Almost every country has its national dish, an iconic meal that is the most widely eaten thing within its borders. National dishes are part of a nation’s identity and culture and also a popular subject of foreign visitors. When you travel abroad, you always want to taste the most famous culinary dish of the visited country. As a little inspiration, we made a list of 25 outstanding national dishes you will definitely want to try.
Barbados: Cou-cou and Flying Fish
Barbados has many popular local fish such as kingfish, tuna, barracuda or red snapper, but they are hailed as “The Land of the Flying Fish” and this kind of fish even made it to the national dish of Barbados, a meal called Cou-cou and flying fish. Cou-cou consists mainly of cornmeal (corn flour) and okra (ochroes); the flying fish is usually prepared fried or steamed.
Originated in Quebec in the late 1950s, Poutine is the favorite Canadian dish, made with French fries and topped with a light brown gravy-like sauce and cheese curds. Although the basic recipe is very simple, there are many variations of Poutine. Some restaurants offer Poutine with such toppings as chicken, bacon, or Montreal-style smoked meat, three-pepper sauce, or even caviar and truffle.
Also popular in Lebanon, Palestine or Jordan, this typical Syrian dish is made of burghul (cracked wheat), minced onions and finely ground lean beef, lamb, goat or camel meat. The best-known variety of Kibbeh is a torpedo-shaped fried croquette stuffed with minced beef or lamb. Other types may be shaped into balls or patties, and baked or cooked in broth.
Bigos (mening Hunter’s Stew), is a traditional meat stew typical of Polish, Lithuanian and Belarusian cuisines but only the Poles consider this meal their national dish. This very hearty and tasty stew is made from a wide range of ingredients such as cabbage, sauerkraut, various cuts of meat and sausages, tomatoes, honey, mushrooms, pepper, caraway, bay leaf, marjoram, dried or smoked plums, and others. Bigos can be served on a plate or sometimes in a bread loaf.
Greece is a country that is home to several well-known dishes such as Fasolada, Moussaka or Tzatziki but it is Souvlaki that is usually considered the most iconic dish of the country. This popular Greek fast food consists of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer. It is usually made from pork, although chicken and lamb may also be used. It can be served on the skewer for eating out of hand, in a pita sandwich with garnishes and sauces, or with fried potatoes.