Monday, May 23, 2011

Where in the World?: How Many of Lonely Planet's 'Must-Eats' Have You Tasted?

Matt and I are still without a home address for at least a few more weeks, so while my beloved Budget Travel magazines are being delivered to my in-laws, I've been poring over more online travel and food articles. I unearthed this little 'best of' at Lonely Planet, where they detail seven 'must-eats' named for their geographical birthplace.

Of the seven (Buffalo Wings, Peking Duck, Yorkshire Pudding, Salad Ni├žoise, Nanaimo Bars, Mole Poblano and Singapore Chili Crab) I've eaten only two: I've already professed my love for Yorkshire Pudding, and the Anchor Bar, home of the original Buffalo wings, is just a drive away from my Mum's home in NY. Of course, they all sound delicious - particularly the Peking duck and chili crab!

Cornish Pasty in Cambridge
This article got me thinking about other foods that bear geographical appellations.  There are a few debatable choices, such as Champagne (not technically a food...) and a whole host of cheeses (Wensleydale, Stilton, Cheddar, etc.), but also some other legitimate entries that might possibly give LP's picks a run for their money:

Baked Alaska
Philly Cheesesteak
Brussels Sprouts (what do these have to do with Belgium, I wonder?)
Belgian Waffles
Swedish Meatballs
Cornish Pasties
Chicken Kiev
Wiener Schnitzel
Brazil Nuts (which, interestingly, are called Para nuts - another geographical name - in Brazil!)
Maryland Crab Cakes
French Fries
...and that's just off the top of my head!

Wiener Schnitzel in Harrods, London
In most cases, the origins of these names are pretty obvious, but what about French Fries and Brussels Sprouts? It turns out that the french fry - everyone's favorite 'vegetable' side - is named for the cut of the potato, while the brussels sprout - one of the world's most (unfairly) maligned veggies - is named for the Belgian markets that sold them in the 13th century. Who knew!

Though I may not have done too well with Lonely Planet's list, it turns out that I'm far more familiar with global foods than I thought! How well traveled is your palate? Do you have a favorite geographically-named food that I've left off the list? Any name you're just dying to know the origin of?  I'd love to do more research on the subject, so if you're curious, just leave a line in the comments!

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