The food and flavours of a destination are integral to the overall travel experience, and if you want to really immerse yourself in a new culture, you must also taste it. We’ve narrowed down the top culinary destinations around the world, which offer exceptional flavours, ingredients, and foodie experiences.
Peru is widely recognised as a hive of trendy, inventive and distinct culinary dishes that are gaining the attention of food critics from around the world. While the traditional staples of indigenous Peruvian cuisine centered around corn, chillies and potatoes (not surprising, given there are over 3000 different potatoes), today the Peruvian cuisine is a melting pot of local and foreign influences, including Spanish, African, French, Asian, Italian and British cuisine. With this unique fusion of flavours, cultures and traditions, it is no wonder Peru, and in particular Lima and Cusco, are emerging as a new global culinary epicentres.
What to Eat: You simply cannot leave Peru without sampling the national dish “Ceviche”. This fresh and zesty marinated fish dish is served with boiled sweet potatoes or corn, and can be found in almost every restaurant in Peru!
If you are looking for the next “IT” destination when it comes to top culinary experiences, look no further; Myanmar has it all! Burmese food, having previously slipped under the radar when it comes to tasty cuisine, is finally being recognised for its smorgasboard of mouth-watering flavours. With influences from India and China, it heralds a unique balance of sour, salty, spicy and bitter flavours destined to leave you salivating for more. No matter where you explore in Myanmar, you will find a wonderful offering of salads, noodles, seafood, soups, curries and more – all served with fresh vegetables and fragrant spices.
What to Eat: If you’re after the ultimate culinary experience in Myanmar, a Burmese curry is a must. While the base of the meal features curry as a central element (whether it be pork, shrimp, beef or mutton), it also includes a seemingly never-ending accompany of dishes. From rice, a tart salad, soup, fried vegetables and an array of fresh and par-boiled vegetables, you can bet you’ll leave the meal full and content. Add to the mix a selection of dips, crispy pappadums and a traditional Burmese dessert and you’re in culinary heaven.
3) SRI LANKA
Situated in the Indian Ocean between eastern and western culture, it’s no surprise that the island of Sri Lanka is a melting pot of rich, flavoursome culinary delights. Heavily influenced by its geography, Sri Lanka’s cuisine is jam-packed full of flavour, spice, texture and food experiences. The contrasting flavours of chillies, curry, coconut milk, garlic and cinnamon create a unique fusion of flavours, and resemble the influence of Indian, Arab, Malay, Portuguese, Dutch and English immigration. With so many flavours and textures, a culinary journey throughout Sri Lanka is as much about the culture which has shaped the country as it is about the food.
What to Eat: You’ll likely hear Kottu Roti being prepared long before you see it, as the rhythmic clang of the khottu maker echoes down the streets. This is the ultimate Sri Lankan meal, featuring a stir fry-style dish of roti, shredded vegetables, meat, spices, ginger and garlic, all chopped together on a flat iron skillet using two metal cleavers. It’s one part musical performance, one part advertising, and three parts deliciousness!
Vietnam is a country with a diverse culinary history and culture, with France and China heavily influencing the nations’ cuisine choices. Vietnamese cooking is bright, fresh, light and healthy, with a diverse array of dishes that feature a perfect balance of spice and aromatics, sweet and sour. While ingredients such as lemongrass, ginger and chilli are fundamental to a lot of dishes, you may notice distinct differences from the north, central and south of the country thanks to each region’s unique climate, culture and food traditions. Whether you experience the South and the Khmer influence of salad and grilled meats, the north’s Chinese influence with less spice and more black pepper, or Central Vietnam’s blend of the two styles… the only way to really experience the array of tantalising flavours of Vietnam is to explore them all!
What to Eat: If you want to try the national dish of Vietnam, you can’t go past Pho – a beef brisket broth with noodles, herbs and chillies. It’s light on flavour but delicious none the less! Or, Com Tam is a can’t-go-wrong dish that mixes pork grill glazed with honey, fish sauce and white pepper, served with rice. It’s sweet, fragrant and texturally tantalising.
Spend a day in Morocco and you’ll soon realise why it is ranked as one of the top culinary destinations in the world. With subtle spices of saffron, cumin, ginger, cinnamon and caraway influenced by the Arabs, sweet and sour notes from the Persians, Southern European ingredients such as olives, olive oil, fruit and tomatoes, and decadent sweets from French patisseries, it is the delicious combination of flavours that make the cuisine so heavenly unique. Enhanced with apricots, figs, dates and raisins, preserved lemons and nuts such as almonds and pistachios, every bite is a mouthwatering exploration of the imperial and trade influences that have blended into Morocco’s culture.
What to Eat: It goes without saying that a tagine is the must-try dish when visiting Morocco. This is the nation’s most popular dish, and for good reason! A stew of meat is cooked with vegetables such as carrots and potatoes, in a conical shaped dish famous for its uniquely moist and hot cooking environment. Meat variations include beef with almonds and quinces, chicken with olive and lemon, or lamb with apricots.
TOP 5 courtesy of World Expeditions.