A country’s cultural uniqueness always includes the food that the locals consume every day. The way to prepare these foods may range from simple to sophisticated methods yet the taste is a reflection of the country’s sacred traditions. Here are some must-taste traditional foods for expats to try around the world.
India’s Masala Dosa
Photo: Nadir Hashmi
Masala Dosa is a famous South Indian food originating from Udupi cuisine. This savory and crispy delicacy was a breakfast staple until it became more popular in other parts of India. The ingredients are a reflection of India’s fascination for spices and healthy flavors. The dosa shell is made by mixing rice, urad dal, salt, and oil. While the Masala filling made of potatoes, onions (chopped), split yellow peas, mustard seeds, turmeric, green chili, and other local spices. For vegetarians and health enthusiasts, Masala Dosa is a savory meal is a perfect addition to your meal. The name Masala Dosa is a literal interpretation of the food itself. Masala is a term meaning “sautéing of spices” while dosa is a loose term used for describing a gaunt, crisp pancake made of finely ground lentils.
Thailand’s Massaman Curry
Photo: Young Sok Yun 윤영석
Massaman Curry topped this year's Forbes Most Delicious Food from Thailand. This divine Thai specialty resulted from the influence of Persian, Indian, and Muslim settlements in the country. Literary evidence also indicates how the Massaman curry served among the Thai Royal family even before the 20th century. The secret behind the authentic Thai taste of the curry comes from its ingredients such as potatoes, chicken or beef, red pepper, tomato, coconut oil, onion, ginger, garlic, red chili, chili flakes/cayenne pepper, and chicken stock. Lemongrass, bay leaves, turmeric, chopped unsalted dry-roasted cashews (+ handful more to finish), ground coriander, whole cumin seed, white pepper, cardamom, tamarind, lime juice, shrimp paste (available by the jar at Asian stores), fish sauce, and palm sugar. Expats will be amazed by how this Thai delicacy can allow them to experience sweet, salty, and spicy sensations in their tongue.
Japan’s Ohmi-gyu Beef Steak
Japan takes pride in its infamous Omi beef. The earliest documented history of the Omi beef was from the Edo Period before 1867. The government back in the Hikone era tried to preserve meat and use it as a medicine with the utilization of a soybean paste called Miso. This Japanese delicacy is also recognized by the Imperial Palace in Japan as one of the greatest beef stocks raised in the past 400 years. The meat is tenderized perfectly to melt in your mouth. As the distinct flavors of its ingredients such as calamansi (native lemon) juice, dark soy sauce, freshly ground pepper, minced garlic, and onions slowly revealed with every soft bite. People from all walks of life are mesmerized by this scrumptious Ohmi-gyu beef steak when they are in Japan.
Canada’s Maple Syrup
Photo: Sheila Scarborough
Canada takes pride in its high production and exportation of maple syrup. This breakfast essential is a favorite for both adults and children. Aside from being a famous tasty supplement to pancakes, maple syrup is also used as a natural sweetener for glazes, rubs or barbecue sauces for poultry, meat, seafood, and vegetables. A dash of maple syrup can also turn your ordinary fruit mixes, cereals, ice creams, teas, coffees, and smoothies into exquisite dishes. Canadian bars and clubs are also famous for adding a hint of maple syrup to put their drinks on a new level of excellence. Extracting syrup from maple trees is done during March to April for 12 to 20 days straight. Expats who are unfamiliar with the maple syrup will get addicted to this natural sweetener with every sweet drop.
Photo: Cynthia Chen
Middle Eastern locals would often tell you that you haven’t lived at all if you haven’t tried tasting the delectable Iranian kebab. The Persian term “kebab” originated from the way medieval Persian soldiers would grill their meat over open-field fires using their swords. The swords gradually changed into skewers that also influence the idea of barbecues. With a diverse influence from neighboring areas such as Russia, Central Asia, and Mesopotamia, the Iranian kebab is created with fresh herbs, pomegranates, prunes, raisins, apricots, saffron, and essential spices. The major ingredient of all kebabs is the lamb meat. Different types of kebabs became famous in the modern era such as Chelow Kabab, Kabab Koobideh, Shish Kebab, Joojeh Kabab, and Kabab Torsh.
Eating these unique and enticing tradition foods is one of the many benefits of being an expat. Aside from the diverse cultural exposure, trying out these local delicacies can make your expat experience worthwhile. For more enticing food around the world, expats can also check out the top 10 countries for expat foodies.
Expat Lifestyle, Living Abroad, Travel Destinations, Living Overseas Traditional Foods