One of my favorite ways to experience a new culture is to eat! This is the first in an ongoing series of posts about some of the best meals I’ve had while traveling. These are not ranked, because picking a favorite would be impossible!
Mezes, Athens, Greece
Like Spanish tapas or Chinese dim sum (other favorites), mezes are small dishes made of meat, vegetables, cheese, or a combination of the three, served together to make the ultimate feast. My favorite items are always, always the eggplant-based ones. Deny me my baba ghannouj at a price.
Couscous, Marrakesh, Morocco
This couscous comes from a stall at the Jemaa el Fna night market in the center of the Kasbah. Simply prepared with sweet potatoes, chicken and dates, this couscous was the highlight of my days in Morocco. Eating a delicious dish like this, surrounded by the snake charmers, local skateboarders, and dancing lights of the night market, is the perfect way to end a hot day.
Cao Lau, Hoi An, Vietnam
Although I was going to give pho, the national dish of Vietnam, the obligatory Asian cuisine entry, I decided to go with the lesser-known cao lau. Cao Lau is a specialty of Hoi An, and try as I might, I have not been able to find it outside of that town. Although Hoi An is beautiful and has fantastic beaches, cao lau is enough of a reason to spend a few days in this historic town. The noodles are made with water from a specific well, while the salty crackers and pork work well with the fresh veggies. Do not miss Hoi An (and cao lau) in Vietnam!