6 of the best …local delicacies
Katie Cosstick asks Cox & Kings’ experts about their favourite local cuisine. “Sampling local specialities is one of the joys of travelling. My most treasured holiday memories seem to involve food of some description: buying cherries from a small market in Greece as a young girl; eating guinea pig in a Peruvian school; grazing my way through a Hong Kong street market. Cuisine cuts to the heart of a country’s character, so I asked some of our experts to recommend their favourites…”
by Rathi Sivasothy, Far East expert
Pho is a simple Vietnamese soup made with noodles and served with chicken or beef and onion, with lime, herbs and chilli to flavour. Traditionally a staple dish for breakfast in Vietnam, pho is now established in London restaurants and the combination of flavours and aromas instantly transport me back to the busy streets of Hanoi in northern Vietnam, sitting with local Hanoians on tiny chairs in streetside restaurants watching the world go by.
Kothimbir Vadi, Bombay, India
by Roop Kumar, India expert
Growing up in Bombay, this was, and still is, one of my favourite snacks. It is a blend of chickpea flour and freshly chopped coriander with mild spices. I used to accompany my father on his business trips and for lunch I always had kothimbir vadi. I love the smell of coriander and it’s even better dipped in mustard flavoured yoghurt or coconut chutney. It reminds me not only of my childhood, but also the sights and smells of the city that never sleeps.
Mole Poblano, Mexico
by Arturo Tapia, Latin America expert
Mexicans love chilli so much they even mix it with chocolate. Mole Poblano (pronounced moll-lay) hails from Puebla and Oaxaca and contains up to 20 ingredients including chilli peppers, onions, tomatoes and garlic. It’s secret ingredient? Unsweetened chocolate! This dark, reddish brown sauce, delicious served with chicken, turkey or shrimp is perfect comfort food.
by Leah Reavley, Europe expert
Roughly translated as dough with meat, lahmacun is a round piece of thin oven-baked dough topped with minced meats, herbs, onions and vegetables. It is eaten as a side dish and depending on the region of Turkey, is sometimes sprinkled with lemon juice. The most popular – and my favourite – way of eating it is to dip small pieces into a pomegranate juice containing thinly sliced vegetables.
Gooseneck barnacles, Spain
by James Noyes, Europe expert
I tried this Galician delicacy in La Coruna, unaware of the high price at which they come. Harvested in the far north-west shore of Spain during a full or new moon combined with a low tide, men precariously descend by rope into the punishing Atlantic surf to slice them from the cliffs. The profit, for them, is worth the danger. The flavour of the sea captured in this shellfish was a true delight!
Potjiekos, South Africa
by Jonathan Fitzsimmonds, Africa expert
Potjiekos literally translates as small pot food. It originated with the Voortrekkers (pioneers), who shot wild game and added it to the pot. The stew can include meat, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, pumpkin, fruits, pasta, rice or potatoes. Traditionally, it is prepared outdoors in a three-legged cast iron pot, often on a barbecue under the stars. Slow-cooked with Dutch-Malay spices it tastes delicious and always reminds me of my first trip to South Africa, eating it round a camp fire.
Recommended Cox & Kings tours which include exciting culinary experiences
Peru: A Culinary Adventure
9 Days & 7 Nights from £3,195
Cooking lesson with renowned Peruvian chef Penelope Alzamora…See more>
The Riches of Emilia-Romagna
8 Days & 7 Nights from £1,295
Italian ham, parmesan and mortadella tasting experiences…See more>
Vietnam & the Temples of Angkor
12 Days & 9 Nights from £3,235
Traditional Vietnamese cooking class…See more>
Bhutan: The Dragon Kingdom
11 Days & 9 Nights from £2,645
Cooking class in spicy Bhutanese cuisine…See more>
- Cox & Kings Staff
- Far East
- Food & Wine
- Indian Subcontinent
- Latin America
- South Africa