More trips should be based around food in our opinion. As well as filling our bellies and putting a smile on our face, sharing food with people and discovering what fuels them gives a lot more than just a good meal. Check out these four countries with food worth flying for.
You can’t understand Italy without recognizing the importance of food- along with family it makes up the heart and soul of the culture. Whoever put cheese, tomato and bread together knew how to make humans happy and you’ll find pizza in almost every country on earth. Because of this ubiquity it’s easy to think that you know Italian food, but there is so much diversity between regions that it’s worth going on a delicious discovery tour.
It’s not just what’s on the plate that makes Italian food so special, it’s the national belief that food makes life joyous, it’s the serious and passionate focus on the provenance of ingredients and the belief in taking time to share it with people you love.
Ice cream for breakfast - yep, in Sicily the most common breakfast is a soft, buttery brioche stuffed with pistachio, hazelnut or chocolate gelato. Our kind of start to the day.
Pizza Fritta in Napoli - the only way to make pizza better? Deep fry it. These Italians know how to live.
People think Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles because of the friendly locals but we think it’s the proximity to tasty food that’s making everyone so happy. With a rich history of influences from all over Asia, Thai food is a perennial take out favorite because it’s hard to make such delicious food at home. If Italian food is about simplicity, here you’ll find complex mixes of salty, sweet, bitter, sour and spicy flavors in every dish.
Another big reason Thailand makes it on to our list- snacks, snacks and snacks. Street-food is everywhere, from Pad Thai made in front of you for less than a dollar to some of the best exotic fruit you’ll ever taste, you can find something delicious on almost every street corner.
Pad Kra Pao- a stir-fry of Thai holy basil, chilies and minced pork or chicken. One of the most popular dishes with locals, be ready for a punch in the mouth (in a good way) from the peppery basil and hot spicy chilies.
Mango sticky rice- when you taste fruit in Thailand you’ll realize you’ve never properly tasted fruit before. This dessert pairs sweet juicy mango with coconut infused sticky rice to make a satisfying end to any meal.
Even if you’ve never been near Lebanon you’re probably familiar with their food. Let’s not pretend humus isn’t the reason most of us eat carrot sticks, and you can find shawarma street food trucks all over the world. It’s not hard to see why this food has traveled so well - garlic, lemon juice, cumin and sumac lend their flavor to whole grains, chickpeas, grilled meats and vegetables to create fresh yet flavor-packed meals.
The good news is that the Lebanese love a Mezze - a selection of small dishes served at the start of a meal, so you can try as many different ones as possible. Leave space for desserts, flavored with local orange blossom, rose water and honey. We recommend packing a pair of pants a size up for the plane journey home.
Manakish- This flatbread is the most popular breakfast in Lebanon and comes with a variety of toppings. Try the classic smothered in za’atar- a mix of earthy oregano, citrusy sumac and nutty toasted sesame seeds.
When recipes from 7000 years ago are still being made, with the same produce grown from the same land, you can trust that this food is tasty. Mexican cuisine is one of the most historic that the world has to offer, with dishes still based around the indigenous ingredients of chilies, corn and beans. When the Spanish colonized the country they brought rice, olive oil, garlic, spices and cheese. Mix it all together and you can see why the world loves Mexican food.
Take a trip through the country and see how geography affects what’s on your plate- fish tacos in Baja California, banana leaf tamales in Oaxaca, ground cacao and cinnamon drinks in Chiapas- there is so much to discover. Mexico City has become a foodie destination, with Michelin starred restaurants and some of the best street food in the world. Our tip is to head to the busiest taco stands and lunch counters, follow your nose and try everything!
Michelada - ever been enjoying a beer and wondered how it could get any better? Add lime, salt, chili sauce and a dash of tomato juice and you have your answer. Sounds strange but makes perfect sense on a hot Mexican beach.