What constitutes an iconic dish? Is it that special, only-to-be-found-in-my-neighborhood delicacy, on the tip of a local’s tongue when suggesting what to eat or the best place that prepares it or a dish that is so intertwined with a particular countries national make up that just the mention of it conjures up post card visualizations.
Essentially, all cultures and countries are defined in a great part by their food and are rightly proud of their culinary traditions. These dishes describe more about a place and the people eating them than just the food itself.
Take a close look and you will find that they divulge an intimate snapshot of who they sustain and their history. These dishes are influenced by the politics, geography, climate, social behavior and culture of the people who prepare and eat them. Some have been updated to suit modern palates and others are still the same, never changing from the traditional original dish.
Some dishes are so iconic and rooted in peoples psyche that they have instigated heated debates in parliaments, created falling-outs between neighboring countries and cause once close friends or family to indulge in never ending feuds.
This subject has always fascinated me so if you’re a serious global foodie or a Culinary Gypsy like me with a bucket list of foods you’ve just got to try, let me get you started with a dossier of iconic dishes I have been fortunate to eat in their original country and location: