good.
Cao lau in Hoi An (Photo: kirksiang/Flickr)
This regional Vietnamese dish can only be found in the town of Hoi An because (legend claims) the recipe uses water from an ancient, undisclosed well in the area. The plate, which includes noodles, vegetables, and fried lard, differs from typical Vietnamese cuisine in the fact that it doesn't include soup. While its origins may be debated, the quality is not, making this a plate of food definitely worth traveling for.
Biltong is a popular South African form of cured meat, which has been made using a unique combination of vinegar, salt, and spices since the 17th century. The meat used varies from beef, to game, to even ostrich. That's probably an excuse to try this succulent food over and over (and over) again.
24 Awesome Food Events Worth Traveling to This Year
This year, expand your cultural horizons&mdashand eat some amazing food while you're at it. Here's how to make 2016 the year you travel the world in search of good food.
Food and travel go hand-in-hand. The best way to truly understand a new place is to experience its cuisine𠅊nd how better to do that than to attend an internationally renowned food festival, where top chefs, mixologists, sommeliers come together to share their expertise? At the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, you can take in the sweeping Colorado vistas while tasting food from the world’s premier chefs at the Cherry Bombe Jubilee, you&aposll learn what new and fascinating work women are doing in the industry and at the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, you&aposll get to sample the state&aposs incredible number of artisan cheeses. Planning a trip around a food festival can be a great excuse for traveling the world. Here, 24 domestic and international ideas to start you off.
Walland, Tennessee: Taste of the South at Blackberry Farm, January 7, 2016
These three days of cooking demos and tastings that benefit the Southern Foodways Alliance bring chefs, vintners and scholars alike to Tennessee every year. The festival explores the South&aposs evolving food culture, which has been returning to its literal roots in recent years by celebrating its rich native agriculture. In 2016, for the 12th year of the festival, chefs such as JJ Johnson of New York and Steven Satterfield of Atlanta, among others, join cookbook author and journalist Dr. Jessica Harris and vintner-in-residence Raj Parr for presentations and group meals.
Cayman Islands: Cayman Cookout, January 14, 2016
Escape the January cold with Eric Ripert, who hosts this year&aposs cookout. He&aposs bringing along José Andrés, Ludo Lefebrve, Tom Colicchio, Anthony Bourdain and many more for incredible meals, educational demos, and wine and mixologist tastings𠅊ll in a gorgeous Caribbean setting.
Miami, Florida: South Beach Wine & Food Festival, February 24, 2016
This much-talked-about festival brings all your favorite Food Network personalities and celebrity chefs to Miami for five days of events, from intimate dinners cooked by Sean Brock to a late-night Tacos After Dark session with Aarón Sanchez. If you&aposve always dreamed of drinking tiki cocktails with Guy Fieri or having a rosé brunch with Martha Stewart, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival can make your wishes come true.
Montreal, Quebec: Montrບl en Lumière, February 18–March 5, 2016
The beautiful city celebrates all facets of its culture during this week-long festival, but it puts a spotlight on its inimitable gastronomic scene. This year&aposs roundup features a Quebec Chefs and Cheeses evening, which will let 400 guests and a jury of 12 experts try the creations of four up-and-coming chefs to see who will win a $5,000 prize, in addition to a fine-dining program that is not to be missed.
Tokyo: Cherry Blossom Festival, Monthlong
To fully experience Japan&aposs majesty, it&aposs best to go at the end of March. Cherry blossoms are blooming throughout the country, but in Tokyo, you can experience their beauty while also going on a ramen crawl. 1,000 lanterns illuminate the park, and you can also hit up an antique market located within.
New York: Cherry Bombe Jubilee, New York, April 10, 2016
The Cherry Bombe Jubilee, hosted by indie women-in-food magazine Cherry Bombe, brings together chefs, writers, and activists for a day-long series of panels and interviews, with lunch and snacks curated by chic purveyors. Last year’s event featured talks by Elise Kornack of Brooklyn’s Michelin-starred Take Root and legendary writer Mimi Sheraton, among others.
Austin, Texas: Austin Food and Wine Festival, April 22, 2016
World-class talent and Austin&aposs rock-and-roll charm collide for this yearly festival. Over 40 demos and tasting sessions with chefs like Hugh Acheson, Andrew Zimmern and Food & Wine&aposs Gail Simmons, among many others, are followed up nightly with live music. It&aposs a laid-back fest that&aposs very serious about food.
New Orleans, Louisiana: New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, May 26, 2016
For 23 years now, this Louisiana festival has been pairing up the distinctive Creole-influenced foods of the region𠅏rom crawfish to andouille sausage—with complementary wines. They also donate part of their profits to food banks and culinary schools, meaning all the revelry is for a good cause. Many of the South&aposs best chefs and the city&aposs most exciting restaurants will be in attendance.
Cape Town, South Africa: Good Food & Wine Show, May 26, 2016
The Good Food & Wine Show brings celebrity chefs and TV cooks to Cape Town to do demonstrations, while over 200 exhibitors show off brand-new wines, chocolate, spirits, cooking tools and more. It’s an ideal event for the serious home cook to get a glimpse of what’s new in the market.
Aspen, Colorado: Food & Wine Classic, June 17, 2016
Hosted by Food & Wine, this star-studded two-day annual event features an incredible lineup of chefs (think Hugh Acheson, Curtis Stone, Jacques Pepin, Gail Simmons and Christina Tosi) holding forth at all sorts of food- and drink-related experiences, tastings, and panels. Last year’s panels included Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi demonstrating her signature baking style, Stephanie Izard previewing her new restaurant, and Richard Blais teaching attendees how to up their sandwich game. Don’t miss a chance to get in on the fun.
Pembrokeshire, Wales: Pembrokeshire Fish Week Festival, June 25–July 3, 2016
Experience this coastal Wales county&aposs rich fishing heritage during the weeklong fish festival. Here you can sample restaurants&apos fresh catch specials, try fresh Welsh oysters, and maybe even learn how to fish yourself.
Shelburne Farms, Vermont: Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, July 17, 2016
Between Ben & Jerry&aposs and Cabot Creamery, Vermont is certainly best known for its dairy it actually has the highest number of cheesemakers per capita. The state&aposs Cheesemakers Festival is the best way to sample them all, as well as local beer, wine and spirits, and all manners of artisanal food products. With a panel on women cheesemakers and cheesemaking demos, it&aposs a must-visit for dairy enthusiasts.
Singapore: Singapore Food Festival, Monthlong
Singapore’s top chefs come together to present their regional fares at this yearly festival, at which you can sample modern takes on Singaporean cuisine as well as traditional plates meanwhile, cooking demonstrations and opera performances provide a glimpse into the country&aposs arts culture.
Los Angeles: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, Dates TBA
This Los Angeles fest celebrates the best of the city&aposs food culture and beyond. The 2015 edition boasted a concert by The Roots along with demos from chefs such as Thomas Keller, Alex Guarnaschelli, Jenn Louis, and hometown hit Bestia&aposs husband and wife team Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis.
Buñol, Spain: La Tomatina, August 31, 2016
If you like to get messy, you need to get to Buñol, outside Valencia, for the last Wednesday of August. That&aposs when their annual tomato-throwing festival—the world&aposs biggest food fight—takes place. Revelers throw over-ripe tomatoes at each other until water cannons break it up.
Copenhagen: MAD5, Dates TBA
"Mad" is the Danish word for "food," which is a fitting name for the nonprofit and festival begun by chef René Redzepi to encourage mindful, sustainable eating—in restaurants and at home. Past editions have featured Dan Barber discussing the evolving taste of wheat, David Chang talking food microbiology, Roy Choi on how street food can feed the world, a demonstration by Pierre Koffmann on how to clean an artichoke in 20 seconds, and much more. Redzepi and his team took 2015 off in order to ensure MAD5, the fifth edition, has a real impact on how the world eats.
Toronto, Canada: Toronto Food & Wine, September 18, 2016
If you&aposve been meaning to visit this up-and-coming culinary city (now home to a new David Chang Momofuku outpost), make sure to get there for next year&aposs festival.The event is jam-packed with presentations by celebrity chefs—the 2015 festival featured a brunch with Daniel Boulud and famed Chicago chef Jason Vincent.
Saugerties, New York: Hudson Valley Garlic Festival, October 1𠄲, 2016
The Hudson Valley has a reputation for having exquisite produce what better way to immerse yourself in it than to attend the area&aposs famed garlic festival? It&aposs a taste of upstate&aposs bounty, featuring local agriculture experts, food vendors and farmers.
San Juan: Jose Enrique Invites, Dates TBA
Food & Wine Best New Chef 2013 Jose Enrique’s yearly event brings international chefs to Puerto Rico to celebrate the island’s produce and locally made spirits, and it highlights the work of rising chefs from the burgeoning local scene. The 2015 edition featured Claire Robinson, Matthew Gaudet, Wilo Benet, Franco Seccarelli, Mario Pagan, Jose Santaella and Jason Vincent, who whipped up a range of dishes𠅏rom ceviches to pâtés to sweet confections𠅏or attendees. The festival is a chance, in Enrique’s words, “to create a different perspective not only locally but also internationally” on Puerto Rican cuisine.
Italy: Alba International White Truffle Fair, October 15–November 16, 2016
Forget pumpkins. Spend your harvest season at the festival known as the mother of all truffle fairs. It began in 1999 and includes not just a white truffle market, but wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, a wide array of tasting opportunities, and even a medieval parade. In addition to truffles, beloved Italian regional specialties will be available as well. Leave with cheeses, cured meats, olive oils and more to enjoy with your precious tuber.
U.S.: TMBQQ Fest, Austin, Texas, Dates TBA
Texas Monthly is the only magazine in the country (that we know of) with a dedicated barbecue editor each year, that person taps into his or her extensive knowledge to cull a list of the Top 50 BBQ Joints in the state. Then, to celebrate the list𠅊nd, presumably, the excellent state of barbecue in this nation—the magazine throws a one-day festival, in which the pit experts serve up their most prizeworthy meat.
Jamaica: NYAMJAM Festival, Dates TBA
This festival, taking place at the famed GoldenEye resort on the north coast of Jamaica, pairs international celebrity chefs with local culinary talent. Mario Batali, April Bloomfield, Seamus Mullen, Jose Enrique, and Johnny Iuzzini all participated in the inaugural 2015 edition, cooking local produce alongside the island chefs Colin Hylton and Gariel Ferguson. The festival also boasts a culinary and music bazaar that will feature DJs, performances and a variety of street food stalls.
Yosemite National Park, California: The Bracebridge Dinner, Monthlong
If you have a sense of humor or perhaps a penchant for renaissance fairs, this theatrical dinner series, which takes place throughout the month, is an excellent way to celebrate the holidays. Christmas pageantry is paired with the scenic national park as well as The Ahwahnee Hotel&aposs gorgeous accomodations. The hotel&aposs chefs prepare a feast, and you also get a professional portrait to commemorate the evening.
Tasmania, Australia: The Taste of Tasmania, December 23–January 3, 2015-16
One of Australia&aposs most popular food festivals takes place off the mainland. All of Tasmania&aposs food vendors and alcohol purveyors come out to celebrate the island&aposs unique culinary culture. It&aposs open all day and into the night, with live music, cooking demonstrations and more rounding out the festivities.
F&W&aposs new series reveals the best ways to maximize your food year through travel, wine, cooking, tech, style, events and experiences. Use #BESTFOODYEAR on Twitter and Instagram to tell us about the ones you want to try. We&aposll continue to share more tips with the hashtag throughout the year and want to hear about how you celebrate food every day, too.
Hop across the pond to the UK if for only a moment when you bite into one of these homemade glazed blueberry scones. Don't forget the tea.Lisa Russo
An undoubtedly Ron Swanson-approved breakfast, this all-American bacon, egg, and mac n' cheese recipe will have you leaping out of bed for a taste.
Are you ready to take an international breakfast tour? The next time you're tired of the same-old, same-old, give one of these recipes a whirl. A trip for your taste buds, no passport required.
How to dehydrate your own food at home
Dehydrating your own food is a great step towards making delicious backpacker meals. It’s best to use a specialized dehydrator, but it can also be done using your oven. Dehydrated food is much lighter and easier to transport, making it an ideal meal or snack solution. Making your own backpacking food is easy, with DIY fruit leather being an excellent snack to keep you going.
The secret to successfully dehydrating food is doing it at a high enough temperature to get rid of all the water, but not so high that the food cooks. Moisture usually makes up 60-90% of a food’s weight and is what allows food to degrade or go bad.
Fresh fruits and vegetables make the very best dehydrated foods, drying best between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Before drying veggies, we recommend blanching them slightly, this will help preserve the flavor, color, and texture, however, don’t do this with tomatoes, onions or mushrooms.
Meat can either be cooked and then preserved, otherwise made into jerky. It dries best at 145 degrees or higher and should be dry and flaky when it’s finished. Save time and fuel by cooking rice and pasta while you’re at home, and then dehydrating. This way, your carbs will cook much faster and easier once you’re on the trail, just rehydrate them with warm water.
For storage, keep your DIY dehydrated ingredients in airtight containers in a cool, dry, dark place. Fruits and vegetables can last up to a year, whereas dried meats can be kept from 2 weeks to a month. Refrigeration will help extend the shelf life of both.
3. Japanese Curry
The Japanese excel at taking a foreign dish and adapting it to local tastes, evolving it into something that is uniquely Japanese in character. Curry is one great example.
While still clearly recognisable as curry, Japanese curry has a silky and smooth consistency thanks to the roux used to thicken the curry. It is also generally sweeter, gentler on the heat factor and more rounded in flavour than the Indian curries they’re derived from.
Katsu-kare (curry with a fried breaded pork cutlet) is one of the most popular variations of Japanese curry and can be found everywhere across the country.
Where to eat Japanese curry: Joto Curry, Shibuya
A queue of salarymen at lunchtime often points the way to a cheap but tasty meal in Tokyo. We joined the line at Joto Curry recently on a hunch to see what the fuss was all about.
One mouthful and we instantly understood why Joto Curry is such a local hit. The rich sauce with spicing and sweetness perfectly on point, the katsu juicy with a beautifully crunchy coating – this is one of the best curries we’ve tried yet in Tokyo. The only thing we didn’t like? Staring at our empty, finished plates knowing there was no more to be had (for that day, anyway) …
It comes with enough rice to feed a sumo, so wear stretchy pants.
Don’t miss: Katsu-kare (curry with breaded, deep-fried pork chop)
Address: 3 Chome-18-7 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. Also at Akihabara, Shinjuku, etc.
Phone: +81 3 6805 1477 (no reservations)
Open: Mon-Fri 11:00-22:00 (LO), SAT/SUN/PH 11:00-21:00
7. Waffles in Belgium
A waffle in Belguim is better than you could even imagine: warm and sweet, crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. Touristy places serve them topped with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and fruit, but it's better to restrain yourself. The locals eat them with a light dusting of icing sugar, which really lets the waffle shine as the incredible creation it is.
You're probably hungry by now, so I won't keep you any longer.
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