Food isn’t just what we put in front of ourselves to ingest. It means family, comfort, and love.
The world has different methods of expressing that love and bringing a family together.
For some, it means having a big messy meal all in one plate for all to share, for others, it means decorating their plate with a careful assortment of foods with vivid flavors.
Take a look at how the world has found a way to honor family, love, and traditions:
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North American cuisine
The word burger was first seen on a menu in 1928, Los Angeles. Since then, it has become an international superstar. However, America – its birthplace – knows how to make it best. Put some cheese on the beef patties as they’re frying, and watch it sizzle and melt. Throw in some sesame buns, and there you have it!
Like Americans themselves, this New York City street food classic comes from immigrants. Jewish communities from Poland brought this simple baked dough to the states. Today, many variations of this exist, but the bagel with cream cheese remains a favorite.
In Buffalo, New York, a couple introduced this dish to their patrons back in 1964. It has become an American frenzy now, and all sorts of varieties exist today. You can make them as you wish, but ask yourself how much spice you can take!
This dessert is proof that beautiful things can be created even in the darkest times. When the Great Depression hit America in the 1930s, the cheap and readily available banana and baking powder were used to make this dish. Today, it’s the pride of Americans.
Middle & South American cuisine
Burrito or ‘little donkey’ is perfect comfort food. If you finally have time to yourself, or if you’ve had your heartbroken, or if you just like tasting warm tortillas filled with all the sauces, veggies, and meats you like, this is the food for you!
Beijinho de Coco
Coconut’s little kiss, as it is called by Brazilians, is a birthday party dessert. As the name suggests, this treat is made from shredded coconut and condensed milk. Sounds delicious, right? Try it as soon as you get your hands on some coconuts!
Colombia’s brainchild, the bandeja paisa is an important part of everyday life. With a bit of everything – rice, tortilla, beans, meat, lemon, and so on – it is no wonder this is one of the most popular dishes in town!
This sweet dough fritter is served on special occasions, with practically every community putting their hands on this. Made during Ramadan, Hanukkah, and Christmas, this brings all Mexicans together. Fill it, or top it, with something sweeter, and this will be sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
A beautiful country like Honduras must have something tasty and refreshing for a picnic by the beach. Grilled tortilla is wrapped around mashed red beans, thick cream, and some cheese. Of course, that is the simple version. Add whatever you like, for this dish just gets better and better.
England’s pride, this dish was created in celebration of her victories.
Beef tenderloin is wrapped lovingly in a pastry and then baked in an oven. So, you can imagine how fulfilling it must be!
This sausage is German through and through. Since its invention hundreds of years ago, it has been a favorite of generation after generation. This is because it can be used in everything! Throw it in stews, soups, buns, or munch on it by itself.
Blanquette de Veau
If a veal stew in cream sauce sounds elegant to you, then it must be French! This is a dish that takes its sweet time to make, but it is worth it for it just melts in your mouth.
This is what symbolizes France. France wouldn’t be itself without this classic, legendary bread. More than a hundred years old, this is still consumed by the French with passion. Knead flour, salt, water, yeast with love, and bake under your own eyes to get the best out of this.
This bright red beetroot and beef soup are sure to keep you warm in winters. Not only that but also that it will keep your taste buds alive when common colds make everything taste dull. Try this Russian favorite the next time around!
Bucatini Cacio e Pepe
Ancient Italian’s favorite. Spaghetti. Black peppers. Pecorino Romano cheese. If this doesn’t intrigue you, I don’t know what will. It is such a delight that it is loved by ancient Roman shepherds and the Netflix-with-food generation!
The codfish, a Spanish staple, can be dressed however you please! Nevertheless, the Bacao al pil pil remains a favorite. Tossed in olive oil and garlic, with pil-pil sauce, this dish is simple yet so fulfilling.
The Baklava is such a wholesome dessert that both Turkey and Greece claim they made it first! Whoever it was, we must send a prayer for them! Baklava is a pastry stuffed with nuts and coated with honey or syrup. Sophisticated!
Egyptians have every right to pride themselves on creating this wonderful dessert. This sweet cake is cooked in a pan! Made from semolina butter (no other butter can be this good!), and sweetened by syrup, this is the ultimate Mediterranean classic.
Even though its rival, hummus, is loved more abroad, this dip is no less mouth-watering. Made first in Lebanon, this mashed eggplant dip will make a great addition to your movie nights. But only if you mix in Lebanese seasoning, lemon juice, and olive oil with it!
Biltong is a dried, cured meat that is popular all across Southern Africa. It’s street food, a restaurant delicacy, but most of all, it’s so African! If you’d like to be authentic, slice your beef into strips, marinate it in vinegar, sprinkle some spice, and then air dry for two weeks!
Whisk yourself to the streets of Tripoli, Libya as you consume this meat pie. Made with layers of dough, ground meat, onions, and classic Libyan seasonings, and there you have it!
A favorite of the cuisine of Mozambique, this cake is just so unique! Made from cashew and potatoes, this becomes a sweet delight when you add some sugar, butter, and egg yolks.
Never underestimate Ethiopian cuisine, ever. It has produced one stand-out dish that you just have to get your hands on! Beyainatu means ‘one of every type’ so it’s no surprise it has vegetables, lentils, curries, and a host of spices. This colorful dish is a must-try.
Middle Eastern & Central Asian cuisine
This dish is so delightfully Afghan! Healthy, low-carb, complex flavors define this lovely side dish. Baked eggplant topped with spices, tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. Top with tangy yogurt, and voila!
This is an Iranian rice dish so it has to be good! And healthy! If you throw together nutritious rice, soft baghali (fava beans), red turmeric, and fresh dills, you will end up with this delicacy that promises to keep you reaching for more.
Bagila Bil Dihin
Have you ever had breakfast in otherworldly Iraq? If not, no worries! This dish will take you right there. If fried eggs topping fava beans, with soaked pita bread sounds like your brunch from paradise, try this on a relaxing weekend break.
Pan Asian cuisine
Colorful, well-crafted Bibimpap is a favorite of all Koreans. Because it is Korean, it threatens to be spicy, addictive, and so beautiful. When rice is mixed with red chili pepper paste – gochujang – vegetables, a fried egg, and beef, you just know you’re going to have the time of your life!
Korean barbeque is something entirely out of the league. Only the best cuts of beef are used to make this. After selection, add classic Korean ingredients: soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds with green onions, and delight the people around you when you whirl this out for them.
Bánh Tráng Nuöng
Vietnamese pizza! This dish is made from large fish crackers topped with sesame seeds. You can top them with whatever the cravings say they want! Note that Vietnamese favorites are egg, shrimp, hot chili sauce, or shallots.
This is Vietnamese street food love! Children just let off from school, and night owls roaming Saigon, the capital, cannot wait to get their hands on this! Made with crispy rice flour dough, set on fire by the addition of rice vinegar and pickled chili sauce, and served with green onions, shallots, and papaya, this will become your midnight favorite!
There you have it! A comprehensive list of all the foods you have to try to truly understand how diverse humanity’s way of living, and loving, is.
Owner and Food blogger on The Cookware Geek. She loves cooking, baking, traveling, playing with the cats, and knitting. She believes that eating delicious meals doesn’t require a culinary degree or a Michelin-star chef in your kitchen.