BootsnAll Guide to Food Around the World

Munch, crunch, gobble, gulp: Your hand gropes aimlessly around the crinkly packaging next to your lap while you sit, engrossed, staring at the back of your neighbor’s headrest. You’re thankful that some airline genius finally decided miniature televisions were cheap enough that the company could enlighten those in cattle class with an activity besides “harass the flight attendant” or “sneak up to first-class bathrooms without getting caught” on horrendously long international flights.

So there you are, secretly hoping that this time, the Titanic doesn’t sink, when you realize that you can’t find another delectable morsel in the package. You take a break from drooling over Leo and look down at your recent duty-free purchase only to realize that it’s gone. All of it. And you only left the country twenty minutes ago!

Panicked, you forget all about being the future Ms. DiCaprio and that damn necklace and lunge for the onboard, duty-free shopping guide. Sweat breaks out on your forehead as you begin wildly flipping through the magazine, past replicas of that f-ing necklace (offered for a low, low price!) and the bottles of purfume you promised you would buy your sister if you had any money left. Finally, you see it and issue a sigh of relief so loud your neighbor can hear it over his shoot-em-up flick. Yes, you notify your supercharged heart, Qantas airlines does sell Tim-Tams onboard. You reach up for the flight attendent call button: one thing’s sure, you’re getting your order in early.

Many countries have ‘specialties’ – items that are unique to that nation…or simply done better there than anywhere else. For must-trys in your next destination, check out this list. E-mail me at Court at BoosnAll dot com if you have any other to-die-for additions.

Argentina:
Beef – It’s what’s for dinner.

Belgium
Frites – What Americans call “french fries” actually originated in Belgium. Here they’re served in a paper cone and eaten with mayonnaise.
Chocolate – Heaven in a mouthful.

Australia:
Tim-Tams – Glorious chocolate ‘biscuits’ (cookies).

France:
Champange – Technically, the world’s only champagne region exists in northern France.
Cream-based Sauces – French food is known for its emphasis on white, creamy sauces. Forget counting the calories, these sauces are to die for.

Greece
Yogurt and honey – Popular for breakfast.
Greek salad – Tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, olive oil.
Souvlakia – Lamb kebabs.

Italy:
Pasta, Pasta, Pasta – Any and all types, you have to try them here.

Mexico:
Burritos – Rice, beans, pork, beef or chicken, and various other ingredients rolled in a flour tortilla.
Flan – A custard-based dessert.
Guacamole – Dip made from avocados, tomatoes, salt and sometimes other fresh ingredients.
Tropical Fruit- Mangos, papyas, pineapple.

Japan:
Sushi – Raw fish, usually prepared either on top of rice (nigiri) or with other ingredients in a seaweed-wrapped role.

Poland:
Bigos – Cabbage, chopped sausages and spices.
Golabki – Stuffed cabbage.
Golonka – Knuckle of pork.
Pierogi – Stuffed Polish pasta.

Spain
Paella – The original version from Valencia includes chick peas, rabbit, and snails. Paeela de mariscos (seafood paella) from Andalucia is popular, but why not try the paella negra (black paella – made with squid ink)? Paella de verduras (vegetable paella) is a great meal for vegetarians.
Spainish Omlette (tortilla)- Potatoes, onions, and eggs. Omlettes are called “tortillas” in Spain, not to be confused with the Mexican tortillas.
Jamon serrano – Cured ham, yummy in sandwiches.

United Kingdom
Breakfast fry-up – Bacon, egg, sausage, fried tomato, and often black pudding (blood pudding). Heart attack on a plate.
Balti cuisine – Served in Indian restaurants, but originally from Birmingham! It’s a British custom to “go for an Indian” before hitting the pubs.