Culinary travel is becoming more and more popular – there are entire tour packages that are planned around the best eating destinations in a country. For the foodie, there is no better way to get to know a new destination than through its food – whether it’s from a Michelin star restaurant or from a street-side food cart. Here is a list of some of the lesser-known cuisines that are worth packing your bags and booking a ticket for.

Ethiopian

The cuisine in this North African country includes a lot of vegetables and spicy meats. Each meal is accompanied by a spongy flatbread called Injera, which is used to scoop up the stews or side dishes. The most popular dish in Ethiopia is wat, a spicy stew that has vegetables, and spiced meat – either beef or lamb. Considered the birthplace of coffee, this beverage still plays an important part in the cuisine - every meal is followed by a coffee ceremony. In certain sub-cultures, the coffee is served with butter and called kebbeh

Persian

Arguable the most nuanced cuisine in the region, Persian food has heavily influenced the cuisines from Central Asia all the way to India. The predominant ingredients here are fresh herbs, nuts as well as tart fruits like plums and barberries. Preserved lemons also make an appearance in many dishes, as do saffron and orange blossom. The main characteristic of Persian food is the pairing of tart fruits with meat – apricots with lamb for example. The most-loved dish in Persian cuisine is ash, a thick, wholesome soup that contains herbs, grains and vegetables.

Peruvian

The cuisine of Peru is incredibly rich and has bold flavours that can pack a punch, while still managing to be subtle. Like Asian cuisines, chilli plays an important role in Peruvian cuisine, however here, rather than dominating the palate, it only hints at heat. Some of the classic Peruvian dishes are ceviche, which consists of marinated raw fish, and anticuchos, a type of barbequed meat that has been marinated in vinegar, garlic and cumin.

Israeli

An amalgamation of Arab food and European food brought to Israel by emigrating Jews, the cuisine is diverse, rich and extremely delicious. The flavours are generally fresh – with a lot of herbs and green vegetables. There is also a strong tradition of baking, and the most popular bread from the region is challah. Most widely known in the world however, are hummus and falafel, which are served with freshly baked pita bread.

Vietnamese

Having been ruled by the Chinese, followed by the French, the food in Vietnam is a delicious hybrid of the two, taking the best from both cultures. Like in China, Vietnam also has a host of noodle soups, the most famous of which is the pho. The main difference however, is that most ingredients are cooked in water or broth rather than fats and oils, making it a much healthier option. The Vietnamese are also famous for their baguettes, which are lighter and airier than the French version. These are usually served with fresh vegetables and pate and make for a perfectly healthy and delicious meal.

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