WhenHub - Iconic Dishes From Around The World

Iconic Dishes From Around The World

Each country has a unique dish to call it truly theirs. Here are the recipes for these lip-smacking dishes from around the world! Happy Cooking!

Paella - Spain

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Paella is a Valencian rice dish. Paella has ancient roots, but its modern form originated in the mid-19th century near the Albufera lagoon on the east coast of Spain adjacent to the city of Valencia. Many non-Spaniards view paella as Spain's national dish, but most Spaniards consider it to be a regional Valencian dish. Valencians, in turn, regard paella as one of their identifying symbols.


Types of paella include Valencian paella, vegetarian/vegan paella (Spanish: paella de verduras), seafood paella (Spanish: paella de marisco), and mixed paella (Spanish: paella mixta), among many others. Valencian paella is believed to be the original recipe and consists of white rice, green beans (bajoqueta and tavella), meat (chicken and rabbit), white beans (garrofón), snails, and seasoning such as saffron and rosemary. Another very common but seasonal ingredient is artichokes. Seafood paella replaces meat with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables. Mixed paella is a free-style combination of meat from land animals, seafood, vegetables, and sometimes beans. Most paella chefs use bomba rice due to it being less likely to overcook, but Valencians tend to use a slightly stickier (and thus more susceptible to overcooking) variety known as Senia. All types of paellas use olive oil.

Tandoori Chicken - India

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Tandoori chicken is a yoghurt and spice marinated chicken cooked in a tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven. It is a popular dish originating from the Indian subcontinent. Tandoori chicken originated at the Moti Mahal Delux restaurant. Kundan Lal Gujral, a Punjabi, is credited with invention of the dish. Gujral founded the restaurant in the Peshawar area of Pakistan. It was in this restaurant that Gujral invented Tandoori chicken, along with other dishes like Butter Chicken.


Tandoori chicken can be eaten as a starter or appetizer, and as a main course, the latter with naan (an Indian flatbread). It is also used as a base chicken in numerous cream-based curries such as butter chicken.

Poutine - Canada

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Poutine is a Canadian dish, originating in the province of Quebec, made with French fries and cheese curds topped with a light brown gravy.This fast-food dish is typically found across Canada and in some places in the northern United States.


The dish is thought to have originated in rural Quebec in the late 1950s, and several provincial communities claim to be the birthplace of poutine, including Drummondville (by Jean-Paul Roy in 1964) and Victoriaville.


One often-cited tale is that of Warwick restaurateur Fernand Lachance of Le Café Ideal, who is said in 1957 to have exclaimed, "ça va faire une maudite poutine!" ("It will make a damn mess!") when asked by restaurant regular Eddy Lainesse to put a handful of cheese curds on some french fries, hence the name. The sauce was allegedly added later, to keep the fries warm longer. Over time, the dish's popularity spread across the province (and later throughout Canada), being served in small-town restaurants and bars, as well as becoming quite popular in ski resorts and sports arenas.



Adobo - Phillippines

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Philippine Adobo is a popular dish and cooking process in Philippine cuisine that involves meat, seafood, or vegetables marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic, which is browned in oil, and simmered in the marinade. It has sometimes been considered as the unofficial national dish in the Philippines.


The cooking method is indigenous to Philippines. Early Filipinos cooked their food normally by roasting, steaming or boiling methods. To keep it fresh longer, food was often cooked by immersion in vinegar and salt. Thus, it is very likely that Filipinos could have been cooking meat in vinegar as a means of preservation. This process dates back to the Pre-Hispanic Period and was used for pork and chicken.


When the Spanish Empire colonized the Philippines in the late 16th century and early 17th century, they encountered this cooking process. It was first recorded in the dictionary Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala (1613) compiled by the Spanish Franciscan missionary Pedro de San Buenaventura. He referred to it as adobo de los naturales ("adobo of the native peoples"). Dishes prepared in this manner eventually came to be known by this name, with the original term for the dish now lost to history.

Neapolitan Pizza - Italy

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Pizza is a yeasted flatbread typically topped with tomato sauce and cheese and baked in an oven. It is commonly topped with a selection of meats, vegetables and condiments. The term was first recorded in the 10th century, in a Latin manuscript from Gaeta in Central Italy.The modern pizza was invented in Naples, Italy, and the dish and its variants have since become popular and common in many areas of the world.


In 2009, upon Italy's request, Neapolitan pizza was safeguarded in the European Union as a Traditional Speciality Guaranteed dish. The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (the True Neapolitan Pizza Association) is a non-profit organization founded in 1984 with headquarters in Naples. It promotes and protects the "true Neapolitan pizza".


Modern pizza evolved from similar flatbread dishes in Naples, Italy in the 18th or early 19th century. Prior to that time, flatbread was often topped with ingredients such as garlic, salt, lard, cheese, and basil. It is uncertain when tomatoes were first added and there are many conflicting claims. Until about 1830, pizza was sold from open-air stands and out of pizza bakeries, and pizzerias keep this old tradition alive today.


A popular contemporary legend holds that the archetypal pizza, pizza Margherita, was invented in 1889, when the Royal Palace of Capodimonte commissioned the Neapolitan pizzaiolo (pizza maker) Raffaele Esposito to create a pizza in honor of the visiting Queen Margherita. Of the three different pizzas he created, the Queen strongly preferred a pizza swathed in the colors of the Italian flag: red (tomato), green (basil), and white (mozzarella). Supposedly, this kind of pizza was then named after the Queen, although recent research casts doubt on this legend.


Pho and Mì Quảng - Vietnam

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Mì Quảng is a Vietnamese noodle dish that originated from Quảng Nam Province in central Vietnam. In the region, it is one of the most popular and nationally recognized food item, and served on various occasions such as at family parties, death anniversaries, and Tết. Mì Quảng can also be found in many restaurants around the country, and is a popular lunch item.


The dish is made with a particular type of wide rice noodle that sometimes include turmeric giving it a yellowish color. The proteins in this dish are usually shrimp, pork, chicken, or even fish and beef.


There is a Vietnamese saying about this dish:

Thương nhau múc bát chè xanh,

Làm tô mì Quảng anh xơi cho cùng.


This couplet describes a girl from Quảng Nam, a province on Vietnam's South Central Coast, who warmly invites her lover to drink a cup of tea and a bowl of mì Quảng, to show him the depth of her love for him. In her opinion, mì Quảng and tea are food and drink worthy of being served in this context.


Pho:


Phở is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles called bánh phở, a few herbs, and meat, primarily made with either beef or chicken.Pho is a popular street food in Vietnam and the specialty of a number of restaurant chains around the world. Pho originated in the early 20th century in northern Vietnam, and was popularized throughout the rest of the world by refugees after the Vietnam War.

Peking Duck - China

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Peking duck is a dish from Beijing that has been prepared since the imperial era. The meat is characterized by its thin, crisp skin, with authentic versions of the dish serving mostly the skin and little meat, sliced in front of the diners by the cook. Ducks bred specially for the dish are slaughtered after 65 days and seasoned before being roasted in a closed or hung oven. The meat is eaten with spring onion, cucumber and sweet bean sauce with pancakes rolled around the fillings. Sometimes pickled radish is also inside, and other sauces (like hoisin sauce) can be used.


By the mid-20th century, Peking Duck had become a national symbol of China, favored by tourists and diplomats alike. For example, Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State of the United States, met Premier Zhou Enlai in the Great Hall of the People on July 10, 1971, during his first (secret) visit to China. After a round of inconclusive talks in the morning, the delegation was served Peking Duck for lunch, which became Kissinger's favourite. The Americans and Chinese issued a joint statement the following day, inviting President Richard Nixon to visit China in 1972. Following Zhou's death in 1976, Kissinger paid another visit to Beijing to savor Peking Duck.Peking Duck, at the Quanjude in particular, has also been a favorite dish for various political leaders ranging from Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro to former German chancellor Helmut Kohl.


Two notable restaurants in Beijing which serve this dish are Quanjude and Bianyifang, both centuries-old establishments which have become household names, each with their own style: Quanjude is known for using the hung oven roasting method, while Bianyifang uses the oldest technique of closed oven roasting.

Koshari - Egypt

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koshari is an Egyptian dish originally made in the 19th century, made of rice, macaroni and lentils mixed together, topped with a spiced tomato sauce, and garlic vinegar; garnished with chickpeas and crispy fried onions. A sprinkling of garlic juice, or garlic vinegar, and hot sauce are optional.


Kushari originated in the mid 19th century, during a time when Egypt was a multi-cultural country in the middle of an economic boom.


The lower classes' usually limited pantry became full with a myriad of ingredients: lentils, rice, macaroni, chickpeas, tomato sauce, onions, garlic, oil, vinegar, etc. At the end of the month, families would usually have the entire collection of ingredients as leftovers, so families would quickly finish their supply in one dish.


More sources state that the dish originated from India and Italy, in 1914 when Indians attempted to make lentil and rice Khichdi, Italians added macaroni to the dish, over time the dish has progressed and evolved into the current dish through Egyptian soldiers, then Egyptian citizens.Kushari used to be sold on food carts in its early years, and was introduced to restaurants in later years.

Koshari is widely popular among workers and laborers. It may be prepared at home, and is also served at roadside stalls and restaurants all over Egypt; some restaurants specialize in kushari to the exclusion of other dishes, while others feature it as one item among many. As traditionally-prepared kushari does not contain any animal products, it can be considered vegan so long as all frying uses vegetable oil.



Sushi - Japan

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Sushi is the Japanese preparation and serving of specially prepared vinegared rice combined with varied ingredients  such as chiefly seafood (often uncooked), vegetables, and occasionally tropical fruits. Styles of sushi and its presentation vary widely, but the key ingredient in all cases is the sushi rice, also referred to as shari , or sumeshi .


Sushi can be prepared with either brown or white rice. It is often prepared with raw seafood, but some common varieties of sushi use cooked ingredients, and many other sorts are vegetarian. Sushi is often served with pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce. Daikon radish is popular as a garnish.

Nasi Lemak - Malaysia

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Nasi lemak is a Malay fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. It is commonly found in Malaysia, where it is considered the national dish; it is also popular in neighbouring areas such as Singapore; Riau Islands, Brunei, and Southern Thailand. Nasi Lemak can also be found in the Bangsamoro region of Mindanao prepared by Filipino Moro. It is considered one of the most famous dishes for a Malay-style breakfast. It is not to be confused with nasi dagang, sold in the Malaysian east coast states of Terengganu and Kelantan, although both dishes are often served for breakfast. However, because nasi lemak can be served in a variety of ways, it is often eaten throughout the day.


Traditionally, nasi lemak is served with a hot spicy sauce (sambal), and usually includes various garnishes, including fresh cucumber slices, small fried anchovies (ikan bilis), roasted peanuts, and hard-boiled or fried egg. As a more substantial meal, nasi lemak may also be served with an additional protein dish such as ayam goreng (fried chicken), sambal sotong (cuttlefish in chili), small fried fish, cockles, and on special occasions rendang daging (beef) stewed in coconut milk and spices). Other accompaniments include stir fried water convolvulus (kangkong) and spicy pickled vegetables salad acar. Traditionally most of these accompaniments are spicy in nature.


Nasi lemak is widely eaten in Malaysia and Singapore. More commonly consumed as breakfast in both countries, it is commonly sold at hawker food centres and roadside stalls in Malaysia and Singapore. In Indonesia, nasi lemak is a favourite local breakfast fare. This unique dish often comes wrapped in banana leaves, newspaper or brown paper, or it in some shops served on a plate. However, owing to its popularity there are restaurants which serve it as a noon or evening meal, making it possible for the dish to be eaten all day. Nasi lemak kukus which means "steamed nasi lemak" is another name given to nasi lemak served with steamed rice. In Malaysia, nasi lemak can also be found in a pasar malam (night market) with a variety of dishes.



Nasi Goreng - Indonesia

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Nasi goreng, literally meaning "fried rice" in Indonesian and Malay, can refer simply to fried pre-cooked rice, a meal including stir fried rice in a small amount of cooking oil or margarine, typically spiced with kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), shallot, garlic, ground shrimp paste, tamarind and chilli and accompanied by other ingredients, particularly egg, chicken and prawns.


Nasi goreng has been called the national dish of Indonesia, Nasi goreng often add condiments as add-on upon the fried rice. Fried shallot and traditional crackers are often sprinkled upon to give crispy texture, pickles are added to give sour freshness in otherwise rather oily dish, while chili paste is to add the zesty spiciness according to one's preference. Some common condiments are:

Bawang goreng: fried shallot, spinkled upon nasi goreng

Kerupuk: various types of crackers, usually emping or prawn crackers

Acar: pickles made from vinegar preserved cucumber, shallots, carrot, and small chilli pepper

Sambal: chilli sauce




Pad Thai and Som Tam Salad- Thailand

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Pad Thai is a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food and at casual local eateries in Thailand. It is made with soaked dried rice noodles, which are stir-fried with eggs and chopped firm tofu, and flavored with tamarind pulp, fish sauce (nampla, น้ำปลา), dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili pepper and palm sugar, and served with lime wedges and often chopped roast peanuts. It may also contain other vegetables like bean sprouts, garlic chives, coriander leaves, pickled radishes or turnips. It may also contain fresh shrimp, crab, squid, chicken or other proteins. Many of the ingredients are provided on the side as condiments such as the red chili pepper, lime wedges, roasted peanuts, bean sprouts and other miscellaneous fresh vegetables. Vegetarian versions may substitute soy sauce for the fish sauce and omit the shrimp.


Som Tam


Green papaya salad is a spicy salad made from shredded unripe papaya. The dish combines the five main tastes of the local cuisine: sour lime, hot chili, salty, savory fish sauce, and sweetness added by palm sugar. Traditionally, the local variety of green papaya salad in the streets of Bangkok is very hot due to the addition of a fistful of chopped hot bird's eye chili. However, with its rising popularity among tourists, it is now often served not as hot.


Bunny Chow - South Africa

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Bunny chow, often referred to as a bunny, is a South African fast food dish consisting of a hollowed out loaf of bread filled with curry. It originated in the Durban Indian community. A small version of the bunny chow that uses only a quarter loaf of bread is sometimes called a kota ("quarter"), a name, used by black South Africans, that it shares with spatlo, a South African dish that evolved from the bunny chow.


Bunny chows are popular amongst Indians, as well as other ethnic groups in the Durban area. Bunny chows are commonly filled with curries made using traditional recipes from Durban: mutton or lamb, chicken, bean and chips with curry gravy are popular fillings now, although the original bunny chow was vegetarian. Bunny chows are often served with a side portion of grated carrot, chilli and onion salad, commonly known as sambals. A key characteristic of a bunny chow is created when gravy from the curry fillings soaks into the walls of the bread. Sharing a single bunny chow is not uncommon.

Mole Poblano - Mexico

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Mole is the generic name for a number of sauces originally used in Mexican cuisine, as well as for dishes based on these sauces. Outside Mexico, it often refers specifically to mole poblano. In contemporary Mexico, the term is used for a number of sauces, some quite dissimilar, including black, red/colorado, yellow, green, almendrado, de olla, huaxmole and pipián. Generally, a mole sauce contains a fruit, chili pepper, nut and spices like black pepper, cinnamon and cumin.


Mole poblano is the best known of all mole varieties and has been ranked as number one of "typical" Mexican dishes. It has also been called the "national dish" of Mexico. The state of Puebla is identified with mole poblano. Mole poblano has been described as an ancient dish.


Mole poblano contains about 20 ingredients, including chili peppers and chocolate, which works to counteract the heat of the chili peppers but the chocolate does not dominate. It helps give the sauce its dark color, but this is also provided by the mulato peppers. This sauce is most often served over turkey at weddings, birthdays and baptisms, or at Christmas with romeritos over shrimp cakes. The sauce is also served with chicken, pork, or other meats. Another time when the sauce is prominent is Cinco de Mayo. While this holiday is not celebrated much in the rest of Mexico, it is a major celebration in Puebla.

Fasolada and Moussaka - Greece

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Fasolaada is a Greek and Cypriot soup of dry white beans, olive oil, and vegetables, sometimes called the "national food of the Greeks". Fasolada is made by simmering beans with tomatoes and other vegetables such as carrots, onion, parsley, celery, and bay leaf. Lima beans are sometimes used instead of white beans


Moussaka is an eggplant- (aubergine) or potato-based dish, often including ground meat,


Most versions are based primarily on sautéed aubergine (eggplant) and tomato, usually with minced meat, mostly lamb. However, the Greek version includes layers of meat and eggplant topped with a Béchamel ("white") sauce, and baked.

The modern Greek version was probably formulated by chef Tselementes in the 1920s.It has three layers that are separately cooked before being combined for the final baking: a bottom layer of sliced eggplant sautéed in olive oil; a middle layer of ground lamb lightly cooked with chopped or puréed tomatoes, onion, garlic, and spices (cinnamon, allspice and black pepper); and a top layer of Béchamel sauce or savoury custard. The composed dish is then layered into a pan and baked until the top layer is browned. Moussaka is usually served warm, not piping hot; if cut hot out of the oven, moussaka squares tend to slide apart and consequently the dish needs some resting time to firm up before serving. Reheating, however, does not present the same problem.

There are variations on this basic recipe, sometimes with no top sauce, sometimes with other vegetables. Such variants may include, in addition to the eggplant slices, sautéed zucchini (courgette) slices, part-fried potato slices, or sautéed mushrooms. There is a fast-day (vegan) version in the Greek cookbook by Tselementes, which includes neither meat nor dairy products, just vegetables (ground eggplant is used instead of ground meat), tomato sauce, and bread crumbs.

Karjalanpaisti - Finland

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Karjalanpaisti  is commonly prepared using a combination of pork and beef, but lamb can also be used. Along with the Karelian pasties (karjalanpiirakat), it is the most widely recognised Karelian food in Finland. In 2007, it was selected as the national dish of Finland by the readers of the Finnish tabloid Iltalehti.


The hot pot is usually seasoned with black peppercorns and salt. Other seasonings such as allspice and bay leaf may be used too. Common vegetables such as carrot, onion, and root vegetables are acceptable additions to the stew.


Moules-frites - Belgium

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Moules-frites is a popular main dish of mussels and fries originating in Belgium. It is also popular in France. The title of the dish is French, moules meaning mussels and frites fries, with the Dutch name for the dish meaning the same. It is sometimes considered the national dish of Belgium.





Bisque - France

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Bisque is a smooth, creamy, highly seasoned soup of French origin, classically based on a strained broth (coulis) of crustaceans. It can be made from lobster, langoustine, crab, shrimp or crayfish.

Currywurst - Germany

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Currywurst is a fast food dish of German origin consisting of steamed, then fried pork sausage (German: Bratwurst) typically cut into slices and seasoned with curry ketchup, a sauce based on spiced ketchup or tomato paste, itself topped with curry powder, or a ready-made ketchup seasoned with curry and other spices. The dish is often served with French fries.


The currywurst is an icon of German popular culture. Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is a noted fan of currywurst. By tradition, every candidate for the mayor of Berlin is photographed at a currywurst stand.

Wiener Schnitzel - Austria

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Wiener Schnitzel is a very thin, breaded and pan fried cutlet made from veal.

It is one of the best known specialities of Viennese cuisine. The Wiener Schnitzel is one of the national dishes of Austria.


The dish is traditionally served in Austria with Kopfsalat (lettuce tossed with a sweetened vinaigrette dressing, optionally with chopped chives or onions), potato salad, cucumber salad, or parsley potatoes. Currently it is also served with rice, french fries or roasted potatoes. It is common to serve it with a slice of lemon, to give the bread crumbs more taste, and a sprig of parsley. "It has however become common in Northern Germany to serve it with lemon, cucumber slices, sardines and capers, to achieve a pleasant appearance".


Any sauces, e.g. mushroom sauce, are considered a taboo and requests for such are perceived as ignorant.

Shepherd's Pie - Great Britain

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Shepherd's pie (made with minced lamb or mutton) or cottage pie (made with minced beef) is a meat pie with a topping of mashed potato, not pastry.


The dish can vary widely within its basic definition, whether as a home recipe or on a restaurant menu. The defining ingredients are minced meat (beef for cottage pie, lamb for shepherd's pie) cooked in a gravy with onions and sometimes vegetables, such as peas, celery or carrots, and topped with mashed potato. Whilst not traditional, a common addition to either pie is to top the mashed potato with grated cheese.

Doner Kebab - Turkey

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Doner kebab is a type of Turkish kebab, made of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie. Similar dishes cooked on a vertical rotisserie are the Arab shawarma, Greek gyros, and Mexican al pastor.


Seasoned meat stacked in the shape of an inverted cone is turned slowly on the rotisserie, next to a vertical cooking element. The outer layer is sliced vertically into thin shavings as it cooks.


The sliced meat of a döner kebab may be served on a plate with various accompaniments, stuffed into a pita or other type of bread as a sandwich, or wrapped in a thin flatbread such as lavash or yufka, known as a dürüm. Since the early 1970s, the sandwich or wrap form has become popular around the world as a fast food dish sold by kebab shops, and is often called simply "a kebab". The sandwich generally contains salad or vegetables, which may include tomato, lettuce, cabbage, onion with sumac, fresh or pickled cucumber, or chili, and various types of sauces.

Chilli Crab - Singapore

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 Chilli Crab is a Singaporean seafood dish. Mud crabs are commonly used and are stir-fried in a semi-thick, sweet and savoury tomato and chilli based sauce. Despite its name, chilli crab is not a very spicy dish.


Chilli crab has been promoted by The Singapore Tourism Board as one of Singapore's National Dishes, and can be found in seafood restaurants all over the island. It is traditionally eaten with bare hands as a means to savour the juicy crab meat with its sweet and spicy chilli sauce. Restaurants often provide wet towels or a washing bowl with lime in order to cleanse your hands after the meal.


Chilli crab sauce is described as "sensuous" and "sweet, yet savoury", with a "fluffy texture". Mud crabs (Scylla serrata) are the most common type of crabs used for the dish, although other species of crab can be used too.

Bigos - Poland

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Bigos often translated into English as hunter's stew, is a Polish dish of finely chopped meat of various kinds stewed with sauerkraut and shredded fresh cabbage. The dish is also traditional for Belarusian, Ukrainian and Lithuanian cuisine.


The principal ingredients of bigos are assorted kinds of meat chopped into bite-sized chunks and a mixture of sauerkraut (pickled cabbage) and shredded fresh white cabbage. The meats may include pork (ham, shoulder, bacon, ribs, loin,etc.), beef and veal, poultry (chicken, duck, goose, turkey) and game, as well as charcuterie, especially various kinds of kiełbasa, or Polish smoked sausage.

Tagine - Morocco

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Moroccan tagine dishes are slow-cooked savory stews, typically made with sliced meat, poultry or fish together with vegetables or fruit. Spices, nuts, and dried fruits are also used. Common spices include ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron. Paprika and chili are used in vegetable tajines. The sweet and sour combination is common in tajine dishes like lamb with dates and spices. Tajines are generally served with bread. Because the domed or cone-shaped lid of the tajine pot traps steam and returns the condensed liquid to the pot, a minimal amount of water is needed to cook meats and vegetables. This method of cooking is practical in areas where water supplies are limited or where public water is not yet available.

Meat Pie - Australia & New Zealand

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An Australian or New Zealand meat pie is a hand-sized meat pie containing largely diced or minced meat and gravy, sometimes with onion, mushrooms, or cheese and often consumed as a takeaway food snack. The pie itself is similar to the United Kingdom's steak pie.


The meat pie is considered iconic in Australia and New Zealand. It was described by former New South Wales Premier Bob Carr in 2003 as Australia's "national dish". New Zealanders regard the meat pie as a part of New Zealand cuisine, and it forms part of the New Zealand national identity.