7 Foods You Need to Try When Travelling Abroad

Vancouver, BC | Posted: July 26th, 2018

If you live in Canada and the USA, you’re likely to have noticed a variety of restaurants featuring dishes from various countries. One thing is for certain; you just haven’t tried it unless you’ve been there!

There’s something extraordinary about eating a unique dish in a country you’re visiting. The ingredients, the spices, the seasonings, the traditions behind preparation, the history, it all adds up to making that dish better than anywhere else it is replicated.

As a foodie, you’re always looking for a great destination that is known for its food or a specific dish. I’ve compiled a list of 10 dishes or desserts you need to try on your next vacation. Which one are you most excited to try?

Tacos Al Pastor in Mexico

We all know that Mexico is famous for tacos, but unless you’ve been there, you’ve probably never had authentic Mexican tacos. Tacos al Pastor are simple, delicious, and seriously addictive. Over the winter, on my second trip to Mexico, I spent nine weeks exploring and discovered Tacos al Pastor for the first time. Let me just say this, Life. Changing.

The history of tacos al pastor actually comes from Lebanon but has been adapted using marinated strips of pork stacked onto a spit. The pork is then roasted, and the taquero shaves thin pieces straight onto warm tortillas, puts some onion and cilantro, and BOOM! It’s the best thing you’ll ever taste. Thank me later.

Mango Sticky Rice in Thailand

Thailand is a mecca for incredible foods, especially street foods. Most of the things you’ll try will throw your taste buds into overdrive, and you’ll come home never tasting Thai food quite the same. Mango Sticky Rice is a dessert that you can find all over the streets and in some restaurants. You may have tried it at your local Thai restaurant, but you’ve never tried it like this.

Essentially, the dish is sticky rice, coconut milk, palm sugar, and freshly sliced mango. It’s sweet, has loads of texture, and will keep you coming back for more! Pack your stretchy pants!

Pasteis de Nata in Portugal

If you’ve never had the pleasure of tasting these delicious pastries, you have not lived yet. Pasteis de Nata (Pastel de Nata if you only buy one, but who in their right mind would do that?) is a mouthwatering flaky pastry tart, filled with life-changing custard. They are not too sweet, have a buttery, creamy texture, and will put an immediate end to your good intentions of eating healthy during your travels. Sorry, not sorry.

Churros con Chocolate in Spain

These are not the churros you get at Taco Time! Spanish churros are best enjoyed from a churreria in Spain with a nice cold glass of milk. Try them with chocolate…you will have zero regrets.

Poutine in Montreal

Canadians are well aware of poutine, but if you have not been to Montreal, you’ve not had poutine at its best. A few things you need to get right: rich gravy, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside fries, and of course, squeaky cheese curds. The cheese has got to be squeaky!

One of the best places to find poutine the right way is La Banquise in Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood. They have a load of flavours, large portions, and are an in-and-out kind of joint. Bon Appetit!

Arepas in Colombia

Colombian food is so rich and tasty, but one thing you’ve got to try in Colombia is arepas. Arepas are corn or wheat based and are served with a variety of fillings. Arepas con queso (cheese filled), arepas con dulce de leche (heavenly), arepas con huevo (deep fried with an egg) are just a few examples. Whatever you choose, you will not be disappointed!

Feijoada in Brazil

Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Among other delicious foods in Brazil, one typical Brazilian dish you must try is Feijoada. Mainly, it’s a mix of black beans, different types of beef and pork, served with farofa, cabbage, rice, and sliced orange. It’s said that the dish was created during the colonial period by African slaves, but the origin of feijoada is not well known. It’s rich, meaty, savoury, and in a word, delicious. Bom apetite!

I know there’s a ton of other dishes that could have made this list, but if this doesn’t get your travel bug squirming, nothing will! What are some of your favourite dishes in different countries? We’d love to know!

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Sarah Lafontaine

Sarah is a travel writer, citizen of the world and lover of the Pacific Northwest and tacos. When not writing she can be found searching for her next travel destination or exploring with her dog, Otto. Read about her adventures on her blog Sarah Seize the World and follow her on Instagram @sarahseizetheworld

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