If you’re a foodie, cuisine plays an important role in your vacation. We can relate. Luckily, we’ve gotten to sample a lot of great food while off investigating hotels across the globe, and we’ve particularly enjoyed discovering various destinations’ specialties, from smoked salmon in Norway to macarons in France. There’s a lot of food out there, to be sure, but these seven local dishes ranked among our favorites.
Ackee and saltfish, Jamaica
This savory mix of salt cod, ackee (a fruit related to the lychee), and onions is Jamaica’s national dish. It’s often served alongside another delicious Jamaican specialty – fried dumplings. Watch out, those babies are deadly.
Where we ate it: Half Moon, Montego Bay
Sticky toffee pudding, United Kingdom
No one is quite sure how sticky toffee pudding got invented, but we’re sure glad it did. This desert of sponge cake and toffee sauce is about as decadent as it gets.
Where we ate it: Bushmills Inn, Northern Ireland
In Hawaii, “pupus” and “appetizers” are synonymous, and enjoying a traditional pupu platter – ideally, at sunset, with a cocktail – is a must. The Sea House Restaurant at Napili Kai Beach Resort on Maui is renowned for its pupus, such as its fried macadamia-nut-crusted shrimp.
A Hawaiian favorite we’d rather miss? Spam.
Where we ate it: Napili Kai Beach Resort, Maui
Gallo pinto, Costa Rica
This traditional Costa Rican rice and beans dish is served with every meal, including breakfast. Try it with fresh fish and another popular Costa Rican dish: maduros, or fried sweet plantains.
Where we ate it: JW Marriott Guanacaste
Smoked salmon, Norway
If there’s one thing that Norway is world-famous for, it’s smoked salmon. Whether you like it with your eggs, on a bagel, plain or one of a dozen other ways, you have Norway to thank for its international popularity.
Where we ate it: Rica Nidelven Hotel, Trondheim
This French confection seems simple enough: It’s made up of two meringue cookies and a ganache or jam filling. Like a mini cookie sandwich. But these little guys are all the rage in the dessert world. They come in myriad flavors and some contend they are becoming as popular as the cupcake.
Where we ate it: Hotel Du Cadran, Paris
Tacos may have been widely adopted the world over, but they’re 100 percent Mexican. In fact, there is evidence that people were eating tacos in Mexico before the Spanish conquistadors even arrived. It’s no mystery why they’ve managed to stick around for hundreds of years: They’re impossible to resist.
Where we ate them: Rosewood Mayakoba, Playa Del Carmen