Food and travelling go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Every food item has a meaning, history and cultural story behind it. Food can bring people together, heighten the senses and emotions and teach us a lot about different parts of the world.
Studying abroad is no time to be shy with experimentation.
We’ve put together a list of our top five international foods that will blow your mind. It’s the perfect remedy to your insatiable appetite and lust for adventure!
Experimenting with new foods while studying abroad is certainly one of the best ways to get a glimpse of new cultures.
1. Shakshuka – Israel, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt
A meal fit for any time of day, Shakshuka is the ultimate comfort food. Cooked together in one skillet, herbs, spices, onions, chili peppers, and lots of tomatoes are simmered slowly before the final touch is added: eggs poached right on top of the mixture. Served with plenty of delicious bread for dipping, you will soon feel full – and fulfilled!
2. Ceviche – Latin America
The description of ceviche may turn some people off of the idea – but it mustn’t be overlooked. The dish consists of fresh raw fish cooked in lemon or lime juice and spiced with aji or chili peppers. To accompany these complex flavors, ceviche is typically served with sweet potatoes, onions, lettuce, corn, plantains, or avocados. The fact that ceviche cannot be prepared long before eating allows it to always be fresh for the consumer. Peru actually has a national holiday for the local dish, so don’t miss your opportunity to try it if you’re ever in the country.
India and Thailand both have a handful of drool-worthy curry based dishes, so picking just one favorite isn’t easy. While in India, you can find tikka masala, korma, bhuna gosht, and makhanwala, which are just a few of the delicious dishes with a curry base. In Thailand, they have the very similar yellow, green, and red curries, or you can find a more complex taste within massaman curry meals. No matter which one you choose, you’ll leave super satisfied with the flavor explosion that just happened in your mouth; just be careful not to order it too spicy!
4. Banh Mi Sandwich – Vietnam
A century of French colonialism has truly influenced Vietnamese cuisine, and the marriage of the two cultures makes for some delicious dishes. The banh mi sandwich is a great example of this blending of tastes: it is a French baguette with pickled carrots, cucumbers, cilantro, jalapeno, and various Vietnamese cold cuts like pork; the fresh ingredients alongside sweet and savory meat are an amazing combination. Vietnam also serves dessert versions of the sandwich with scoops of ice cream stuffed in the baguette topped with peanuts.
5. Okonomiyaki – Japan
A common street food in Japan, Okonomiyaki is a dish you are sure to enjoy. When translated, it means “as you like it.” Essentially a pancake/hashbrown-esque base with minced cabbage and seafood or meat mixed into it and then pan-fried right before your eyes, then served with brown sauce and Japanese mayonnaise, this dish is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. After a late-night karaoke jam while out in Japan, you may even enjoy it as a snack before bed!
What is your favorite food that you’ve experienced abroad?
Have you tried any of the dishes we mentioned? We would love to hear from you. Share your experience with us in the comments below!