As they do with birds, animals and flowers, most countries have a national dish, which in most cases, is a food that’s been prepared for generations; it’s a food that shares history, legends and traditions with each and every forkful. Experiencing a country through food is one of my favourite ways to get to know a new place; it’s really quite astonishing how much you can learn simply by sitting down, digging in and sampling its national fares.
Throughout our travels, I was lucky enough to try the national dish in nine of the 15 countries we’ve visited. As with anything, there were hits and misses. Most of the time my curiosity was rewarded with amazing and surprising flavours, but there were a few odd times where my curiosity got the better of me and I was left with a meal I probably wouldn’t order again.
For the purpose of this post, I’ve only decided to feature national dishes that I ate in that country, for example, I enjoyed a ham hock in Vienna, and although it was delicious and it’s a food the city is famous for, it’s not a national dish. It is, however, a national dish of Germany, but I was too focused on Christmas market beverages to get into the ham hock during our visit to Hamburg, so unfortunately, ham hocks just don’t make the list. I also omitted a couple of foods like Bratwurst (Germany) and Pasta (Italy) because really, what can I say about those delicious meals that hasn’t already been said. And, chances are you’ve probably sampled them somewhere along the way yourself!
So, let’s take a look at my thoughts, feelings and impressions of the national dishes I sampled in 2016: Continue reading