Food around the world
Food & Drink

What’s the most iconic food around the world? Let’s find out!

“Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people eat together.”

– GUY FIERI

What is the most iconic food around the world? The world is a gastronomic paradise; it harbours diverse culinary uniqueness in each corner. How many cuisines contribute to describing a particular destination and what would a local suggest to taste or where to find it?

If you look a little closer, you’ll soon learn that the best dishes in the world can be an up-close lens on the destination’s history and culture. Despite their ancient origins, the dishes have been modernised for the palates of today’s world.

Different food from around the world

Every foodie enjoys tasting their way around the world by indulging in traditional cuisines, by trying a new flavour for the first time or getting to enjoy an iconic dish they’ve heard about. We learn about different cuisines by tasting the most popular signature dishes and staple ingredients of each country.

A culinary journey across the globe is the best way to discover its culture and cuisine. This makes it the pure delight of culinary travel. 

What’s even better than eating the best food in the world? You get to have a new food experience and enjoy another new dish. So, let’s take a look at the most iconic food from around the world. These are 10 different nations with their famous and traditional dishes, starting in the UK!

Warning: This list of food from around the world will make you hungry!

British Cuisine

Yes, one can’t really talk about Britain without mentioning one of the most well-known and distinct cultures on Earth: the British culture. With its own dialects, customs, art, literature and history; it is easy to see why many consider it to be one of the richest cultures in existence.

Britain has a wide variety of cuisine and holds an excellent culinary reputation. In fact, these dishes are some of the best food from around the world. However, culinary expertise in the UK is not new. Moreover, Influenced by the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, French and even other parts of Europe: In essence, a hodgepodge of diverse styles and traditions.

  • Food around the world - Fish and Chips
  • Food around the world - English Breakfast
  • Food around the world - Roast dinner
  • Food around the world - Bangers and Mash
  • Food around the world - Trifle

Fish and Chips – Fish and Chips are presumably the most popular British food known across the globe. 

English Breakfast – English breakfast is served with bacon, sausages, egg, baked beans, black pudding, fried toast, hash browns, mushrooms, and egg. Best enjoyed with a cuppa or fruit juice.

Roast Dinner – A traditional roast dinner consists of different roasted meats like chicken breast, turkey, pork, and beef. This is accompanied by seasonal vegetables, roasts, potatoes, and gravy. 

Bangers and Mash – A famous British pub food. A dish comprising sausages, mash potatoes, and onion gravy.

Trifle – A strawberry flavoured classic British dessert made up of layers of cake rolls, custard, jelly, cream, and fruit toppings. 


Italian Cuisine

My personal favourite, Italian cuisine, is one of the oldest, most beloved cuisines and considered some of the best food from around the world. With extraordinary diversity of flavours, richness and depth, offering something for everyone’s taste buds.

Italian food varies from region to region and associates with various kinds of pasta and pizza. In reality, Italian food is ever-changing, from endless combinations and new adaptations. What makes Italian food one of the best food from around the world is not just its flavours but also its diversity and also an Italian meal can be expected to be structured as follows: Antipasto (appetiser), primo (rice or pasta), second (meat), and dolce (dessert). 

  • Food around the world - Pizza
  • Food around the world - Risotto
  • Food around the world - Lasagna
  • Food around the world
  • Food around the world - Gelato

Pizza – Pizza is a flat dough topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil. (More toppings are added to create different variants of pizza)

Risotto – An Italian version of creamy rice cooked in vegetable or meat stock, cheese and wine after frying it in sautéed onions. 

Lasagna  – Lasagna is traditional Italian comfort food made in pasta sheets, meat, sauce, and cheese.

Ossobuco alla Milanese – Ossobuco is slow-cooked veal in white wine, meat broth, and vegetables seasoned with lemon zest, garlic, and parsley.

Gelato – Gelato is a rich variant of ice cream in terms of density, texture and is more intense in flavour. 


French Cuisine

Like Italian food, French cuisine was also one of the world’s first cuisines and has taken its flavours around the globe. Admittedly, French cuisine is an art, so rich in regional variations. The French take great pride in their traditions of cooking. The modern way of cooking takes a lot from roots in France, and for decades, French food has been an elegant cuisine. This ranges from sylvan, robust, and healthy to the finest meals. A typical French meal would consist of bread, cheese, and wine.

Boeuf Bourguignon – Boeuf Bourguignon, a classic French beef stew made with red wine, pearl onions, mushrooms and bacon.

Croque Monsieur – A sandwich is taken to the next level! Grilled ham and velvety béchamel cheese sauce sandwich.

Croissants – Croissants are crescent-shaped buttery, flaky pastries perfectly crisp on the outside, tender and moist on the inside.

Coq Au Vin – A version of red wine chicken stew, cooked on a low heat to perfection.

Cherry Clafoutis – A popular cherry dessert in France! Juicy, sweet cherries wrapped in a rich batter and baked into a mixture of a cake and custard. 


Chinese Cuisine

Some of the best food in the world, Chinese cuisine has taken over many parts of the world by storm! I mean, I’m sure you’ve had a Chinese take-away meal at least once in your life. This particular cuisine classifies its regional diversity into different styles: Cantonese, Szechuan, Hunan, Zhejiang, Shandong, Anhui, and Fujian. Each food tradition is formed by the regions’ history, climate, geography, and lifestyle. 

Sichuan Pork – Sichuan Pork is spicy poached slices of pork coated with egg-white and starch to preserve its freshness and tenderness.

Dumplings – Dumplings comprise a filling of minced meat and chopped vegetables wrapped in a thin dough skin. 

Peking Roasted Duck – Peking duck is a duck roast savoured for its thin and crispy skin, a world-famous dish from Beijing. 

Chow Mein – Chow mein is a stir-fried noodles dish consists of meat (chicken, beef, shrimp, or pork), onions, and celery.

Kung Pao Chicken – Kung Pao Chicken is a famous Sichuan-style dish made with diced chicken, dried chilli, and fried peanuts.


American Cuisine

The best way to explain American cuisine is that it is a blend of different cuisines. In other words, it is a mongrel, where different ethnic groups contributed to the nation’s food traditions. American cuisine has drastically changed over the years, as have American lifestyles.  Some of these dishes were contributed by Native Americans, Colonial Americans, and Modern Americans. These were adapted, changed, and invented, becoming all-American dishes. Similarly, many dishes are regionalised, such as soul food in the south, Tex-Mex cooking in Texas, etc.

Hot dogs – There is no need for a special introduction for the “All-American” hotdog, a hotdog (sausage) wedged between a bun.

Philly cheesesteak – A Philly cheesesteak is a sandwich made by grilling chopped beef, onions, and cheese then laid into a long Amoroso bun.

Grits – Grits is a creamy porridge-like dish made with whole dried white corn kernels that can go plain, savoury, or sweet. 

Mexican flat enchiladas – Mexican or Tex-Mex style enchiladas smothered in red chilli sauce or green topped with an optional fried egg.

Apple pie – Apple pie is a sweet dish that features a sweet apple filling and a flaky butter crust with a shimmering lattice pie crust.


Indian Cuisine

It’s hard to put Indian cuisine in a nutshell because of the country’s regional diversity and vast history. The early Indian cuisine relied heavily on a class system which dictated what people were able to eat. However, in more recent times, the cuisine has been a combination of traditional dishes and many international influences. The most common misinterpretation about Indian food is that many of us think it’s all curries. But in reality, it isn’t. An essential factor of Indian cuisine is that the blends of spices are designed to bring out the ultimate flavour. 

Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken) – Murgh Makhani is by far one of the deliciously best dishes in the world. This hot dish made with chicken tastes great with flatbreads.

Rogan Josh (Red Lamb) – A delectable spicy dish, Rogan Josh, is a red lamb stew prepared with a long list of spices, red chillies, and coconut cream.

Palak Paneer (Spinach and Cottage Cheese) – A popular Indian dish Palak paneer, a mildly flavoured dish made with spinach and cottage cheese with Indian spices.

Naan (Indian Flatbread) – Naan, a flatbread traditionally cooked in a tandoor oven, goes with anything, including curries and stews.

Gulab Jamun – An Indian sweet delight, a festive favourite made with milk solids, fried until golden and doused in saffron induced sugar syrup. 


Japanese Cuisine

Food in Japan is plausibly one of the unique cuisines. The reason being that many ingredients used in their cooking can very rarely be found in other cuisines. It’s not all about sushi and tofu. The art of Japanese cuisine is prepared meticulously based on the proper seasoning and fresh ingredients. 

Sushi – Sushi is some of the best food from around the world. This traditional Japanese dish consists of vinegar-flavoured rice rolls served with vegetables and raw seafood.

Sashimi – Sashimi is similar to sushi, but raw fish is sliced into small bite-sized pieces without the rice. 

Tempura – Tempura is a dish prepared with seafood, meat, and vegetables covered in flour and egg batter then deep-fried in oil. 

Soba and Udon – Soba or buckwheat noodles and Udon or wheat noodles are made by immersing the noodles into broth enjoyed hot or cold.

Wagashi – Wagashi are traditional Japanese sweets made using mochi rice cakes, Anko paste, agar, chestnuts, and sugar.


Lebanese Cuisine

Cuisine in Lebanon food includes many fresh ingredients like vegetables, fruits, seafood, and little animal protein. These ingredients are meticulously prepared in a fusion of Mediterranean and Arabic influences. The most significant feature of this fantastic food is the mezze, a selection of salads, vegetable dips, pickles, and Arabic bread. In recent years, people have come to celebrate the extraordinary flavours of Lebanese food.

Baba Ghanoush – Baba Ghanoush is a hummus-like dip made from eggplant served with pita bread and drizzled with olive oil.

Manakeesh – The Lebanese version of pizza, Manakeesh, is made with meat, cheese, zaatar. Manakeesh is served with tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh mint leaves, and olives.

Falafel – Falafel is made from deep-fried crushed chickpeas, served in a pita pocket with vegetables and tahini sauce.

Fattoush – Fattoush is a traditional Lebanese salad. 

Baklava – Baklava is a golden flakey pastry made of filo dough, honey, and assorted nuts. 


South African Cuisine

South African cuisine is extensive, culturally diverse, nourishing, and hearty, very much like the locals. Traditional South African cuisine is downright authentic, with influences induced by each culture. With the freshest ingredients from farm to table, the food here is amazingly delectable, making it one of the best foods from around the world!

Chakalaka – Chakalaka is a spicy vegetarian dish of tomato, beans, peppers, onions, and curry. This can be enjoyed with anything — rice, meat, bread, or other veggies.

Bunny chow – Bunny chow is a world-renowned dish made up of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with a chicken, pork curry, or a lentil and bean combo.

Bobotie – Bobotie, made up of minced meat, is cooked in curry, herbs & spices, and dried fruit, topped with a milky-eggy custard, and baked until golden brown.

Potjiekos – A dish of potjiekos features meat, potatoes, biltong, and vegetables slowed cooked over an outdoor fire.

Malva Pudding – Malva Pudding is a sweet, spongy cake made with apricot jam and a cream sauce poured on top. 


Caribbean Cuisine

Food from the Caribbean is a delicious mix of French cuisine, African cooking, and local foods! Caribbean food is delightfully spicy, warming, and eloquent. Food staples include peppers, sweet potato, coconut, plantain, mutton, tropical fruits, and leafy green vegetables, all prepared into a heady concoction. 

  • Food around the world - Jerk Chicken
  • Food around the world - Ackee
  • Food around the world - Pie
  • Food around the world - Lambi
  • Food around the world - Rum cake

Jerk chicken – Chicken marinated with hot Jerk spice and served with rice and peas. Jerk chicken is one of the most traditional food in Jamaica.

Ackee and saltfish – Ackee and saltfish, Jamaica’s national dish, is prepared with ackee fruit and salted codfish, suitable for mealtime.  

Macaroni pie – Macaroni pie is comfort food in the Caribbean; a cheesy baked pasta dish is delicious with stewed or barbecued chicken.

Lambi – Lambi’s main ingredient is Conch. The dish is prepared with a combination of Conch, curry powder, coriander, thyme, and marinating with other spices.

Jamaican Rum Cake – A Bundt cake with a moist and tender crumb smothered in sweet butter and rum syrup.

Oh boy! That’s a long list of the best food from around the world! So, if you would like to go on a culinary adventure and taste your way around the globe, give Travel Center UK a call or drop us a line, and we’ll be glad to assist you in planning your next trip.

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