BEST FOODS OF THE WORLD
Foodie October 17, 2013
Somehow I happened upon this CNN list of the best foods of the world from 2 years ago. I was a little miffed that many of my personal picks didn’t make the list. As if anyone cared or asked me, I took it upon myself to put together my very own list. I decided to cut it down to 30, cos I realized that there’s so much food from around the world, that I have never even tried. Also, I decided to keep it to no more than 2 foods from any one country, as I wanted list to be as diverse and represent as many regions as possible.
Lastly, this is going to be a 3 part series. The list is already done and completed and I would love to see your comments and challenges. I hope no one leaves a comment that causes me to rethink my list. Anyhoo, don’t be quick to judge because you won’t know till the very end whether I included or excluded your faves.
So lets begin with numbers 30 through 21.
30. Swedish meatballs
Ok, so i’m not a Swedish meatball expert by any means, but you know you it’s gotta be good when you brave the craziness that is IKEA Brooklyn because you felt like some Swedish meatballs for lunch, with some gravy and lingonberry sauce, how can you lose. And to those who feel this isn’t up to par with fancier cuisine (like Marcus Samuelson version formerly of Acquavit) or more authentic versions, I really don’t care cos all I know is a furniture store version makes me want to visit the actual country to have a real plate prepared by a Swedish grandma.
29. Moroccan lamb tagine
I had a Moroccan roommate, she hooked me up and she knew what she was doing, that’s all I have to say. Just think of it, a slow cooked stew cooked in clay pot, lamb cooked to a buttery tenderness, with spices I don’t even know how to spell, served over some perfectly cooked couscous. I need to stop right now.
28. Spanish Paella (Spain)
Throw all the meat and seafood you can think of in one heaping not quite a mess of rice, olive oil and flavorbombed with saffron and other seasoning. Are you feeling me yet. To be completely honest, I loved eating Paella in Barcelona but next time I’ll skip adding rabbit in there (I find rabbit a bit gamey for my tastebuds). But besides that, could I have some more please.
27. Czech trdelnik
It’s spinning right before your eyes on some kind of contraption that you don’t quite understand, it smells amazing and you know you’re getting it freshly made. You got your sugar, you’ve got walnuts, some even had coconut, almond toppings or nutella spread inside your trdelnik. I already talked about how it was my favorite food in Prague. When I returned I yelped and googled to see if anyone anywhere in NYC (most diverse city in the world) made some trdelnik. I’m still looking.
26. Indian Gulab jamun
Cheese, seriously? How is that cheese. After devouring the very sweet. warm doused in syrupy goodness gulab jamun for the first time some years back in Jackson Heights, I refused to believe that those little golden brown balls were actually cheese. To be honest, I still don’t get it. All I know is that after a super spicy meal, I love capping it off with none other than this. Come to think of it, I think I know what I’m going to be seamlessing tonight.
25. Ethiopian wat
Cos we all know the best meals are enjoyed when you get to eat and dig in together and use your hands, the only utensils you’ll ever need. To be quite honest, my first few experiences with Ethiopian food left much to be desired. It would have been really sad if I stopped there. Thank goodness, I was convinced to try again in Washington D.C. There just so happens to be a huge Ethiopian community in D.C. which of course means, you’re more likely to get the authentic stuff. Just get a variety of wat (stews) meat or vegetarian served on injera. Also, try not to look for the fanciest place, just look for the place where the Ethiopians go. Lord have mercy.
24. Classic British sausage roll
I’m talking about the real basic 60p version. I did a work abroad program in London the year before starting law school. I was as broke as could be, but as long as I had 60pence, I was good. This stuff is so wrong, I don’t even know what’s really in it. It’s greasy as can be and the salt and fat in it, I’ll stop right there. But boy oh boy, what I’d do for some of that right now. I know it’s important to eat good food and whats good for you, yada yada yada. But sometimes ain’t nothing else that would do but an early morning, mid afternoon, late night sausage roll. I think my former flatmates will agree. Shout-out to North London (Wood Green y’all).
23. Cameroonian Puff puff (beignets)
No, I’ m not double posting, Cameroonian puff puff does bear a striking resemblance to Indian Gulab Jamun. They have absolutely nothing else in common besides looks. This is the stuff I grew up on. It worked for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I prefer it as a dinner option with a side of beans or hot sauce. In the morning, you could sprinkle sugar over it or have it with Pap. I don’t know how to explain Pap, you may just have to google that. It’s really just 4 basic ingredients: flour, water, yeast and sugar. Deep fry those suckers. It seems easy enough, but there was always one Mami who knew how to make it better than all the other ladies, whose little round balls came out the exact perfect size and the same color. Watching it being made on the side of the road (cos after all, it is truly street food, even tho’ many make at home), it’s truly some kinda art form. I vote that there should be a Cameroonian reality show, Top Puff Puff.
22. Thai green curry
When did Thai food overtake Chinese food as takeout of choice. I don’t know if you feel that way but that’s what it seems like on this end. I’m lucky that NYC has some really really good Thai food. You must be thinking, what about pad thai, or pad kee mao or massaman curry, well those are all great, but for me, that green stuff, especially when they’re generous with the heat. It’s also quite easy to replicate a good one at home. There’s nothing else that tastes quite like it. Lime leaves, cilantro, coconut milk, how can you go wrong. No, I’m seriously asking, how can you go wrong?
21. Portuguese rotisserie chicken
Truth be told, when I talk about Portuguese chicken, I’m really just picturing and thinking about Romados, a Portuguese spot in Montreal. We almost cried during our last trip there when we found out they had been closed due to a fire. We tried another Portuguese which was still really good just not exceptional. Romados is the standard by which all others are measured. I’m not even a chicken fan, the hubby can attest to that, so to see me licking my fingers and asking for more….that should tell you something. So much of its goodness is the sauce that they just slather all over the chicken and fries. You could use a knife and fork, but I’m calling this one finger food.
So there’s 21- 30. I know, I know, you have your doubts, but there’s still 20 dishes to go from all around the world and you might be surprised by what staples and non staples show up.
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