As Americans, we tend to take our favorite foods for granted, assuming that if we enjoy it, the rest of the world must too. But you’d be shocked and saddened to walk into a Starbucks in Dusseldorf, Germany in autumn in search of your favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte because the locals wouldn’t dream of drinking something that tasted like pumpkin. While eating and snacking in other countries can be an adventure in and of itself, it’s an experience you should include on trips abroad as part of immersing yourself in another culture. After all, you can enjoy a Chicago-style hotdog or bag of boiled peanuts from Georgia once you get back home.
Tasty European Snacks
- Germany. Enjoy pretzels in Germany like you never have before. Large, soft pretzels are popular in the Bavarian region and are often served with mustard or a thick, cream cheese-like spread sprinkled with chives. In central Germany, currywurst is a popular snack consisting of sliced hotdogs in a curry-flavored tomato sauce.
- Spain. Rocky Mountain oysters — you may have heard of them in southern and eastern areas of the United States, but they’re also popular in Spain! Be forewarned, this snack has nothing to do with seafood. Rocky Mountain oysters are fried delicacies made from bull testicles.
- Scandinavia. Fish is a big part of the cuisine in the Scandinavian countries of Finland, Sweden and Norway. Lutefisk is a type of white fish cut into chunks and aged in lye. It has a strong flavor and odor, but is perfectly safe to eat and very popular in the area.
- Ukraine. In Eastern Europe and the Ukraine there’s a popular snack that tastes much better than it looks.Salo is made from cured fatback; it’s sliced thick and served alongside a bowl of Russian borscht and a vodka.
Unique Asian Snacks
- Indonesia. Are you a lover of tropical fruits? Don’t allow the onion-like odor of the durian fruit to put you off. The locals of Indonesia love this fruit, and you might, too. It’s said to have a much milder taste in comparison to its odor, yet durian is banned from many hotels and public establishments due to its smell.
- Thailand. If your snacking tendencies lean toward foods that are fried or crispy, you’re in for an unusual treat in Thailand. Fried silkworms or grasshoppers can be bought from street vendors everywhere. Don’t be afraid to try a taste of this unique, protein-rich snack.
- Cambodia. As long as you don’t suffer from arachniphobia, you might enjoy trying fried tarantulas in Cambodia. This crispy treat is seasoned in a variety of flavors, including garlic and a salty, soy sauce-flavored seasoning.
Keeping Safe and Healthy While Trying International Cuisine
The meals and snacks you try in other countries may not all be to your liking, but they’re sure to become a memorable part of your experience abroad. A reluctance to try snacks and other foods you’ve never heard of or those that are prepared in an unusual way will result in you missing out on a new experience. Skipping a snack might not sound like a big deal, but spending time in another country can be a life-changing experience, and food is a vital part of that.
When trying new foods, it’s always important to do so in a way that promotes safety. Purchase snacks and meals in places that are clean and reputable. Practice good hygiene and wash your hands. Protect yourself with the appropriate insurance in the event you should become ill. Above all, enjoy expanding your knowledge of other countries and cultures by experiencing life abroad through local cuisine.
The Korean comfort women still not heard