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6 Local Dishes Around the World That Are Worth the Trip

Local Dishes Around the World!

An Italian dinner of pasta, tomato ragu, bread, and olive oil, speaks not only of the recipes passed on through generations but of the fertile lands that bore the olives in the country. In Japan, sushi is representative of the vast resources the country inherits from the sea. A meal in a new country is a way to experience and enjoy the tastes and traditions of the place you are visiting.
With food, you will almost always find the best dishes by going straight to the source. With decades, or even centuries experience cooking the same dishes, the locals have learned the insider secrets to perfect their cuisine. There are so many regional cuisines that are praised throughout the world, that traveling just to taste the foods of the world can be a worthwhile adventure. But with so many options and a wide range of flavors, where do you begin? Here’s a list of the best local dishes around the world.

Ceviche in Peru

You may have heard of ceviche before. To put it simply, ceviche

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Ceviche

is chopped raw fish that has been marinated in citrus and peppers. The fish “cooks” in the acidity of the citrus. The fish and citrus vary, but the flavor profile is the same — fresh, clean fish, the tangy acidity of lime or lemon, and subtle heat. Located off the Pacific Ocean, Peru has an abundant supply of fresh seafood. Popular options include sea bass, halibut, and tilapia. But as chefs continue to experiment, other varieties including marlin and shark are becoming popular as well. Lima is known to be the culinary hotspot of Peru, but there are great ceviche options throughout the country. Chez Wong is a must if you are in Lima. Also check out Jasusi in Máncora.

Chili Crab in Singapore

Be prepared to get your hands dirty when you dig into Singapore’s signature dish. You’re sure to find yourself licking your fingers as you try to savor every morsel of sauce. Chili crab is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy, providing an experience your taste buds won’t soon forget. The sweet and tender mud crab is smothered in a sauce composed of tomatoes, garlic, and spices. The degree of spice will vary from place to place, but it is generally believed, the spicier, the better. For authentic chili crab, a visit to Roland’s is a must, as they claim to be the place where the chili crab began. Few have been entrusted with the family recipe that makes this dish so special. Another favorite among locals is Jumbo Seafood, winner of numerous culinary awards and winner for best chili crab in 2006.

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Poutine

Poutine in Montreal

If you are looking for a comfort food that will stick to your guts, look no further than poutine. This local dish is comprised of crispy french fries topped with squeaky (as poutine connoisseurs like to call it) cheese curds and smothered in a rich brown gravy. This comfort food found its beginnings in Montreal, but can be found throughout most of Canada. Although the traditional variety is a favorite among locals, chefs throughout the country have found a variety of ways to spice it up. Be sure to visit La Banquise and try one of their 30 varieties including The Scooby, topped with steak, fried pickles, onions, bacon, and garlic sauce, or The Rachel, a vegetarian option topped with peppers, mushrooms and onions. Try Au Pied de Cochon, for a rich egg and cream infused gravy with a generous serving of foie gras on top.

Goulash in Hungary

You may remember goulash from childhood — ground beef, tomato sauce, noodles, a classic weeknight dinner. But that’s not the goulash we are talking about. Traditional Hungarian goulash (gulyás) is a local dish in Hungary containing a rich meat and potato stew. Though often made with large chunks of beef, it is not uncommon for veal or pork to be used as well. The meat is slowly simmered in a deep tomato broth, infused with smoky, Hungarian paprika. Potatoes and vegetables are added to create a warm, hearty dish that can be found on almost every menu in Hungary. If you are looking for an authentic experience, head to Budapest Bisztró.

Som Tam in Thailand

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Som Tam

Thailand is known for its soups and noodles. And rightfully so. Thailand is home to Pad Thai, Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup), and Pad Kee Mao (also known as drunken noodles). And while everyone loves a spicy noodle dish, there is another dish that travelers and locals keep coming back to. Som Tam is a green papaya salad. It can be found in street markets and in restaurants. Chilies, garlic, dried shrimp, fish sauce, and palm sugar are mixed together with a mortar and pestle. The resulting sauce is then combined with crisp, sour papaya. The sweetness of the sugar balances out the tart flavors and the chilies provide a nice heat. But be forewarned, the heat level will vary and some salads will provide quite a kick.

Pizza in Italy

When it comes to food, there are so many options to choose from in Italy. Italy is world renowned for its pasta, polenta, olive oil, wine — pretty much food in general. It’s hard to go wrong when choosing what to eat while in Italy. But perhaps the most iconic and arguably most delicious local dish to eat in Italy is pizza.
Pizza has been around for centuries, in multiple forms, flavors, and varieties. In Italy, pizza is at its best when it is kept simple. The best pizza is a showcase of its ingredients. Pizza Margherita is a classic. Crisp dough, a simple sauce, basil, and cheese are all that’s needed for the perfect slice. For a no-fuss traditional pizzeria, stop by L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Naples. In Rome, try La Gatta Mangiona and taste one of their seasonal favorites.

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Explore the Wonders of an Amazon River Cruise

When you think of river cruising, the first thing that comes to mind is probably intimate cruises of the Danube or Seine rivers in Europe or even cruises of the Mississippi River. However, a lesser-known option for river cruising is to cruise the mighty Amazon River. The Amazon river is truly a sight to behold, as it is not only the second longest river in the world, but it is also the largest river by volume of output, making it a truly spectacular destination for any river cruise enthusiast.

Whether you choose to cruise the Brazilian, Peruvian, or Ecuadorian sections of The Amazon, you will be exposed to the breathtaking natural wonders of The Amazon rainforest, and you will see wonderful cultural sites that have developed along its banks. If you have not previously considered an Amazon river cruise, here are just a few of the reasons to consider doing so.

Ample Ship and Line Options

boat on the amazon river
With the popularity of Amazon river cruises on the rise, more cruise lines and ships are adding itineraries along the Amazon each year. This means that no matter your tastes when it comes to cruising, whether you like something rustic, elegant, intimate, or large with lots of amenities, there will likely be a cruise that meets your needs. In fact, one of the unique things about The Amazon River is that it is wide enough, and (more importantly) deep enough to accommodate large ocean cruise
ships. This provides the perfect opportunity for those looking for the unique experiences a river cruise has to offer but who still want access to the extensive amenities of larger cruise ships.

Multiple, Unique Itineraries

amazon waterfallWith a river as large as The Amazon, you will also be able to choose from a variety of unique itineraries. If you want to see more nature and historical sites rather than large cities, then the less traveled Peruvian section of the river may be right for you. Peruvian Amazon cruises often originate in Iquitos and use more intimate vessels to explore some of the rivers more fascinating tributaries. These cruises often include a tour of the Yacapana Isles, which are famous for their iguana populations, and they also take passengers to see the Yarapa River’s stunning pink and grey freshwater dolphins. The Peruvian stretch of the Amazon is definitely for those adventurers looking for the road less traveled.
A cruise along the Brazilian stretch of the Amazon allows you to pick from a wider range of cruise lines, ships, and itineraries, and is great for those looking for a more cultural experience as you will be able to see a variety of cities and villages includes Parintins, Manaus, Santarem, and Boca de Valeria. A unique feature of booking a Brazilian Amazon cruise through one of the larger cruise lines, such as Princess Cruises or Viking, is that these lines often offer cruises that originate in Florida ports and make stops at Caribbean islands such as Barbados, St. Thomas, and St. Lucia before cruising The Amazon, allowing you to experience the best that ocean and river cruising has to offer.

The Diverse Wildlife

Monkey eating Food One of the most spectacular features of a cruise of the Amazon is the diversity of the wildlife that you will see as you travel through the jungles of the Amazon Basin. In fact, the sheer diversity of flora and fauna in the Amazon is staggering as this area contains the largest collection of living plant and animal species in the world. This region is home to 2.5 million insect species, over 10,000 species of plants, 2,000 birds, over 400 mammals, 400 amphibians, and over 300 reptiles. On a cruise through The Amazon, you will never cease to be amazed by the wonders you will see each day.

Gateway to The Inca Empire

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu

One of the benefits to choosing a cruise of the Peruvian section of The Amazon is that many of these cruises include a trip to the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu at the beginning or end of the cruise. Built hundreds of years ago but not re-discovered until 1911, these Inca ruins atop a mountain have fascinated people around the world for over a hundred years. As part of your Peruvian Amazon trip, you will be able to explore these ruins for yourself and discover what has captivated travelers for a century.

The Meeting of The WatersBlack river and Solimões River

Should you choose a Brazilian Amazon cruise, one of the key features you will get to see if the meeting of the waters near Manaus. The meeting of the waters is where two major tributaries of strikingly different colors, the light brown Solimoes River and the black Negro River, come together and run alongside each other for several miles without merging. This creates a stunning visual effect where one is able to see the distinct line where these two rivers touch without intermingling, allowing for stunning vistas and photographs.

Things to Keep in Mind When Cruising the Amazon

Prepare for Rain, and Lots of It
While a cruise of The Amazon river will allow you to see amazing natural wonders, it is important to remember that The Amazon Basin is so green and alive with activity because it gets a large amount of rain; an average of 12 feet per year. You will likely encounter rain at some point on your trip so come prepared with an umbrella and light rain jacket to help keep you dry.
Bring Plenty of Insect Repellant
With all of that moisture and wildlife also comes an abundance of insects. You should consider covering up as much as possible by wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, and long socks. Keep these layers thin, as it can be hot and humid, particularly during the dry season. You will also want to pack plenty of insect repellant to protect any parts of your body that are exposed.
Be Ready to Explore
While you will be able to experience breathtaking views right from your cruise ship, some of the best sights will be seen while you are on land, and you should plan accordingly by bringing clothes and shoes appropriate for extensive walking and hiking.
For those who have never explored The Amazon River Basin, you will likely be blown away by the wonders you will see on your trip.