Trying different dishes and snacks might just be one of the best parts of travelling. Street food is often cheap, very tasty and probably most true to the local cuisine. No matter where your travels take you, every country – or even city – has its own specialties and treats. Join us for a quick guide into the delicious world of street food!
Korea’s tasty food is slowly becoming known around the world. For those who love Korean food and want to travel there, we’ve got good news! This cuisine is even better in Korea. Everywhere you look, you’ll find street venders selling delicious food items. Some even pull up a chair and create their own little restaurant.
The street food you’ll most frequently find is Tteokbokki – a stir-fried dish consisting of cylinder-shaped rice cake, combined with a variety of ingredients, such as beef, mung bean sprouts, spring onions, shiitake mushrooms and carrots, and seasoned with soy sauce. If you’re looking for something to nibble, try a dried squid. Very popular amongst the Koreans, this dried squid is a little salty but very healthy!
Tom Kha Kai and Pad Thai are dishes commonly known and loved, but those who have visited Thailand also know about some other bites. Eating like a local in Thailand means: fried grasshoppers on a stick. Roasted, fried or deep-fried, the grasshopper can be enjoyed in many ways. Just like many other insects, grasshoppers are a great source of protein. It’s said they taste somewhat like chicken, just a little crunchier!
Germans love their sausages, and bratwurst can be found in almost every city or village in Germany. The unmistakable smell and taste of real bratwurst is a feast for the taste buds. The sausage is made of pork, veal or beef and is seasoned with a variety of spices including ginger, nutmeg and coriander (regions of Germany make and season their bratwurst differently). It usually comes with sauerkraut and mustard, a killer combination.
Those who have been on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro will surely remember a guy yelling: “Açai, Açai!” This ice cold Brazilian dish made of frozen and mashed Açai palm fruit is typically served with cruesli, mixed fruit and a little guaraná syrup. A delicious treat on those hot sunny days!
Not much of a sweet tooth? Pão de queijo is a great little in-between snack. Best described as a baked, cheese-flavored ball, Pão de queijos are enjoyed by many Brazilians for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
When I think of food in Israel, falafel instantly comes to mind. But falafel can be found throughout the middle-east. Sabich is a little less famous. Sabich is an Israeli food item consisting of a pita filled with fried eggplant, boiled eggs, hummus, tahini, Israeli salad, potato, parsley and amba – a mango pickle. Originally it was a dish eaten on Shabbat by Iraqi Jews, but this tasty sandwich increased in popularity quickly. Nowadays in every nook and cranny you can expect to find street vendors and lunch rooms selling Israel’s delicious signature snack!
Walk on any street in India and street vendors will call you to their stand. Chances are they’re selling Chaat. This doesn’t mean stand and have a conversation; it actually means ‘to devour with relish, eat noisily’, and you will! This delicious Indian snack can be found pretty much all over the country. Traditionally Chaat consists of potato pieces, fried bread, gram or chickpeas and tangy-salty spices. Added to this are sour chili, Saunth (dried ginger), tamarind sauce, fresh green coriander leaves and yogurt. Variations of chaat include Papdi Chaat, Masala Chaat and Bhelpuri.
It’s not exactly a culinary treat, but the Dutch patatje oorlog sure tastes good! Whether it’s in a ‘snack bar’ or from a street cart, French fries covered in mayonnaise, ketchup, satay sauce and chopped raw onions can be found everywhere. Oorlog means ‘war’, due to the battle-scarred appearance of this greasy treat.
Another typical Dutch delicacy is ‘Haring’. In the first week of June the ‘Hollandse Nieuwe’ catch is being transferred from the harbors to the fish shops and stalls. A good Hollandse Nieuwe haring contains 16% fat. This Dutch delight is usually served raw with onions. In Amsterdam, they like to add a pickle to their haring. The key to eating them like the Dutch is to dangle them over your head by the tail and then take a big bite. Eet smakelijk!
A common street food in Nigeria is ‘Chin Chin’; a sweet doughnut-like delight. The main ingredients of Chin Chin are wheat flour dough mixed with eggs and sometimes cowpeas. Popular seasonings include cinnamon, nutmeg and even orange. Street vendors and outdoor markets prepare Chin Chin by kneading the dough and cutting it into small squares, which they then fry on the spot. Chin Chin is also a popular party snack and can even be given as a gift.
One of the first things that come to mind when you think of New York is hotdogs. In the early 1900s thousands of European immigrants arrived on Ellis Island, New York. The Germans, Austrians and Poles brought their sausage making skills with them and started selling frankfurters and Vienna sausages on street corners. Nowadays you’ll find little else but hotdog carts on the streets. A frankfurter, a dot of mustard and a little kraut is all you need to eat like a king on a New York City sidewalk.
Chinese food is probably one of the best known Asian cuisines in western civilization. Still, you probably never saw pig snout or scorpion on your take-out menu. But in China, the Chinese usually use as many body parts of an animal as they can. Don’t be surprised if you stumble upon deep-fried duck tongue or pig snout on a stick. Organs are considered quite the treat and seahorses are even said to increase virility. There are many different food products available on the streets of China, including what you might regard as “normal” dishes, but when in Rome…
Are you drooling yet? Of course if you don’t fancy any of these, there are thousands of other delicious, weird and exciting dishes out there! If you have tried any of the ones listed above, or if you want to tell us about another street food, feel free to leave a comment below!
Photo credits: (1) http://www.flickr.com/photos/globalcitizen01/ (2) http://www.flickr.com/photos/cfarivar/ (3) http://etb.ht/GUbD1C (4) http://www.flickr.com/photos/theboybg/ (5) http://www.flickr.com/photos/robertberkowitz/ (6) http://www.flickr.com/photos/pitombapunk/ (7) http://www.flickr.com/photos/roboppy/ (8) http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebigdurian/ (9) http://www.flickr.com/photos/30127220@N03/ (10) http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidkosmos/ (11) http://www.flickr.com/photos/iita-media-library/ (12) http://www.flickr.com/photos/harry_nl/ (13) http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenpower/ (14) http://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/