Food And Drink

(last updated articles are on the top)

Animal blood as food

All over the world animal blood is often used in preparation of different dishes. Blood sausage or black pudding exists in various European and Latin American countries. During preparation of these sausages pig or cattle blood is mixed with other ingredients such as meat, bread, rice, barley etc. In Scandinavian and Baltic countries people use blood in certain types of pancakes. In Sweden they are called blodplättar. The Finns call them veriohukainen. Those Estonian ones are known as veripannkoogid.

Colada morada and Guaguas de pan

The celebration of Day of the Dead (Dia de Difuntos) in Ecuador has lot to do with consuming large quantities of “colada morada” and “guaguas de pan”. Colada morada is a traditional Ecuadorian drink made with black corn flour and different fruit like pineapple, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries etc. Guagua de pan (in Quechua guagua is baby, in Spanish pan is bread) is a bread roll made in the shape of a baby. It is made of wheat flour. It sometimes contains filling.


Sake is a traditional Japanese beverage made from rice. The Japanese call it “Nihonshu” or “Japanese Sake.” In English sake is often describe as a rice wine despite the fact that its production is more similar to that of beer. Sake is made by the multiple parallel fermentation of polished rice. Undiluted sake contains 18-20 % alcohol. Sometimes the sake is diluted with water. Such sake has 15% alcohol.
cup of sake Sake – traditional Japanese beverage


Barmbrack (barm brack) or in Irish báirín breac ("speckled loaf") is a traditional sweet bread from Ireland. Its main ingredients are flour, raisins, sugar, baking powder, egg and some Irish tea. Many people associate it with the celebration of Halloween. Barmbrack prepared for the occasion includes several objects placed inside the bread during its making. Each object has its symbolic meaning. It is believed that it foretells the future of the person who finds it.
Barmbrack Barmbrack

Yuanxiao dumplings

Yuanxiao or tangyuan (tangtuan) dumplings are made of glutinous rice flour. They can include sweet or savoury filling. In the north of China they include sweet bean paste, sesame and peanuts. Filled dumplings are served in a water in which they were boiled. On the other side dumplings with no filling are served in some sweet soup like for example red bean soup or the one with black sesame.
Yuanxiao dumplings Yuanxiao dumplings


Acarajé is a dish popular in parts of western Africa and in the Brazilian state of Bahia. In different parts of Africa the dish is known as akara, kosai or koose. Pealed black-eyed peas are used to make ball-shaped object which are deep-fried. After frying they are cut in half and filled with vatapá and/or caruru.
Acarajé Acarajé


Tunnbröd ("thin bread") is a type of flat bread from Sweden. The dough used in its preparation contains wheat, barley or rye. There are many possible combinations. In its traditional form the dough contains barley and milk. There are two basic types of tunnbröd – soft and crisp one.
Tunnbröd Tunnbröd


Koliva (kolyva, koljivo, kolivo) is a traditional dish consumed mainly during different ceremonies in the Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches. It is important part of death related traditions, the Lent, slavas and Christmas. Its main ingredients are boiled wheat kernels. Koliva also includes honey, sugar, almonds, walnuts, cinnamon, sesame seeds, raisins etc. It is a very old dish. Some experts claim that it has been prepared since the time of Ancient Greeks.
Koliva Koliva


Kimchi (gimchi, kimchee, or kim chee) is a traditional Korean dish made of different vegetables and seasoning. Vegetables used in its preparation are napa cabbage (type of Chinese cabbage), radish, green onion, cucumber etc. The most commonly used seasonings are brine, scallion (green or spring onion), different spices, ginger, garlic, "saeujeot" (salted and fermented shrimps) and "aekjeot" (fish sauce).
kimchi Kimchi – traditional Korean dish

Fish and chips

In the mid 19th century the British started selling fish and chips (fish 'n' chips). Fish and chips are one of the main food symbols of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Nowadays it is being sold in fish-and-chip shops. Such a shop is better known as the “chippy” or “chippers”. This dish includes deep-fried fish and deep-fried chipped potatoes.
Fish and chips Fish and chips

Blooming tea

Blooming or flowering tea is made by sewing tea leaves around different flowers like for example amaranth, carnation, jasmine, chrysanthemums, rose and marigold. Different tea leaves can be used – green tea, white tea, oolong and black tea. The leaves are sewn into a ball-shaped object. Such a ball is then dried.
Blooming tea Blooming tea

Turkish tea

Turkish tea (in Turkish “çay”) is the most popular beverage in Turkey, the North Africa, the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. Turkish tea is actually a black tea produced on the eastern Black Sea coast. Many tea plantations are located around the town of Rize. That is why the Turks call this tea Rize tea.
Turkish tea Turkish tea


Tej is the Ethiopian mead or honey wine. Some powdered leaves and twigs of “gesho” or Shiny-leaf Buckthorn (Rhamnus prinoides) are added to the wine . This plant serves as a bittering component similar to hops. There is a sweeter variety of tej which is called “berz.” Its fermentation period is shorter.
Tej honey wine Tej honey wine

Mote con huesillos

Most Chileans fight the summer heat by drinking mote con huesillos. It is a non-alcoholic beverage. Mote con huesillos is traditionally sold by street vendors.
Mote con huesillos Mote con huesillos

Green tea

Some people call it a „true“ tea. During production it is minimally oxidized. Some tea experts believe that all kind of small details influence making of high quality green tea. For example, different tea leaves require different time of picking. Some must be picked at dawn, while others are picked at dusk.
Green tea leaves Green tea leaves
Green tea is the most popular kind of tea in China, Japan, Korea, Morocco and the Middle East. It is well known in the western world too.


Moussaka is an aubergine based dish popular in the southeast of Europe and in the Middle East. The most famous version of this dish is the one made in Greece. It has three layers. The bottom one includes sautéed aubergines. The middle layer consists of cooked lamb, onion, garlic, sliced tomatoes, herbs and various spices (pimento, black pepper, cinnamon). On top of everything there is some béchamel sauce or egg custard.
Moussaka Moussaka


Nattō is a traditional Japanese dish made from fermented soya beans. It has a very strong smell and nutty, salty flavour. It has sticky texture. This dish is especially popular in the east of the country. It is rich in proteins and probiotics.
Nattō Nattō

Seaweed in Japanese cuisine

Seaweed or in Japanese kaiso has been used as food for centuries. It is rich in various minerals, vitamins and proteins. It is used as ingredient in soups, salads, fried dishes, for seasoning etc. The most popular seaweeds are kombu, nori, wakame and hijiki.
Kombu seaweed Kombu seaweed

Ras el hanout

Ras el hanout (in Arabic "top of the shop") is a traditional mixture of spices used in the cuisine of North Africa. It is originally from Morocco. There are three types of Ras el hanout - Lamrouzia, L'msagna and Monuza. It is used in almost all local dishes. For example, it can be rubbed on meat.
Ras el hanout Ras el hanout

Bombay duck

Whatever first comes to your mind when you first read the term Bombay duck is wrong. It is not a duck from the Indian city of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay). The Bombay duck or bummalo (Harpadon nehereus) is actually a lizardfish.
Deep-fried Bombay duck Deep-fried Bombay duck


Marmitako is a famous Basque dish. Its main ingredient is tuna fish. Salmon can be used too.


Biltong is a salty dried meat delicacy from South Africa.

Mopane worm

Mopane worm or Mopani is the caterpillar of the moth called Gonimbrasia Belina. In many parts of south Africa people eat these worms.


Shochu is a traditional Japanese alcoholic beverage made during destilery of barley (mugijochu), rice (komejochu) or sweet potatoes (imojochu).

Po cha

Po cha (pocha, bocha, cha süma) or butter tea is the most typical Tibetan drink. It is also drank by people of Bhutan and Chinese minorities in southwestern China.


Quite many Basque people often go to the sagardotegi. Sagardotegi is a building where apple cider is both produced and served. There are cider houses all across the Basque country but most of them exist in the province of Guipúzcoa.

Maple syrup

Maple syrup is a type of syrup traditionally made of xylem sap and different maple trees – sugar maple (Acer saccharum), black maple (Acer nigrum) and red maple (Acer rubrum). It is very popular in both Canada and the United States. Three quarters of all maple syrup is produced in Quebec. Maple syrup and the sugar maple tree are the symbols of Canada, the state of Vermont and several other US states.
Maple syrup Maple syrup


Laddu (laddoo) is a traditional ball-shaped sweet delicacy popular all over South Asia. The word laddu comes from ladduka (lattika) which in Sanskrit means a small ball. The laddu is prepared for various family events (weddings, births) and festivals. It also has its role in Hinduism. It is often presented as prasad (offering) in temples.
Laddu Laddu


Speculaas (in Latin speculum means mirror) are biscuits that are traditionally consumed by the people of Belgium and the Netherlands at the Saint Nicholas Eve. They are also very popular in German region of Westphalia and Rheinland. There they are called Spekulatius.
Speculaas Speculaas
During preparation of these thin biscuits the maker often use wooden stamps (moulds) that give them lovely bas-relief shapes, based on the story about Saint Nicholas.


This salty Scandinavian delicacy combines characteristics of cake and sandwich. The Swedes call it Smörgåstårta or in English "sandwich cake". In Finland it is known as Voileipäkakku. It is hard to say more about the origin of this dish. There are people saying that it was the Danish writer Ludwig Holberg (1684-1754) who first mentioned it.
Smörgåstårta Smörgåstårta


Halo-halo is a popular Filipino dessert. In the Tagalog language word "halò" means "to mix". It is rather easy to prepare. Ingredients are placed in a tall glass.
Halo-halo Halo-halo


Barfi (burfi, burfee) is a traditional sweet delicacy consumed by the people of Indian subcontinent. Word barfi is of Persian origin and it means snow, ice. This is due to the white colour it has in its most simple form. It is made of condensed milk and sugar. It is usually sold cut in cubes, round or diamond-shaped pieces. Barfi is sometimes called the Indian fudge.
Barfi Barfi


Probably the most popular Scottish dish is haggis. This rather unique dish contains mixture of sheep's pluck (heart, liver and lungs), onion, oatmeal, suet, various spices and salt. Everything is put in the animal's stomach or casing and simmered for about three hours.
Haggis, neeps and tatties Haggis, neeps and tatties


Goulash is a traditional Hungarian stew. Word "goulash" comes from Hungarian "gulyás" which means a herdsman, sort of Hungarian cowboy. This stew is made of meet, potatoes, paprika and various other spices. Goulash is traditionally prepared in "bogrács" (cauldron) over an open fire. Goulash is sometimes consumed with small noodles known as ciepetke.
Goulash Goulash


Poffertjes are traditional Dutch delicacy. They are actually some sort of mini fluffy pancakes. Poffertjes are made with yeast and buckwheat flour.
Poffertjes Poffertjes
They can be served with whipped cream, strawberries or molasses. Poffertjes are traditionally sold at a “poffertjeskraam” (poffertjes stall). To make good poffertjes at home the Dutch use a special pan with the bottom that includes several shallow indentations.


Colcannon (in Irish “cál ceannann” means "white-headed cabbage") is a traditional Irish dish. It is made of mashed potatoes, kale or cabbage, butter, salt and pepper. Some extra ingredients like milk, cream, leeks, onions, chives, garlic, boiled ham or Irish bacon may also be added.
colcannon Colcannon – favourite Irish dish


For many Catalans time from November until April is just perfect for Calçotada. It is a party where locals enjoy “calçots”. Calçot is a variety of onions. Catalans also call it “Blanca gran tardana”. The onions are actually barbecued. Do not worry about the burnt parts. You just peel away the outer layer. Such onions are usually dipped in special sauce called “salvitxada”. This sauce is made from almonds, hazelnuts, tomatoes and olive oil.
Calçotada Calçotada

Surströmming – Scandinavian rotten fish

Surströmming (“soured herring”) is a traditional dish of the northern Sweden. It is made of fermented Baltic herring (Clupea harengus membras). According to some experts the dish was invented by Swedish sailors in the 16th century. Since June of 2005 it even has its own museum in the fishing village of Skeppsmalen. The village is located in Höga kusten or the High Coast which is the coastal region along the Golf of Bothnia.
Surströmming Surströmming

Casu marzu

Casu marzu is definitely a special Italian cheese. It is made from sheep milk on the island of Sardinia. In local Sardinian language it also is known as "casu modde" or "casu cundhídu". In Italian it is called “formaggio marcio”. Casu marzu is made in a very unusual way.
Casu marzu Casu marzu


Gazpacho is a traditional Spanish soup from the region of Andalusia located in the south of country. This soup is also popular in Portugal when it is known as gaspacho. Gazpacho is also consumed in parts of South America. The main ingredient of this cold vegetable soup is tomato. Soaked bread is optional. Other ingredients are garlic, onion, olive oil, vinegar, salt and water.
Gazpacho Gazpacho


Chouchen (in Breton Chouchenn) is a mead type of drink made as the result in fermentation of honey in water. Freshly pressed apple juice or beer is used to start the process. It is traditionally made in Brittany, France. In its original form chouchen was made from cider and honey. It usually contains 14% of alcohol by volume.
Chouchen Chouchen


Shchi is more than thousand years old Russian soup. Its simpler version is made of cabbage and onion. Richer shchi includes cabbage, meat, carrots or parsley roots, herbs (onion, garlic, pepper, celery, bay leaf, dill) and some sour ingredients (smetana, sauerkraut, apples, pickle water).
Shchi soup Shchi soup


Kushari (koshary, kosheri or koshari) is one of Egyptian national dishes. It is made of rice, brown lentils, chickpeas, macaroni and a special topping. The topping includes Egyptian garlic, vinegar and spicy tomato sauce. It is quite common to add some fried onions as garnish. People often add some fried liver or shawarma meat as an extra topping.
kushari Kushari – traditional Egyptian dish