Shave ice in Hawaii
While the history of shave ice can be traced back to Japan, and we’re all familiar with the ‘sno cone’, shave ice is shaved – not crushed – and in Hawaii, it’s as ubiquitous as hibiscus flowers.
Enjoy flavours such as guava, pineapple and lychee, often served with a scoop of ice-cream on top and/or azuki bean paste on the bottom.
Hotdog at a ball game
Take me out to the ball game! There’s almost nothing more American than biting into a hotdog, especially at a sporting event.
If you find yourself in New York, head to Coney Island to try a Nathan’s Famous hotdog and catch a local Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game (cheaper and easier to get tickets to than the Yankees or Mets).
Ice-cream on Santa Monica Pier
Nothing beats an ice-cream by the ocean. When in California, Santa Monica’s carnival-esque pier is a must for ice-cream, or even a specialty ice-cream soda from the retro Soda Jerks.
Saltwater taffy, Atlantic City
Saltwater taffy has been an iconic candy sold from New Jersey’s Atlantic City since the 1880s. Today, you can still get it here on the boardwalk, along with a handful of other popular beach spots in the US and fittingly, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Turkey leg, Disneyland
Heading to Anaheim? You have to get a turkey leg! These oversized bird legs, or galactic gobblers as they call them, have become synonymous with Disneyland. Just when you thought it was all about Mickey Mouse ears.
Europe And The UK
Crepes in Paris, France
Watching the skill of the crepe makers on the streets of Paris is almost as much fun as eating them. Dig into this Brittany culinary delight – popular fillings include Nutella or ham and cheese.
Fish and chips in Brighton, UK
Brighton might be famous for its Brighton rock candy, but it’s also a quintessential place for fish and chips by the seaside. Check out award-winning Bardsley’s, a family-run fish and chippery since 1926.
Gelato in Rome, Italy
There’s no shortage of gelato in Rome. The hardest part is deciding on a flavour. The mind and taste buds boggle. Sample as many as you can.
Fondue in Switzerland
Who doesn’t love melted cheese? The perfect dish for the whole family, fondue is served in a communal pot, traditionally heated by a candle and eaten by dipping bread into the cheesy gooeyness with a long-stemmed fork. Try a chocolate fondue for dessert, too.
Fries in Belgium
Known to the Belgians as ‘frites’, here fried potato is serious business. There’s an assortment of sauces, with mayonnaise being a popular choice. There are even museums dedicated to the frite in Brussels and Bruges.
Mango sticky rice
in Bangkok, Thailand
The perfect Asian dessert – or anytime snack really – this dish is a Thai speciality, a perfect marriage of sweet coconut rice and tropical mango.
Egg waffles in Hong Kong
One of the most visually appealing street foods, this eggy waffle concoction can be found on the streets of Hong Kong and Macau. Bite into the warm puffy morsels unadorned, or try one of the more modern takes on the old-fashioned classic served with ice-cream and puddings.
Spring rolls in China
While spring rolls are a dime a dozen in Oz, many would argue you haven’t tried spring rolls until you have them made fresh in China. You’ll find regional variations on the popular dish all over Asia.
How to eat like a local
When you’re on holiday, it’s always better to eat like a local instead of making a beeline for the nearest familiar fast food chain.
Sitting on tatami mats on the floor and dining at a lowered table is the traditional way to dine zashiki-style in Japanese culture.
Don a kimono and enjoy a several-course kaiseki meal when staying in a ryokan (a Japanese-style inn).
No trip to Hawaii is complete without experiencing a luau – a celebration of Polynesian culture that includes traditional dance and a spread of kalua pig (cooked in the ground), fish wrapped in taro leaves and poi – a Polynesian starch made of taro.
Join an Italian family feast and experience the joys of passing copious amounts of food around a communal dining table.
Enjoy antipasti, pasta, meats, vegetables, salads and dolce (dessert) followed by an espresso. Note: leave a mouthful on your plate or the host will assume you want more!
Going for dim sum or yum cha is a much-loved Chinese tradition. Delicacies are served in bamboo steamers from trolleys pushed around the restaurant.
Wash down dim sum with Chinese tea – it’s customary to pour others tea before filling your own cup.
Partake in a boma – an open-air, African-style barbecue built within a traditional stick enclosure.
The traditional Sunday roast at the pub is a must, particularly cosy in the winter when the fireplace is lit. Kids are always welcome in pubs in the UK, too, with an adult.
Sample Mexico’s regional specialties: Oaxaca is famous for its seven mole sauces, try fish tacos on the Baja Peninsula, and organic coffee and chocolate in Chiapas. And tacos, so many tacos.
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrating the end of the traditional harvest season at the end of November.
Expect a feast of turkey with cranberry sauce, roast vegetables, stuffing and, of course, pumpkin pie for dessert.
Words: Rachel Surgeoner