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Top 3 culinary destinations for 2017

Top 3 culinary destinations for 2017

January 5, 2017

The world is full of amazingly diverse things, from culture and traditions to different lifestyles and so on. People’s eating habits are no exception. Different countries and regions have different traditional foods and all sorts of delicious dishes that you normally wouldn’t even be able to think of. Here are some of the most interesting places that you can visit to try their amazing culinary craze.

1. Croatia
The Croatian cuisine itself is actually incredibly diverse. Croatia can be divided into a few regions when it comes to cuisines (Istria, Dalmatia, Dubrovnik, Lika, Gorski Kotar, Zagorje, Međimurje, Podravina, Slavonija). Although most dishes can be found all across the country, they usually have a few modifications, specific to the region; every region of Croatia has its specific cooking traditions. Generally speaking, we can say that the mainland has more influence from the early Slavic population and the recent contacts with neighbours like Hungary and Turkey, while the coastal region bears the influences of Greek, Roman and a little bit of Mediterranean cuisine.

Croatia will welcome you with a wide variety of grilled and roasted meat specialities, lots of seafood (squids, clams, octopuses, tuna, shrimp, sea spider, mussels and so on), some really interesting stews (Goulash is the most popular), pasta with all sorts of delicious sauces (very popular in Dalmatia), light soups and amazing, mouth-watering sweets, desserts and cakes.

Some of the most interesting, must-try dishes in Croatia are:

  • Kulen/kulenova seka – spicy sausages
  • Čobanac (“shepherd’s stew”) – a mixture of several different kinds of meat with lots and lots of red spicy paprika)
  • Štrukli – pasta filled with cheese
  • Purica s mlincima – baked turkey with a special kind of pastry
  • Police – oven-baked potatoes covered with bacon
  • truffle delicacies
  • Paprenjaci – pepper cookies (main ingredients are pepper and honey)
  • Rapska torta (The Rab island cake) – made with almonds and Maraschino, a locally famous cherry liquor
Traditionally cooked Goulash, štrukli and kulen

Traditionally cooked Goulash, štrukli and kulen

2. India
Indian cuisine is mostly based on traditional dishes, native to the country. There is also a great diversity in climate, soil type and culture, so cuisines in different parts of India vary significantly from each other. Different spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits are used depending on the region they are available in. Foreign invasions, trade relations and colonialism also brought quite a few ingredients in the Indian cuisine along the way, making it what it is today. India is itself a big influence in some other cuisines around the world, such as the Middle East, North, Sub-Saharan and South-East Africa, the British Isles, Fiji and the Caribbean.

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Lots of spices, herbs, oils, seeds and an amazingly diverse range of ingredients are used in the Indian cuisine. Some of the regions in India are pretty well known for their street food. The Indian food that we know from restaurants around the world is inspired by the Mughlai cuisine (a style of the royal kitchens of the historical Mughlai Empire) and the Punjab cuisine.

Must-try Indian dishes are:

  • Biryani – rice cooked with several spices and a marinated protein (typically chicken or mutton)
  • Momos – a variation of the traditional dimsum, eaten with a fiery red chutney
  • Idli – a fermented batter of ground rice and lentils, steamed in little circular moulds.
  • Gulab Jaamun – small balls of dried milk, cooked and boiled in sugar syrup
  • Rajma – kidney beans in a thick gravy
  • Banana chips – thin slices of banana deep fried in spices
  • Rogan josh – lamb/goat curry
  • Gaajar halwa – grated carrot, cooked with milk, sugar and dried fruits
Biryani, Idli and Gulab Jaamun

Biryani, Idli and Gulab Jaamun

3. Mexico
Mexican cuisine has its main influences in the indigenous Mesoamerican cooking, merged with a little bit of the European cuisine, especially Spanish. The main ingredients are native foods, such as corn, beans, avocado, tomatoes and chilli peppers, along with rice, brought by the Spanish. The European influence is what introduced meats from domesticated animals (beef, pork, chicken, goat and sheep), dairy products and quite a few herbs and spices.

A very popular thing in the Mexican cuisine is the mole sauce, which has numerous of varieties across the Mexican republic, and is also considered Mexico’s national dish.

The must-try dishes if you visit Mexico are:

  • Chilaquiles – lightly fried corn tortillas topped with green or red salsa, with scrambled or fried eggs and pulled chicken added on top
  • Pozole – chicken, pork or vegetarian – either way, pozole is a widespread dish in Mexico, made from hominy corn with plenty of herbs and spices and stewed for many hours.
  • Tacos al pastor – strips of pork placed on a corn tortilla, served with onion, coriander leaves and pineapple.
  • Tostadas – basically, deep fried tortillas, usually served with frijoles, cheese, cooked meat, seafood and ceviche
  • Chiles en nogada – poblano chillies filled with picadillo (chopped meat, fruits and spices), walnut-based cream sauce and pomegranate seeds
  • Elote – corn on the cob, served with an abundance of salt, chilli powder, lime, butter, cheese mayonnaise and sour cream
Tacos al pastor, boiling corn and chilaquiles

Tacos al pastor, boiling corn and chilaquiles

No matter what destination you choose, you will surely enjoy an incredibly fascinating culinary experience and you will give your taste buds reasons to party! You can also check out other cuisines, maybe some Asian delights or anything else, because the world is full of culinary wonders that everyone should take advantage of.
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