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SpainSpain

El jamón

I suppose since the provisionary title of this blog deals in poking fun at the highlights of southern Spanish culture, I'm required to cite my references. This post is a cultural footnote meant to inform/charm/warn travelers to this region of Spain (Extremadura). Perhaps you'll get along with some foreshadowing: Perhaps ... read more

Levi Shand

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Insider Tips

flagUnited Kingdom

Stick with the Christmas pudding

Variations on pudding provided both my favorite and most despised foods in London. Christmas pudding is a delicious steamed concoction with dried fruits, and has a consistency like breaded creme ... read more

Ann Clark

flagJapan

Eat mochi in all its colors

Mochi is a pounded rice cake found in soups, desserts, and enjoyed just by itself. It's a little sticky and chewy. Dango, a popular grilled version of it is ... read more

Michael Malarkey

flagGreece

Free dessert!

You have to love the Greeks. Not only is their food amazingly delicious, they want you to have as much of it as possible - even for free! Most meals in ... read more

Vanessa Quirk

flagUnited Kingdom

All hail the kebab van

England is not exactly known for its culinary prowess, and Oxford is no exception. However, there is one culinary delight beloved by all Oxford students, one that cannot compare to ... read more

Vanessa Quirk

flagSweden

Avoid the Kipper, Stick with the Meatballs

For some reason, Swedish people really like eating fish out of a can. While this might increase your tolerance for canned foods once you return to the States, it's ... read more

Anders Kelto

flagChile

Try the local seafood and beef

Chile isn't known worldwide for its food, but I had some impressive meals during my time in the country. You'll definitely want to try some seafood. Congrio a ... read more

Matthew Hintsa

flagBolivia

Say farewell to vegetables

Bolivians are not big on vegetables; meat and starch comprise the bulk of most Bolivian meals. I've never been a big meat eater, and I had to accustom myself ... read more

Kerala Taylor

flagNorway

That's not peanut butter

When you see what appears to be a slice of peanut butter on a waffle, know this: it is not peanut butter. You will be disappointed if you take a ... read more

Patrick McCue

flagJordan

Don't bust a gut

I was unsure about the traditional Jordanian dish “mensef”—a steaming platter of rice and on-the-bone lamb covered with a rich, yellow yogurt sauce—until we feasted at a friend ... read more

Adam Lichtenheld

flagUganda

BYOBottle

Uganda has a non-negotiable recycling policy on glass bottles. The policy is born of financial rather than environmental concerns but effective just the same. If you go to a store ... read more

Pete  Muller

flagUganda

Just eat it

I must say that much of East African cuisine does not do it for me. With the exception of Zanzibar, where spices are rich and seafood is varied and bountiful ... read more

Pete  Muller

flagUganda

Street food is good food

I survived largely on Rolexes, Uganda’s signature street food. It’s essentially a greasy, two-egg omelet wrapped in thin, fried bread called chapatti. The vendors will make it to ... read more

Pete  Muller

flagBangladesh

How to eat with your hands, South Asian-style

Eating with one’s hand (the right hand, not your left because it’s full of cooties) is said to make act of eating a more sensual activity, rather than ... read more

Amy Adoyzie Lam

flagEcuador

Churros are NOT dessert in Ecuador

I came home from my internship one day while living in a rural indigenous community on the side of Volcán Imbabura. My host mom told me she wanted me to ... read more

Emily Rusca

flagEcuador

Quesadillas: NOT the same as in Mexican restaurants

Quesadillas in Ecuador are not tortillas stuffed with cheese (and veggies and beans... yum). They're actually essentially a pastry, but they still do have a bit of cheese in ... read more

Emily Rusca

flagCyprus

Pace yourself

When people invite you to dinner in Cyprus, don't eat lunch. Seriously. The traditional Cypriot mezedes meal can include up to 30 dishes, of everything from fried cheese to ... read more

Madeline Blount

flagCuba

Life is a sandwich in Cuba

The ham-and-cheese sandwich is perhaps the ultimate metaphor for life in Cuba: Sometimes there is no ham, sometimes there is no cheese and every now and then, there is just ... read more

flagCuba

Go for the fried plantains

I ate some of the best food in Cuba I have ever tasted, prepared in the smallest kitchen I have ever seen. My favorite was the fried plantain: It's ... read more

Samuel Thompson

flagCuba

Shell out for seafood

Seafood in Cuba is no less than incredible. The lobster there, which I only had a on a few special occasions, stood out as being particularly delicious. read more

John Clarke

flagCuba

There's a reason orange soda isn't a food group

In Cuba, I survived on orange soda, fruit shakes, and egg sandwiches, when eggs were available. The country's rich culinary tradition has been diminished by the unavailability of quality ... read more

Michael Fletcher

flagCuba

Managing the mayonnaise

I was not a huge fan of a dish called arroz imperial, which a friend's mother prepared for me. It's a white rice and seafood loaf, held together ... read more

Heather Kirkwood

flagCuba

Peanut butter and sugar

Peanut bars are by far the best food in Cuba -- they're cheap, they're in ready supply (most every window-nook vendor sells them) and they're melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Smooth ... read more

Sarah Martin

flagUnited Kingdom

Squash isn't always a vegetable

While hanging out with English friends in my room one day, Marc announced that he was going off to One Stop to buy squash. Thinking of the veggie, I asked ... read more

Aidan Bauernschmidt

flagUnited Kingdom

5 Tips for Grocery Shopping

1) Don't bother looking for eggs in the refrigerated section; they're kept room-temperature on the shelves, usually by the bread. And if the eggs have bits of feather ... read more

Aidan Bauernschmidt

flagNepal

How to Eat Daal Bhaat Without Offending Your Host

If you are in Nepal for more than a few days, you will be invited to somebody's home for a delicious meal of daal bhaat (lentils and rice). Nepal ... read more

Kate Harding

flagSwitzerland

Nothing is Free

Don't expect extras. Bread doesn't come with butter. Fries don't come with ketchup. A ham sandwich doesn't come with lettuce and a tomato. A Coke doesn ... read more

Chantal  Panozzo

flagGreece

Wander away from the tourist-filled areas

Greeks will happily foist tepid buffet food, "authentic" (i.e. frozen and thawed) dishes, and over-priced fast food onto the throngs of tourists that invade their country. But if you ... read more

Rachel Hill

flagSpain

Embrace the kebab

Though the larger cities of Madrid and Barcelona have a respectable kebab presence, Granada is the best place for authentic doner kebabs (primarily because of its large Arab population). In ... read more

Mike Mian

flagEcuador

Eating pizza

Pizza in Ecuador is similar to pizza in the United States, though generally more expensive. Searching out local pizza places, or the Ecuadorian chains, is worth the adventure but if ... read more

Heather Heinz

flagIran

Consider kebab. (Vegetarians, prepare for lots of salad.)

Kebab is ubiquitous in Iran. If you’re a vegetarian and don’t eat any of the many different variations of grilled meat known as kebab, scour your Persian phrasebook ... read more

Mimi Hanaoka

flagIndia

Gotta love momos

Do not miss the momos! Small dumplings stuffed with meat, cheese, veggies or potatoes, and fried or steamed, momos are a signature Tibetan food. You can buy them on the ... read more

Emily Strasser

flagArgentina

Finding sushi burritos

Want to eat sushi in Buenos Aires without paying a price that makes your stomach turn? If you’re not afraid of a little sushi adventure, you can find rolls ... read more

Julie Turkewitz

flagEcuador

Order up a guniea pig

Like in the United States, guinea pigs are common in Ecuador. However, you will more likely see them roasting on a stick on the side of the road rather than ... read more

Ashley  Haugo

flagJapan

A tip on tipping in Japan

So, you go to a really nice restaurant and are greeted by a friendly staff, waited on hand and foot. The steak is mouthwatering, you have your choice of rice ... read more

Michael  Lynch

flagSwaziland

How to make pap

The staple food in Swaziland, and most of southern Africa, is pap. Called papa, ugali, and nshima in various neighboring countries, this stiff porridge is made thusly: First, corn is ... read more

Mallory Primm

flagIsrael

Cold coffee vs. iced coffee: learn the difference

In Israel, coffee houses are everywhere. And during the hot days and evenings nothing beats an ice blended coffee or iced coffee. But in Israel, you have to be very ... read more

Jonathan Amerikaner

flagGermany

Try the cake with some conversation!

As famous as England is for it's traditional tea, my favorite afternoon tradition is Germany's Kaffee und Kuchen (Coffee and Cake.) This tradition of gathering in a café ... read more

Nina Moog

flagSpain

Pack a lunch if you're about town in the afternoon

When traveling in almost any city in Spain, keep in mind that most shops close down shop during midday for Siesta. Even today, you will be hard pressed to find ... read more

Dawnielle Castledine

flagSpain

How to eat vegetarian in Spain

If you are traveling to Spain and are a vegetarian, know that it will be hard to find food without meat, and expect that there will be meat visible anywhere ... read more

Dawnielle Castledine

flagUzbekistan

Guesting in Uzbekistan

Like most peoples of the world, Uzbeks are proud of their country's hospitality. In fact, they even have a verb: "guesting." When you go guesting, you are not supposed ... read more

Betsy Gilliland

flagArgentina

Cure your mate

If you stay in Argentina long enough, you're going to want to to make your own mate, a ritual that is perhaps Argentina's most important social tradition. (Don ... read more

Julie Turkewitz

flagSouth Korea

Eat a live octopus (but make sure you chew it well!)

You can't say you've really been to South Korea unless you've sampled some "Fear Factor" quality dishes. Sure, there's dog meat soup, but everybody and their ... read more

Christopher Duffy

flagThailand

The International Stall of Pancakes

Thai pancakes (roti) are very popular and can be cooked to go. In small villages and islands, you can stop a motorbike-powered pancake stall and have yourself a roadside snack ... read more

Anna Schwaber

flagChina

Beware of free grocery store samples

One of the worst cases of food poisoning I have ever had came from some grocery store clams. It started innocently enough. There were men in the grocery store cooking ... read more

Katrina Klett

flagSpain

The Spanish tortilla

A staple of the Spanish diet, the Spanish tortilla may not be what you expect. The question becomes not whether you want flour or corn, but whether you want "camarones ... read more

Mike Mian

flagUnited Kingdom

The Golden Arches, The Mac Shack, The D’s...

For all you die-hard McDonald's fans, if you love a good McChicken sandwich in the States, try one from the local McDonald's (or Mac*Donald’s as it ... read more

William Hardy

flagUnited Kingdom

Teatime features cucumber sandwiches

If cucumber sandwiches with butter on white bread and the crusts cut off are not your thing, then try to steer away from one of London’s most common daily ... read more

William Hardy

flagIceland

Gotta love that ammonium chloride candy

Looking back, I should have noticed my friend's smug smile as he offered me some Opals on the bumpy ride back to camp. After a long day of research ... read more

Lulu  Mickelson

flagSpain

Fried blood. With rice.

Looking at the small, disc-shaped, dark brown appetizers known as morcilla, one would never imagine the main ingredient is nothing less than the liquid of life, blood. But forget the ... read more

Marcy Miranda

flagChina

Dinner at 6 -- no exceptions!

I found that the Chinese were fairly strict about when they ate their lunch and dinner. Lunch was at 11 a.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. I had ... read more

Huma Sheikh

flagIsrael

Stuff yourself at lunch

In Israel, it is more common to eat the largest meal of the day at lunch instead of at dinner. When I spent three months eating at a naval boarding ... read more

flagLaos

Put the utensils down and get your hands sticky

The fastest way to sound the Falang (foreigner) alarm in Laos is to try to eat your sticky rice with a knife and fork. So put the utensils down and ... read more

Gabriel Shaya

flagTaiwan (China)

Fried chicken buttock, anyone?

One of the strangest (and most exciting) about Taiwan is its peculiar food. Fried chicken butt, fried duck neck, steamed pig's blood, stinky tofu, and of course, salty, slimy ... read more

Austin Y

flagUnited Kingdom

London budget, college appetite

When studying abroad in London, or really anywhere in the UK for that matter, take advantage of the grocery shops and cook your own food to save money. The two ... read more

Stephanie Schmitt

flagTurkey

Baked potato a la turca

If you really want to try a unique Turkish twist on a familiar food, make sure you try "kumpir." Basically, the inside of a giant baked potato is whipped with ... read more

Jessica Cross

flagIndia

'Vegetarian' has a slightly different meaning

In India, being 'vegetarian' means consuming milk products, grains, legumes, and vegetables, but not eating the flesh of any animal OR any eggs. It is not uncommon for a vegetarian ... read more

Geeta  Aneja

flagArgentina

It's okay to eat Pancho!

If you've been around Latin America, you know that "Pancho" is a nickname for someone named Francisco. However, in Argentina, Pancho is the word used for hot dogs. No ... read more

Jon Brandt

flagCroatia

Dolac has it all: figs, flowers, honey, and octopuses

Located directly behind Zagreb's main square (Trg Bana Jelacica), this market is great for foodies and the budget weary alike. The first floor entrance looks like a modest storefront ... read more

danielle hayes

flagGermany

Pepperoni please!

If schnitzel, spaetzle, or apfelstrudel just aren’t your thing, and all you’re craving is some good ol’ fashioned pepperoni pizza, beware, your order may get lost in translation ... read more

Audrey Bergner

flagGreece

How to eat well (and cheaply) in Greece

I'm not sure it's even possible to have a bad meal in Greece. So far, I rate my meals on a scale from "delicious" to "I-would-inject-this-into-my-veins-it's-so-good." Where ... read more

Christopher Duffy

flagGreece

"Yes please" to the green beans

"Green Beans with Tomato Sauce" --- It sounds strange, or, at best, a bit bland. But this is a terrible (and ubiquitous) translation of "fasolakia," one of the most delicious Greek ... read more

Christopher Duffy

flagMongolia

Vegetarians be wary

While traditional Mongolian cuisine is undoubtedly for omnivores, there are new vegetarian restaurants popping up in UB all the time. Vegetarians and vegans can eat fine in the city, but ... read more

Lindsay Myron

flagIsrael

Does that mean you don't serve cheeseburgers!?

A quick review of Kosher requirements in Israel: It is not permitted to mix meat (beef and poultry) with milk because of a commandment not to eat "a kid in ... read more

Jonathan Amerikaner

flagSomalia

Try the camel

I recommend that after you've tried fried goat, roasted goat, chopped goat, goat soup, and numerous other forms of goat, you try the camel. Head over to Golis Restaurant ... read more

Teresa Krug

flagBosnia and Herzegovina

Cevapi is cevaplicious

Cevapi is delicious. Let's just make that clear. It may give you a stomach ache in that greasy McDonald's breakfast meat sort of way, but it is so ... read more

danielle hayes

flagUnited Kingdom

Britain's best food isn't actually British

OK, I know. Most people don’t come to the UK for the cuisine. But it’s not as bad as you’d think! Of course, there’s the obligatory ... read more

Marshall Worsham

flagPeru

Juice up your journeys!

One Peruvian cuisine custom I am determined to take home to the States with me is the tradition of drinking fresh juice with every meal. A Peruvian meal is not ... read more

Courtney Ng

flagEl Salvador

Tickets at the grocery store

At the supermarket, you need to bring your produce to the counter to get weighed and bagged before checking out. When you do, you have to decide between a "ticket ... read more

Caitlin Quigley

flagChile

Coffee lovers beware

With her heart set on a coffee to go with her chocolate dessert one night at a chic restaurant in Viña del Mar, my friend asked the waiter what kind ... read more

Brett Bralley

flagMalawi

Ditch the fork: it’s all finger food here

No, your host did not forget the silverware. Malawians tend to eat with their hands, regardless of what’s on the menu. This can feel awkward when there’s rice ... read more

Rebecca Jacobson

flagPeru

Don't expect to find mac and cheese

I was traveling in Peru and was very sick from the food and water. We passed by a KFC in Lima, and I just had to go in. I normally ... read more

Michelle Saltis

flagFrance

Don't ask for a doggie bag

When we went out to eat with my French family to a pizza place, I ordered a small pizza for myself. Later, after I had finished eating what I could ... read more

Michelle Saltis

flagSerbia

Ajvar: Your new favorite food

Ajvar is like the Balkan version of salsa. But better. (Especially since actual attempts at salsa here usually include ketchup.) A hearty mix of bell peppers, garlic, eggplant and chili ... read more

danielle hayes

flagSerbia

Eastern Europe does Crepes, and quite well

Palacenka is an inexpensive treat advertised on the windows of restaurants and sandwich shops throughout the Balkans. This delightful dish is comparable to crepes, if not virtually the same, and ... read more

danielle hayes

flagSerbia

Get a hot chocolate high

Hot chocolate in many cafes in the Balkans is like hot chocolate pudding. In other words, it's kind of like crack, sans the drug culture and possibility of arrest ... read more

danielle hayes

flagCosta Rica

Bring your own spices

Perhaps the most important thing I learned while backpacking was to bring my own spices along with me. I had never heard of this before, and quickly regretted not thinking ... read more

Michelle Saltis

flagJapan

To save cash, embrace noodles

Japanese food has a reputation for being expensive, but it doesn't have to be. Any major street will have a noodle shop of some kind, and a bowl of ... read more

Saleem Reshamwala

flagMali

How to get your coffee fix in Bamako

Need to satisfy your latte craving in Bamako? Don't want to shell out the overpriced tourist price for a mediocre cup of coffee at a fancy french-style restaurant? Stop ... read more

Leona Rosenblum

flagItaly

3 common misconceptions about Italian food

There are definitely some discrepancies between what North Americans think of as Italian food and what is actually served in Italy. Here are a few that I have found: 1 ... read more

Michelle Saltis

flagSpain

Try the €8.30 lunch menu

The Spanish have a whole different concept when it comes to food and dining. It’s a leisure activity, similar to the Lebanese mezza experience, except every day. Their lunch ... read more

Loryne Atoui

flagIndia

After-dinner treats

With all the spicy food, Indians have a host of digestive aids and remedies to clear the palate. The simplest version is soaf - fennel seeds served after dinner, alone or ... read more

Valerie Hohman

flagChile

French fries topped with scrambled eggs and beef a mouthwatering treat

At first it sounded a bit odd, but the chorrillana — french fries topped with sauteed onions, beef, scrambled eggs — is one of my fondest memories of Chilean food. While many ... read more

Brett Bralley

flagEgypt

Otlob: Egypt’s Solution for people that can’t cook

If you can’t cook, don’t worry. One thing that redeems Cairo from its heat is the availability of cheap delivery. Cairo is one of the rare cities in ... read more

Ian Bassingthwaighte

flagUganda

Starch is IT!

People in Uganda grow starchy crops that provide them with the most bang for their buck--millet, sorghum, beans, sweet potato, maize, bananas, and rice. A plate full of rice and ... read more

flagMongolia

Stone Soup

Horhog, Mongolia's summer picnic delicacy of choice, is no fairy tale. Fire-heated rocks are placed in a metal barrel with the meat of a freshly killed sheep or goat ... read more

Andrew Cullen

flagIndia

The Magical Tiffin Carrier - Fresh Food Delivered to your Door for 50 cents

How does a five-dish nutritious home-cooked hot meal delivered at your doorstep for 50 cents sound? For me, it was a Godsend. I had most dinners delivered and if I ... read more

Rohan Radhakrishna

flagIndia

One round, crunchy looking thing please

Indian sweet shops used to intimidate me. Labels and menus aren’t common, and asking after ingredients almost always yields the same basic result (sugar, nuts, milk, flour). There are ... read more

Janna White

flagKenya

Keep Trying Goat, It Will Get Better

Someone I met on my trip (credentials: she cites Chipotle as “the thing she misses second-most about America”) told me that the first three times I tried roasted goat, a ... read more

Cara Giaimo

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