Top 5 Foods
Continuing with our top 5 lists we come to my favourite category, top 5 foods! This was probably one of the hardest lists to compile as we have tried hundreds of varied local foods throughout our travels. The list could have easily been a top 10 or 20, but then it would just ruin the consistency of our lists. As anybody who knows us personally can imagine, this list has obviously been written entirely from my perspective. If Kendall had done her own list it would have definitely consisted only of 5 variations of bread and cheese.
Below, in descending order, are my top 5 foods from our trip.
5. Cow head, Durban, South Africa
This scrumptious dish was a real delicacy. The hundreds of flies, lack of sanitary cooking conditions and cow whiskers really added to the taste…. actually it was quite horrible. I was happy to walk away with only a slight stomach ache.
The real #5:
5. The Bunny, Durban, South Africa
Our couch surfing host Jonathan took us to a local joint to try the famous Durban Bunny. No you do not eat an actual rabbit, but rather a hollowed out bread bowl stuffed with delicious curry. Developed by the Durban Indian population the Bunny packs a punch! It tends to be quite spicy and very filling. You could get either meat or vegetarian curry stuffing. Wash it down with a Carling Black Label lager and you are in business. It is a shame I only had it once.
4. Pho bo, Vietnam
Ah pho, the world famous Vietnamese noodle soup that was my go-to meal at every noodle stand and restaurant all across Vietnam. Because I had pho numerous times (usually at around 2 am after a night at the pub) back in Ottawa I felt quite hesitant in including it in the list, but since I honestly ate it every day in Vietnam I couldn’t leave it out. I opted on the beef version (pho bo), but others also enjoy chicken (pho ga). It is fairly inexpensive as well. A big bowl would set you back at most 35,000 Dong ($1.60) at restaurants and even cheaper at sidewalk stands.
3. Vegetarian Thali, Nepal & India
Ok this one is not really fair as a thali is a dish which included 3 to 5 small Indian dishes served with either rice and/or roti (flat bread). Similar to tapas, the thali gives you the opportunity to sample and fill up on the variety of the local offerings. The best thing (for me anyways) is that you are at the chefs mercy; each time you order a thali you get different dishes! Usually included are; dal (lentil soup), varied vegetables, curd yogurt and a crispy papad (fried lentil/chickpea cracker). You can find them in Nepal as well, but the best one I had was at a rooftop restaurant in Jodphur, India.
2. Thai Curries, Thailand
Along with thousands of people around the world I am in love with Thai food. It is spicy, tasty, delicious and fresh, did I mention delicious? Thailand has a large and varied cuisine; you can eat something different each and every day! However for me it is all about the Thai curries. The coconut based sauce and the delicious spices make for a delightful combination, throw a couple of chillies in and the meal is complete. There are a variety of types of curries out there, and it is impossible to pick a favourite! The ones from south Thailand tend to be more spicy (which I love) and the more north you go the milder they get. Two that stand out: Green Curry from a small restaurant in Krabi, the kind lady asked how spicy I wanted and I said very, she smirked and then I ended up being covered in sweat throughout the meal. The second was a massaman curry that Fraser and Kaila made for us on our 2nd night on Phangan. It was so tasty and I can’t wait to start trying to make them back home!!!
1. Grandma’s Pierogies, Poland
Call me bias, a homer, or whatever you want, but nothing and I mean nothing tastes better than homemade pierogies from your Babcia! My two dear Babcias, Roma and Zosia, spoiled us with their delicious cooking during our stay in Poland. Pierogies being ever present at each meal were the stars of the show. We even got a firsthand lesson from Babcia Zosia on how to make wild blueberry desert pierogies. It was truly fantastic learning from her, she made it look so simple and easy. What took her 10 minutes would have taken us 2 hours! You can have a variety of fillings: potato, cheese, cabbage, strawberries, blueberries, lentils. Pierogies are available all over the world, but by far the best and tastiest ones come from your Babcias.
Honourable mentions: Laksa (Malaysia), Breadfruit (Tahiti), Mo Mo (Nepal), Burek & Cevapi (Bosnia & Herzegovina).