Unique Cuisines Around The World

If you are a world traveler, discovering unique cuisines is perhaps on the top of your list when visiting new destinations. Going on vacation is not simply about taking in the tourist attractions; it’s experiencing everything from clothing and transportation to entertainment and dining, just like in shows that showcase unusual foods (e.g. Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern). Traveling presents opportunities for you to broaden your palate. Below are some locations that you may want to consider in your future travels.

  1. Fuijan, China — In addition to its lush landscape, numerous hiking trails and historic sites, the cuisine in this southeastern part of China is a delicacy dating back 5,000 years. In this providence, the Min cuisine is served. You will experience a wide range of seafood from sea cucumbers to solen. Popular dishes include Sweet & Sour Litchi’s, Tai Chi Prawns and Buddha Jumping Wall.
  2. Quetta, Islamabad — Known for its beautiful Hazarganji Chilton National Park and Hanna Lake, Quetta features the Baloch cuisine with amazing dishes such as Khadda Kebab, Rosh and Khurad Marai.
  3. Sardinia, Italy — Some people may find it touristy, but the cuisine alone makes it worth visiting. People visit mainly for its archaeological sites (Giants’ grave and Tharros) and pristine locales (Costa Smeralda and Calasetta), but the Italian cuisine is rustic. You’ll enjoy mullet eggs, Cassola and Aragosta arrosto. And each village has its own signature bread!
  4. Sacred Valley, Peru — Also known as Urubamba, this area near Cuzco offers gorgeous mountains, adventurous hiking and breathtaking Inca ruins. The Peruvian cuisine is mouth-watering with dishes such as lomo saltado, aji de gallina and eucalyptus jello.
  5. Pitcairn Island, South Pacific — One of the four islands in the South Pacific, Pitcairn Island only has 50 people living on it. They are descendants of the HMVA Bounty mutiny and their polynesian escorts. The cuisine is a mix of British and Tahitian featuring tropical plants and fish, including pota, mudda and kumara pilhi.  
  6. St. Helena, South Africa — This tropical island is located off the coast of South Africa in the South Atlantic Ocean. It has a rugged coastline, natural beauty and majestic trails. It has an international cuisine because of the many ships passing through. From British to Caribbean, you’ll find an array of dishes, such as spicy fishcakes, Plo and British Sunday Roast. Don’t forget to try their coffee!  

No matter where your adventurous spirit takes you, trying the native cuisine is a memorable experience as each one has a history and many traditions. You might even discover your new favorite food!

“Cool” Places to Escape To When It Gets Too Hot

If you live in a warm climate as I do (Singapore and Bali), sometimes you just want to escape to a “cool” destination – literally and figuratively. Holidays, especially during the summer months, are expected to be where sun, sand and water are found. However, even a beach can sometimes be too warm to enjoy. So, where can you go for a fun holiday that isn’t too scorching?

The Azores — This archipelago off the coast of North Africa may not be on everyone’s radar, but it’s far from boring. The average temperature in the summer is 26 °C (79 °F). It is the perfect temperature for hiking, boating and swimming. The reason for the cool temperature is its maritime climate. There are also unique sights to see, such as “lava-fried” ruins, high vistas and sperm whales. The Portuguese traditions of the local fishing villages add authenticity to the trip. Another reason to visit during the summer is the amount of sunlight, which can last up to seven or eight hours during the summer season.

Koster Islands, Sweden — While many go to the more popular cities (e.g. Stockholm and Gothenburg), there are other parts of Sweden that deserve just as much attention. The Koster Islands, an archipelago north of Gothenburg, has cool temperatures in the summer that range from 29.7 °C to 30.5 °C. What is interesting is that the Koster Islands are home to Sweden’s first marine national park, Kosterhavet National Park. They also offer plenty of hiking, kayaking and cycling (and great seafood). The islands are nature reserves with a landscape full of heather and juniper bushes, sandy beaches and bedrock from volcanic activity. The islands are car-free and the main transport is by ferry, which adds to the relaxing atmosphere.  

Dublin, Ireland — Although a popular tourist destination, Dublin offers cool temperatures during the summer months ranging from 16 °C to 20 °C and 18 hours of sunlight during July and August. It is full of history and architecture, with buildings dating back to the 13th century. And there are plenty of landmarks (and bars) to see. If you are adventurous, you can take a tour of the many cliffs or go hiking along them. There is also the famous Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson Distillery, which offer tours.

There are many “cool” cities to visit during the summer months, with the majority in northern Europe. They are a welcome reprieve from the typical summer destinations and many aren’t too expensive. Every once in a while, it is good to go to a place that has a different climate. The destination will encourage you to try new activities as well as cuisines and customs.