A semester abroad involves new people, new places and most importantly, new food. Of course, Italy serves the most delicious pizza and Paris the most irresistible baguettes. Even still, abroad is a time to expand your horizons.
Below are 11 must-try foods with origins across the world — ones that aren’t necessarily top of mind, but will undoubtedly serve as a pleasant surprise. Bon appétit, ladies and gentlemen.
1. Florence, Italy: Wild Boar Ragu Over Pappardelle
Wild Boar Ragu is found on the menus of authentic restaurants across Florence. This popular sauce is consumed commonly over pappardelle pasta, which is a large, broad and flat noodle resembling fettuccine. If you’re studying abroad in Firenze, take a chance on ragu at Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco, a popular restaurant in the very center of town.
2. Budapest, Hungary: Goulash
Though goulash is a well-respected dish in a number of European cities, it is particularly tasteful in Budapest, Hungary. This stew/soup contains the perfect mixture of beef, vegetables and paprika that will leave you satisfied and full.
3. Cape Town, South Africa: Ostrich Burgers
Ostrich is a primary meal for the Capetonian people. Get adventurous and replace your typical American burger with an ostrich one. Add cheese, lettuce, guacamole, or whatever ingredients suit you best. This dish will taste like you never left home.
4. Prague, Czech Republic: Fried Cheese Sandwich
For those studying in or visiting Prague, it is likely that you’ve either tried or heard of the city’s famous fried cheese sandwiches. Picture a thick, fried slice of cheese breaded with flour, egg and breadcrumbs. Tourists crave fried cheese in between two slices of bread, especially as a late night fast food option.
5. Tel Aviv, Israel: Shakshuka
Shakshuka is just as tasty as any egg dish in America. Prepared with poached eggs that sit in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers and onions, this spicy breakfast meal is a perfect and nutritious start to the day. Shakshuka is complimented by warm bread or pita that Israelis enjoy dipping into their dish.
6. Berlin, Germany: Pork Knuckles
Have no fear: pork knuckle is nothing more than a fancy name for roasted ham. Add some mashed or fried potatoes and beer and you’ll quickly transform into a well-versed German foodie.
7. Sydney, Australia: Kangaroo
Whether you can believe it or not, kangaroo is frequently feasted on by the inhabitants of Sydney, Australia. It is often served on pizza, with grilled vegetables, or even as a raw meat. Many claim kangaroo tastes just like steak, making the consumption experience feel more familiar than ever.
8. London, The United Kingdom: Blood Pudding
A trip to London mustn’t exclude an authentic English breakfast. Aside from beans, roasted tomatoes, bacon and toast, Brits commonly enjoy what is known as blood pudding in the morning. Essentially a sausage made from a combination of pork and oatmeal, blood pudding offers the nutrients needed to power through the day.
9. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Chimichurri
Chimichurri is a green sauce whose origins stem from Argentina. Find chimichurri on any Argentinian BBQ meat like steak, chorizo, chicken — you name it. Made with parsley, garlic, vegetable oil, oregano and white vinegar, chimichurri will give you that zest and zing needed to compliment any savory taste.
10. Paris, France: Tuna and Cheese Crêpe
Of course, crêpes and other pastry-like foods are highly characteristic of Parisian cuisine. Step outside your comfort zone with a tuna and cheese crepe, one that’s different yet equally as delicious as that sweet-tasting crêpe you normally crave. Gulp it down with a side of French herbal tea and you’re good to go.
11. Copenhagen, Denmark: Liquorice-Marinated Chicken
The Danes love all things liquorice. They use it to top desserts like ice cream, chocolate, fudge, mints and candy. What is most interesting, however, is that the Danish attachment to liquorice has transferred to meats and even fish. Don’t leave Copenhagen without trying the liquorices-marinated chicken, as it’s a dish that provides a sweet-tasting flavor you will never forget.
The world is a surprising place, and so is its food. With each new city brings an exciting opportunity to try something different, something out of the box. Now is your shot to conquer your journey abroad with open arms, and more importantly, to leave with a full and satisfied stomach.