Food is an important part of travel, as new culinary experiences add to the discoveries we make on our journeys.
The flavors we discover stay with us when we return home either in our memories or, if we have the skill to recreate them in our kitchens on our dinner tables.
Some cities are forever associated with the foods that originated there. To get your mouth watering, make sure you know about these cities and the foods that made them famous.
Wiener Schnitzel: Vienna (Wein), Austria
Italians will tell you that Austria’s national dish is an import and that the Cotoletta alla Milanese was so good, their northerly neighbors just could not resist passing it off as their own.
Say that in Vienna and you’ll be met with a cold reception. According to the Austrians, Vienna’s tradition of cooking breaded and deep-fried meat originated long before schnitzel was supposed to have come along. In a true wiener schnitzel, unlike the Italian version, you will not find a bone and the meat must always be veal.
Peking Duck: Beijing, PRC
Peking duck is believed to have developed during the Ming Dynasty, although versions of the dish had been around for many centuries before that.
The 1st peking duck restaurant, Bianyifang, opened in Beijing in the early 15th Century. If you visit the restaurant in the Chinese capital today, the dish is still a must-try culinary sensation.
Bianyifang uses the closed-oven cooking technique by slow cooking the meat so it remains juicy and tender.
Meanwhile, established rival Quanjude prefers the hung-oven roasting method, where the bird is cooked more quickly over an open fire to achieve a crispy skin.
Buffalo Wings: Buffalo, NY, USA
‘Wings’ the mainstay of sports bars, barbecue, and parties. Buffalo wings were invented in Y 1964 in Buffalo, New York.
Teressa Bellissimo smothered a plate of wings with a special sauce and brought them out to customers at the Anchor Bar, where they were warmly received.
Wings are snapped in half, deep-fried, and then liberally coated in that wonderful red sauce made of cayenne pepper and Worcestershire sauce.
There is a festival too, in Buffalo, although it didn’t exist until Bill Murray’s character came up with it in the Y 2001 movie Osmosis Jones.
Pizza: Naples, Italy
There’s been a long tradition of making pizza in the southern Italian city of Naples, but to call your pie “original Neapolitan pizza,” you have to be signed up to the Associazione Verace Pizza Neapolitana.
The job of this regulatory body is to ensure that the methods and ingredients used are authentic.
For tourists seeing that sticker in the window, it’s a reassurance of good quality. You will probably experience a long line.
One such place with a long wait is Sorbillo’s, where it’s not unusual to find yourself waiting for 1.5 hrs or more to try one of the authentic pizzas on the menu.
Waffles: Brussels, Belgium
Belgium is known for its waffles, but did you know there are actually different types?
While the Brussels waffle is large and rectangular, the Liege waffle is thicker, smaller, and round. The latter also contains clumps of sugar, while the Brussels one is customarily dusted with powdered sugar icing.
These decadent desserts can be topped with many different ingredients including rich chocolate sauce, melted butter, and fresh fruit topped with cream. How do you resist having a 2nd one?
Enjoy your travels