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the palette of flavors - polish cuisine. the Akademia restaurant
The palette of flavors, which is Polish cuisine

The tastiest dishes in the world

The cuisines of the world are full of many surprising, but very tasty dishes. When learning about dishes of very faraway places, we often realize that it’s a good idea to try something new and not stick to the well-worn patches. It turns out more often than not that even though we’re used to the „homely” cooking of our mom or grandma, exotic delicacies are equally enticing to us. What type of dishes are considered to be the tastiest in the world?

There’s a growing interest among Polish people in dishes of different cuisines, straying away from what they know since childhood. Although there’s still plenty of people who would be the happiest to eat a pork schnitzel with potatoes and a chicken soup every day, there’s an equally numerous group of people who like to experiment with new tastes and boldly reach for dishes that are often very exotic. First there were pizza parlors, American burger joints and kebab houses popping up all over every town, then over time we have also warmed up to, say, Georgian, Indian, Mexican or Portuguese cuisine. One can’t deny that Polish people do have their favorite flavors. Despite the multitude of the available options, our most popular options are still Polish, Italian, American and Asian dishes. The oriental cooking is very popular around the world anyway, which can be confirmed by the following lists of the tastiest dishes.

Every year, the CNN Travel website issues a list of the best dishes from around the world. This year the poll was filled out by 35 thousand users, which is quite a group – one can therefore assume that the results are pretty representative.

The first place on the list was taken by the rendang dish from Indonesia. It’s a pretty surprising result, at least to people from our country, where this particular dish is not really quite known. Rendang is a specific type of stew made from beef that was long braised in coconut milk. The first characteristic trait of this delicacy is its long preparation time – although it isn’t particularly energy-consuming, one has to get prepared for quite an impressive time of waiting for results. The milk needs to reduce for about 2-4 hours, where the last hour requires frequent stirring (or else it will get burned). Thanks to such long cooking time the beef is very soft (its pieces pretty much fall apart). The second incredibly important matter is using spices generously, like cinnamon, lemon grass, cloves, nutmeg, chili or ginger.

The second place was taken by an Indonesian delicacy called nasi goreng. The literal translation of the name means „fried rice”, although however this description isn’t exactly inaccurate, it doesn’t bring out the complexity of the final product. The first stage of preparing it is cooking and cooling the rice. Then it is fried with added onions, shrimps or chicken, vegetables and condiments. A very important element of the dish is an egg, which tends to be added to it in different forms: it can be fried, made into omelet and cut to pieces or added to the rice and fried together with it.

The third place was taken by a dish that is also popular in Poland, which is sushi. It’s a Japanese dish that mostly consists of rice, pieces of raw fish and seaweed. Sounds pretty plain, and yet the taste of this dish has won over plenty of palates around the world. Sushi can also be served with vegetables, mushrooms, seafood, sesame seeds, Japanese omelet, tempura and tofu. Sushi is served together with soy sauce, green wasabi horseradish and marinated ginger. It is traditionally eaten, obviously, using chopsticks.

The fourth place on the list was taken by a Thai soup called tom yum. It’s a spicy-sour dish with added shrimps or chicken, prepared using bouillon. Consumed hot it feels even spicier and with more distinctive taste. It is traditionally served in a „pure” form (which is non-whitened), but it can often be found in a version with coconut milk added. Very essential ingredients of this delicacy are the tom-yum paste, shiitake mushrooms, lemon grass, popeda leaves, chili and gangal (a condiment resembling ginger).

The fifth place on the list is also a classic, which is a Thai dish of pad thai. This dish is known for combining the spicy, sweet and sour flavors. Its base is rice pasta, while a crucial part is played by a specific sauce. The dash can be prepared with added shrimps, chicken or tofu. The famous sauce, on the other hand, contains fish and osprey sauces, lime, mung bean sprouts, peanuts and tamarind paste (it is the most important ingredient which is responsible for the characteristic taste, although in cheaper versions it is substituted with soy sauce).

As can be seen, cuisines of the world are full of noteworthy, delicious dishes. It’s a bad choice to reject unknown tastes – who knows what will win over our taste buds? Not so long ago our grandfathers would be surprised that Polish people could choose Italian pasta or pizza, hamburgers, kebab or french fries. Today we can’t imagine life without them and they entered our menu for good. Who knows, maybe soon we’ll be able to say the same about rendang or the tom yum soup? Or maybe we’ll discover even different delicacies?