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  • Top 5 foodie experiences in 2012



    Traveling is all about new places and experiences, and for many travelers that includes food as well. If you’ve been known to appreciate a good dish and even to seek out foods that may sound a bit out of the ordinary for many palates, then you probably wouldn’t scoff at the idea of traveling somewhere with the sole purpose of eating your way through your destination.

    There are a lot of places on the planet where it’s worth traveling for the food alone, despite the fact that ethnic restaurants can now be found in most major cities in the world. For some authentic culinary experiences, here are our picks for the top 5 foodie experiences in 2012 – food for thought for your next trip!

    Feijoada, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    A mouthful of feijoada in Rio de Janeiro will make you feel like yoe truly in Brazil, the real deal and not only some picture perfect carnival country. The national stew of black beans and pork is a feast for the taste buds: the taste of salted meat, two types of sausage and jerked beef, cooked slowly in a thick clay pot. This hearty meal usually contains less familiar pig parts as well, like ears or tail.

    Gumbo, New Orleans, Louisiana

    Gumbo, photo by Jason Lam

    New Orleans cuisine is famous for its cuisine – just think of all those beignets, and Muffuletta sandwiches in the French Quarter, but you haven’t really been to New Orleans unless you had a bowl of gumbo too.

    Gumbo is common in the southern states, but it’s a generally acknowledged fact that the best gumbo is made in New Orleans. Taste Creole gumbo, the spicier Cajun gumbo or the lesser known vegetarian gumbo z’herbes.

    Rendang, Indonesia

    Rendang originated in the Minangkabau culture of Indonesia, but the dish is so delicious that it has spread all over the country, and even beyond. In fact, according to a list compiled by CNN, rendang is the tastiest dish in the world.

    Rendang is made with meat (beef, duck, water buffalo or mutton) or vegetables like jackfruit and cassava, slowly simmered in coconut milk, coconut paste and spices for several hours, served with rice (regular, glutinous rice barbecued in hollowed bamboo sticks, or compressed rice).

    Xiaolongba, Shanghai, China

    Xiaolongba, photo by stu_spivack

    Shanghai is a foodie’s paradise in China – perhaps even more so than Beijing. There are so many regional and local dishes to try in Shanghai that it’s hard to decide where to start, but the famed xiaolongbao is as a delicious beginning for a journey in Chinese cuisine.

    These tasty treats are not regarded as dumplings, although they look similar to regular steamed or boiled dumplings, and they come with a variety of fillings: meat, seafood, vegetables.

    Couscous, Marrakesh, Morocco

    Jemaa el-Fnaa market in Marrakesh becomes a maze of food stalls at night, pervaded by such delicious smells that you can’t stop yourself from tasting a little something. The national dish of Morocco, couscous, is well represented at the market, and you can choose from many varieties – topped with the spicy meat or vegetables stews that are common in Morocco. Wash it down with a cup of mint tea and you’ll be all set for the evening.

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