Everyone has those signature dishes they’ve tried in a new country – whether it’s a local delicacy or just bizarre street eat. But what about those fun snacks and new flavors on old favorites?
Some of these are sweets, some salty. But all are portable and can make a great treat on a long bus ride…interestingly, most of my favorites from my travels are centered in Asia!
Topping the list is this sweet jellied candy. I don’t even like chewy candies but this one has a mild flavor and it’s deceptively easy to just plough through a package in one sitting. The traditional/plain flavor is my favorite but it was fun to shake things up with the spicy lapsi every few days too!
A small bowl of fennel seeds is served at the end of the meal in regions of India as a palate cleanser. These seeds are a mixed medley of plain fennel, sugar coated fennel and small bits of crystallized sugar – once you’re used to ending each meal like this it’s hard to leave the table without craving the strong licorice flavor! I even shipped some home to my dad since he’s a licorice fanatic.
The huge Turkish population in Bosnia means that this sweet treat is authentic (I haven’t yet made it to Turkey!) and different from what you can find in the US and the West. This soft jelly candy greatly differs: rose water with pistachios, sweet lemon, and sticky dates with a softly chewy walnut. Like an ice-cream shop in the states you pick out your selection of Turkish Delight from a selection upwards of 15 flavors in some cases! Though not my favorite candy, fun to when eat in the region.
The healthiest of the lot this treat packs in protein from the sesame seeds and is incredibly simple – a lacing of honey or sugar syrup binds the sesame seeds together. It’s a great way to tide over dropping blood sugar until you can find some food and is my go-to for a quick bus ride snack! They sell these treats all over South East Asia, India and Nepal had some less than inspired sesame seed sticks.
We are talking serious addiction and the best dried/pressed figs, hands down, I have ever had. Walk into any of the stores in Thamel, Kathmandu and they sell little baggies of these deliciously fresh dried figs.
The most fun find was mango flavored Corn Flakes in Nepal- bought as an addition a movie night with new friends they were a huge hit…and so addicting the box was consumed in a few hours by just three of us!
Other mango treats found in the region include yogurt (if your in a lactose-accepting region of Asia) sodas, chips, cookies… just about anything that could take a mango flavor is on offer. Also a wealth of freshly dried ones as well!
What are your favorite quick snacks and treats from around the world?
This post was last modified on August 20, 2010, 9:56 am