National Dishes from Around the World

The type of food you eat tells many things about you, it can say you are healthy, or you lead a very busy life. It can also tell if you care about food at all or just use it as food for the body. The same goes for Nations, countries around the world prefer certain dishes than others. Sometimes it is because of what ingredients are grown locally, other times it is a style of cooking that reflects the lifestyle of its peoples.

In this blog we saunter around the world in a gastronomic quest to see what are the National dishes of certain countries, and why.

Hamburger – USA

The origins of the simple hamburger are hotly disputed, but the main idea is that the hamburger was developed from the German settlers that arrived in early America. As a National dish it is not very grand or for that matter very healthy. But you can see why Americans love the hamburger. Firstly, there is beef, beef, and more beef which is synonymous with American culture. Secondly it was really the first “fast food” that hit the market, and this was also highly attractive to the busy working American with little time for the luxuries that time gives.

Ackee and Saltfish – Jamaica

Ackee was first thought as slave food, it is akin to a sweet potato but is actually a fruit with a distinctive nutty flavor. Jamaicans prefer to boil their ackee which then turns into the texture of scrambled eggs and is very creamy. Saltfish is an Jamaican staple and it is actually salt-cured cod. The traditional way of putting the ingredients together is adding onions and tomatoes to sautéed ackee then the fish is broken apart and scattered into the mixture.

Bulgogi – Korea

Bulgogi is traditionally beef and translates into “fire meat”. The chef prepares thinly sliced strips of prime beef then it is marinated in a light soy sauce, with ginger, garlic, onions, sugar and rice wine. When thoroughly marinated the strips of beef are then placed on a flaming hot grill to char the beef and crisp it up. The traditional accompaniment to Bulgogi is “kimchi” which is Korea’s national dish of fermented and pickled vegetables. Today many Korean barbecues restaurants serve this around the world.

Goulash – Hungary

The classic goulash has been the national dish of Hungary for many centuries. Although some restaurants serve this “stew” as a fancy dish it was originally ate by the herdsmen of Hungary on the plains as a peasant dish.

Gulyas in Hungarian translates as “herdsman” and you can see why it became a national dish, as it was a dish of the people. Most of the time it is made with beef, and has vegetables, onions and the main spice is paprika which gives the whole dish a wonderful smoked taste that lingers on the palate. 

These wonderful dishes are just a glimpse of the different cuisines that countries name “National Dishes”. They represent many facets about their country and nations are highly proud of them.

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