11 Authentic Street Foods That People Eat Around the World
One of the best parts of traveling is tasting local food. Each country has something very special to offer, and we always look for that authentic experience. There is no need to stick to expensive and fashionable restaurants because street food definitely represents the most affordable yet delicious dishes.
Bright Side has collected the best street food around the globe to show how colorful our world is.
11. Masala dosa in India
Indian cuisine is so delicious that it’s known almost everywhere in the world. This particular meal used to be popular only in the southern states of India, but now it’s very common almost everywhere in the country and overseas. Typical masala dosa is made with rice, salt, vegetable oil, husked black gram, green chilies, curry leaves, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, potatoes, onion, and turmeric.
10. Doner kebab in Turkey
The German-style doner kebab, which is quite familiar and sometimes simply called a “kebab,” was first presented by Turkish immigrants in Berlin in the 1970s. It has since become one of the most popular street foods in Germany and much of Europe. It literally translates from the Turkish as “rotating kebab,” and its ingredients are sliced lamb, beef, or chicken, which is slowly roasted on a vertical rotating spit.
9. Currywurst in Germany
It’s believed that this dish was invented in 1949 in Berlin by Herta Heuwer when she decided to mix the ketchup and curry powder that she obtained from British soldiers in Germany. She poured the mix of spices over grilled pork sausage and started selling it on the street. This cheap but filling snack became really popular among construction workers rebuilding the devastated city. Nowadays it can be found in almost every German city.
8. Pad thai in Thailand
Pad thai is listed at number 5 on the “World’s 50 most delicious foods” poll compiled by CNN Go in 2011. It’s basically stir-fried rice noodles prepared with tofu, eggs, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic, tamarind pulp, palm sugar, and chili pepper, and it’s served with lime wedges and chopped roasted peanuts (ingredients may vary). Pad thai originated during World War II when Thailand suffered a rice shortage because of the war and floods. To reduce rice consumption, the Thai Prime Minister promoted people to eat noodles instead. Now it’s the main street food in Thailand.
7. Sashimi in Japan
This Japanese delicacy is pretty famous even outside of Japan. However, you can get the best experience of it only in Japan. Just imagine a chef cutting a huge fish right in front of your eyes and serving it straight to you. Well, this is what street food looks like in Japan. Sashimi is raw fish sliced into thin pieces, and the chef cuts different fish into different thicknesses in order to highlight its appearance. The most popular ingredients of sashimi are salmon, tuna, puffer fish (fugu), squid, and shrimp.
6. Arancini in Italy
This Italian dish, which is translated as “little orange,” has nothing to do with oranges. The name is derived from its shape and color. These are basically stuffed rice balls coated with breadcrumbs and then deep fried. They are usually filled with meat in tomato sauce, mozzarella, and peas. Arancini originated in Sicily in the 10th century, then under Arab rule. Today, in the cities of Palermo, Siracusa, and Trapani in Sicily, it is a traditional food for the feast of Santa Lucia, during which locals don’t eat bread or pasta. This is done to commemorate the arrival of a grain supply ship on Santa Lucia’s day in 1646, relieving a severe famine. It’s also served as a finger food in almost every region of Italy.
5. Poutine in Canada
This is a Canadian dish that originates from the province of Quebec, and it is made with French fries and cheese curds and topped with a brown gravy. Poutine originated in the Centre-du-Québec area in the late 1950s. Several restaurants from the area claim to be the inventor of the dish, but no consensus exists. It has become almost a cultural marker and an adored junk food in the whole of Canada.
4. Pirozhki in Russia
Pirozhki are small versions of “pirog,” the Russian word for “pie.” The origin of the word comes from the old Russian “pir” (“feast”), and this demonstrates that any feast and celebration should involve eating pirozhki. These small pies are now sold everywhere in the country, usually in small cafeterias and shops. The stuffing can be anything from meat, fish, and eggs to vegetables and fruits.
3. Jī zhuǎ (chicken claws) in China
It may seem weird to some that people in China eat chicken feet. However, they believe that it is good for their health, and it reduces wastage! It is a typical Chinese street food that you won’t often meet in other countries. Flavors can be added to it, usually pickled chili or barbeque sauce. It can be salted or fried, but it’s always spicy. The dish is really popular everywhere in China, and you can see the feet displayed behind glass windows on many streets.
2. Pastel de nata in Portugal
Pastel de nata was created by Catholic monks in the 18th century. At that time, large quantities of egg whites were used in monasteries for starching clothes. The monks used the leftover egg yolks to make cakes and pastries, and this is how this dish originated. This egg tart with sugar and butter is now a famous street food in Portugal.
1. Ceviche in Peru
Our number one is ceviche because it’s the only dish that was not only declared part of Peru’s “national heritage” but also has a holiday declared in its honor. The classic recipe includes chunks of raw fish marinated in freshly squeezed key lime or bitter orange juice, sliced onions, chili peppers, salt, and pepper.
What is your favorite street food? We’d love you to share your answers with us!