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Culinary Travel: 5 Meals, 5000 Miles

Posted on September 4, 2014

Maybe you don’t remember who built Machu Picchu, but I bet you can still taste that ceviche you had back in Lima. And what year was the Colosseum finished? 1918 Via Nazionale. No wait, that’s where you had the best gelato of your entire life. Did you go to Italy for the history or the desserts? Who knows? Who cares?

How far would you go for a plate of Pad Thai? All the way back in time to Siam? It might just be worth it. Here are five meals that might merit a little gallop across the globe. What are you waiting for? Cheers to culinary travel!

Ceviche at La Mar in Lima, Peru

5 ceviche

Image courtesy vivaperu.co.uk

Traditional Peruvian ceviche is made of raw fish in a marinade of lime juice, lemon juice and chili. Most often, the dish is served layered with with corn and avocado. Though just about every restaurant in the country serves up this specialty, La Mar’s ceviche is critically acclaimed. The fish served is caught daily by Felipe the Fisherman, who has been providing the eatery with only the best for almost 50 years. There are US locations too, but we prefer the original.

Boeuf Bourguignon at Au Clos Napoléon in Fixin, France

5 boeuf bourguignon

Image courtesy tastespotting.com

Or maybe you wanna call it Beef Burgundy. The traditional French stew has certainly evolved over centuries, but it was first recorded by the great Escoffier in 1903. So we’ll give credit where credit is due, because history doesn’t exist until someone writes it down. The hearty beef stew was originally peasant cuisine, but it’s now worldwide symbol of French gastronomy. It involves braising beef cuts in Burgundy wine (obviously) before stewing the meat with potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and a little gathering called the Bouquet Garni (that’s thyme, parsley and bay leaves). The best in the land is stirred up at Au Clos Napoléon. Who needs the Riviera when you’ve got soup?

Tagine at Les Trois Saveurs in Marrakech, Morocco

Image courtesy Ryland Peters & Small

Image courtesy Ryland Peters & Small

Ok so tagine refers to the pot not the grub itself. But the heavy clay pottery in which the dish is cooked is the most important ingredient. It is made up of two separate parts, a base and a cover, which enables the stuff inside to cook with only a minimal amount of liquid so it retains an incredible rich and concentrated flavor. The result is a rich, slow-cooked stew made of meat or fish mixed with vegetables and fruit. It’s the national dish of Morocco, so you’ll have no trouble finding it on the street, but Les Trois Saveurs offers an exceptional treat.

Pavlova from Euro in Auckland, New Zealand

Image courtesy abeautifulmess.com

Image courtesy abeautifulmess.com

If New Zealand and Australia were at war, it might be over the official ownership of this light, fruity dessert. In 2010, the rights to the origination of Pavlova were given to New Zealand, maybe because that’s where you get the best of the best. The dessert is a dollop of delicious meringue topped with fruit and cream; it gets its name from the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. The Land Down Under offers lots of options, but the locals rave about Euro.

Pad Thai from We’s in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Image courtesy tripadvisor.com

Image courtesy tripadvisor.com

You probably have at least 20 different Thai options in your hometown. The staple Thai cuisine is designed to be sweet, salty and sour simultaneously, so what’s not to love? Pad Thai supposedly first surfaced in ancient Siam, and it became immensely popular in the US post-WWII. But for the most perfect couplet of peanuts and egg, go the extra mile to We’s. Or the extra, you know, 5,000 miles.