An essential part of travel is tasting the local cuisine. For years now people have culinary experiences near the top of their lists when they visit a new destination.
And there are some destinations that the moment you hear them a certain dish comes to mind.
Who can resist thinking of a sumptuous plate of pasta when you hear the word Italy, or a golden crisp plate of fish and chips when you hear the word London?
Interestingly though, some of the most famous dishes that you have associated with a country or a city are not necessarily from there.
Fish and Chips
There is not a soul alive that would not associate this famous dish with a rainy London evening in a cosy pub with a pint of beer or ale. The origins of this delicacy though can be pinpointed slightly south of the English capital. The persecuted Jewish population of Portugal in the 800s AD, that settled in the UK as early as the 16th century, used to fry fish on Friday evenings in preparation for the Shabbat dinner.
The hint is right there on the name. You could not possibly argue that this dish is not Swedish. Or could you? While this delicacy would be top of mind for everyone leaving an IKEA store the origins of that dish can be found somewhere much souther. The original recipe can be traced back to 5th century Turkey and it was brought to Sweden by King Charles XII a whopping 13 centuries later.
Another one that has a distinct hint on the name but by now you must have gotten the point that it's probably not Scottish. This famous pub comfort food can be traced back to 4th century India but since the recipe is not standard the origin of the dish is quite disputed!
Most of us have a friend or two that pronounce croissants with that thick “r” sound after a visit to Paris, but the famous pastry originated in a city that is famous for its pastries. To make the guess a bit easier we will give you a hint. Breakfast pastries in French are called “Viennoiserie”.
It might be easy now but yes the famous croissant comes to us from 13th century Vienna, where it was first baked to celebrate the win of Austria over the incoming Ottoman army. The shape of the pastry was selected as a direct reference to the conflict since the half-moon shape was also in the flag of the Ottoman empire.