Another year has gone by, and it’s time to focus on the important things in life…..FOOD! More importantly what has been the BEST food of 2016. We reached out to our favourite travel and foodie bloggers to see where they’ve been and what they ate in 2016 that rocked their world. What food of 2016 is absolutely Food Worth Traveling For!
Food From Around The World – Best of 2016
Stefan & Sebastian from Nomadic Boys
“If you’re a meat lover, you’re going to be spoilt rotten in Argentina. According to The Cattle Network Argentina is 1 of 5 countries in the world, which has more cattle than people. Uruguay, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia being the other 4.
There’s good reason why Argentinian steaks are so well known across the world. The best way to enjoy a few of them is at a parilla (pronounced parisha in the Argentinian dialect). These are the steakhouses, with some of the best found in downtown Buenos Aires.
The parilla is the name of the large iron grill in which the meat is barbecued, and the occasion of going face down in large plates of barbecued meat with friends, laughter and plenty of wine is called an asado. One of our favourites was at the Lo De Jesús parilla in Buenos Aires.
Nathan from Foodie Flashpacker
2016 was a year that certainly wasn’t hurting for great new foodie finds. Trying to decide on the one dish that stood out against all the others is quite difficult. There was that steak in Ukraine, my first ever taste of limpets in the Azores, the khinkali (soup dumplings) in the Republic of Georgia… But looking back the meal that would most cause me to book a return ticket would be the charcuterie platter I had in Pisa, Italy. So simple yet so perfect- slices of local meats and cheeses, fresh bread, homemade fruit spreads, and of course several glasses of the house wine. My favorite was the porcetta— perfectly roasted pork that was so thinly sliced it almost melted in your mouth.
Sitting on a park bench enjoying this meal under the Tuscan sun was an almost out of body experience.
Taylor + Daniel of Travel Outlandish
Perhaps no other Peruvian food is as internationally known as ceviche, and for good reason. The lean white fish cooked in lime juice, spiced with hot peppers, cilantro, onions, and topped with local specialties like sweet potato and corn is at once light and totally satisfying. You can grab a cup for as little as $1 from a roadside stand, order up at a highly ranked restaurant, or even learn to make it yourself at a cooking class in Lima. Wherever you try it, expect unique textures and a flavor profile not found in any other dish in the world!
Paula from Contented Traveller
Anason is a meyhane, or a modern Istanbul style meze bar but it is located in Sydney’s newest precinct Barangaroo. Anason was the first permanent restaurant at Barangaroo and is located on Wulugul Wharf. Here we enjoyed a Bosphorus Feast on a warm spring day. One of the stand out dishes of 2016 – amongst many around the world -was the Kadayif scampi, walnut and capsicum muhammara. I must say that the pumpkin humus, and crispy chickpeas followed by The Atom, a marash of chillies, burnt butter, and strained yogurt, and the lamb shoulder on a bed of freekeh all made this Turkish banquet in Australia noteworthy.
Adelina from Pack Me Too
The best thing I ate in 2016 was a peameal sandwich I devoured in Toronto, Canada. Despite its name, the sandwich does not have a single pea in sight much to my relief. Instead, peameal bacon is cured pork loin that has been rolled in cornmeal (traditionally in yellow peas hence its name) before being sliced and grilled. Thrown into a bun and you have yourself a peameal bacon sandwich. There are no other condiments, so my expectations were not high, but what I bit into was delicious. The pork was salty, surprisingly moist and full of flavour. Being a salt fiend, this was right up my alley. It was so good and significantly better than regular bacon. While there are a number of places to grab a peameal bacon sandwich in Toronto, the best place is at the Carousel Bakery at St. Lawrence Market.
Stef from Every Stef
What if I say that one of the best food discoveries of 2016 was pig’s brain? Yes, I can see your disgusted face all the way from here! But trust me, it isn’t as bad as it sounds.
I went on a food tour around Cebu, Philippines, and when the guide told me that pig’s brain is one the most renowned Cebu delicacies, I was pretty skeptical. But since Manila locals come all the way to Cebu to try Puso (hanging rice) dipped into tuslob buwa, bubbling sauteed pig’s brain, I had to try it. And it was good, really good. Sometimes it’s just the thought of things that scare us. For $0,20, this snack is a steal!
Claudia from My Adventures Across The World
One thing I quickly learned as soon as I arrive in Israel is that there is no such thing as going hungry there. Food is very easily available, portions are huge, and most importantly so, it is always delicious – how could it be otherwise, with the fresh, good ingredients that are used? Each time I ate in Jerusalem, I thought I was having the best hummus I had ever tried. Then, I would have it again at a different place and I would think that definitely that was the best actually. Although I am hardly a foodie, I came to the conclusion that one of the coolest things to do in Jerusalem is to gorge down on all the delicious food.
My favorite dish were the appetizers – a selection of various dips, vegan or vegetarian. There is always a kind of hummus (made in different ways each time); baba ganoush, which is made with eggplants; some sort of tomato salad; lentils and bulgur salad; and lots and lots of delicious olives. All of this is always accompanied by the most fragrant, freshly baked and warm flat bread. Thinking of this makes me hungry again!
Alison from Eternal Arrival
When traveling in the Balkans, I fell in love with the grilled meats on offer in every country, called rostilj in Serbo-Croatian languages and qebabtore in Albanian. In Mostar, Bosnia, I ate the best rostilj of all at a small, unassuming restaurant in the Old Town. This insanely large mixed grill plate was a mix of fresh vegetables and spreads, cheeses, and meats. It included all the Balkan favorites: pljeskavica (a hamburger-like patty made of beef or pork, or a mix of the two), grilled chicken with fresh chopped garlic, ćevapi (skinless sausages of minced meat and spices), kosabice (sausages), kajmak (unpasteurized fresh cheese), and ajvar (mashed red pepper spread). It was arranged beautifully, with a lovely array of color, texture, and freshness, and set atop freshly baked pita bread — just in case you were still hungry after all that meat!
Margherita & Nick from The Crowded Planet
One of the best food surprises of 2016 was Herzegovina. We spent a week travelling around the country in October, and our food expectations were quite low – we thought that we would be eating nothing but stodgy meat stews and faux Italian food. Well, we were wrong! Every other family seems to be making a range of homemade products, that are sometimes sold on the roadside. Some of our favourite products include delicious ajvar, a spread made with minced carrot, capsicum and eggplant, prsut which is basically the local version of Parma ham, and lots and lots of cheese! Not to mention rakja, a local grape spirit, and wine – did you know that Herzegovina is the only place in the world with ‘wine’ in its name? Visiting a winery is definitely one of many things to do in Herzegovina!
Mariana from Rucksack Ramblings
Anyone for a lobster feast?
All-you-can-eat lobster sounds like something you have in a shitty diner, right? Well, in the San Blas islands, it’s a little different. Here, you get to munch down your lobster with your feet in the sand and a Caribbean sunset as entertainment.
The lobster is caught and prepared by the local Kuna people. The men paddle out in small canoes and return with a few kilos of fresh lobster scampering around the bottom of the boat. On the island, the women take over and boil them in big pots. Finally, this five-legged feast is put on the table accompanied by garlic butter and eager eyes. Grab a piece, put a bit of butter on top and watch it melt in all its golden glory. Then close your eyes and bite into a soft, scrumptious piece of heaven – yum!
Evan from Pretty Wild World
Lángos is a fried dough topped with sour cream, garlic, and grated cheese. Simple, yeah? But trust me, it is one of that kind of comfort food you know you’ll only find in one place and nowhere else. Sure, as a chef I could always replicate a simple dish like lángos, but I know even if I tried, it would not be the same.
I had lángos when I visited Budapest this year, and I stumbled upon it by accident. My Hungarian friend has been talking about this dish to me for ages but I didn’t seem to care because, let’s face it, it is fried dough. However, when I took my first bite of it I knew exactly what she was raving about – it was naughty, but you won’t ever feel guilty eating it.”
Alice from Teacake Travels
You may feel that me picking Pad Thai in Thailand is just all a little bit too…predictable. Well, this place in Bangkok has its own magical unique Pad Thai and for all the right reasons: Thip Samai Pad Thai Restaurant has been serving up the nation’s infamous dish for five decades (!) and its ‘superb’ version of Pad Thai is at the absolute blissful level of sweet, salty and sour. The loveliest thing about it? It’s served a little different to the usual fare. This one comes wrapped in a thin layer of yummy fresh omelette. It goes down good and the queues outside the door every night show its worth.
Lotte from Phenomenal Globe
I love pretty much all Italian food… The pizza is delicious with its thin and crispy crust. The silky homemade gelato in countless flavors is a treat regardless the temperature outside. And don’t get me started on fresh pasta, sigh…
But… one of my favorite Italian snacks is the incredibly mouthwatering delicious Sicilian Arancini, a.k.a. stuffed fried rice balls filled with all kind of Italian specialties. After eating these irresistible snacks for many many many times I still can’t decide if I prefer the spinach, pancetta and ricotta one or the Bolognese and parmesan ball. Ah well, next time in London I’ll go sampling them again;-)
You can find these Sicilian Arancini on Greenwich Market in London. From 23 March to 1 September Greenwich Market is open 7 days a week. 10am – 5.30pm. If you visit between the 1st of September and the 22nd of March, the market is open Tuesday – Sunday.
Rosemary from Authentic Food Quest
Nikkei, Tiradito dish from Lima, Peru
“Traveling through Food” is our motto at Authentic Food Quest. Our goal is to inspire you to travel through authentic food. In Lima, Peru we were blown away by Japanese-Peruvian cuisine called Nikkei.
The Japanese have a long history in Peru, and Nikkei cuisine is a fusion of Japanese recipes and traditions with Peruvian ingredients.
Tiradito is one of the dishes that best reflects the Japanese influence on Peruvian cuisine. It is thinly cut slices of raw fish similar to carpaccio or sashimi. Like sashimi, Tiradito is served raw. The difference is in the unique Peruvian ingredients.
This particular Tiradito dish, Sake No Niwa, is the most exquisite and beautiful dish you will ever eat. The thinly sliced up rolls of salmon combined with arugula, quinoa, dill and a creamy chili sauce, is a wonderful mix of subtle and refined flavors. The fresh salmon against the nutty quinoa quite literally melts in your mouth. This exquisite delight must be experienced!
Mar from Once in a Lifetime Journey
“The second best restaurant in Asia serves intriguing and unique Satoyama inspired cuisine. This is a type of cuisine invented by the chef and only serves at Narisawa. As Japan is a highly mountainous group of islands, the sea and the forests are never too far from the cities. In fact, the country is 70% covered in forest, something one could easily forget when in the middle of crowded Tokyo where Narisawa is. The Satoyama Scenery refers to this landscape of forests reaching out to the sea that most Japanese people grew up by.
Chef Narisawa uses only local seasonal ingredients and every dish is not only explained in great detail but its ingredients are also geographically located based on their origin in the different provinces of Japan. Although the dishes change with the seasons, as do the Japanese landscapes, there are some staple dishes that are always offered like the Essence of the forest where guests need to forage for food with their fingers, or the self-raising bread that cooks itself on the table. Dinner at Narisawa is a journey that will not be easily forgotten.”
Janet From Journalist On The Run
“Some of the best food I had this year was on a food tour in Hanoi, Vietnam. While virtually every dish we tasted was better than the next, my absolute favourite were these sweet sugar cane snacks made by an old man on the back of his bicycle. It’s made up of sugar cane strips and grated coconut all wrapped up in a small piece of rice paper. Delicious!”
Dariece & Nick from Goats on the Road
“It was a dream of mine to travel to Italy, a country where my favourite cuisine is from. And, lucky for me, 2016 was the year when I got to eat my way through the boot-shaped country! Unsurprisingly, the pastas, pizzas and desserts were scrumptious, but there were other dishes that I had never heard of that were so delicious. One that stands out is supli from Rome. Basically, it’s a ball of cheese covered in cooked rice and perfectly seasoned tomato sauce. Covering that ball of goodness are breadcrumbs. The balls are dropped in the deep fryer and are cooked to perfection. The result is an ooey, gooey center of cheese and an incredibly flavourful snack. Oh, and it only costs $1.20 for one!”
Savas from Farscape Travel
When you are a creative chef (Gaggan Anand) with an interesting ethnic background (Calkuta, India), working in a country world famous about its unique cuisine (Thailand) and you want to create something special that will challenge your taste buds, what do you create?
I guess the answer to that was the creation of an exquisite plate whose ingriedients alone would be absolutely impossible to imagine that they could have been mixed together. Let alone the artistic and intricate presentation, the result cannot be easily described: All 5 tastes (including umami) were involved and you only wished you had one more bite to experience this divine creation.
Taylor from Soflo Food Finds
During this past fall I discovered something life changing… spiked donut holes! Yes, you heard me right. The Salty Donut is an artisan donut shop located in the Wynwood area of Miami, Florida. They serve a variety of donuts and coffees all made in-house fresh every day. My personal favorite is their fall specialty; it is a brioche donut hole rolled in oat streusel paired with a bourbon apple cider shooter! The shooter perfectly moistens the donut, while still enhancing the flavor. If this isn’t pulling your fancy, just move right on to their cinnamon sugar coquito donut hole! No matter which you order, you can’t go wrong!
Gabor from Surfing the Planet
When we planed our trip to Cuba and asked our traveler friends for information, basically all of them told us at a certain point that we should eat lobster in Cuba. Thus, when we were traveling around Cuba, we were waiting for the proper moment to do that. It is known that the lobster they serve you around Cuba has a more intense taste than what you can eat in Europe for instance, and it is so much cheaper. In the end we tried the Cuban lobster in our last stop of our journey, in a nice restaurant on Cayo Las Brujas Island. They prepare it in different ways, but we didn’t want to risk and chose the grilled lobster with French fries and vegetables. We can tell that it was a fabulous choice, since the lobster was perfectly looked and it was very tasty. It’s amongst the many reasons that would make us go back to Cuba immediately.
Nellie from Wild Junket
On my recent trip to Georgia, I was taken by surprise by their ridiculously good food. Georgian cuisine marries European and Asian culinary styles, creating a concoction of flavors unique to this part of the world.
My absolute favorite dish in Georgia is the khachapuri, cheese filled bread that are often served fresh from the oven. Throughout the country, different regions produce their own spins of it, but the most popular is the khachapuri acharuli that has an egg topped on the melted cheesy-crust.
Amanda from Marocmama
One of the best things I ate in 2016 – a duck b’stilla at Umia in Essaouira, Morocco. Duck b’stilla is not a traditional Moroccan dish at all. In fact you won’t find any traditional Moroccan dishes made with duck. But, this restaurant is taking fresh, interesting ingredients, cooking them in traditional ways and creating something new and AMAZING! The pastry on this was crispy, the duck inside melted in my mouth and there was almost no fat at all. Balancing the savory duck with almonds, cinnamon, and icing sugar- traditional b’stilla ingredients – really made it an indulgent treat.
Gordon from Travel Bloguer
We had gone to Sulawesi to discover more about the country of Indonesia, and this included the people and their regional foods. We stopped at the Astomi Cafe on Lake Tondano. This is where we first got to eat the very hot sambals that the Minahasa people love. Our guide told that we were being served the gentler version. It was hot, but we asked to try it the way that they would normally eat it. It was not for the faint-hearted, and we were fans immediately. The best dishes were the ikan mas bajar rica – a locally grilled fish, covered in local spices – which we had to assure our guide that we could handle. The corn fritters called perkedul milu, and ayam rica-rica, grilled chicken topped with the hot sambal all made us fans of Minihasa food.
Chris from Amateur Traveler
The best food I had this season were fresh fruit smoothies in Cambodia and Thailand. For only about $1 you can have an amazing drink that also helps you beat the tropical heat. The mango smoothies in both places were amazing. The pineapple smoothies in Thailand were my favorite. The vendors are usually using bottled water so no one from the trip I was on got sick from drinking these right from street vendors. This is a photo of my favorite smoothie lady in Siem Reap and her motorcycle cart.
Sarah from Live Dream Discover
“Mexico is full of delicious food, from tacos to ceviche to arrachera to queso fundido, the list of tasty eats is endless. However one meal in particular stands out in my mind as muy, muy deliciosa. While we were busy eating our way around Playa del Carmen this past year we were introduced to Cazuela Camerones con Queso…aka cheesy shrimp soup from heaven. I’m sure you can find this at many seafood restaurants but we found our top pick at La Bamba Jarocha. This thick, creamy soup comes out bubbling in a hot clay bowl and is overflowing with shrimpy, cheesy goodness. Insider tip: order some fresh bread to sop up the juices at the end.”
Mindi & Daryl from 2 Food Trippers
After traveling for four months in Asia this year, it’s fair to say that we slurped down a lot of soup. We loved the khao soi in Chiang Mai and the pho in Hanoi. However, our favorite soup was the ramen in Osaka. We’ve previously eaten great bowls of ramen in the United States and even in Tokyo, but the ramen in Osaka, known as Japan’s kitchen, is at a whole other level. Is it the freshness of the ingredients or something more magical? We may never know until we return to Osaka for further “research”. Until then, we will dream of bowls of ramen from Ryushkin that we affectionately nicknamed chicken pot pie ramen. Both spicy and creamy, this ramen will live in our dreams except when we’re dreaming about 7.5 Hz’s ramen loaded with homemade noodles and green herbs. Osaka ramen is truly the best ramen in the world.
Trisha from P.S. I’m On My Way
Palestine might be a misunderstood country and often skipped by travelers but we can never deny that their food is something to pay attention to. Composed of food influences from all over the world, from the falafel to those freshly baked pita bread, Palestine is just so hard to beat! Although no one is really sure where this type of food originated (everyone’s claiming falafel is theirs), I still think that the best one I had is in Jericho. After that experience, even if I live in Tel Aviv, I never found anything better than that of Palestine.
Best Food Around The World 2016
Well there you have it – some serious food worth traveling for….but was our number one dish of 2016? Well that one was easy!
These mouthfuls of yum are called Khinkali and you can find them in the Republic of Georgia (Europe). We had been told that we would love visiting Georgia because of their amazing cheesy bread (mentioned above by Wild Junket)- but no one mentioned they had soup dumplings! Filled with a tasty mixture of pork and beef mince or mushrooms or our personal favourite – cheese! These are a super cheap and super tasty must try in Georgia.
To all of you foodies out there, we hope you went out into this wide world and travelled for the love of food! We of course will be exploring more Food Worth Traveling For in 2017 so stick around to find out what we will be eating next year and beyond.
From Tommo & Megsy Happy New Year and see you in 2017.
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