Throughout any college kid’s time abroad, the mouthwatering dishes they find along the way are only one of the many benefits. When they come across something fresh and different, the thought always crosses their mind, “Why haven’t they brought this to the United States yet?”
Unfortunately it’s not that easy, so when you are jet-setting around the world on your study abroad adventure, make sure to try these dishes. And while you’re at it, convince the chef to bring it to the United States – we will all thank you endlessly.
The “Land Down Under” has quickly become a popular study abroad destination for a new experience, and the food that comes with it can’t be found anywhere else. Coming back to the States, there is not one person who doesn’t crave Lamingtons on the regular.
For those who took the journey south and spent a semester abroad in one of South America’s cities, I bet that pan con palta became one of your best friends. Chile’s equivalent to peanut butter and jelly, this treat simply consists of ripe avocado spread over toasted french bread. What makes it special? The quality of their avocados can’t be found anywhere else.
Sold on every street corner in China, Chan’r is the drunk food that every college student wishes they had back at school. These lamb kebabs are generally lathered in cumin seeds, dried pepper flakes, salt, and sesame are roasted or fried to perfection.
The South has long been considered the capital of comfort food, but they are missing one of the most comforting foods in the world: cassoulet. Anyone who has been to France for more than a few days will tell you that you can’t go wrong with this dish.
Recently, everyone has been stopping in Hungary to take a breathtaking Instagram of themselves in the Szechenyi Baths of Budapest. Surprisingly, behind this natural wonder is some truly unique food.
Known in Hungary as paprikás csirke, chicken paprikash is a fierce dish of dumplings and a whole lot of meaty goodness. If the US adopted this dish, we would be ordering it at every restaurant possible.
India isn’t your typical abroad spot, however, there are always a handful of students from a variety of universities who spend a semester appreciating the country’s unique culture and food. Ask any one of these lucky kids and they won’t hesitate to tell you about bhang.
Bhang–a paste made from ground cannabis leaves–is legal in India and is typically mixed into milk and sold in street shops. Those fortunate enough to be in the country during Holi know that there is rarely a crackdown on bhang dealers, and this is the time to fully appreciate this cannibis-infused creation.
The Irish add their own boozy twist to Great Britain’s meat pie to create the iconic steak and Guinness pie. Finding this dish in an American-Irish pub is difficult and any college kid who has found luck in Ireland will be sure to tell you that this was one of the best meals they had along the way.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Italy’s pizza is better than any other pie you have ever tasted, but do yourself a favor and try something different. Order an authentic porchetta sandwich and you’ll be wishing that they had these at every restaurant in the States. See if you can smuggle some Kinder Surprise eggs back home with you, too. They are still illegal everywhere but Europe (rude!).
The United States adapted simple Japanese cuisine such as ramen and sushi many, many years ago. Okonomiyaki, on the other hand, is a street food that the United States is totally missing out on.
Ask any student who visited Japan what they ate after a long night of sake-bombing and karaoke, and they are bound to ramble on about this savory pancake that is “grilled as you like it.”
Rfissa is traditionally served with pieces of gharifa–a Moroccan pancake–that is sopped with lentils, onions and chicken. Anyone who has made the stop in this African country to ride a camel or wander the striking, blue tiled streets has tried Rfissa and still dreams about it every night.
The beautiful architecture might be the pull to this incredible country, but the stroopwafles are begging for travelers to stay. Yes, the United States has waffle cones and Belgian waffles, however, but you just can’t find these delectable treats back home.
Meant to be eaten with coffee or tea, the round disc–comprised of two thin waffle crisps with a caramel syrup filling–should be put over your mug so the steam can soften it for a couple minutes. If you can’t wait that long, then don’t.
Few have taken the time to venture to the islands off the northeastern coast of Australia, but those who have will tell you that they wish there was a Queenstown Fergburger waiting for them at their door back home. Their flagship restaurant is their only location, and their exotic variations are just a few of the reasons why people make the trek to Fergburger.
It’s been said that there are over 1,000 different recipes for bacalhau–Portuguese dried and salted cod. Found on every menu across the country, this iconic ingredient is delicious however it’s prepared. Followed by a pastel de nata, any Portuguese meal will beat one that you can find in the United States. Yes, I went there.
The cousin of the cranberry, the lingonberry is widely found in Scandinavia. Served with Swedish meatballs, reindeer meat from Lapland, or any other native meat, this sauce is to die for. Anyone who has been fortunate enough to make it to Norway, Sweden or Finland during their semester abroad will tell you that Scandinavian lingonberry sauce is better than IKEA’s.
Spain is known for their tapas, a cultural staple that was introduced to the United States years ago, but croquetas de jamón are a tapa that Americans haven’t adopted just yet. These bites are usually made with béchamel and are stuffed with ham, but sometimes they have chicken or cod inside. They rock.
Each country has their own variation of this sandwich, but it was originally introduced by the Turks. Everyone’s favorite Döner kebab can found on nearly every street corner. Two pieces of crispy bread stuffed with a variation of seasoned meats, salad, tomato, onion and slathered with sauce–how does it get any better? “If the States created their own variation,” would be any drunk student’s answer.
Their language may be the same as ours, but the food is exceptionally different. It is difficult to pick just one thing that the United States should adopt. However, everyone who has studied abroad in London feels the same way about crumpets; English muffins should be replaced with crumpets ASAP.
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