Forget your chicken balls, curry sauce and your deep pan pizzas. The food you’ll discover on holidays is often nothing like what we have at home. Because we love food almost as much as we love travel we’re sharing our top food picks from three amazing holiday destinations.
Check out these signature dishes, must-try street foods and local ‘delicacies’ for the very brave. Snake’s heart anyone?!
Most of us are familiar with Italian food, but the authentic experience of Italian dining is a little different from your “Mighty Meaty” Domino’s pizza. As our Irish taste buds are already familiar with Italian flavours, trying a range of different dishes on your Italian holiday shouldn’t be too daunting.
Polenta is commonly used in Italian cooking and baking, and along with pizzas and pastas is considered a national dish of Italy so make sure to try it. “When in Rome...” after all.
One thing you have to try out when in Italy is supplì; deep-fried risotto rice balls filled with a “surprise” centre, hence the name, which comes from the French word for surprise. Spoiler Alert - the surprise centre is usually chicken giblets or ground beef in a ragu sauce with a mozzarella centre.
For dessert on the go, pick up some cannoli; a fried tube of pastry filled with sweet, creamy ricotta and garnished with candied fruit on either end. This is one of the messier foods to eat, so grab a few extra napkins!
For the brave
One of Italy’s proudest exports is squid. Many of you will have tasted the meat of the squid, but the ink of the squid is also edible and in Venice
in particular, black, inked pasta is a delicacy. Seppie nere alla Veneziana, black cuttlefish, is the city’s signature dish, and divides opinion. Some love it, some say it’s like chewing on a ballpoint pen. You can decide for yourself.
Phở is considered the national dish of Vietnam
, and is a popular noodle soup consisting of rice noodles, a sweetened broth, meat and herbs. It originated in the early 20th century in northern Vietnam, when the textile industry was strong in the area. Since then, it has become a popular dish in modern-day Asian food chains all over the world.
Most Vietnamese street food is a variation of phở, or is a dismantled and reconstructed version of it. Huế style beef noodles, flavoured with shrimp paste and lemongrass is a favourite among Vietnamese. Sticky rice, both sweet and savoury is popular as a filling and energising breakfast on the go.
For the brave (the VERY brave actually)
It doesn’t get more extreme that eating a cobra heart does it? In Vietnam, snake hearts are served as a bar snack, like mixed nuts, and are chased with either an alcoholic beverage or a shot of the cobra’s blood. Preparation varies, but some hearts are served still beating. Eek!
Chiles en nogada is the signature dish of Mexico
. It consists of quintessential Mexican ingredients; a large, mild green chilli pepper known as a poblano is stuffed with picadilo, a mixture of spiced, shredded meat and fruit covered with nogada, a walnut-based cream sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and coriander leaf.
This completes the three colours of the Mexican flag. The dish is said to have been created for Emperor Agustín de Iturbide and is considered the pride of Puebla. Sounds delish!
Street food in Mexico is known as antojitos, which means “little cravings”. Most Mexican street food is just a smaller portion of what would be served in a restaurant, and includes tamales, quesadillas, tacos and tortillas filled with shredded chicken, pork, beef or seafood and accompanied by vegetables and salsa.
Avocado, sweet potato, rice and beans are also usually included and when cooked well, can prove to have great health benefits. Mexico City was named one of the best places for street food in the world by Forbes magazine
For the brave
Jumiles are definitely not for the faint-hearted. These edible insects from the forests in south Mexico are available to buy in markets. They are eaten raw (as in, alive) or ground down as a salsa topping. They are said to have an unusual mixed acidic, yet cinnamon flavour and are a good source of tryptophan and the vitamins riboflavin and niacin. Hmmm, we don’t know!
Whether you’re more traditional, a street-food junkie or adventurous with your food, it’s always good to get away and broaden your culinary horizons. Why not call us on 01 804 7100 or drop into us at 43-45 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1 and have one of our agents help you plan your trip. Why not check out our website for great offers.