The best gastronomic destinations in the world

Travelling is also (and perhaps even more importantly) about discovering traditions and opening up to new cultures. Tasting the local cuisine is therefore an integral part of the trip! If you look back in your memories, we bet you'll find the taste of a delicious pasta dish eaten in Italy, a fresh salad in Greece or a shrimp curry savoured on a beach in Thailand... And to make your mouth water and inspire you for your next vacation, GO Voyages now offers you a tour of the most renowned destinations for their cuisine. Morocco, India, Japan, Spain... Follow us on a gastronomic world tour!

1. Morocco

Moroccan cuisine is the very reflection of its history and of the different populations that have lived on its lands. It comes from an ancestral know-how that is transmitted from generation to generation by word and deed. Its particularity is that it is not fixed in recipe books. Thanks to its microclimate, Morocco offers quality products. Moroccan cuisine is made up of inexpensive products that express all their value in subtle blends to give choice dishes. Raw or cooked salads, cold vegetable purées, sweet and savoury dishes with meat and fish, seasoned with cinnamon, saffron, ginger or coriander, orange blossom and honey pastries, usually served with mint tea, can be found in many fragrant and colourful recipes. Street or gastronomic cuisine, it is of great interest to Michelin-starred chefs from all countries. But it is street cuisine that tourists like. Marrakech is the number 1 gastronomic destination in the TripAdvisor ranking.

2. Peru

Although Peruvian cuisine is little known in France, Peru has been twice named best gastronomic destination in the world by WTA (the most prestigious award in the tourism industry worldwide), in 2012 and 2013. The country is in the midst of modernization. Young people from very modest backgrounds are now studying to become cooks, and often prefer cooking to football! Peruvian cuisine is opening up more and more to new flavours. It is totally innovative and very modern. Influenced by an eventful history that dates back to before the Inca civilization, Peruvian cuisine is very rich. It is said to be the one with the most dishes in the world. Ceviche is of course the emblematic specialty of Peru, but it is not the only one: Examples include aji de gallina (poultry with chilli pepper), lomo saltado (sautéed beef), chupe de camarones (hearty shrimp soup), empanadas (small stuffed slippers found in many Latin American countries), alpaca preparations, cuy (the local guinea pig) stew, stuffed chili, colourful salads, seafood rice, pollo a la brasa, 13 spice or Peruvian tripe with turmeric. And for desserts, alfajores, fruit puddings, sweet potato fritters and good ice cream.

3. Japan

Japanese cuisine, reputed to be healthy, balanced and dietetic, blends philosophy and traditions. The typical Japanese family meal is always composed of a soup to whet the appetite, rice and three side dishes (vegetables and fish generally, meat especially for festive meals). This is the triangle rule. There is no order to eat, but all dishes must be finished at the same time. Sushi, maki and rice dishes are the best known, but the most emblematic speciality of Japanese gastronomic culture is ramen. It is a fine noodle served in a hot broth with salt, soy sauce, miso, and in which pork, seafood, vegetables, egg, onions, beef, etc. are added. Of course, as with many traditional Japanese dishes, seaweed, mushrooms and spices are also added.

4. South Korea

Korean cuisine is known for its great variety and undeniable quality. It is a tasty cuisine... And very spicy! Koreans like to say that their beautiful skin is the result of their eating habits: healthy, low-calorie and "relatively spicy" food that makes you sweat and therefore helps exfoliation! Kimchi, made from fermented Chinese cabbage and marinated with chilli, has been declared a "national treasure". It accompanies all meals. Many dishes are also made with broth, rice, and noodles, but what differentiates it from Chinese and Japanese cuisine is the meat! The Korean barbecue is very famous and very convivial! You can grill your own meat and vegetables on the grill in the middle of the table while chatting with family and friends. At the restaurant, don't hesitate to ask for NOT spicy dishes if you have a sensitive palate.

5. India

As in France and India, cooking is a refined and very ancient art. Indian gastronomy is extremely rich. It is characterized by the subtlety of its mixtures, its warm colours and its delicacy. The diversity of ingredients and spices makes it extremely tasty. Crushed in a mortar, the spices indeed sublimate each dish: red pepper, ginger, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, turmeric, saffron, coriander, will make your taste buds waltz... As a large part of the Indian population is vegetarian, Indian cuisine is one of the richest in the world in vegetable and dried fruit dishes. Each region has its own cooking technique and spicy seasonings: aloo gobi, Indian-style vegetable curry, red lentil dhal, bhaji onions, parathas, tandoori chicken, date halwa.

6. Spain

Another country that draws the richness of its gastronomy from its history. Many civilizations that passed through Spain have indeed influenced its cuisine. In particular, the Phoenicians left many recipes for sauces, the Greeks introduced the flavour of olive oil and the Romans, Carthaginians and Jews integrated their own ingredients into Spanish dishes. But it was the Moors who left their mark on Spanish gastronomy for several centuries. In particular, they brought fruits and nuts which they combined with meat or fish, but also rice and spices: saffron, cinnamon and nutmeg, and the famous gazpacho. The discovery of the Americas also greatly influenced gastronomy, thanks to the products brought back from these faraway lands: tomatoes, vanilla, chocolate, peas, potatoes. One cannot envisage a stay in Spain without thinking of discovering its cuisine! Starting with churros in the morning for breakfast, accompanied by a thick hot chocolate. It will also be necessary to put oneself "on Spanish time". Lunch between 2 and 4 pm, dinner between 9 and 11 pm. Spaniards like to stay at the table for several hours if the subject of conversation interests them, which is why tapas are also popular.

7. Crete

Cretan cuisine has been known for many years for its positive effects on life expectancy. Cretans generally eat twice as much fruit as other Europeans, a quarter less meat and more legumes. What sets it apart from other cuisines is that it does not try to mix flavours. It is basic, not very spicy, fine and healthy. So it would be wrong to deprive ourselves of it! Cretan cuisine has ancient roots that go back to the Minoan civilization, that is to say more than 3000 years, and has survived many colonizing influences (Romans, Byzantine, Venetian and Turkish Empire). Universally recognized for its benefits, olive oil is of course the great star of Cretan cuisine. A slice of wholemeal bread freshly toasted in the oven, generously drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with oregano and salt makes a delicious Cretan snack. Fruit is also very important on the island: Crete produces large quantities of oranges, tangerines, melons, pears, figs, grapes, peaches and apricots, but also more exotic fruits such as bananas, avocados and kiwis, as well as the famous Cretan grapes known as Soultanina. Among some of the typical dishes, you can taste snails (cochli) as a mezze, boiled in salt water or fried and then slowly simmered in vinegar and seasoned with rosemary. Dakos" is probably the national Cretan dish. It is a barley rusk softened in water and soaked in oil and tomato. It is very digestible and extremely tasty. Also taste the kouneli stifado, simmered with small onions, fried or roasted and served with baked potatoes.

8. Lebanon

Lebanese gastronomy a memorable epicurean experience. Extremely varied, freshly colored, delicate, it is one of the richest in the world. It uses a lot of fruits and vegetables, dairy products (yogurt, cheese) and cereals (wheat, rice). Meat (lamb and sometimes also mutton) also plays an important role. But it is above all the mezzes (tabbouleh, fattouche, hummus, moutabal, labneh, falafel, moussaka...) that are the big stars, especially among the visitors. On the table, there is always a large tray of vegetables to be chewed (salad, cabbage, turnips, radishes, leeks, carrots, square-stemmed mint). During the meal, or at the end, it is common to smoke the hookah (the water pipe) whose smoke, soft and fragrant, embalms the restaurant. Tobacco is often flavoured with honey and fruit. Meals are copious and it is often when the guests are full that the main course(s) arrive. To "make room", there is nothing like a good Lebanese coffee, black and intense, or a white coffee, a transparent drink with orange blossom added.

9. Italy

Welcome to the paradise of gastronomy! Italian gastronomy has its roots in the Roman Empire. Today, it plays a leading role in the world's culinary art. It is one of the most popular cuisines in the world. Simmered with love, it holds an important place in the lives of Italians who love to eat. The Italian-style meal is truly a work of art. From minestrone to carpaccio, from osso bucco to tiramisu, antipasti made with pasta, tomatoes, eggplant and seafood, everything is good and fresh. Tomatoes, anchovies, fresh pasta, arborio rice and olive oil are an indispensable base for Italian cuisine, but it is the fresh vegetables and aromatic herbs that really characterise it. There is pasta of course: long, short, filled, twisted... with eggs, saffron, buckwheat, chilli, spinach, beetroot juice, tomato, mushrooms... Spaghetti, cannelloni, tagliatelle, tonnarelli, fettuccine, linguine, gnocchi, tortellini, but also..: Milanese escalope, Milanese osso buco, Florentine beef rib, and Bolognese sauces, carbonara... Not to mention cold cuts, salami, pancetta, bresaola, Prosciutto crudo, Coppa. Parma and San Daniel hams are the most famous hams among connoisseurs!

10. Mexico

Extremely rich, Mexican cuisine blends indigenous flavours with European, African and Caribbean influences received at the heart of its history. Products of indigenous origin such as corn, beans, avocado, tomato and chili are often cooked with foods from elsewhere, especially meat, dairy products and certain spices. An important aspect of local culture and traditions, traditional Mexican cuisine was inscribed on UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage list in 2010. Although Mexican cuisine is now very regionalized due to local conditions, you will find the great classics all over the country: tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, tostadas, tamales, chilaquiles, not to mention the delicious pan dulce and pastel de tres leches.
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