Gastronomic tourism: 5 most "delicious" countries in the world
Where to taste the best ravioli in the world, why croissants are not the main dish of France, and what is kubdari? OBOZREVATEL has prepared a selection of countries with diverse and delicious cuisine that will appeal to even the most demanding gourmets.
Italians take food, as well as life, very lightly. It is unlikely that they will spend 2 hours preparing lunch or even a gala dinner. An ordinary family will have light salads with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, some pasta or ravioli on the table. The latter dish is a top favorite among tourists.
Ravioli are somewhat similar to our dumplings with vegetable, meat, cheese, or mushroom fillings. They are most often served in a creamy or tomato sauce, and generously sprinkled with cheese on top.
Italians do not like to rush either in business or leisure. So they eat slowly and calmly, usually with friends, colleagues, or family. Quick snacks are incomprehensible to this people, so fast food has not taken root in the country. Nevertheless, the restaurant industry is developed here like nowhere else. You can find establishments for every budget and taste.
When touring Italy, it's important to understand that each region is famous for its own dishes. In the north, it is better to order rice in various cooking variations, and in the south - pasta and risotto.
Don't miss the opportunity to try real wine. It is best to choose drinks made from Italian grape varieties - Red Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Muscat, Lambrusco. The latter, by the way, is used to make red sparkling wine, which is considered a cure for all diseases. Cheeses are the best to go with wine. We advise you to try gorgonzola with blue mold and mozzarella. These cheeses are a real national pride of Italy.
For the French, cooking is not a mundane process, but a real art. That's why their national cuisine is incredibly popular all over the world and is famous for its sophisticated dishes. Unlike the Italians, the locals can spend several hours preparing lunch.
France is divided into several regions according to its culinary traditions. In the south of the country, spicy dishes with lots of spices are very popular, while in the southeast, the most delicious fish is cooked. By the way, in addition to seafood, the Côte d'Azur has a lot of delicious fruits and vegetables, which are always of high quality and fresh due to the extremely favorable climate. There are also many lamb and game dishes in this region.
Another popular tourist destination is Normandy. Apples are grown here on an industrial scale, so there are several shops selling local cider on every street. And the pride of the region can easily be called a duck cooked with apples.
Those with a sweet tooth should spend at least a few days in Lorraine, the birthplace of one of the most popular French desserts, macarons. These are small cakes made of egg white, sugar, and ground almonds, served in the form of cookies with various fillings.
However, in France, they value not only haute cuisine but also traditional family dishes. Thus, even in our region, a special vegetable stew, ratatouille, has taken root. It comes from Provence, but it is cooked all over the country. So we advise you to try this dish in its homeland.
Let's move on from spicy cooking to more colorful and colorful. Georgian cuisine is full of a huge variety of dishes, generously seasoned with aromatic spices and hot sauces.
Of course, the first place for true "jiggers" will always be shish kebab. Here, it is cooked in large pieces over charcoal, marinated for a whole day, and the finished dish is served with adjika, satebeli, or berry sauce.
Meat plays a major role in the region. It is added to almost all the main dishes, such as ojakhuri (potatoes with meat - Ed.), khachapuri (flatbread with filling - Ed.), and khinkali (Georgian dumplings - Ed.). Traditional Georgian cuisine has been shaped over many centuries at the intersection of different cultures. So here you can find pork, lamb, beef and poultry dishes. Such diversity is not represented in any other Eastern country, let alone in the mountainous regions.
Lunch in a real Georgian restaurant cannot be imagined without khinkali. These are large dumplings with meat, cheese, vegetable, or even fruit fillings and are eaten with your hands, holding a special tail.
It is impossible to ignore Georgian pastries, namely khachapuri. These are flour cakes with various salty fillings. Each region has its own special recipe for this dish. For example, Megrelian khachapuri is made with suluguni cheese and mozzarella, while kubdari is traditionally made with spicy meat filling.
This country has a very large selection of first courses. So we advise you to try kharcho, bozbashi or chikhirtma. It is better to eat them with traditional bread - shoti, because soups in this country are usually spicy and rich.
Another Eastern country with an extremely rich cuisine is China. Here, dishes that are prepared very quickly and have a spicy taste are popular. Not surprisingly, gongbao has become a kind of symbol of this country. This is a dish of fried chicken pieces with chili peppers, peanuts, and vegetables. It can be celery, broccoli, eggplant, or carrots. However, in some regions, shrimp or pork is used instead of chicken. There is also a vegan version with tofu.
The Chinese favorite side dish is rice. It tastes good with vegetables, meat, seafood, or just any hot sauce. By the way, there is a legend that people learned about rice thanks to a dog. Rains and bad weather destroyed the entire crop and forced people to hunt for predators. One day, a wild dog came running to the hunters with several yellow grains on its tail. Smart people decided to sow these grains. That's how rice cultivation began.
As in other countries, Chinese cuisine varies from region to region. Most of the dishes we know come from the south of the country. They are less spicy and fatty than in the interior of the continent, where Sichuan pepper is valued.
The national Mexican cuisine was formed at the intersection of European and Native American traditions. It is not surprising that most of the dishes of this region are included in the UNESCO Intangible Heritage List.
Mexican dishes are often "not for the palate" of European tourists, as they are rich in hot chili sauces. However, true gourmets will appreciate this cuisine for its variety of bright flavors. The most popular tacos among visitors are local fast food made from meat, vegetables, and cheese wrapped in corn tortillas.
Equally popular in Mexico is biren, goat stewed in a sauce with several varieties of hot peppers and spices. It is traditionally served with beans or beans and corn tortillas.
The name "barbecue" has a different meaning for Mexicans than for Europeans. This is a dish of lamb wrapped in agave leaves, which is cooked for 12 hours in a special pit. To do this, the meat is placed on a stone, sprinkled with earth, and a fire is lit on top. However, modern housewives use slow cookers to cook barbecue.
When traveling in Mexico, try the special tinctures of this country. They are made not only from berries and fruits, but also from cacti, snakes, and even lizards. However, be careful, these drinks are very strong.
When going on a gastronomic tour, please note that our bodies are not prepared for the delicacies of different countries and can react to strange dishes in a completely unexpected way. So be careful in your culinary experiments.