1. Black Rye Bread, Estonia
Black rye bread plays a major role in Estonian culture. There are tons of superstitions, traditions and old sayings about bread here. For example, you shouldn’t slice a new loaf in the evening or it will shrink, though this saying has become obsolete with the introduction of pre-sliced bread. Also, if you drop your slice of bread, you shouldn’t throw it away – you should pick it up, kiss it and then continue eating. Estonians have grown rye and eaten rye bread for hundreds of years. Rye is national crop and the national flower is the cornflower, which in Estonian is known as the “rye flower”. Home-made bread on the table has always been a sign of independence, dignity and survival. So if you visit Estonia, don’t forget to try Black Rye Bread.
2. Bryndzové Halušky, Slovakia
Slovakia enjoys a prime location in Central Europe, surrounded by Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Ukraine. Bryndzové Halušky (dumplings with sheep cheese) is the national and popular dumplings in Slovakia. Bryndzové Halušky refers to the high-quality, creamy, soft, locally produced sheep cheese that is unique to Slovakia. Although this type of cheese is also produced in neighbouring countries, each country has its own special recipe, and Slovaks are especially proud of theirs. The cheese is served on top of halušky, or potato dumplings, very similar to Italian gnocchi. Finally, to create the best possible combination, pieces of smoked bacon and sausage are typically sprinkled on top. Hmm, happy tummy Buzzers.
3. Beshbarmak, Kazakhstan
Beshbarmak is the national dish of Kazakhstan and among nomadic Turkic peoples in Central Asia. The term Beshbarmak means “five fingers”, because nomads used to eat this dish with their hands. The boiled meat is finely chopped with knives, mixed with boiled noodles, and spiced with onion sauce. It is usually served in a big round dish. Beshbarmak is usually served with shorpo – mutton broth in bowls called kese. Typically, shorpo is served as a first course that is followed by courses of Beshbarmak and a drink called ak-serke (shorpo spiced with kymyz or ayran).
4. Spanish Paella, Spain
Paella is a Spanish rice dish that includes different combinations of vegetables and meats, characteristically seasoned with saffron. The dish Paella is said to be a perfect union between 2 cultures from Spain, the Romans, for the pan and the Arab that brought rice. Paella is usually cooked over an open fire in a traditional paella pan. It can be made with rice, chicken, fish, shellfish, eel, rabbit, squid, artichokes, snails, beans, peppers, or any other variety of vegetables. In popular paella usually is made with rabbit, chicken, snails, beans, and artichokes.
5. Sopa Paraguaya, Paraguay
Paraguay is one of the smaller South American nations, and it is often one that is overlooked by visitors. While most people overlook Paraguay, it is a hidden gem for culinary travellers as Paraguay food is one of the best reasons to visit. One of the most traditional meals for eaten in Paraguay is Sopa Paraguaya, which is a blend of European and the indigenous Guarani cuisine. Sopa paraguaya is similar to cornbread. Corn flour, cheese and milk or whey are common ingredients.
6. Majao or Majadito, Bolivia
Bolivian cuisine stems from the combination of Spanish cuisine with indigenous ingredients and Aymara traditions, among others, with later influences from Argentinian, Germans, Italian, French, and Arab due to the arrival of immigrants from those countries. The Majao or Majadito is a dish that originates in Eastern Bolivia. The name of the dish refers to the battered flesh; in Bolivia call “majau” or “crushed”. This dish is prepared from rice with jerky (dehydrated meat, beaten into a wooden mortar: Tacú, fried eggs and fried plantains.
7. Pabellón Criollo, Venezuela
Venezuelan food has European, African and Native American influences that make its dishes unique. Pabellón Criollo is the national dish of Venezuela. On 5th July is Venezuela’s national day. And this food most certainly is on Venezuela’s table. The name Pabellón means flag, and the dish is arranged on the plate so that the red tomatoes and steak, black beans, and the white rice resemble the three stripes of a tri-colour flag. Serve with slices of fried plantain on and with a fried egg on top (a caballo).