If you’re looking for hearty meals at low prices, swing past Poland’s southern city Kraków. Contrary to Central Europe’s reputation for meat-heavy food, Polish cuisine actually offers a number of meat-free options such as placki ziemniaczane, or potato pancakes, for the vegetarian traveller. But if you eat anything in Kraków, make sure it is a plate of piping hot pierogi. These Polish dumplings come in a variety of different flavours, ranging from tangy sauerkraut to sweet cherry. Check out the little café Przystanek Pierogarnia for some of the best pierogi Kraków has to offer. And don’t forget to have a sip of the local vodka! Most people forget that this drink originated in Poland as well as Russia.
While Penang is widely touted as the food capital of Malaysia, you’d be missing out if you didn’t stop over in Melaka for a bite to eat. The cuisine is a unique blend of many culinary influences that reflect the city’s cultural diversity as well as colonial history, including Malay, Nyonya, Chinese, Indian and Portuguese. Melaka’s chicken rice balls are a local speciality that you’d be a fool to pass on. This dish is an interesting twist on traditional Hainanese chicken rice, with the rice moulded into small balls packed with flavour. For those with a sweet tooth, try out refreshing iced desserts like ais kacang and cendol at the local restaurant Jonker 88, or stop by local food stalls to pick up a selection of authentic kuih.
Montréal is a must-stop destination if you’re looking to delve into the unique Quebecois cuisine. Maple syrup is probably Canada’s most well-known speciality and Montréal offers some of its very best. The boutique Délices Érable et Cie offers a tasting counter where you can sample gourmet products before you buy. What you may not have heard of is the speciality tire d’érable or maple taffy, which is made from pouring boiling maple sap onto snow. Another obvious classic to try is poutine which consists of French fries and cheese curds with rich brown gravy ladled on top. Visit Patati Patata Friterie de Luxe for a serving of the scrumptious dish.
Recognised as one of UNESCO’s Creative Cities of Gastronomy, it’s surprising how Gaziantep consistently flies under the radar for many foodie travellers. Described as a fusion of Anatolian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences, the unique cuisine of Gaziantep is not to be missed. If you are a fan of baklava, Gaziantep offers some of the finest pistachio baklava in Turkey. Taste some of the best at the restaurant Güllüoğlu Baklava. Other quintessential dishes include yuvarlama, a creamy yoghurt-based soup with chickpeas and bulgur meatballs, and lahmacun, Turkey’s version of a pizza made by topping flatbread with minced meat, herbs and vegetables.
Tucked away on the western coast of South America, Lima is a hidden hub of gastronomy. Try the classic Peruvian dish ceviche, consisting of raw fish cured in citrus juice along with various spices and seasonings. Mercado de Surquillo is a good spot to get the refreshing dish if you’re on a tight budget. For the more adventurous eaters out there, one of Lima’s delicacies is cuy, which is fried or roasted guinea pig. And if you’re looking for a sweet treat, try out some picarones. These donut-like snacks are made from fried squash, aniseed and sweet potato and then topped with chancaca (unrefined cane sugar) syrup for a crispy and delicious snack.
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