There are many different cultures all across the world. We do things differently, speak different languages, have different holidays and celebrations… but no matter who you are or where you live, there seems to always be one thing that brings people together: food.
I remember walking down the streets in India, people inviting us into their homes, and immediately they’d be making sure a cup of chai landed in our hands, and maybe even a hot plate of samosas. We connect over food, we celebrate over food, we share with each other over food.
Over the years, we at YWAM Louisville have connected with people across the world over the savory, the sweet, and the spicy, so we decided to compile a list of our 5 favorite foods from 5 of the countries we’ve had the honor to visit!
(warning: reading content below may cause mouth to water)
1. Pirozhki (Russia)
A Pirozhki is a type of pastry that can be both sweet and savory. Inside the outer layer of dough could be anything from mashed potatoes to fruit. So, if you’re ever in Russia, grab a friend, find a cafe, and order one of these tasty treats. But if you don’t have plans to go to Russia anytime soon, no worries. The recipe is below.
2. Fried Lotus Root (China)
This one is so interesting to look at, isn’t it? But it doesn’t just look good, it tastes good too! Surprisingly, the Lotus Root itself isn’t the most flavorful, but it’s the spices they’re made with that make this a one a winner! In China, you will find this crunchy side dish accompanying things like pork or vegetables.
3. Chicken Biryani (India)
Chicken Biryani is a very popular food in India and is known for its tear-jerking spice (for us wimpy Americans), but whether or not you like spicy dishes, this one’s a crowd pleaser and it’s obvious–you will find Biryani to be a food of choice at Indian celebrations, like weddings or birthday parties.
4. Lomo Saltado (Peru)
Lomo Saltado is a staple of Peruvian cuisine. It’s a simple but exquisite dish consisting of rice, beef tips, onions, and peppers, with fries on the side. You may find fancier foods but there are very few dishes that will light up your taste buds like Lomo Saltado!
5. Bun Cha (Vietnam)
Bun Cha isn’t just fun to say, it’s also fun to eat! Those around here who’ve had it love that the noodles come separate from the broth, cold, so each bite is a freshly dunked bite of rice noodles.
Congratulations! You made it to the end of this blog without drooling on your keyboard (hopefully, but it’s ok if you did, we don’t blame you)! Here’s our challenge to you: now that you’ve gotten a taste of some of our favorite foods from around the world, grab your pals and gather together over a nice bowl of Bun Cha, have a heart to heart as you munch on some Pirozhki, or celebrate a birthday with some Chicken Biryani! Believe it or not, food is not just meant to feed us, it’s meant to bring us together in fellowship, too. Gather your friends and glorify the Lord through simply breaking bread and loving one another.
Want more? Consider our Cultural Encounter elective!