Ask a person if she wants Italian food, and she will know exactly what you’re talking about — and might even know the regional origins of different Italian foods. Ask a person if he wants to eat Laotian, and you’ll probably get, “What is that?” as a response. No judgment here; we’re just excited to let you know more about what we believe are the world’s 10 most underrated cuisines.
To decide the world’s most underrated cuisines — and there are many — we asked our well-traveled editors on staff and a few of our Travel channel contributors for their opinions on what cuisines they feel deserve more attention. The results were varied, and ranged from Afghan to Peruvian. Each cuisine we list below relies on a mix of native crops and foreign influences — to delicious effects.
We selected a dish from each cuisine so you can get a glimpse of what you’d find at a restaurant serving the respective food. There are many regional variants of food in many of these countries, so the dishes we selected to represent these cuisines reflect items that are popular enough that they are eaten throughout their native countries.
Do you know of a national menu that needs to be on this list? Let us know by tweeting @thedailymeal or leaving a comment below. The world is full of delicious, often overlooked cuisines, and we relish the thought of learning about and eating dishes from all of them.
With Indian, Soviet, and Persian influences — plus a host of grains, fruits, and vegetables native to Afghanistan’s mountainous terrain — Afghan food is flavorful and aromatic. The national dish, Kabuli palaw, consists of tender lamb hidden under long-grain rice, raisins, and julienned carrots. Try Afghan food at the Kebob Factory Restaurant in Lorton, Virginia.
Ecuadorian cuisine is very diverse, as a result of the country’s varying altitudes. Overall, the cuisine is carbohydrate-rich, using potatoes, bread, rice, corn, and yucca, but cuisine of the mountainous region includes more meat and cuisine of the South includes more fruit, especially bananas. Ecuador is home to many different ceviches, including the popular shrimp ceviche in a pool of tomato sauce. Our personal favorite dish? Bollo pescado: fish cooked with cumin, achiote, tomato, peppers, onions, garlic, served on a banana leaf and topped with shrimp ceviche. Try Ecuadorian food at La Humita in Chicago.