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Globally Unique: 10 Crazy-Looking Foods Around the World

Globally Unique: 10 Crazy-Looking Foods Around the World

There are a host of outrageous-looking French fries, ice cream sandwiches, pizza toppings, and bloody marys in America, but what about the rest of the world? Here are 10 foods that look so captivating that you’ll probably stare at them for a while before you actually try a bite.

Globally Unique: 10 Crazy-Looking Foods Around the World (Slideshow)

To find the items on this list, we recalled interesting-looking foods we’ve written about in previous articles, such as 6 Fruits You’ve Never Heard Of or How the World Tops Its Burgers, and consulted with our Cook channel editor, who was able to recall a few wild-looking foods she had come across in her culinary education, such as European spit cakes. What are those, you ask? Flip through our slideshow to find out.

While some of these foods are local delicacies that probably don’t look too outrageous to the people who have been enjoying them for centuries, others were invented for the distinct purpose of attracting attention (and Instagram photos). A lot of these foods are ones you’ll have to travel for, either because American chefs just don’t have the same skills Austrian chefs do when it comes to making Salzburger nockerl, or because you can only get this one particularly insane ramen burger at a fast food chain in Japan.

Have you tried eating any of these foods? Would you try eating any of these foods? Know of any crazier-looking foods that we can add to this list in the future? Let us know by tweeting @thedailymeal or leaving a comment below.

Blooming Onion (USA)

The blooming onion, popularized as the "bloomin' onion" by the Outback Steakhouse chain, is a dish consisting of one large onion cut to resemble a flower, battered, and deep-fried. It is the mother of all onion rings. We have a few recipes here.

Century Eggs (China)

When served, century eggs look more like large, gaudy pieces of jewelry than something edible. Also called thousand-year-old eggs, this dish consists of eggs preserved in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls, which causes the yolk to become dark green or grey. They are eaten in China, Singapore, and other East Asian countries. It's just one of many ways people around the world enjoy eggs.


10 cookies from around the world that you'll want to try immediately

This may come as a surprise to some but chocolate chip isn't the only type of cookie in town. Especially when you take into account the numerous global confections.

Here are 10 types of cookies from around the world that would be enough to tempt Cookie Monster himself.


10 Daring Global Delicacies

Also known as the "caviar of the east," this dish is considered a rare delicacy around the world, but is particularly popular in Asia. The nest is not made of sticks and leaves, but rather the bird's saliva. The soup, comprised of a nest covered in a light chicken broth, is said to be one of the priciest animal products eaten by humans in the world, ringing in at anywhere from $30 to $100 per bowl! Photo courtesy of Stu Spivack via Flickr.

Fried Tarantulas&mdashCambodia

Fried spiders? Yep, you read that right. First discovered by impoverished Cambodians during the bloody Khmer Rouge "killing fields" rule, the insects are deep-fried and seasoned with garlic and salt. But this crunchy dish is not just something tourists and natives flock to for a treat it's also a reminder of the horrible times the country endured. In U.S. dollars the snack costs only about 8 cents per spider, but consider that many poor Cambodians live on the equivalent of $1 a day. Photo courtesy of Paul Mannix via Flickr.

If you cringe at the thought of eating a typical egg yolk, you probably won't want to try this Filipino delicacy. Balut is a fertilized egg&mdashusually from a duck or chicken&mdashthat has an almost-developed embryo. It's boiled and eaten right out of the shell. The protein-packed snack can be found on street carts and is normally accompanied by a beer. Sellers charge about $12 per dozen. Photo courtesy of Gordon Wrigley via Flickr.

Sushi is pretty common in the United States we even occasionally eat octopus. But live octopus? Not so much. In Korea, fresh baby octopi are cut up, quickly seasoned with sesame oil, and served while the tentacles are still moving. If that's not enough of a dare for you, be aware that the dish can actually be quite dangerous if the suction cups stick to your mouth or throat. Photo courtesy of Flippersy via Flickr.

Also known as civet coffee, kopi luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world, ringing in at $75 per quarter-pound. The coffee is only made on the islands of Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi, and what makes it so special is the processing cycle. A small tree-dwelling animal, the Common Palm Civet, eats the outer layer of the coffee cherry, but does not digest the inner bean. Thus, the droppings contain intact beans mixed with digestive enzymes, which locals collect and sell to vendors, who sun-dry the beans before putting them on the market. Photo courtesy of Ronnie Liew via Flickr.

This Vietnamese wine is processed by fermenting a dead cobra or scorpion in a bottle filled with rice wine liquor or grain alcohol&mdashthe venom is deactivated by the ethanol. Importation of the wine is illegal in many countries because cobras are on the endangered species list, so the best snake wines can only be found online and are priced in the $100 range. Photo courtesy of ruben i via Flickr.

The ingredients in Scotland's national dish may sound disturbing, but we have editors here at WD who have tried it&mdashand liked it! Haggis is made with a sheep's lung, stomach, heart and liver. As with many kinds of sausage, the stomach is stuffed with the organ meats, suet, oatmeal, onions and spices, then all the ingredients are boiled together for about three hours. Traditionally, haggis is served with turnips, mashed potatoes and a small amount of whiskey. Photo courtesy of Edinburgh Blog via Flickr.

You've probably heard of riding camels, but what about eating them? In the Persian Gulf, a common wedding dish is the stuffed camel, which is made by first packing chicken and lamb with rice and eggs, then stuffing that into a washed and skinned camel. The creation is then broiled using a charcoal pit and topped with nuts. For weddings, as many as 20 chickens are used in addition to the 60 eggs, five pounds of pepper, a whole camel and a whole lamb. The dish typically serves about 90 people. Photo by Image Source/Getty Images.

During the Icelandic Midwinter Festival in Thorrablot, hakarl is served. The dish is actually rotten shark meat that's been buried and left to decompose in the ground for a few months. After that, the meat is left on a drying rack for two months or more, leaving a white, edible flesh. The only way the shark can be eaten is if it goes through this process, otherwise its high amounts of uric acid make the meat toxic. Photo courtesy of Audrey via Flickr.

Fried Brain Sandwiches&mdashUnited States

This list wouldn't be complete without an American dish, and there are few that are more&hellipshall we say, exotic than fried cow brains. Originally the dish was on menus all across St. Louis, Missouri, but now it is available mostly in the Ohio River Valley. Sliced calves' brains are battered and fried, then sandwiched in a hamburger bun and smothered in sauce. Photo courtesy of Tim Schapker via Flickr.


10 salads from around the world

There's a whole world of green goodness out there.

Salads get a bad rap sometimes. People think of them only as diet food, substitutes for real meals. But salads can be more creative than iceberg lettuce and a few croutons. Cooks and chefs have invented plenty of full-flavored dishes that show us how fresh and delicious salads can be. Here are 10 from around the world:

1. Cobb salad

/>Healthy, hearty cobb salad made with chicken, bacon, tomato, onions and eggs. (Photo: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock)

Cobb salad: the salad that sure doesn't feel like one. It's stuffed with chicken, bacon, avocado, eggs and cheese. The only way to make this dish heavier is to add bricks.

Stories about the first Cobb salad abound. Some say it was created at the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant, owned by Robert Howard Cobb. According to legend, Cobb hadn't eaten until midnight, so he mixed together some leftovers he found in the kitchen.

2. Larb

/>Larb is spicy meat salad made with chicken, beef, duck, turkey, pork or sometimes fish, flavored with fish sauce, lime juice and herbs. (Photo: Paul_Brighton/Shutterstock)

In case you were wondering what Lao's national dish is made out of, here's a hint: it comes from a Lanna (northern Thailand) word that literally means "to mince meat." But there's more to the salad than just meat. It's traditional to stir fry and add the blood of the chicken or pig that ended up in this most carnivore-friendly salad imaginable. It's usually served with raw vegetables and sticky rice.

3. Israeli salad

/>Israeli salad consists of chopped tomatoes, cucumber and onions. (Photo: ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock)

This falafel-stand add-on can be served as a side dish or in sandwiches. It's known as the most popular national dish in Israel. The salad is made by chopping up vegetables into tiny pieces. Chefs even compete over who can chop the smallest pieces.

4. Mexican black bean salad

/>Try serving Mexican black bean salad with chips! (Photo: photogal/Shutterstock)

This versatile salad can be served on its own, used a a dip, or cooked for tostadas. It's made with a simple mix of avocados, corn, black beans, tomatoes and onions. It's light and flavorful, perfect for the warm summer days ahead.

5. Waldorf salad

Waldorf salad is made of fresh apples, celery and walnuts, dressed in mayonnaise and usually served on a bed of lettuce. (Photo: MSPhotographic/Shutterstock)

Unlike the many folk salads featured here, Waldorf salad was born in urban royalty. It was invented at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City in the 1890s by Oscar Tschirky, the Waldorf's maître d'hôtel who created many of the hotel's signature dishes. An episode of the 1970s British sitcom Fawlty Towers features the salad in what was literally its "Waldorf Salad" episode.

6. Gado-gado

/>Gado-gado consists of boiled, blanched or steamed vegetables and hard-boiled eggs served with a peanut sauce dressing. (Photo: Ivonne Wierink/Shutterstock)

Gado-gado literally means "mix-mix." It's an Indonesian dish made with a variety of ingredients including potatoes, string beans, bean sprouts, spinach, chayote, bitter gourd, corn and cabbage, with tofu, tempeh and hard-boiled eggs, all of which are completely coated in peanut sauce dressing. It's widely served at Indonesian restaurants around the world.

7. Dressed herring salad

/>Dressed herring salad is composed of diced salted herring covered with layers of grated boiled vegetables (potatoes, carrots, beet roots), chopped onions and mayonnaise. (Photo: Guryanov Andrey/Shutterstock)

This Russian salad is traditionally served at New Year and Christmas celebrations. It's as much about appearance as it is about taste: the final layer, grated boiled beet root covered with mayonnaise, gives the dish a rich purple color. It's often decorated with grated boiled eggs.

8. Nicoise salad

/>Tomatoes, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, Niçoise olives, anchovies and vinaigrette combine to make a Nicoise salad. (Photo: Martin Turzak/Shutterstock)

This French salad is sort of like an American cobb salad, except it uses tuna, green beans and potatoes instead of chicken, bacon and avocado. Like so many things we love, it comes from the Mediterranean. It was invented in Nice, France. In the United States, it's usually served on a bed of lettuce.

9. Tabbouleh

/>Tabbouleh is made of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, bulgur and onion, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. (Photo: NatalieVasilyeva/Shutterstock)

This Israeli dish is so beloved that it has made its way around the globe. It's popular in the United States and has even become common in the Dominican Republic, where it's known as "tipile."

The largest recorded dish of tabbouleh, as recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records, weighed 9,532 pounds. It was created in 2009 by an elementary school in northern Israel.

10. Fiambre

/>More than 50 ingredients are often used to make Fiambre. (Photo: loca4motion/Shutterstock)

Guatemalans have a tradition in which they prepare the favorite dishes of family members that have died and bring them to graveyards to celebrate the Day of the Dead. Eventually, these various dishes were combined and turned into this all-inclusive salad. Families pass on different recipes, but fiambre usually includes sausages, cold cuts, pickles baby corn, onion, beets, pacaya flower, cheeses, olives and chicken.

Ilana Strauss writes about social sciences and the environment because she is a person on a planet.


Pad Krapow Gai, Thai Basil Chicken, is savoury, aromatic, and garlicky. This recipe is so comforting and delicious served over rice with a fried egg.


Around the World in 7 Chicken Wings

We took a spin around the globe (think Morocco, India, Greece and more) to reinvent this classic party food seven ways.

Related To:

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©© 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©© 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©© 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©© 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©© 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©© 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©© 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©© 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Irresistible Global Flavors

Chicken wings are always a crowd-pleaser at a party, but Buffalo style and with barbecue sauce aren't your only options &mdash in fact, wings' crispy skin and tender meat make them quite the blank canvas for a whole host of flavorings. To dial up the volume on your game-day wings spread this year, consider the vibrant flavors found around the world. Moroccan harissa, coconut curry, Greek souvlaki and more take the finger food into exciting territories.


1. Peruvian solterito: From the region of Arequipa, Peru, this salad (the name of which translates as “little single man”) consists of potatoes, coriander, onion, rocoto chili pepper, fava beans, corn and quesillo cheese. The ingredients are uniformly diced and bound in olive oil.2. Californian Cobb salad: The famous Hollywood hangout, the Brown Derby, served a salad to its owner, Robert Howard Cobb, who hadn’t eaten for hours. It was past midnight and he wanted something filling but not too heavy, so he threw together various ingredients left in the kitchen: grilled chicken, avocado, fried bacon, cheese, hardboiled eggs. Voilà, the Cobb salad was born.3. Tuscan panzanella: A cookbook could be written about what to make with slightly stale bread. Not so stale that it turns blue, but stale enough that you don’t want to eat it in the more traditional bread-consumption manner. Tuscan panzanella is a cold salad of stale bread cubes and soaked in olive oil, tomato, onion and salt. The bread makes it filling enough to be a meal in itself, and the firmness of the bread gives it nice crunch and absorption of all that delicious dressing.

4. Greek Horiatiki salad: Onion, tomato, cucumber, Kalamata olives and Feta cheese (served as a single block, not cubed) is the traditional Greek salad, which is often called “village salad” there. Head to the Dodacanese islands and you’ll find capers added. Go to a traditional American “Greek diner” and it will be mixed with lettuce. In whatever variation, it’s refreshing, cheap, and delicious.5. Thai yum woon sen: Glass noodle salad is smothered in a spicy dressing, taking the airy, bean thread noodles to another level. There are peanuts, there’s the unctuous funk of dried shrimp, the perk of cilantro. Fish sauce, lime, Thai chili. It’s a flavor party, but surprisingly light, since the noodles themselves have just about no calories. Consider it the sort of diet you’ll be delighted to be on!

6. American Caesar salad: If there’s one thing Americans love to order at restaurants, it’s a Caesar salad. But they don’t want the traditional one. The one with anchovies. They want the one in which the anchovy-ness is hidden in the dressing, and they want grilled chicken on top. Historians seems to think that Cesare (Caesar) Cardini, born in 1896 in Lago Maggiore, near Milano, was the man behind the salad. He moved to the US after the First World War and lived in San Diego, but ran a restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico, where the salad was first served. Lettuce, croutons, anchovies were thrown together, the story goes, in 1924, when the restaurant, called Caesar’s, was particularly busy. It was called the Aviator’s Salad, as Cesare’s brother, Alex, had been a pilot with the Italian air force. In 1938 the Cardinis moved to Los Angeles to open a restaurant, and the sauce for the salad was bottled and sold from 1948 on. Anchovies are the key to the dressing, adding an umami flavor that was strong, and is played down in the tamer modern version that can be found on menus of just about every diner and bistro across the US today.7. Indonesian gado-gado: Salads are a good way of deliciously disposing of ingredients that perhaps are not in such quantity as to make a main, but which can provide good grace notes to a hybridized new concoction. Whatever you’ve got in the larder? That’ll do for this “mix-mix” salad, in which you might find exotic ingredients, like bitter gourd, chayote and tempeh, but also spinach, hardboiled egg, torn bread, cucumber, cabbage… whatever you’ve got, linked with a peanut dressing that forgives all incongruities.

8. New York Waldorf Salad: Chef Oscar Tschirky of the Waldorf Hotel invented this unusual combination of grapes, chopped apple, walnuts, celery and mayo on lettuce, the fame of which spread far and wide.

9. Guatemalan fiambre: Straddling the line between salad and potluck main course, this celebratory feast on a plate is traditionally made on the Day of the Dead. The story goes that families would prepare favorite dishes of deceased relatives on this special day, to honor them, and eventually the various dishes were combined into a single, heaping plate that, heck, we’ll call a salad. The exact recipe varies from family to family, but you might find cold cuts, pickles, cheese, lettuce, sausages, salami, pacaya flower, baby corn, hot peppers…it’s wonderfully anarchic.

10. Finnish rosolli: This beet salad is usually made at Christmas, and it is beautiful and festive to look at, and to eat. Originating in the wonderfully-name Hme region, its core is boiled beets, potatoes and carrots, peeled and chopped. Then chopped gherkins and apples and onions are added, usually layered in a glass bowl, to see the rainbow colors. The dressing is whipped cream.

11. French Salade Nicoise: Chunks of tuna (not from a can, please), green beans (with the little “tails” clipped off, please), eggs and potato form the core of this hearty salad celebrated in Nice, on the French Riviera.

12. Slovenian salad: Alright, this salad might not be a national dish, the way the others in this list are, but enough people I know in Slovenia make a specific type of salad that I can consider it a “thing.” Slovenian salad consists of lettuce, lots of chopped raw garlic, sliced boiled potato, salt and vinegar. The garlic is brutally powerful. The other rival for most-Slovenian of salads is made with the boiled beef leftover from making the tradition Sunday beef noodle soup. That beef, when cold, is sliced and mixed with sliced raw onion, salt, pepper, and vinegar.


UK: Biryani

In the UK, one of the most popular Eid dishes is easily a classic biryani, which brings together meat and rice in a highly flavourful, heavily spiced dish. While chicken is typical, it’s not uncommon to see a whole spectrum of meats used for the Eid biryani, from mutton and lamb to goat, although fish is a lesser spotted protein of choice. Served with raita (cucumber, mint and yoghurt dip), salad and pickles on the side, it’s easy to see why this is a year-round favourite in the UK too.


19 Porridge – China, Singapore, Malaysia

If you love to grab a great breakfast from KFC in Asia, all you need to do is make it in time for this amazing meal that includes the Zinger porridge from Malaysia.

Even though this dish is available in Malaysia, China, and Singapore, the original porridge recipe came from none other than Singapore. When you hear the word “Porridge” in Asia, it simply refers to boiling rice in so much water until it softens. However, the thought and reality of just rice could be plain and boring.

The only way KFC brings excitement to this dish is by pairing it up with ingredients that appear to be a perfect match like pork and pickles to give it a savory taste and finalize it with Sander spices. Some Asians just love to start their day with a bowl of this delicious meal and it sustains them for the rest of the day.


Around the World in 21 Traditional Rice Dishes

When you picture rice, do you picture plain, white rice? Many people aren’t aware that there is literally a whole world filled with different types of rice and rice dishes. Since rice is so easily obtainable and transported, countries around the world use it as a base for their meals, using their national spices and culinary flares to make it their own. Here is a breakdown of some of the best and most popular rice dishes around the world.

1. Afghanistan: Afghan Rice (Kabuli Pulao)

Photo courtesy of @silkroadrestaurant on Instagram

Rice dishes are a ginormous part of Afghan culture, and therefore, they are the largest parts of most meals. Wealthier families will often eat one rice dish per day and special events such as weddings will often feature several rice dishes. Kabuli Pulao is the most popular dish, a white rice cooked with meat and stock, topped with fried raisins, slivered carrots, and pistachios. So much flavor. So much deliciousness.

2. Belgium: Belgian Rice Pie (Rijsttaart)

Photo courtesy of @oneboyonejoy on Instagram

There is more to Belgian cuisine than waffles and chocolate. In this country, rice is also taken to a whole other level in Belgium. Rijsttaart is a creamy baked rice pudding in a soft pie crust. Have a slice of this baby with a cup of coffee for breakfast or dessert and you are in for a treat.

3. Canada: Wild Rice

Photo courtesy of @lankybeans_ on Instagram

You know when your rice has black pieces in it? Don’t worry, no one snuck some kind of mystery ingredient into the side dish. It’s just wild rice. The rice comes from a plant called Zizania and it grows in shallow waters in small lakes or slow-flowing streams. Although wild rice is a common base or side dish all across the world, it’s most popular in Canada. In fact, it’s often known as Canadian Rice. If you can get over the whole “Canada” thing, then you should definitely try out this wild rice and veggie-stuffed pepper recipe.

4. The Caribbean: Rice and Peas

Photo courtesy of @caribbeanpot on Instagram

Rice and peas is one of the most common side dishes all across the Caribbean. The dish is composed of rice (often cooked with coconut milk) and any available legume. Rice and peas are most often eaten for Sunday lunch along with stewed meat. Think, Mexican rice and beans with a tropical twist.

5. China: Fried Rice

Although sticky white rice is most traditionally eaten with Chinese dishes, fried rice can be eaten as a celebratory dish, often seen at Chinese banquets served before dessert. Fried rice is kind of like an “everything-but-the-kitchen-sink” dish. You can take advantage of all of your leftover vegetables and meats and stir fry it in a wok with rice, eggs, soy sauce, and sesame. This dish is easy and inexpensive, so be sure to try it out for yourself and impress your friends.

6. Denmark: Risalamande

Photo courtesy of @lone_kjaer on Instagram

Risalamande is rice pudding mixed with whipped cream, vanilla, and chopped almonds. It is then served cold and topped with cherry sauce. This tasty treat, given its reputation as a “savings” dessert, increased in popularity in Denmark after World War II. Now risalamande is served on Christmas. I would take this dessert over fruit cake any day.

7. Ghana: Jollof Rice

Photo courtesy of @gourmetkim on Instagram

Jollof rice is one of the most popular dishes in Ghana and all across West Africa. It is made of rice (obviously), tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, salt, and various spices. This dish is also known as “Benachin” which means “one-pot.” That makes it another simple meal to make. Because of that tomato, the rice comes out with a beautiful red tint. Jollof is often served with meat or fish and can be seen eaten on a day to day basis.

8. Finland: Karelian Pasty

Photo courtesy of @pastellimaja on Instagram

I know what you are thinking: Where is the rice in that little pie? Well, this is a Karelian pasty, one of Finland’s most popular dishes, and it has a filling composed of rice and butter. It is then surrounded by a flaky rye crust. There is also a common variation of the Karelian pasty that includes a filling of potato. Whichever way you prefer, the pasty is a fantastic breakfast or snack

9. India: Basmati Rice

Although the long and slender basmati rice is now eaten around the world, it is grown and overwhelmingly supplied by India. The rice has a strong, spicy aroma and flavor. This gives it its name “basmati,” which in English means fragrant. Basmati rice can be eaten with pretty much anything, but it tastes especially well as a base for a spicy meat or chicken curry, complementing the aromatic flavor.

10. Iran: Tahdig

Photo courtesy of @latimesfood on Instagram

You know when you overcook your rice and it gets all crispy on the bottom? Turns out that you can embrace that in order to make tahdig, an Iranian specialty. You can even add vegetables, like carrots or potatoes, to the bottom of the pot so they crisp up along with the rice. Now you can tell your parents that you knew how to cook rice all along.

Side note: I would like to see Taye Diggs eating tahdig.

11. Italy: Risotto

Risotto is that mysterious dish that you always see under the “Pasta” category in Italian restaurants that is so clearly not pasta. You make risotto by cooking rice in broth and wine until the rice becomes soft, flavorful, and so, so delicious. Risotto is not for the impatient, as you have to constantly add more and more broth, as the rice absorbs the juices fairly quickly. If you are up for the challenge, you get to add parmesan cheese and whatever kind of meat, fish or vegetables you desire for a ridiculously good Italian dinner or appetizer.

12. Japan: Sushi Rice

Rice is often consumed for every meal in Japan, making it the most popular grain. Japanese rice is white, short-grained, and becomes sticky when cooked, making it perfect for sushi. In order to make sushi, the rice is combined with vinegar and sesame. This gives it great flavor and makes it the right consistency to roll or be a base for fish. Once you get this rice down, sushi is actually surprisingly easy to make.

13. Jordan: Mansaf

Photo courtesy of @mazaherdubai on Instagram

Mansaf is a traditional Arab dish and the national dish of Jordan. It’s made of lamb cooked in a fermented yogurt sauce, served on top of rice. Mansaf is intertwined into Jordanian culture as it’s composed of meat and yogurt, utilizing their afro-pastoral lifestyle.

The dish also carries many traditions. The party stands around a table where the tray of Mansaf is placed in the middle. They then eat the dish with their right hand, making small balls and placing it in their mouth with three fingers, while their left hand is held behind their back. Complicated, I know. This tradition is not always practiced, but it proves how much culture can be a part of food.

14. Malaysia: Nasi Goreng

Photo courtesy of @the.lucky.belly on Instagram

The Malaysian term “Nasi Goreng” means fried rice in english, but it is very different from the Chinese or Hawaiian dish. Like all fried rice, it is stir-fried in a wok, but Nasi Goreng distinguishes itself with its aromatic, smoky flavor. This comes from the caramelized sweet soy sauce and shrimp paste that is added in addition to the veggies and egg. These ingredients cause the rice to taste much more spicy and strong than its Chinese counterpart. Trust us, this dish is worth a trip to Malaysia.

15. Mexico: Spanish Rice/Arroz Rojo

Yes, we understand that it’s confusing that Spanish rice is served in Mexico and not Spain. This name (unsurprisingly) came from Americans, who often confuse Mexican for Spanish. In Mexico, the rice dish is known as arroz rojo (red rice), and it is made from white rice that is sautéed with tomatoes, onions, and garlic, until it becomes a golden brown color. Water or chicken broth and tomatoes are then added, giving it its familiar red-orange color. The popular dish is then used as a side for various Mexican entrees. And no, it’s not put in a burrito because burritos are not actually Mexican. Surprise!

16. New Orleans: Jambalaya

Photo by Daniel Schuleman

Jambalaya is a popular Creole dish of Spanish and French descent. The most common form of the dish consists of rice cooked with sausage (often Andouille), various other meats or seafood, and the “holy trinity” of vegetables: onions, celery, and green bell peppers. It is then, of course, cooked with a glorious amount of cajun spices, allowing jambalaya to hit your soul.

17. Norway/Sweden: Rice Pudding

Photo courtesy of @akis_petretzikis

Although rice pudding is eaten universally, it’s highly celebrated in Norway and Sweden. Rice pudding is a dessert made from rice and water or milk and sugar. You can then add various other seasonings, flavorings, ingredients, or toppings in order to individualize it. For example, in Norway rice pudding is served with a red sauce made from strawberries and raspberries and in Sweden it is mixed with oranges. Just experiment with this simple recipe in order to discover how you prefer your rice pudding.

18. Phillipines: Champorado

Photo courtesy of @symmetrybreakfast on Instagram

Champorado is a Filipino chocolate rice porridge served for breakfast, dessert, or during merienda, aka snack time. You make this dish by boiling rice and cocoa with milk and sugar in order to make it sweeter. This needs to be brought to America immediately.

19. Senegal: Fish and Rice (Thieboudienne)

Photo courtesy of @marc_uchiwa on Instagram

Thieboudienne, which in English means fish and rice, is a traditional Senegalese entrée. The dish is pretty self-explanatory. It’s made with tomato paste and fish and rice (surprise). Although it sounds fairly simple, the French and African influences that are contributed to Senegalese culture make Thieboudienne one-of-a-kind.

20. Spain: Paella

Paella is traditionally Valencian, but many still consider it to be Spain’s national dish, making it one of the most popular entrées in the country. The name “paella” comes from the Old French “paella,” which in English means “pan.” This name is comes from the shallow pan where the dish is cooked and often served in. The rice in paella is cooked with various Spanish spices like saffron and paprika, and often includes seafood, often shrimp and other shellfish, and other various meats (particularly sausage) and vegetables. Paella has many similarities to the New Orleans jambalaya, but the spices give each their own distinct flavor.

21. Taiwan: Minced Pork Rice

Photo courtesy of @bearyhappygirl on Instagram

Minced pork rice is composed of ground pork marinated and boiled in soy sauce and served on top of steamed white rice. I imagine this to be the epitome of Taiwanese comfort food. You can see me sitting by a fire on a cold, rainy day eating minced pork rice.