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Ranked: the world's delicious bucket-list dishes most people don't know

Surprising dishes around the world

<p>TheNUshutter/Shutterstock</p>

TheNUshutter/Shutterstock

Some dishes are so iconic that people will travel across the world to try them. But what about some of the lesser-known delicacies? Travelling gives us the opportunity to try all kinds of surprising foods that, though they might seem unusual at first, are actually delicious. From Australia’s hearty pie floater to Hong Kong’s fluffy, golden bubble waffles, here we countdown to reveal the world's most unusual must-try dishes.

Read on to see how many of these surprising bucket-list dishes you've tried.

We've based our ranking on the enduring popularity of each dish in its place of origin and beyond, and on the opinions of our well-travelled (and well-fed) team. The list is unavoidably subjective.

52. Smörgåstårta, Sweden

<p>Jakub Rutkiewicz/Shutterstock</p>

Jakub Rutkiewicz/Shutterstock

This delightfully kitsch creation was a dinner party favourite in 1970s Sweden and is still a popular sharing dish at parties and celebrations. Smörgåstårta (Swedish sandwich cake) consists of slices of bread layered with all manner of fillings, from smoked salmon and prawns to egg mayonnaise and liver pâté. The construction is then iced as you would a sweet cream cake, but using a savoury mixture of whipped cream cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream instead. If you don’t go too overboard with the fillings, it can be utterly delicious.

51. Fideuà, Spain

<p>Angie Faus/Shutterstock</p>

Angie Faus/Shutterstock

Although it hails from Valencia, fideuà is often thought of as a Catalan dish because of its popularity in the region. Not unlike paella (it’s made in the same sort of flat pan), a moreish assortment of seafood and vegetables are cooked in a shellfish stock with short toasted pasta noodles called fideo. If you can get your hands on fideo – it's often found in continental delicatessens – this is a surprisingly simple one-pot dish to make at home.

50. Dragon’s beard candy, China

<p>James Bronze/Shutterstock</p>

James Bronze/Shutterstock

One of China’s most-loved sweet treats, dragon’s beard candy are stringy cotton candy sweets stuffed with a crushed peanut, chocolate or coconut filling. The production of this sublime confection is a real art form, which involves stretching a dough-like mixture made from rice flour into small, thin strands, then delicately wrapping it around the filling. You can watch the treat being made fresh at food markets all over the country and the intricate process usually draws a crowd. An enduring favourite, according to legend the candy was invented during the rule of the Chinese Han dynasty over 2,000 years ago.

49. Moreton Bay bugs, Australia

<p>Bigc Studio/Shutterstock</p>

Bigc Studio/Shutterstock

These creatures look more like something from outer space than the sea, but they’re actually something a bit more familiar – flathead, or bay, lobsters. In Australia, they’re commonly known as Moreton Bay bugs and are named after a bay in Queensland. They have a stronger taste than other varieties of lobster and are a regular on menus in Sydney’s eateries, where they're usually served with lemon and garlic butter.

48. Papa a la Huancaína, Peru

<p>EDP Photography/Shutterstock</p>

EDP Photography/Shutterstock

This traditional Peruvian potato dish is a cheese lover’s dream. Papa a la Huancaína (literally translated as Huancayo-style potatoes) consists of boiled potatoes smothered in a spicy, creamy sauce. This unique topping is made by pounding fresh white cheese, yellow Peruvian peppers, red onion and garlic together until thick and smooth. The dish is served cold as a side dish in restaurants all over Peru and usually comes garnished with parsley, olives and sliced hard-boiled eggs.

47. Frickles, USA

<p>Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock</p>

Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Fried pickles, or frickles, are a classic and much-loved bar snack in the southern USA, particularly in Arkansas, where they were supposedly invented in the 1960s. To make them, salty, snappy dill pickles are sliced, battered and fried to crispy perfection, then served with ranch dressing or another creamy sauce for dipping. This deep-fried delicacy isn’t for everyone, but we (along with many others) think it’s ingenious and pretty addictive. More recently frickles have become a popular dish in trendy pubs and cafes in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

46. Truffade, France

<p>AS Foodstudio/Shutterstock</p>

AS Foodstudio/Shutterstock

This iconic mountain dish originated in the Auvergne region of France and is one of the country’s most mouth-watering comfort foods. The ingredients might be simple – just cheese, bacon, garlic and potato –, but this rustic pancake is so much more than the sum of its parts. To make a classic truffade, thinly sliced potatoes are slowly cooked in lard or goose fat until tender, then mixed with strips of tome fraîche (a hard-pressed cheese curd that’s slightly fermented) until rich and gooey. Extra ingredients like garlic, crispy bacon lardons and fresh parsley are often added too.

45. Koulouri, Greece

<p>MShev/Shutterstock</p>

MShev/Shutterstock

If you’ve ever frequented a proper Greek bakery, you’ll know that Greek cooks have a way with bread. One of the tastiest bakes to look out for is koulouri, a circular bread covered in sesame seeds (or occasionally poppy seeds), that’s light and ever-so-slightly sweet with a crunchy crust and a wonderfully soft, slightly chewy centre. Sold out of carts on street corners, it’s traditionally enjoyed for breakfast with a cup of coffee.

44. Sarde in saor, Italy

<p>UliAb/Shutterstock</p>

UliAb/Shutterstock

Sarde in saor is a simple dish typical of cicchetti – bite-sized titbits similar to pintxos or tapas – that are found in Venetian bars. It’s certainly not to be ignored – the freshest sardines are deep-fried and left to marinate in a slightly sweet, slightly vinegary sauce along with thin slices of prized Chioggia onions. This process both flavours and preserves the dish. To serve, they’re sprinkled with pine nuts and sometimes raisins, making for an admittedly unusual but very tasty dish.

43. Poutine, Canada

<p>Maridav/Shutterstock</p>

Maridav/Shutterstock

Chips, cheese curds and gravy, what’s not to love? This Quebec-born fast food dish emerged in the late 1950s and has grown to become Canada’s unofficial national dish. You can grab a delicious bowl of poutine at both upscale restaurants and dive bars alike and it’s so prevalent that even McDonald’s sells it. Canadians will argue there’s no comfort food quite like poutine, and they’re probably right.

42. Currywurst, Germany

<p>KarepaStock/Shutterstock</p>

KarepaStock/Shutterstock

Born in Berlin, now loved all over Germany and beyond, currywurst is a meaty street food with a piquant sauce. To make it, a pork sausage is steamed then fried until crispy, before being smothered in a tangy curry ketchup and often sprinkled with more curry powder. The carb element comes in the form of French fries or a bread roll served on the side. Head to one of Berlin’s numerous currywurst stalls to experience this comfort food at its finest.

41. Cold eel noodles, China

<p>Johnson76/Shutterstock</p>

Johnson76/Shutterstock

Shanghai is an epicentre for street food and knowing what to try first here is a battle between head and stomach. But as China’s largest city is known for its eel dishes, then surely it has to be shansi leng mian: cold flat noodles served with hot eels in a savoury, umami-rich sauce. The tantalising differences in temperature, texture and flavour makes this dish one to hunt down.

40. French dip sandwich, USA

<p>Charles Brutlag/Shutterstock</p>

Charles Brutlag/Shutterstock

The only thing French about this sandwich is the bread it's served on. The utterly divine dish was invented in Los Angeles, California in the early 20th century at one of two historic restaurants – either Phillipe's or Cole's, depending on who you ask – and consists of thinly-sliced roast beef, melted Swiss cheese and onions, stuffed into a baguette. The most crucial element is the dip: some restaurants offer a bowl of jus (a thin gravy) on the side to dip it into, while others will dredge the entire sandwich in the delicious cooking juices.

39. Jellied eels, UK

<p>CKP1001/Shutterstock</p>

CKP1001/Shutterstock

For a truly old-school Great British food experience, jellied eels are a must-try. Traditionally sold at pie and mash shops, they were a popular and affordable dish in 18th century London, when there was an abundance of eels in the River Thames. To make them, chopped eels are boiled in a spiced stock that cools to form a set jelly. They’re certainly an acquired taste but are a cult favourite in the city’s remaining pie shops.

38. Käsekrainer, Austria

<p>Dietmar Rauscher/Shutterstock</p>

Dietmar Rauscher/Shutterstock

It’s no surprise that sausages are big in Austria, but the country has a long-time love affair with käsekrainer that shows no sign of waning. A variety of Carniolan sausage from Slovenia, the käsekrainer harbours a tasty secret. Usually served from street stands, it looks and tastes like a hot dog sausage, until the first bite releases oozing melted cheese. When dipped in hot mustard and eaten with a cold beer it's nothing short of sensational.

37. Farinata, Italy

<p>Quanthem/Shutterstock</p>

Quanthem/Shutterstock

This simple chickpea pancake from Ligurian may not look like anything special, but farinata has been embraced across Italy primarily because it’s absolutely delicious. Traditionally made with nutritious chickpea flour and cooked in a wood-burning oven to ensure a crisp, golden crust and a fluffy, chewy centre, it's usually served with seasonal vegetables and dips, or with toppings in the style of a rustic pizza.

36. Mote con huesillo, Chile

<p>Larisa Blinova/Shutterstock</p>

Larisa Blinova/Shutterstock

Mote con huesillo may be a drink, but it’s a very hearty one that requires a spoon. Made from wheat, peaches, cinnamon and sugar, no trip to Chile would be complete without trying this non-alcoholic beverage, which is sold all over the country and is synonymous with summer. It’s very sweet and refreshing, while the succulent cooked wheat is reminiscent of the tapioca balls found in bubble tea.

35. Hangi, New Zealand

<p>The World Traveller/Shutterstock</p>

The World Traveller/Shutterstock

For an indigenous experience like no other, Māori cuisine has to be sampled. Hangi is a traditional method of cooking which sees fish or meat such as chicken thighs, mutton and pork cooked alongside root vegetables (carrots, kumara, potatoes and pumpkin) on heated rocks that are buried in an underground pit oven called an umu. The result is smoky, succulent slow-cooked meat and veg, while the entire hangi experience is really something special.

34. Pintxos, Spain

<p>Konstantin Kopachinsky/Shutterstock</p>

Konstantin Kopachinsky/Shutterstock

Although pintxos (pinchos) are now found across Spain, these bite-sized morsels originated in the Basque region, home of foodie paradise San Sebastian. Small pieces of bread with a variety of toppings are skewered on toothpicks and served in pintxos bars or taverns alongside wine, beer or Fino. A true taste of northern Spain, there’s something for everyone, from tortilla, to octopus, to jamon.

33. Babbouche, Morocco

<p>Glen Berlin/Shutterstock</p>

Glen Berlin/Shutterstock

We tend to associate eating snails with France or Spain, but they’ve been devoured as a street food in Morocco’s capital city Rabat for decades. Known as babbouche or b’bouch, this high-protein, low-fat snack is slowly stewed in an aromatic broth seasoned with the likes of cumin, ginger, liquorice root and thyme. Vendors cook the snails in huge vats at the city’s many food markets and a toothpick is the tool of choice for prising the tasty creatures from their shells.

32. Suppli, Italy

<p>OlgaBombologna/Shutterstock</p>

OlgaBombologna/Shutterstock

Rome is awash with delicious specialities to hunt down, but foodies in the know will head straight for the suppli. This hand-held snack is native to Rome and widely regarded as a local favourite. A cross between arancini and croquettes, suppli are made from risotto rice, tomato sauce and mozzarella, rolled in egg and breadcrumbs then fried until shatteringly crisp. Though they used to be available from street vendors around the city, these days you’re more likely to see them as a starter in restaurants.

31. Bhel puri, India

<p>RealityImages/Shutterstock</p>

RealityImages/Shutterstock

This multi-textured sweet and sour snack of puffed rice, sev (crunchy chickpea noodles), chopped onion and potato and tamarind chutney is so important to Mumbai's culinary heritage that The Bombay Times runs an annual contest to find the King of Bhel. Technically a type of chaat, bhel puri is a wildly popular street food snack that’s available from stands across the city and beyond, though it’s also easy to make at home.

30. Laverbread, UK

<p>David Pimborough/Shutterstock</p>

David Pimborough/Shutterstock

Don’t be fooled by the deceptive name, this Welsh favourite doesn’t actually contain any bread. The dark green paste made from boiled seaweed inspires Marmite-like levels of love and hate, thanks to its distinctive taste and texture. Dubbed ‘Welshman’s caviar’, laverbread has been enjoyed since the 17th century and is traditionally served with bacon and cockles as an essential part of a Welsh breakfast. These days it’s having a bit of a renaissance in Wales, with artisan producers using it to make everything from bread and oatcakes to gin and even rum.

29. Sugar on snow, Canada

<p>JSA photo/Shutterstock</p>

JSA photo/Shutterstock

Canada is the world’s biggest producer of maple syrup, so it comes as no surprise that one of the country’s best offerings is maple-based. Also called maple taffy (tire d'érable in French), this flavoursome candy is a delight to the eyes and the tastebuds. Made by boiling maple sap to around 112°C (234°F), the hot liquid is poured onto virgin snow where it reacts with the cold and hardens. It can be wrapped around sticks or simply plucked from the snow.

28. Horumonyaki, Japan

<p>image_vulture/Shutterstock</p>

image_vulture/Shutterstock

When in Rome do as the Romans do. And when in Japan do as the Japanese do: eat ‘stamina-building’ horumonyaki – if you’re brave enough that is. This speciality of Osaka was invented around 1940 and is an offal lover’s fantasy: pig spleen, stomach, intestine and heart – as well as arteries and rectums for more courageous souls – are all cooked on a charcoal grill and served with a sake-and-soy-based tare sauce.

27. Herring under a fur coat, Russia

<p>rsooll/Shutterstock</p>

rsooll/Shutterstock

The more prosaic name for this layered salad of pickled herring, onion, boiled vegetables and mayonnaise is dressed herring, but let’s go with the infinitely preferable nickname ‘herring under a fur coat’. Usually served as a zukuski (Russian canapé or hor d’oeuvre), a gathering isn’t a gathering without this dish, especially at Christmas. Restaurants meanwhile present it in both traditional and more contemporary forms.

26. Escamoles, Mexico

<p>Habitante/Shutterstock</p>

Habitante/Shutterstock

Creamy, nutty escamoles, also known as Mexican caviar or insect caviar, are an unusual treat made from the edible larvae and pupae of ants. The tasty grubs are usually simply fried in butter with onion and chilli and served in tacos. Escamoles can be bought from Mexico City’s famous Mercado San Juan de Pugibet, where you’ll also find ground and spiced chicitana (flying ants) spread on tortillas and toasted crunchy chapulines (grasshoppers).

25. Boza, Turkey

<p>Esin Deniz/Shutterstock</p>

Esin Deniz/Shutterstock

Though not food as such, this popular, age-old fermented drink is nevertheless as thick as an ice-cream milkshake and as filling as a meal. Made from fermented grain, cinnamon and sugar, it’s got a slightly sweet flavour with a tangy aftertaste. It’s technically alcoholic, but you’ll need a lot of it to feel tipsy – the alcohol content is only 1%. Boza is often recommended an effective digestive aid.

24. Romeu e Julieta, Brazil

<p>casa.da.photo/Shutterstock</p>

casa.da.photo/Shutterstock

Those with a sweet tooth are spoiled for choice in Brazil, where you can feast on local favourites like brigadeiro - chocolate fudge balls that are considered to be the country’s national dessert. But for something a little different, look out for Romeu e Julieta – a slice of ruby red guava paste sandwiched between two slices of white Minas cheese. It’s unclear why this unusual sweet was named after the famous Shakespeare play, but Romeu e Julieta is beloved throughout the country and commonly served as both a snack and a dessert.

23. Filet Américain, Belgium

<p>8H/Shutterstock</p>

8H/Shutterstock

Belgium has given us two world-famous dishes – moules frites and waffles – but the country has numerous other delights to offer foodies. For something a bit more challenging, try filet Américain. Sometimes confused on menus with an actual beef steak, it's a smooth paste made by grinding lean, premium beef with seasonings like onions, capers, mustard, mayonnaise and Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces. Taste-wise it’s similar to steak tartare, but with a silkier, smoother texture and is usually served spread on crusty bread or crackers.

22. Fried insects, Thailand

<p>Shanti Hesse/Shutterstock</p>

Shanti Hesse/Shutterstock

If you consider yourself an adventurous eater and are visiting Thailand, make sure you give fried insects a try. Making regular appearances at Bangkok’s famous food markets, they're not unlike a packet of crisps: crunchy, savoury and a little bit greasy. Take your pick from ant queens, bamboo worms, crickets and weevils.

21. Chả cá lã Vọng, Vietnam

<p>KYTan/Shutterstock</p>

KYTan/Shutterstock

Visitors to Vietnam are spoiled for choice when it comes to food, but in Hanoi there’s a particularly iconic treat – chả cá lã Vọng – that begs to be tried. It’s a bright, light and spicy dish of turmeric-fried fish cooked with vermicelli, dill, ginger, galangal, onions and shrimp paste. Peanuts and pineapple sometimes make an appearance, too. This dish was first served at Hanoi’s Cha Ca La Vong restaurant back in 1871; today the original spot only serves this signature dish and guests eat it from charcoal burners at communal tables.

20. Pisang goreng, Indonesia

<p>Odua Images/Shutterstock</p>

Odua Images/Shutterstock

Yes, there’s beef rendang and chicken satay – two delectable Indonesian dishes that most of us will have tried – but for something a bit different, opt for the sinful street food snack pisang goreng. These banana fritters are sprinkled with cheese or chocolate sauce. Or both. They’re simultaneously crunchy, fruity, sweet, creamy and salty, which makes them pretty much irresistible in our book.

19. Brik, Tunisia

<p>Konstantin Kopachinsky/Shutterstock</p>

Konstantin Kopachinsky/Shutterstock

A bit like Indian samosas and a distant cousin of the Turkish borek, brik (pronounced 'brreek') are triangular-shaped filo pastry snacks stuffed with all kinds of tasty fillings, ranging from mashed potatoes to chicken, tuna, seafood, ground meat or egg. They’re traditionally flavoured with capers, cheese, harissa or onion, so are absolutely jam-packed with flavour. They’re lighter than they sound, too. A trip to Tunis isn’t complete without a stroll around a souk where you can sample brik at their best – freshly cooked and still piping hot.

18. Akara, Nigeria

<p>vm2002/Shutterstock</p>

vm2002/Shutterstock

Diverse, aromatic and utterly delicious, Nigerian cuisine is known for its rice and bean dishes and spicy sauces, from jollof rice to egusi soup. One street food dish really worth hunting down is a popular bean-based snack called akara – balls made from black-eyed peas and chilli that are fried in palm oil until golden on the outside and fluffy in the middle. The dish is commonly eaten at breakfast and features strongly in the culture of the Yoruba people. A similar dish, acarajé, exists in Brazil.

17. Bunny chow, South Africa

<p>Thao Lan/Shutterstock</p>

Thao Lan/Shutterstock

Despite the name, no rabbits are involved in the making of bunny chow. This hefty dish consists of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with either meat or vegetable curry and often served with a spicy carrot and onion salad. It’s widely thought that Indian immigrants in Durban created this portable meal in the 1940s and it’s now a much-loved street food around the country.

16. Spaghettieis, Germany

<p>stockcreations/Shutterstock</p>

stockcreations/Shutterstock

At first glance this appears to be a pretty regular plate of spaghetti and tomato sauce. But on closer inspection, it doesn’t look quite right, does it? This uncanny dish is spaghettieis, a novelty ice cream sundae that was invented in 1960s Germany and is happily enjoying something of a revival, thanks to social media. To make it, vanilla ice cream is pushed through a spätzle press or potato ricer, giving it the appearance of spaghetti, then topped with strawberry sauce and white chocolate shavings to resemble tomato sauce and shaved Parmesan.

15. Rundown and bammies, Jamaica

<p>Dubaune Cas/Shutterstock</p>

Dubaune Cas/Shutterstock

Sometimes you hear the name of a dish and you just have to try it, whatever it may be. So, if you're ever in Jamaica, go get yourself some rundown and bammies – a creamy coconut fish and vegetable stew served with cassava flatbreads called bammies. Any type of fish can be used in the stew, but salted or pickled mackerel is the most common. The classic dish can be found in restaurants all over the island and is often eaten at breakfast, alongside green bananas and festival dumplings.

14. Sabich, Israel

<p>zoryanchik/Shutterstock</p>

zoryanchik/Shutterstock

A sabich is essentially a pitta sandwich, but there’s so much more to it than that. It’s stuffed with crispy fried aubergine, hard-boiled egg, hummus, tahini sauce, Israeli salad and amba (spicy mango jam), making for a wonderfully flavourful handful with amazing texture. The dish is said to have originated with the Iraqi Jews who migrated to Israel in the 1940s and 1950s and it was traditionally eaten on Shabbat at breakfast. Nowadays it’s an Israeli obsession, consumed throughout the day and available from restaurants and food stands all over the country.

13. Sambal stingray, Malaysia

<p>Tang Yan Song/Shutterstock</p>

Tang Yan Song/Shutterstock

Sambal stingray (known as ikan pari bakar) is an increasingly popular dish usually sold at hawker centres in both Malaysia and Singapore. It’s made by marinating big chunks of ray in a blended chilli paste, wrapping it in banana leaves and grilling it to crispy perfection. The flesh of the fish itself is like flatfish or scallops – moist, delicate and mild – while the fiery sambal gives the dish some serious oomph.

12. Pie Floater, Australia

<p>DariaKM/Shutterstock</p>

DariaKM/Shutterstock

Don’t let the unusual name put you off this Australian comfort food, it’s actually incredibly tasty. Invented over 150 years ago, the dish is a speciality of Adelaide and is regarded as an important part of Australia’s culinary heritage. It consists of a meat pie in a thick pea soup, typically served with a drizzle of tomato ketchup on top. Once sold in pie carts around the city, the hearty meat-pie-in-pea-soup combo might be of English origin, but it's firmly regarded as Antipodean today.

11. Slugburger, USA

<p>Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock</p>

Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Despite the name, this Depression-era burger doesn’t contain any slugs – it’s actually a patty made from beef or pork mince, bulked up with an inexpensive ‘extender’ such as potato flour or soybeans. The deep-fried patties are served in a burger bun with plenty of pickles, onions and mustard. This Southern favourite was invented in Mississippi and the name refers to the fact that they used to cost a nickel – back in the day, ‘slug’ was the slang term for a five-cent piece. These days, the burgers are still sold in old-time diners around the state and in Corinth, Mississippi, there’s even a slugburger festival.

10. Chaat, India

<p>Matyas Rehak/Shutterstock</p>

Matyas Rehak/Shutterstock

One of India’s most beloved and versatile street foods, chaat is a quintessentially Indian snack presented in many delicious forms. Aloo chana chaat, for example, is made from potato, chickpeas, tomatoes, onion and chutneys and topped with papdis (fried crackers), fresh coriander and yogurt. Its origins lie in Uttar Pradesh, India, but chaat has become immensely popular in the rest of South Asia, including Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. To taste some of the absolute finest, head to Delhi's famous Chandni Chowk market.

9. Injera, Ethiopia

<p>Bonchan/Shutterstock</p>

Bonchan/Shutterstock

Injera is to Ethiopia and neighbouring Eritrea what baguettes are to France. In Eastern Africa, this spongy, holey pancake-shaped bread is ubiquitous, and its unique flavour is the perfect foil for the spicy regional stews and meat dishes. Made from teff flour, using a process similar to sourdough, it’s rich in iron and gluten-free. Ethiopian food is becoming more popular outside of the country, particularly in the UK and America, and we think injera deserves to be better known.

8. Army stew, South Korea

<p>54613/Shutterstock</p>

54613/Shutterstock

Budae jjigae, also known as army stew, is an unapologetically chaotic fusion dish that combines tinned hot dogs, Spam, baked beans and processed cheese with noodles and kimchi to make something pretty magical. The end result isn’t exactly pretty, but it’s utterly delicious. It was created around the end of the Korean War using tinned ingredients purchased by Koreans from US army base mess halls. These days it remains a popular comfort food, served in restaurants and home kitchens alike.

7. Egg puffs, Hong Kong

<p>Andrew Angelov/Shutterstock</p>

Andrew Angelov/Shutterstock

Hong Kong is a veritable culinary melting pot, with more cuisines on offer than you could ever hope to try. Street food options are numerous to the point of bewilderment, but you can never go wrong with gai daan jai or egg puffs. Also known as egg waffles, bubble waffles or puffles, they’re shaped like little eggs and have a crispy exterior and a chewy interior. Traditionally they’re served plain, but modern interpretations have seen them flavoured with everything from green tea to sweet potato and loaded with colourful sweets, ice cream and fruit.

6. Momo, Nepal

<p>Mironov Vladimir/Shutterstock</p>

Mironov Vladimir/Shutterstock

Food doesn’t get more comforting than stuffed dumplings and Nepal’s version – momo – is one of the world’s most delicious varieties, especially when served with a spicy tomato achar sauce on the side for dipping. Arguably the most popular fast food in the country, these moist and moreish parcels were traditionally filled with regional meats such as goat and buffalo, but nowadays the repertoire has expanded to include veggie and even sweet versions.

5. Obleas Colombiana, Colombia

<p>Julian Bohorquez/Shutterstock</p>

Julian Bohorquez/Shutterstock

Eaten all over Latin America, but especially popular in Colombia, obleas Colombiana is basically a dream dessert: a generous smothering of Colombian-style dulce de leche (also called arequipe) is sandwiched between two giant disc-shaped wafers. The deliciousness doesn’t stop there – other fillings include blackberry jam, fresh fruit, shredded coconut, and a fresh, salty cheese called queso costeño, which gives an unexpected savoury kick that works brilliantly with the sweetness of the caramel.

4. Koshary, Egypt

<p>hussein farar/Shutterstock</p>

hussein farar/Shutterstock

There’s such affection for koshary in Egypt that there are endless shops and stalls dedicated solely to selling the filling comfort food. This carb-laden ‘poor man’s dish’ is an addictive mishmash of lentils, macaroni and rice topped with chickpeas, fried onions and a hot vinegary tomato sauce made from a special spice mix. Even though it’s probably Indian in origin, it’s widely regarded as one of Egypt’s national dishes.

3. Lechon, Philippines

<p>from my point of view/Shutterstock</p>

from my point of view/Shutterstock

Adobo (a delicious, marinated meat dish) is probably the best-known Filipino food, but lechon is the thing that gets locals the most excited. To make this celebratory dish, a whole suckling pig is slowly roasted over a charcoal pit – often rotated by hand – until the skin is perfectly crisp and golden brown. An essential accompaniment is a sweet and tangy lechon sauce, made with the pig’s liver, plus soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and spices.

2. Hoppers, Sri Lanka

<p>BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock</p>

BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock

Potentially one of the greatest breakfast treats of all time, the mouth-watering egg hopper is an extremely popular way to start the day in Sri Lanka. The delicate meal consists of a fried egg cradled inside a paper-thin, crêpe-like bowl made from rice batter and coconut milk. They're usually served plain or with tasty toppings such as spicy chutney, zesty sambals or sauces. Try an egg hopper with some coconut sambal on the side and you’ll never want toast for brekkie again.

1. Okonomiyaki, Japan

<p>TheNUshutter/Shutterstock</p>

TheNUshutter/Shutterstock

Okonomiyaki isn't particularly well-known outside of Japan, having been usurped globally by the wonders of sushi and ramen, but it’s a wonderfully versatile dish that deserves celebrating. This unapologetically messy meal is sometimes referred to as a Japanese pizza, but that doesn’t really do it justice. Usually cooked in front of diners, teppanyaki-style, it’s a savoury pancake loaded with cabbage, meat and seafood, then topped with everything from cheese to Japanese mayonnaise and sweet and tangy okonomiyaki sauce.

Now discover the world’s most delicious dishes you’ll want to try