14 Must-Try Unique Foods from Around the World

Food lovers know there’s nothing like trying a dish you’ve never had before. From the spicy flavors of Thai cuisine to the unique tastes of Peruvian dishes, the world is full of exotic foods waiting to be discovered. Here are 14 unique dishes every foodie should try at least once.

1. Sushi (Japan)

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Sushi, while now a global phenomenon, originates from Japan and offers an exquisite taste of the sea. It involves vinegared rice paired with various ingredients such as seafood, vegetables, and occasionally tropical fruits. Sushi comes in many forms, including nigiri, sashimi, and maki, each presenting a different flavor profile and textural experience.

2. Kimchi (Korea)

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Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine, known for its bold and spicy flavor. This fermented dish primarily consists of cabbage and radishes marinated in a mix of garlic, red chili peppers, ginger, and scallions. It’s celebrated for its digestive benefits and versatile use in various Korean dishes.

3. Ceviche (Peru)

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Ceviche is a popular seafood dish in Peru, made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, predominantly lime, and spiced with ají chili peppers. Often garnished with onions, cilantro, and salt, ceviche is a refreshing dish served cold and is a testament to the simplicity and freshness of Peruvian cooking.

4. Fufu (West Africa)

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Fufu is a staple food across many countries in West Africa and is typically made from boiling and mashing starchy foods like cassava, yams, or plantains. It has a dough-like consistency and is served alongside soups or stews, acting as a vehicle to soak up delicious, flavorful sauces.

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5. Tagine (Morocco)

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Tagine is both the name of the North African dish and the conical clay pot it’s cooked in. This slow-cooked stew is typically made with sliced meat, poultry, or fish together with vegetables or fruit. Spices, nuts, and dried fruits are also common additions, creating a rich, fragrant meal that is deeply satisfying.

6. Peking Duck (China)

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Peking duck is a renowned Chinese dish from Beijing, known for its very crispy skin and tender meat. The duck is often served with pancakes, sweet bean sauce, and spring onions for wrapping. This dish is a delicious example of Chinese culinary expertise and tradition.

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7. Massaman Curry (Thailand)

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Massaman curry is a rich Thai curry that reflects the influence of Indian cooking on Thai cuisine. This dish is a mix of meat, often chicken or beef, cooked with potatoes, coconut milk, peanuts, bay leaves, sugar, cinnamon, and tamarind sauce. It’s an aromatic and hearty dish that blends sweet, sour, and spicy flavors.

8. Bunny Chow (South Africa)

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Originally from Durban, Bunny Chow is a South African dish consisting of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry. It was created by the Indian immigrant community in the Natal area of Durban and has since become a popular street food across South Africa.

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9. Feijoada (Brazil)

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Feijoada is considered the national dish of Brazil, based on black beans with pork or beef. It’s typically served with rice, orange slices, collard greens, and farofa (toasted cassava flour mixture). This hearty and nourishing dish is a staple at Brazilian gatherings.

10. Escargot (France)

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Escargot is a dish of cooked land snails, typically served as an appetizer in France and in French restaurants worldwide. They are usually cooked with garlic butter, chicken stock, or wine, and then placed back into their shells with the butter and sauce for serving, accompanied by fresh, crusty bread.

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11. Haggis (Scotland)

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Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish, considered the national dish due to its rich flavor and savory character. It combines sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs, minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach and simmered for several hours.

12. Biltong (South Africa)

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Biltong is a type of dried, cured meat that originated in South Africa. Various types of meat are used to make biltong, including beef and game meats like ostrich or kudu. This snack is typically seasoned with a mixture of vinegar, salt, sugar, coriander, and other spices.

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13. Baklava (Middle East)

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Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts, sweetened with syrup or honey. It is commonly associated with the cuisines of the Middle East, Greece, and Turkey. Each region has its own variations that reflect local traditions and ingredients.

14. Mole Poblano (Mexico)

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Mole Poblano is one of Mexico’s most celebrated dishes, particularly famous for its complex blend of spices, chocolate, and chili peppers. This rich sauce is most traditionally served over turkey or chicken, combining sweet, spicy, and savory elements for a truly unique flavor profile.

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