The world’s 12 best national dishes
By Ben Groundwater Sept. 24, 2014, 10:57 a.m.
First: the worst. Let’s get it out of the way early.
Many countries produce fantastic food, national dishes that manage to encapsulate thousands of years of history and a rich gastronomic culture. But I really don’t like borscht, the Russian beet soup, and Kenyans can keep ugali – the carb-a-riffic maize meal eaten in ball form – all to themselves.
Just my opinion.
However, other national dishes around the world are worth celebrating – in some cases they’re worth travelling to their home countries purely to be able to sample them in their natural environment.
The following dishes are some of my favourites, but this is by no means an exhaustive list. I’ve had to leave out, for example, bobotie, tajine, paella, bulgogi, biryani, pastizzi, larb, falafel, chelo kebabs, ramen, rosti and Pad Thai. All of which I would gladly eat right now if someone would be so kind as to put some in front of me.
But in the interests of listy goodness, I’ve narrowed it down to my top 12 sources of national gastronomic pride.
The northern version of the Argentinian empanada, the saltena, is a soupier style of oven-baked, meat-filled pastry, a delicate morsel that you’ll need to bite the top off of and slurp out the juice before attempting to eat the rest. Saltenas are a breakfast food in Bolivia, and if you can eat a couple without wearing most of them for the rest of the day, you’ve done well.
Now, the word is salteña, with an eñe. Look at some pictures from the web, come to Bolivia and enjoy!