16 Favorite Foods from Around the World

September 11, 2015

Food is more than just food when it comes to understanding another language and culture. Through food, you can learn about a culture’s history, culinary traditions and social customs. Here, at Middlebury Interactive, some of our favorite travel memories include traditional foods. We’ve compiled some of our favorite dishes and snacks from around the world. What would you add to the list?

1. Mooncake: A Chinese pastry traditionally made during the Mid-Autumn Festival

via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/misbehave/262305960/in/photolist-pboqy-fVS7b1-6YTS2Z-dmtMV5-dg2V1F-p9Sc7-p9U6W-58KfW-7tjjGQ-aeSJZy-p9U6R-aeSPXA-aeQ1QB-pibo6-8EnAk5-2Txb1A-ap56pa-5mdH82-y1j8y-btvhf-8Djubh-dGHipF-dGNHvL-dGNH5q-dGHh9r-dGNGe3-dGNFXb

“Who ever thought beans would make such a delicious dessert?” —Gabrielle LeBihan

2. Madeleines: French butter cake sprinkled with powdered sugar

Photo via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/frenchtart/5474061005/in/photolist-9kHZCa-9kMbwm-9kJ1ov-9kJ4qT-9kM8gE-cE55v3-9kJ8Se-9kJ2C4-sWii7-96U2zs-9kJ3fi-965rhQ-3qSFC-6ygh8o-9kJ7gD-4EdC9T-6yggUd-39gmf-c2WDt-bwesB7-bK9dxk-bK9gJP-bwetHG-9jKouu-7EoYiW-2

“Madeleines evoke childhood memories. Every time I have one, it brings me back to my grandmother’s kitchen, eating homemade madeleines for my snack.” —Barbara Sicot
Read Barbara Sicot’s family recipe for Madeleines here!

3. Krakauer wurst: A smoked sausage dish usually served as a cold cut

Photo via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/4780987645/in/photolist-8htP4t-5cAgiF-m8Ay2E-AqJjd-gqVyfM-ipAvNR-pi9irE-pzmP5k-pxAxNC-8w6aCi-8dGzsQ-i9rfsD-pzrm8K-pzFyB5-fXToS5-nZHteT-u2vHv-4fZQG5-PuBaX-7uyYyi-9NzF8p-6coGBo-fNCgHM-fXTdDY-auiT2c-

“Krakauer wurst is amazing.” —Kayla Gulec

4. Tzatziki: A Greek sauce typically made of yogurt and cucumbers used for dipping

Photo via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/traaf/7997220237/in/photolist-dbFQXx-bLuDv-fnVvDy-6iPMpj-7weRvZ-e7aD69-4omiz8-4axGGV-b88UYc-g8sDWy-N4vMP-8mksCW-eL5g51-dbFTrj-dbFQqz-b88UAH-bsepWH-58Wt7k-bovEap-eKSQsD-eKSQCc-kLM4k-4oovg8-5DM8Ka-9RkKVS-7h9VT

“Although you can now find it in the supermarket, in my opinion, it’s usually just a poor imitation of the real thing.” —Stacey Rainey

5. Empanadas: A traditional Latin American dish of meat- or vegetable-stuffed bread

Photo via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/blmurch/8422679593/in/photolist-dQhrcF-fpUNpA-4JQKXb-4GGT42-4GGT2t-fpUMQY-6Kfncw-4eaSsY-a23uMQ-rZwPk-4ukBGz-uYZj9-aYvqyn-aYvqfv-6nKeg5-bnh2Mq-6nKorQ-6nKfT7-6nKjMb-44ebnL-7zjubj-5bwPQb-2SuBRb-4UiuNH-2fRSHy-8y

“Crunchy and hot, the mix inside is a whole meal!” —Claudia Bolson

Read our recipe for empanadas here!

6. Tortilla Española: A Spanish omelet traditionally filled with potatoes and cheese

Photo via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lokate366/2597450732/in/photolist-4XwBBj-5rLEad-5rLGuU-5riP8m-g7Puh4-7RRv14-HSWAo-HT19z-HSWzW-kWdGT6-ef6VNh-dcd37e-aAMeoD-aAMdWg-GN3Lt-r7jyAd-8xDviV-9aBvwm-4w62td-aAPXQC-bABN9b-JjJv2-8g68mt-8MAGSR-4TG6EG-4TB

“Tasting it takes me back to Madrid!” —Beth Guance

7. Pavlova: A meringue-based dessert that is popular in New Zealand

Photo via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tehhen/8186386897/in/photolist-dtpnBF-dX2wfT-fMfZG-6KuFrR-uqP6Pi-f28vhT-7mW6ih-4fNmgD-7QNFM6-7QNFEM-4HehLT-iKqFPk-fjt4UN-8ZhPNx-8k7iB1-ab9wdx-cZkNGo-mWkCoU-5QRhDK-9pVqe4-7P4bM-3JQczu-9eJYFM-9eJYyp-9eJWoK-9eJ

“Pavlova presents itself on a dessert menu about once every two years and I never ignore it!” —Stacey Rainey

8. Poutine: A Canadian dish consisting of fries covered in gravy and cheese curds

Photo via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/flyingsaab/8472085881/in/photolist-dUDDYe-77692f-cR3mEA-8KSiFL-9dbuvK-8usfkW-8zeoRM-oM48kE-ihqLg-9c4r2V-71WTZj-9vJfQ4-9vJfut-aTvpPB-aTvpEz-aTvpwg-dJHuRr-6MCYb6-6MCY6K-6MH9Py-6MCXXZ-6MCXTT-5aCvrA-8KsgPP-5qYGS

“Otherwise known as a heart attack in a bowl.” —Kelly Sokol

9. Churros con chocolate: A Spanish dessert of fried-dough pastry served with chocolate dip

Photo via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/toolmantim/7890691706/in/photolist-d2gRJJ-8bwS3r-9x1KdA-d2gSZj-5Hm7L3-Fyica-66YFCP-8JU5Z-nxo2Lq-nZvykn-cQdtrm-9PkTCX-9RZQyh-7ePmbG-9pfWTn-eNxRjS-bKTE6B-3ZWUz2-JekR4-sYxU4-jNnrSx-6mnLFG-5wpmuh-eYLLYY-dRqAPJ-b

“For me, churros con chocolate evokes strong memories of good times traveling through Spain with students with whom, to this day, I am still very close.” —Terry Goodlett

10. Shawarma: A grilled sandwich similar to a gyro or taco that originated in the Middle East.

Photo via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cyclonebill/2223426004/in/photolist-4otD67-bux53-eLitT8-d1GKC7-4oqmxS-84g9wM-r9aMDu-9ahgcU-5P2zpM-831Rxb-frnKeE-qiFqAy-2MhYG-dSe5Vx-612Vw1-oswsPz-84g9DK-7V5FXb-nDSzcd-7oQNcE-6SQ2pB-5yM9nn-dmzoyi-9MvBBw-82md9

“A little piece of heaven wrapped into flatbread.” —Gabrielle LeBihan

11. Erdnuss Flippies: Peanut flavored puffs that can be found in Germany

Photo via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/per-salomonsson/15582712972/in/photolist-9ZKLjL-6yYaqE-pJZtF3-LmPd5-ayKokt-4xBhge-8HZSZU-6Gkpz7-7dNgN1-8xQd-7DUAkJ-9dGbSU-nrTrZW-nrTH9a-nLagyt-ak4gjj-9K83Uv-aQ1uVt-cd8b6A-nJbWcQ-nrTjE3-nJbWpo-nGkrPW-nJnU4c-n

“They’re basically the peanut butter version of cheese puffs.” —Kayla Gulec

12. Pâte de coing: A traditional French dessert made from the pulp of a quince fruit

Photo via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/grongar/8202495377/in/photolist-duPW76-duLYC9-duLYvN-dimQEh-9Kfwyc-72xvS3-dBkrYb-7ocHTA-2zVev7-6qiHjL-6fb6iA-7YrCEt-5dnfb-8J4raQ-6w8HpW-dnBEnm-nt3VR1-hApft-6oKQ2N-2zV99W-2zQMAZ-dp61KJ-dp61AG-dp61Qw-dmri2E-eW

“Pâte de coing is the perfect balance of tart and sweet and goes so well with cheese, one of my other favorite French foods. And it's such a pretty color too.” —Penelope Wall

13. Pan con tomate: A simple Catalan dish consisting of bread with tomatoes

Photo via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jenniferwoodardmaderazo/545703508/in/photolist-QdSDb-cSLZaN-6JPaDp-4ZLeRv-b3fWWp-h9pWb-4ZQr5E-BSHPD-4AyCvh-7WVfCv-4R6j5Y-chwUwW-8fsoZ4-fDPV1E-ehTvjC-4ZQrff-5nXkZC-6hzycx-4yQijM-9FGGFE-aTSBeT-aTSzs6-7PsidN-9s

“Pan con tomate is a simple appetizer which conjures up images of Spain.” —Stacey Rainey

14. Egg rolls: A savory Asian dish consisting of meat and vegetables wrapped in fried dough

Photo via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart_spivack/6848762093/in/photolist-brcGn4-bMRqBB-6ePPBp-9dFvb4-7t72Yp-bpM2cs-bCFXpt-ni9Nyv-9dJy1Y-6eTXqW-nic1vw-nhSpgh-ni9PMT-nic1oY-7SMa4J-nhSsUu-7SNWXh-7kz3iw-nibZFA-9dFv4k-9dFv9k-9dJyb5-9dFvd8-9dFuZt-

“When my sister-in-law from Taiwan visits, she always makes them for our family.” —Theresa Bruns

15. Smažený sýr: A Czech dish that literally translates to “fried cheese”

Photo via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rcooper/3398879658/in/photolist-wVdss-6bgZTk-6bm9vq-grNnRM

”It’s the best part of a grilled cheese inside a crispy fried crust.” —Kelly Sokol

16. Tostones: Fried plantain slices often served as a side dish in Latin America

Photo via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/arndog/3923227304/in/photolist-6YFyN5-7ajVYi-f3yw93-9Lp5sF-5zD3DR-9qNo8i-nLH6jv-e2WQaB-f3UBnn-6oXEdL-q2AjA7-dBvcEn-7aoAUq-7aoAcm-7aoKm9-7aoJoA-7ajQWr-7ajUoc-6apqyb-6apqu7-7aozDm-7ajTWR-7ajKpx-7ajQqt-7aoHdb-7

“It's total comfort food; greasy, starchy, salty and addicting.” —Penelope Wall

Share your favorite foods from around the world below!

Gabrielle LeBihan
Gabrielle LeBihan is a marketing intern at Middlebury Interactive Languages. She is currently a student at Nazareth College and hopes to graduate with a degree in Communications and Rhetoric, with minors in Spanish and Peace and Justice. In her free time, Gabrielle can most often be found running on the roads and trails of her hometown, Brant Lake, New York. Gabrielle also enjoys cooking, reading and playing the cello.
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