Travel and Food, one of life’s fantastic experience intersections. Although we enjoy our share of authentic cuisine and elaborate meals at restaurants, it’s often our street food adventures that convey authenticity that the journey yield some of life’s most revealing moments and enlighten in unexpected ways.
Food serves as a natural gateway to a more profound understanding of culture, history, people and place. Street food draws us naturally to explore, to press further, allowing to make greater personal discoveries not only about the flavor of local cuisine, but also the essence of the cultures they represent.
Argentina: Although empanadas (stuffed pastries) can be found throughout Argentina, the best ones are from the Salta region in the northwestern part of the country.
Bangladesh: Singara are spiced potato and vegetable mixture pockets wrapped in a thin dough and fried. What distinguishes a good singara is how flaky the texture is. Some are so flaky, as if they’re made with savory pie crust. Bangladeshi Singara are ubiquitous and inexpensive (24 for $1).
Bali (Indonesia): Nasi campur is a Balinese mixed plate served with rice. Most restaurants will make the choice for you, but at the more local food shops on Bali, the nasi campur selection is up to you. The choices vary from spicy tempeh, chopped vegetables, spice-rubbed tofu and sate lilit.
Cambodia: (Num Banh Choc), breakfast at the Angkor temples. Fantastic morning soup that consisted of a subtle yellow curry broth with rice noodles, chopped banana blossom, cucumber, and cabbage, all topped off with dark sweet sauce.
China: Selecting just one street food dish from China would be dumplings. Dumplings are a crowd favorite, they are fresh, delicious and perfectly steamed. Chinese dumpling joints near the No. 6 in Qingdao stick out.
Vietnam: Another incredible destination for street food lovers. During our winter visit we tried Cha Ca, which is a medicinal hot pot meal of veggies, turmeric, dill, coriander and other greens served with noodles, peanuts, vinegar, and chilies. As with many meals in Vietnam, piles of greens, noodles, spices, and other tasty herbs will be served to tune your cuisine to the precise flavor you seek.
Xinjiang (China): Xinjiang street food is in its own category as the region that is distinct for its ethnic blend of Mongolian and Turkic. Although, Xinjiang cuisine shows hints of what someone might call “traditional” Chinese influence, its dishes are often quite different from mainstream Chinese cuisine. One of our favorites was noodles, which we enjoyed not only for the taste, but also for the entertainment of its preparation. Noodles are tossed, beaten and pulled to ensure the correct consistency before being dipped in soups, a blend of noodles, and vegetables.
India: In India, there is so much street food goodness, aloo tikki (spiced potato snacks) stand out in Varanasi as one of our favorites. Please take note: when you do venture to eat street food in India, stick to the cooked products and be wary of fresh herb and vegetable toppings that may have been washed in unclean water.
Laos: Or Lam is a spicy stew with mushrooms, eggplant, veggies, lemongrass, and chilies.
Nepal: It’s challenging to resist dumpling anywhere, and Nepal’s momos were a WOW. Served steamed or fried, momos are famous in and around the areas of the Tibetan plateau, all over Nepal.