12 Local Dishes You Can’t Miss When You Travel

Burgers? Boooring! There’s a whole world of incredible flavors out there. Jump outside your comfort zone with another culture’s favorite comfort food. Your next vacation can become a culinary adventure with Emirates.

1. Argentina - Rogel

Layer upon layer of thin dough and sweet gooey dulce de leche, adorned with fluffy peaks of meringue make this traditional Argentinian cake as visually impressive as it is delicious.

2. Malaysia - Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak is like a Malaysian smorgasbord and is surprisingly usually served for breakfast. The dish is cooked in coconut milk and “pandan” leaf, which is native to Malaysia. While there are many variations to the dish, the customary components of Nasi Lemak are rice, smabal squid, fried chicken, cucumber slices, fried anchovies, roasted peanuts, half a hard boiled egg, and spicy sauce.

3. India - Jalebi

When you think Indian food, you think of the country’s delicious variety of curry. But what you should be thinking about is jalebi, the super sweet street candy. Made simply by deep-frying wheat flour and soaking it in sugar syrup, the curly sweet can be served hot or cold at any hour of the day and pairs great with a warm glass of milk.

4. Brazil - Acarajé

A deep fried ball of peeled black-eyed peas stuffed with shrimp, green, and red tomato salad and a variety of different flavorful pastes. Think falafel, and then take a bite and forget what falafel is.

5. Zimbabwe - Kiwano aka African Cucumber

Despite its nickname, this juicy fruit is actually more of a melon than a cucumber. It is most commonly served in fruit salads or hollowed out and blending into smoothies and sorbets.

6. Taiwan - Snake Wine

Taipei’s Huaxi street night market is known worldwide for its snake food and drink products. Snake wine is made by preserving whole poisonous snakes (and sometimes other reptiles) in rice wine. The venom seeps into the wine but is made inactive by the wine’s ethanol. So go ahead, take a sip! But only if you’re of age.

7. Japan - Takoyaki

Octopus balls covered in mayonnaise might not sound like the most appetizing snack, but these flavorful treats are a staple of street vendors all over Japan. Think of them as a sort of grown-up fish stick: part guilty pleasure, part comfort food and 100% delicious.

8. South Africa - Bunny Chow

Don’t let the name fool you - no rabbits were harmed in the preparation of this dish. Bunny Chow is simply the catch-all name for a wide variety of spicy curries served in hollowed-out loaves of bread served in Durban and all over South Africa.

9. China - Lotus Root

This crunchy root can be served in salads, soups or stir fries. It is thought of as a “cooling food” which is eaten to restore balance to the body.

10. Philippines - Bibingkang Galapong

Though they’re usually served around Christmas time, this sweet and filling treat can be enjoyed year-round in the Philippines. The traditional Bibingka consists of rice flour and water cooked inside a banana leaf and topped with coconut and other tasty toppings.

11. Lebanon - Atayef

Lebanese sweets are anything but average. The atayef, for example, is a light pancake filled with cheese and chopped pistachios, topped with fruit jam and drizzled with rose water syrup. The soft dough and cheese mixed with the crunch and sweetness of the pistachio makes for a unique and satisfying dessert.

12. Bali - Nasi Babi Guling

Nasi Babi Guling is a hearty dish comprised of rice (nasi) and slow cooked whole suckling pig (babi guling), topped with spices and wrapped up neatly in little packets.

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