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How Many of These World Street Foods Have You Tried?

By Laura Rancie.

In a few months, I will be excitedly heading on my first trip to Vietnam and one of the first things that pops up when researching such a place is the street food. 

It’s the same in Bali – try having a conversation with someone about Australia’s favourite holiday destination without discussing street food or visiting markets where a myriad of food vendors set up on the side of the road, displaying their latest catch with a side of rice. 

I remember one such trip to the island of Tahiti. We were driving from Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, to the other side of the magnificent tropical paradise to see one of the world's heaviest waves, at Teahupo’o. The road itself winds between lush green mountain peaks and crystal clear waters, interspersed with black sands. Just a metre or two from the lapping, frothy waves I saw a beautiful Tahitian elderly woman sitting on a crate, with a makeshift clothes hanger dangling fish that was no doubt just a few hours out of the ocean. The very definition of street food. 

Here we list the most popular street food from around the world. Some are pretty obvious, like gelato from Italy but others you may only ever get to experience if you travel to a certain rural village of an exotic and far away country.  How many have you tried from this list?

Belgium – waffles or pommes frites are fried twice, then served in a paper cone with an impressive serving of sauces on top. 

Canada – poutine is Canada's version of fries, but topped with cheese curds and brown gravy. 

China – chuan, small pieces of skewered spiced meat, charcoaled over high heat. 
How Many of These World Street Foods Have You Tried?

Colombia – arepa are soft thick pancakes made of ground maize mixed with flour and salt stuffed or topped with meat, cheese or veggies. 

Egypt – you haven’t had falafel, until you’ve eaten it in Egypt. Made from fava beans instead of chickpeas, here falafels are called ta’amiya. 

France – crepes of course!

Germany – currywurst is a pork sausage that has been steamed, fried and cut into slices then seasoned with curry and ketchup. 

Greece – gyros are common in Australia, but served as street food in Greece with a whole lot of flavour including paprika, garlic powder, oregano, pepper and dried parsley, plus depending on where you get it from, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg and sumac. 
How Many of These World Street Foods Have You Tried?

India – there are a lot to pick from, but we’re going to suggest aloo tikki, spiced potato croquettes. 

Indonesia – asinan, made of fruit or veggies that are pickled or brined, the actual word even means ‘salty food’. 

Italy – gelato or pizza, no explanation needed. 
How Many of These World Street Foods Have You Tried?

Japan – wheat noodles served in a broth, with soy sauce or miso as the flavouring with toppings such as boiled egg, sliced pork, crispy duck, scallions and dried seaweed. 

Jamaica – sky juice, which is essentially just shaved ice topped with syrup, sold in a sealed bag and peddled by vendors on just about every street. 

Malaysia – nasi lemak. This top-of-the-list Malaysian street food is a favourite for everyone and is considered the national dish, sold at roadside stalls served on banana leaves right through to well-regarded restaurants. It’s a hearty mix of coconut rice infused with pandan, cucumbers, nuts, anchovies and egg.  

Mexico – tostadas, unlike tacos which are flat and soft, are fried and crispy. 

Philippines – balut. Skewers seem to be a popular street food, and this Filipino version is no different. 

Pakistan – a flat round chapli kebab served with naan or rice. 

Poland – this is Poland's version of a bagel, the obwarzanek krakowski is a braided bread made in the shape of a circle. It’s first boiled just like a bagel, then sprinkled with poppy and sesame seeds, salted and baked. 
How Many of These World Street Foods Have You Tried?

Peru – ceviche is the national dish and is available widely on street corners as raw fish marinated in lime, salt and chilli. If raw fish isn’t your vibe, then cross the street for anticuchos, a kebab-style street food consisting of any kind of meat (usually beef heart) marinated in vinegar and spices like garlic, cumin and pepper, then roasted on a skewer and presented with veggies. 

Singapore – Hainanese chicken rice is found at every dining spot and hawker centre. 

South Africa – bunny chow, originating in Durban. It is essentially a bread loaf hollowed out and filled with curried meat and eaten by hand. It’s served with a side of grated carrot, onion and chilli salad. 

Spain – churros, eaten plain, rolled in cinnamon sugar or dipped with either dulce de leche or warm chocolate sauce. 

Thailand – This dessert mango sticky rice is known as ‘khaoniao mamuang’ on the streets of Thailand and is most commonly served in Summer when mangoes are at a peak. 

Taiwan – xiao long bao are soupy dumplings that you have to drink or swallow whole. 

Turkey – misir, sold on the streets as roasted corn on the cobb or sut misir, which is boiled corn kernels with salt. 
How Many of These World Street Foods Have You Tried?

Philadelphia, USA – Philly cheese steak, most commonly bought at a pop-up stand, before going to a baseball game or visiting the 'Rocky' statue at the Museum of Modern Art. 

Vietnam – the banh Mi is a result of the French influence there during the 19th Century and started appearing in Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, in the 1950s. It is now widely available throughout the entire country and anywhere in the world with Vietnamese populations. 

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