By far the best part about travelling somewhere new is trying out the local cuisine! I am getting hungry just thinking back to these meals… After going somewhere, I try to recreate my favorite foods at home and sometimes they turn out great! But I think the most special thing about these meals is the place I was in and the people that I shared them with. So without further ado, here is a compilation of my all-time favorite dishes from elsewhere (in no particular order).
We were not too adventurous for our first street food stop in Bangkok, but fell in love with the mango sticky rice dessert, a mango with a sweet Asian rice, topped with coconut milk. The best part of it was that the fruit in Thailand was so unbelievably fresh that the mangoes literally melted in your mouth and were not fibrous at all.
One of my favorite meals in Thailand was on our way to the airport to head back home. We compiled all of our coins (you cannot convert coins back to US Dollars) and bought the most random assortment at one of the sprawling street markets in Chiang Mai. We had pad thai, pork dumplings, Thai sausage, pork on a stick, some fried rice dessert dumplings, and of course, mango sticky rice.
My abroad group ate this Kaiserschmarrn after a horse-drawn carriage ride through a snowy passage in the Alps. There is nothing like a scrambled pancake with stewed plums and applesauce to warm you up on a cold day! I have made this dessert at home many times and it is not only super delicious, but also wicked fun to make.
Fun story- I traveled to Switzerland with a loaf of bread and a jar of Nutella because I knew the cheapest meal around was the equivalent of $20 (For comparison, just a McDonald’s burger was $12…). I did not feel I was missing out on anything because the cuisine is almost identical to Austria’s meat and potatoes diet. I of course wanted to buy Swiss chocolates though, so I did my own chocolate tour where I bought one piece from each shop, ending up with a dozen super unique chocolates from around the Alps area.
The best Italian food I ever had was ironically in Croatia… This does make sense though because we were in a port town in the north with much Italian influence, including a whole street with a Croatian/Italian immersion of pastry tents (you can imagine our excitement). This homemade gnocchi was the size of golf balls and I swear it was cooked in heaven.
So many kebabs (called döners in parts of Germany) were eaten in my abroad semester. It is basically a Turkish pita sandwich with lamb meat from a spit, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and tzatziki sauce, topped with chili flakes (“ein bisschen” for me!!). There was a shop right outside Universität Salzburg where everyone went between classes. The kebabs in this picture with Meghan were outside the Viktualienmarkt in Munich.
We found a shop called “Nice Cream” not far from the Rialto Bridge advertising €1 for a scoop of gelato. I am embarrassed to say how many times we went back to that shop during the weekend. It was absolutely frigid out in February and my friend Becky was literally chattering her teeth between bites, but it was too good to pass up…
Coffee house culture is an absolute must-do in Austria. You can sit for hours as long as your cup always has coffee in it (notice how this cup in the picture is about half the size of a Dunks small!). When you walk in the door, you order a pastry at the counter, pick a seat, and order a drink. A local shop recognized that a program of 50 American students was in the city center for 4 months, so they did a free sample day to capitalize on the influx of new students. Great idea honestly!
The only things on my Prague bucket list were to see the Charles Bridge and to eat some trdelník- a hollow cinnamon dough funnel filled with gelato. It is always featured on Instagram and I wanted to see if it was as good as it looked (hint- it was!!)
This goulash and spiced sausage is making me “Hungary”!! This was Jeff and I’s first meal in Budapest and we were not disappointed.
Honestly, I would go back to all of these places just for the food…