It’s a very special What I Ate Wednesday… It’s my birthday! This year I’m celebrating with some of my favorite and most iconic “eats” around the world. When one thinks of Paris, they think of the Eiffel Tower… and a macaron. When one thinks of England, they think of Big Ben… and fish ‘n chips. When one thinks of Hawaii, they think of hula girls… and pigs roasted in the ground! Come along with me on a culinary adventure of the most iconic foods I’ve ever eaten–so far!
Australia: Aussie Surf & Turf (Kangaroo Steak and Prawns the size of your face)
Australia is wild. You don’t have to look too far down the menu to find kangaroo or prawns, and when you put them together, you have the Aussie surf & turf platter! Those are legs sticking out of those gigantic prawns.
Austria: Wiener Schnitzel
“Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodle!” Who doesn’t know that line from The Sound of Music? So when we took a quick weekend trip to Austria a couple of years ago, it was first on my food list! The picture doesn’t do it justice. That schnitzel was huge!
Canada: Lobster Poutine
This is a two-in-one icon! On a trip to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, there was lots of lobster to be had. And when in Canada, one must have poutine! What’s poutine, you ask? It’s French fries smothered in brown gravy and cheese curds. And when you put lobster on top, you have an ideal Canadian treat.
Denmark: Open-face Salmon Sandwich
When I asked my Danish friend Kim what I should eat while honeymooning in Denmark, he didn’t hesitate to tell me I needed to have a sandwich. And boy did I ever! There’s a reason for that line in Frozen that says, “We finish each other’s sandwiches!”
England: Fish n’ Chips
That’s fried fish and French fries for us American folks. Steve got the biggest fish of his life at a pub in foggy London town! Those “chips” were not as small as they look–the fish was just really big!
Just the right amount of crunch on the outside, creamy and smooth on the inside. And fun colors and flavors! Is there anything better than a French Macaron? Maybe for some, but not for me. Given the choice of cheese and chocolate or my pick of macaron, I’ll pick the macaron each and every time!
Hawaii: Luau Food
This goes in the books as one of the most fun food and travel experiences my sweet husband and I have had! There was a whole pig slow cooked all day underground, poi, fresh fruit, poke… It all put my sweet husband in the mood to ask me to slow dance in front of everyone there! When you have the chance, always go to Hawaii.
Ireland: Shepherd’s Pie
Are the potatoes really better in Ireland? They are when they’re atop a warm, comforting shepherd’s pie! I went in the fall and not only was it chilly, it was rainy! No wonder they make such awesome comfort food!
Sushi remains my favorite food out of all the food I’ve ever had in my travels. Every time I eat a piece, my heart warms and my mind flows with warm memories of my life-changing summer in Japan. Did I mention a whole package was only $2 at the grocery? As a college kid trying to make it on my own for the first time in a foreign land, that was a big deal!
Pierogis! It’s just a fun word to say. Before I went to Poland, I never knew there were so many kinds: cheese-filled, poppyseed-filled, bacon-filled, potato and onion-filled, the list goes on! I’ll be honest, the dessert-filled ones were my favorite. But the ones with bacon sprinkled on top were pretty good, too!
What’s Halusky? An Eastern European masterpiece. They’re little potato noodles smothered in a milky sauce, cheese, and bacon. What’s not to love about that, right? I’ve never had anything like it before or since!
Sweden: Swedish Meatballs
They’re not just at Ikea! Are they worth it? To me they were! That creamy brown sauce, that perfect texture… who cares if they’re made of reindeer, right?
Between the rosti, fondue, ice cream, fresh breads, and raclette, the Swiss have been topping the food charts longer than they have been neutral. One thing they’re not neutral on, however, is their chocolate. And if you’ve ever had a true Swiss chocolate, you’ll know why they turn their noses up at that plastic-tasting stuff we make in the States!
Thailand: Pad Thai
Okay, so this is definitely a “touristy” dish, but it’s also the official national dish of Thailand! I like it with shrimp. And poolside. Many things taste better poolside!
Turkey: Grape Leaves, Hummus, Baba Ganouj, Tzatziki, and Cous Cous
I fell in love with stuffed grape leaves in America, but the real thing was even better! And those Turkish folks know how to make the best dips for their warm and deliciously soft pita. Never heard of baba ganouj? I recommend it–it’s the new hummus!
Hungry yet? What are some of your most memorable or iconic meals?
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