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World's 50 most delicious foods

World's 50 most delicious foods

Some foods you eat to stay alive, others you eat because not to would be a crime. Here are those foods worth traveling the world to gorge on

"There is no love sincerer than the love of food," George Bernard Shaw said. Judging by the number of amazing dishes out there, he was right. 

But which are the tastiest? We’ve scoured the planet for what we think are 50 of the most delicious foods ever created.

No doubt some of you will be left reeling: “How did French fries not make the list?!” That’s where our Facebook poll comes in.

Head over there once you’ve finished here and let us know: what’s your favorite food?

For now, feast your eyes and control your drooling, as we reveal the world's most delicious foods:

Also, don't forget to check out our choices for the best dishes and restaurants around Asia,
on our BEST EATS page

 

popcorn
50. The only food that tastes better when it's inside out.

50. Buttered popcorn, United States

Corn -- the workhorse of the industrial world -- is best when its sweet variety is fried up with lashings of butter till it bursts and then snarfed in greasy fistfuls while watching “Commando” late at night.

seafood paella
47. So fresh you'll think it's flirting with you.

49. Masala dosa, India

A crispy, rice-batter crepe encases a spicy mix of mashed potato, which is then dipped in coconut chutney, pickles, tomato-and-lentil-based sauces and other condiments. It’s a fantastic breakfast food that’ll keep you going till lunch, when you’ll probably come back for another.

Also: 40 Mumbai foods we can't live without

chicken rice singapore
45. The cucumber's an afterthought, the rest though is right on message.

48. Potato chips, United States

Potato chips were invented in New York when a chef tried to play a trick on a fussy diner. Now they’re one of the world’s most child-friendly foods. But think of them this way -- if a single chip cost, say, US$5, it’d be a far greater (and more popular) delicacy than caviar, a prize worth fighting wars over.

tacos
43. Two tacos are just never enough.

47. Seafood paella, Spain

The sea is lapping just by your feet, a warm breeze whips the tablecloth around your legs and a steamy pan of paella sits in front of you. Shrimp, lobster, mussels and cuttlefish combine with white rice and various herbs, oil and salt in this Valencian dish to send you immediately into holiday mode.

Though if you have it in Spain, you’re probably there already.

marzipan
40. How can something taste this good? It's just nuts.

46. Som tam, Thailand

To prepare Thailand's most famous salad, pound garlic and chilies with a mortar and pestle. Toss in tamarind juice, fish sauce, peanuts, dried shrimp, tomatoes, lime juice, sugar cane paste, string beans and a handful of grated green papaya.

Grab a side of sticky rice. Variations include those made with crab (som tam boo) and fermented fish sauce (som tam plah lah), but none matches the flavor and simple beauty of the original.

hong kong french toast
38. A measly 500 calories is all this bad boy will cost you.

45. Chicken rice, Singapore

Often called the “national dish” of Singapore, this steamed or boiled chicken is served atop fragrant oily rice, with sliced cucumber as the token vegetable. Variants include roasted chicken or soy sauce chicken.

The dipping sauces -- premium dark soy sauce, chili with garlic and pounded ginger -- give it that little extra oomph to ensure whenever you’re not actually in Singapore eating chicken rice, you’re thinking of it.

barbecue pork
36. Pigs can't fly, but they can grill beautifully.

chili crab
35. As hot, and as tasty, as it looks.

44. Poutine, Canada

French fries smothered in cheese curds and brown gravy. Sounds kind of disgusting, looks even worse, but engulfs the mouth in a saucy, cheesy, fried-potato mix that’ll have you fighting over the last dollop.

Our Canadian friends insist it’s best enjoyed at 3 a.m. after “several” beers.

fish n chips
33. It's not posh, it's not refined, but it is damn good eating.

43. Tacos, Mexico

A fresh, handmade tortilla stuffed with small chunks of grilled beef rubbed in oil and sea salt then covered with guacamole, salsa, onions, cilantro or anything else you want -- perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is the reason no visitor leaves Mexico weighing less than when they arrived.

42. Buttered toast with Marmite, Britain

OK, anything buttered is probably going to taste great, but there’s something about this tangy, salty, sour, love-it-or-hate-it yeast extract that turns a piece of grilled bread into a reason to go on living. For extra yum factor, add a layer of marmalade.

parma ham
31. Only ham this great can make fresh melon even better.

41. Stinky tofu, Southeast Asia

Nothing really prepares you for the stench of one of the strangest dishes on earth. Like durian, smelly tofu is one of Southeat Asia’s most iconic foods.

The odor of fermenting tofu is so overpowering many aren’t able to shake off the memory for months. So is the legendarily divine taste really worth the effort? Sure it is.

40. Marzipan, Germany

Don’t be fooled by cheap imitations, which use soy paste or almond essence. The real stuff, which uses nothing but ground almonds with sugar, is so good, you’ll eat a whole bar of it, feel sick, and still find yourself toying with the wrapper on bar number two.

wagyu beef
29. Handle with care, devour with gusto.

39. Ketchup, United States

If Malcolm Gladwell says it’s a perfect food, then it’s a perfect food. Let’s face it, anything that can convince two-year-olds to eat their carrots rather than spitting them onto the floor is worthy of not just a “delicious” title, but a “miracle of persuasion” title, too.

pho, vietnam noodles
28. Spare us the just-add-water pots, this is what real noodles should look like.

38. French toast, Hong Kong

Unlike its more restrained Sunday brunch counterpart, Hong Kong-style French toast is like a deep-fried hug. Two pieces of toast are slathered with peanut butter or kaya jam, soaked in egg batter, fried in butter and served with still more butter and lots of syrup. Best enjoyed before cholesterol checks.

Also: 40 Hong Kong foods we can't live without

fajitas
26. If only every food could be wrapped in a tortilla.

37. Chicken parm, Australia

Melted Parmesan and mozzarella cheese, and a peppery, garlicky tomato sauce drizzled over the top of a chicken fillet -- Aussie pub-goers claim this ostensibly Italian dish as their own. Since they make it so well, there's no point in arguing.

36. Texas barbecue pork, United States

A saucy mash of chili, tomatoes, onions, pepper and various herbs gives each barbecue chef his or her own personalized zing to lay on top of perfectly prepped pig. Like the Texas sky, the options are endless.

35. Chili crab, Singapore

You can’t visit Singapore without trying its spicy, sloppy, meaty specialty. While there are dozens of ways to prepare crab (with black pepper, salted egg yolk, cheese-baked, et cetera) chili crab remains the local bestseller.

Spicy chili-tomato gravy tends to splatter, which is why you need to mop everything up with mini mantou buns.

34. Maple syrup, Canada

Ever tried eating a pancake without maple syrup? It’s like eating a slice of cardboard. Poorly prepared cardboard.

In fact, Canada’s gift to parents everywhere -- throw some maple syrup on the kid’s broccoli and see what happens -- makes just about anything worth trying. Pass the cardboard, please.

33. Fish ‘n’ chips, Britain

Anything that’s been around since the 1860s can’t be doing much wrong. The staple of the Victorian British working class is a crunchy-outside, soft-inside dish of simple, un-adorned food fundamentals.

Sprinkled with salt, vinegar and dollops of tartar sauce, it is to nouveau cuisine what Meat Loaf is to Prince (or whatever he's calling himself now). 

32. Ankimo, Japan

So, who’s up for a chunk of monkfish liver with a little grated daikon on the side? Thought not -- still, you’re missing out on one of sushi’s last great secrets, the prized ankimo.

The monkfish/anglerfish that unknowingly bestows its liver upon upscale sushi fans is threatened by commercial fishing nets damaging its sea-floor habitat, so it’s possible ankimo won't be around for much longer.

If you do stumble across the creamy, yet oddly light delicacy anytime soon, consider a taste -- you won’t regret it.

31. Parma ham, Italy

You see it folded around melon, wrapped around grissini, placed over pizza, heaped over salad.

There’s good reason for that: these salty, paper-thin slices of air-dried ham lift the taste of everything they accompany to a higher level, following the same theory as the Italian guy who thinks carrying around a copy of “Candide” makes up for the tiny Speedos.

30. Goi cuon (summer roll), Vietnam

This snack made from pork, shrimp, herbs, rice vermicelli and other ingredients wrapped in rice paper is served at room temperature. It’s “meat light,” with the flavors of refreshing herbs erupting in your mouth.

Dipped in a slightly sweet Vietnamese sauce laced with ground peanuts, it’s wholesome, easy and the very definition of “moreish.”

29. Ohmi-gyu beef steak, Japan

This premium Japanese Wagyu beef from famed Takara Ranch has been recognized by the Imperial Palace of Japan as one of the greatest beef stocks to be raised in the past 400 years.

Called the “Rolls-Royce” of beef, it’s best eaten sashimi style, anointed with a drizzle of kaffir lime and green tea sea salt. Marbled fat gives each mouthful texture as the beef melts away, leaving a subtle but distinctly classic beef flavor.

Also: 40 Tokyo foods we can't live without

28. Pho, Vietnam

This oft-mispronounced national dish (“fuh” is correct) is just broth, fresh rice noodles, a few herbs and usually chicken or beef. But it’s greater than the sum of its parts -- fragrant, tasty and balanced, the polar opposite of the moto rider who brought you to the little café where you find the best stuff.

27. Montreal-style smoked meat, Canada

Day and night, lines form outside of Schwartz’s, Montreal’s best Hebrew delicatessen and Canada’s oldest. Here clerks slice up the best smoked meat in North America.

Following a 1928 recipe, the meat is cured for 10 days. Order your smoked beef sandwich medium-lean, heavy on the mustard, three pickles and with extra pommes frites, the way the Rolling Stones have supposedly enjoyed it.

Schwartz’s, 3895 St-Laurent, Montreal, Canada; +1 514 842 4813; info@schwartsdeli.com; www.schwartzsdeli.com

26. Fajitas, Mexico

This assembly kit of a dining experience is a thrill to DIY enthusiasts everywhere.

Step 1: Behold the meat sizzling on a fiery griddle. Step 2: Along with the meat, throw side servings of capsicum, onion, guacamole, sour cream and salsa into a warm, flour tortilla. Step 3: Promise all within hearing range that you’ll have “just one more.” Step 4: Repeat.

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