Whether you will admit it or not, food is a massive part of travel. It’s a great way to experience, understand, and fully immerse yourself in the culture. Although, it does make leaving the country all the more difficult. Make sure to try as much as possible whilst you’re still there – and fill up on your favourites!
Whilst some prefer to stick to the local pizza restaurant or, dare we say it, McDonald’s, here’s a few things you’re missing out on the way.
Easily my favourite thing about travelling to countries of the ex-Soviet Union. Kechepuri, originally from Georgia, is the most delicious, cheesy, buttery heart attack you will ever eat. Kechepuri gives new meaning to comfort food. It starts with a buttery bread filled with delicious cheese, then topped with more cheese and then just to make that little bit more satisfying an egg yolk is put on top, which you cut into and spread amongst the butter cheesy goodness. Who cares about cholesterol when you have kechepuri all your worries simply vanish.
Try this interesting delicacy with us on our Caucasus Unrecognised Countries Tour.
One of my favourite things about travelling is having the chance to sample local food in various countries. I’ve fallen in love with many different foods, but none have been so addictive as Georgian/Caucasian Khinkali. The Mongols brought the meat-filled dumplings from central Asia to Georgia during their attacks westward in the 13th century. There is a skill involved in eating Khinkali correctly and Georgian folklore tells the tale of a Turkish warlord who was invited for peace talks with Georgian tribesmen centuries ago, he ate the Khinkali in a foreign, unrecognized and crude manner and was swiftly beheaded. These days, however, you’ll just get a puzzled look. Khinkali etiquette is to pick the dumpling up by the twisted knot and turn it upside down, taking a small bite from the side and quickly drinking the broth inside, you then eat the rest of the dumpling, but never the twisted knot, these are left on the plate.
Another favourite from the ex-Soviet countries, and another reason to join us for some amazing grub on tour.
Eilidh & Ben –
Chechil cheese, known in some places just as “beer cheese”, is a spectacularly salty and smoky cheese. Originally Armenian, it’s prolific all over the former USSR, mostly sold as a beer snack. It usually comes braided, and the best way to eat it is to tear it into thin strings. Once you start you’ll never stop, it’s so more-ish!
You’ll be inundated with Chechil cheese (and maybe even sick of it) by the end of our Summer Soviet Adventure.
Nevertheless, it’s definitely the best opportunity to try it!
Shan K’aug Sweh
The typical all day, everyday noodle soup AKA Shan K’aug Sweh (Shan-style Noodle Soup) is a favourite when visiting Shan State. Made up of thin rice noodles in a light, fishy broth with chicken, pork and chilli paste can be consumed either in soup format as seen above, or in a dry format with broth on the side. Typically going for around $0.75 a bowl and mostly find in Mandalay and Shan State, experiencing Shan K’aug Sweh was my first “oh woah, what is this…?” moment when eating and travelling throughout Myanmar.
Could this be potential Christmas day food..? We think so!
Join our Myanmar Christmas Adventure tour and see for yourself!
Biangbiang Mian (You Po Che Mian)
If you’ve ever been to Xi’an, you’ll have come across these awesome noodles at least once. As a vegan living in China, my choice is somewhat restricted. Eating out is a bit of a pain, especially when with a big group. After a few months of sampling various places, I settled for Biangbiang Mian (cold spicy noodles) as my go-to food. They taste awesome, are generally popular with everyone, and they nearly always offer a veggie/vegan option (or one can be made very easily). As with all Chinese food, it’s absolutely packed full of taste and spice. These noodles are different from others and characterized by their long, thick, belt-like structure. Wack a few veggies in the massive bowl and you have yourself a very filling meal! (That will only make you keep going back for more!)