Top Ten Great National Dishes - Page 2

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Top Ten Great National Dishes: Korean bulgogi
Family enjoying bulgogi in a Korean restaurant  (MIXA/Photodisc/Getty)

5) Kibbeh, Lebanon /Syria
Dining well Levantine-style often means sticking to the delicious mezes (appetizers). Kibbeh, a versatile confection of ground lamb, bulgar, and various seasonings, is a core component of mezes. It is often fried in torpedo or patty shapes, baked, boiled, or stuffed, but is tastiest raw.

Planning: Aleppans in northern Syria are kibbeh's greatest innovators, flavoring it with ingredients like pomegranate or cherry juice. www.destinationlebanon.gov.lb, www.syriatourism.org

4) Bulgogi, Korea
Beef bulgogi (fire meat) is a dish of thinly sliced, prime cuts of meat marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, onions, ginger, sugar, and wine, and then grilled. It is often eaten wrapped in lettuce or spinach leaves and accompanied by kimchi (fermented vegetable pickle). Many Korean restaurants have miniature barbecues embedded in tables where diners grill the meat themselves.

Planning: Seoul's upmarket Byeokje Galbi chain is a bulgogi sensation. www.visitkorea.or.kr

3) Coo-coo and flying fish, Barbados
A polenta-like cornmeal and okra porridge, coo-coo pairs perfectly with flying fish once abundant but now overfished and scarce which is either steamed with lime juice, spices, and vegetables or fried and served with a spicy sauce.

Planning: The Flying Fish restaurant overlooking St. Lawrence Bayclaims to be the Bajan national dish's home. www.visitbarbados.org

2) Ackee and saltfish, Jamaica
Despite ackee's unhappy origins as slave food, Jamaicans have reclaimed it as part of their national dish. A nutritious fruit with a buttery-nutty flavor, ackee resembles scrambled egg when boiled. Jamaicans sauté the boiled ackee with saltfish (salt-curedcod), onions, and tomatoes. Sometimes the dish is served atopbammy (deep-fried cassava cakes) with fried plantains.

Planning: Jake's, Treasure Beach, is renowned for ackee and saltfish and also offers cooking classes. www.visitjamaica.com

1) Hamburgers, USA
Although the origins of the hamburger are disputed, there is no argument over the popularity of this classic dish. Toppings and accompaniments vary from region to region, but for an original version visit Louis' Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut, which has been serving hamburgers since 1900 and claims to be the oldest hamburger restaurant in the U.S.

Planning: Louis' Lunch is open most days for lunch, and some days until the early hours of the morning. www.louislunch.com

This Top 10 List is just one item on the menu in FOOD JOURNEYS OF A LIFETIME: 500 Extraordinary Places to Eat Around the Globe. This beautiful new book from National Geographic presents hundreds of delicious destinations spotlighting specialties and ingredients, markets, seasonal delights, great food towns, kitchen secrets, ultimate luxuries, and the best in desserts, wine, beer, and more.

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