Ranking the most liked to least favorite global food is not an exact science. Some foods just seem to have universal appeal—think, for example, of the humble bagel.
- Massaman curry, Thailand
Depending on who you ask (and even which country you are in), Massaman curry is either Thailand’s national dish or a dish from Thailand that the rest of the world has appropriated as a national dish. What’s important to note is that according to Thai culture, this curry dish is not an authentic Thai recipe but rather a fusion dish that blends a few authentic Thai recipes with an Indian influence. This curry recipe originated in northern Thailand, is spicy, sweet, and sour, and traditionally served with rice, tofu, and fried egg.
- Neapolitan pizza, Italy
Naples, Italy, is the home of pizza, but the rest of the world seems to be divided on which country’s version reigns supreme. In Italy, pizza is loved, but it’s loved even more in Naples. The New York Times recently ranked the 12 best pizzas in the entire world, and while the results naturally varied by region, Neapolitan pizza topped the list.
- Sushi, Japan
Sushi is one of the world’s most popular dishes. Traditional Japanese food is made of rice and toppings like fish, shellfish, vegetables, and wasabi. The dish dates back to the 14th century in Japan and was the first food eaten in space. It is served in more than 180 countries and consumed around the world.
- Penang Assam Laksa, Malaysia
Penang Assam laksa is a famous Malaysian seafood dish, and it is rich, creamy, and flavorful. This dish is silky smooth yet light and topped with crunchy noodles. The noodles and soup are flavored with tamarind, curry leaves, and oyster sauce. The seafood in this dish includes fresh as well as smoked mackerel, squid, prawns, and mussels.
- Tom yum Goong, Thailand
Tom yum goong is a Thai dish that consists of a broth with chicken, mushrooms, straw mushrooms, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and lime juice. This dish is often served with rice noodles. The lemongrass and galangal give this soup its distinctive flavor.
- Pastel de nata, Portugal
Pastel de nata is a Portuguese custard tart with a flaky tart crust, sweet custard, and a yolky filling. This classic dessert is enjoyed for its distinct taste. Pastel de nata is made from eggs and sugar (usually egg yolks as well as white sugar), along with various spices. The tarts are traditionally made in a mold but can also be made in a ramekin.
- Croissant, France
While most of us associate the word croissant with breakfast, this flaky pastry can also serve as an elegant dessert. The buttery layers of dough filled with assorted fruits are first baked, then drenched in a layer of pastry cream, which overflows onto the plate and caramelizes in the oven. And, when you realize just how simple it is to make at home, you’ll wonder why you waited so long. The croissant is one of the most iconic foods to come out of France. The croissant is a flaky, buttery masterpiece and is enjoyed around the world.
- Lasagna, Italy
Lasagna is comfort food, but sometimes the only thing comforting about it is how much it weighs. But the good news is that there are many versions of lasagna that taste great and aren’t so heavy on calories. If you are looking for comfort food that is lighter but still full of flavor, try swapping out some of the pasta for fresh veggies or lean protein. You can always sprinkle more cheese on top, but you will have to cut the calories elsewhere. Lasagna is Italy’s national dish.
- Lechón, Philippines
Lechón, pig roast, is eaten all over the Philippines. The meat is roasted over an open flame and served with rice, fried potatoes, and a crowd of dipping sauces. The pig is also consumed by grilling it whole or using a 2-inch-thick slab of meat as a wrap for barbequed meat.
- Masala dosa, India
The Indian state of Karnataka is home to a variety of tasty dishes. But none is more famous than the masala dosa, a crepe-like dish made with fermented batter. Masala dosas are grilled on a traditional griddle and served with a savory filling of spiced potatoes, onions, and tomatoes. Masala dosas are popular in breakfast (served with sambar and chutneys) and evening snacks (served with coconut chutney).
The foods we eat are an important part of our diet—they provide energy and also promote good health.