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Summary | 21 Annotations
This is our take on some of the best food cultures and destinations, but of course it's subjective.
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10. United States
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YumCheeseburger -- a perfect example of making good things greater.Chocolate chip cookie -- the world would be a little less habitable without this Americana classic.DumbAll overly processed foods such as Twinkies, Hostess cakes and KFC.
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9. Mexico
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YumMole -- ancient sauce made of chili peppers, spices, chocolate and magic incantations.Tacos al pastor -- the spit-roast pork taco, a blend of the pre- and post-Colombian.Tamales -- an ancient Mayan food of masa cooked in a leaf wrapping.DumbTostadas -- basically the same as a taco or burrito but served in a crispy fried tortilla which breaks into pieces as soon as you bite into it. Impossible to eat.
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8. Thailand
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YumTom yam kung -- a rave party for the mouth. The floral notes of lemongrass, the earthy galangal, freshness of kaffir lime leaves and the heat of the chilies. Massaman curry -- a Thai curry with Islamic roots. Topped our list of the world's 50 most delicious foods.Som tam -- the popular green papaya salad is sour, extra spicy, sweet and salty. It's the best of Thai tastes.DumbPla som -- a fermented fish eaten uncooked is popular in Lawa and reported to be responsible for bile duct cancer.
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7. Greece
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YumOlive oil -- drizzled on other food, or soaked up by bread, is almost as varied as wine in its flavors.Spanakopita -- makes spinach palatable with its feta cheese mixture and flaky pastry cover.Gyros -- late-night drunk eating wouldn't be the same without the pita bread sandwich of roast meat and tzatziki.DumbLachanorizo -- basically cabbage and onion cooked to death then mixed with rice. Filling, but one-dimensional.
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6. India
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YumDal -- India has managed to make boiled lentils exciting.Dosa -- a pancake filled with anything from cheese to spicy vegetables, perfect for lunch or dinner.Chai -- not everyone likes coffee and not everyone likes plain tea, but it's hard to resist chai.DumbBalti chicken -- an invention for the British palate, should probably have died out with colonialism.
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5. Japan
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YumMiso soup -- showcases some of the fundamental flavors of Japanese food, simple and wholesome.Sushi and sashimi -- who knew that raw fish on rice could become so popular?Tempura -- the perfection of deep-frying. Never greasy, the batter is thin and light like a crisp tissue.DumbFugu -- is anything really that delicious that it's worth risking your life to eat? The poisonous blowfish recently killed diners in Egypt, but is becoming more available in Japan.
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4. Spain
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YumJamon Iberico -- a whole cured ham hock usually carved by clamping it down in a wooden stand like some medieval ritual.Churros -- the world's best version of sweet fried dough.DumbGazpacho -- it's refreshing and all, but it's basically liquid salad.
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3. France
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YumEscargot -- credit the French for turning slimey, garden-dwelling pests into a delicacy. Massive respect for making them taste amazing too.Macarons -- like unicorn food. In fact anything from a patisserie in France seems to have been conjured out of sugar, fairy dust and the dinner wishes of little girls.Baguette -- the first and last thing that you'll want to eat in France. The first bite is transformational; the last will be full of longing. DumbFoie gras -- it tastes like 10,000 ducks roasted in butter then reduced to a velvet pudding, but some animal advocates decry the cruelty of force-feeding fowl to fatten their livers.
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2. China
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YumSweet and sour pork -- a guilty pleasure that has taken on different forms.Dim sum -- a grand tradition from Hong Kong to New York. Roast suckling pig and Peking duck -- wonders of different styles of ovens adopted by Chinese chefs.Xiaolongbao -- incredible soup-filled surprises. How do they get that dumpling skin to hold all that hot broth?DumbShark's fin soup -- rallying for Chinese restaurants to ban the dish has been a pet issue of green campaigners in recent years.
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1. Italy
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YumRagu alla bolognese (spaghetti bolognaise) -- the world's go-to "can't decide what to have" food.Pizza -- mind-bogglingly simple yet satisfying dish. Staple diet of bachelors and college students.Italian-style salami -- second only to cigarettes as a source of addiction. Coffee -- cappuccino is for breakfast? Forget it. We want it all day and all night. DumbBuffalo mozzarella -- those balls of spongy, off-white, subtly flavored cheeses of water buffalo milk. The flavor's so subtle you have to imagine it.
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