I’m not embarrassed to admit that I get a lot of pleasure from food, and it has been an important part of my travels. The more people travel, the more variety of great food we have access to. In 2012, I had a lot of traditional foods in the countries I traveled, and I also discovered foods originating from parts of the world I have never even visited.
2012 has been a delicious year.
15 Best Food Finds of 2012
#1 – Succulent Salmon – Valdivia, Chile
I enjoyed the best salmon I’ve ever had at a random local restaurant in the market in Valdivia, Chile. My entire meal (including wine) cost US$10.
#2 – Savory Pastel de Choclo – Valparaiso, Chile
Perhaps this savory dish was so good because I helped make it during a cooking class… and there were pisco sours involved too.
#3 – Ceviche from the Street – Chiloe, Chile
Gotta love that you can get something this good and this cheap from the street.
#4 – Juicy Asado – Buenos Aires, Argentina
The steak in Buenos Aires is THE BEST!
And people in that city know how to prepare it. The steak in this photo was prepared by Michael of The Art of Backpacking. He is an excellent asador.
#5 – Mushroom Ravioli in Pesto – Buenos Aires, Argentina
I love tasting menus.
And I enjoyed quite a few while reviewing restaurants in Buenos Aires. This ravioli from Tomo 1 was perfectly cooked and packed with mushroomy-goodness, perfectly complimented by a thick pesto cream sauce.
I really love tasting menus with two desserts…
#6- Helado de Canela con Cayote, Queso Crema, Sopa Limon y Madera Comestible – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Yep, that’s a hell of a title, but I wanted to include every ingredient because they all combined to make the best dessert I’ve ever had. (Well, at least the best non-chocolate dessert.)
This was one of two desserts on the tasting menu at the amazing El Baqueano in Buenos Aires.
Another reason to look back at your photos is to remember you ate something really cool like…
#7 – Crocodile – Buenos Aires, Argentina
#8 – Melt in Your Mouth Goat Cheese – Cafayate, Argentina
I could eat this goat cheese by the pound (and I did).
#9 – Hot, Flavorful Salteñas – Sucre, Bolivia
The best ones I found are at El Patio in Sucre. They look and taste a lot better than the ones you will find on the streets.
This is my favorite food from Bolivia.
# 10 – Chirimoya – Bolivia
Not only is this fruit delicious, it is super cool!
It looks so weird and tough on the outside, but it breaks apart easily to reveal this soft, sweet fleshy fruit. Fun to look at and fun to eat.
#11 – Llama Tamale – Tupiza, Bolivia
#12 – Goat, Somali Style – Columbus, Ohio (no, I did not go to Somalia)
I am not really sure how many countries eat goat and how many ways there are to prepare it, so I am calling it Somali style. I was introduced to the foods of Somalia without leaving my home city of Columbus, Ohio on a fantastic Alt Eats Food Tour.
I didn’t know what to expect.
Turns out I like goat.
#13 – Chicken Biscuit with Apple Butter – Pine State Biscuits, Portland, Oregon
I had a lot of amazing food in Portland. But the biggest surprise was from this unassuming breakfast sandwich. Simple yet quality ingredients combined into an explosion of flavor.
#14 – Traditional Egg Roll – Nom Wah, New York City
I didn’t have to travel all the way to China to find out that a traditional egg roll is completely different from those tough, greasy things most Americans are used to getting with their Chinese takeout. I devoured this fresh, flavorful egg roll on a food tour in New York City’s Chinatown.
#15 – Stuffed Mushrooms – Zia’s, St. Louis
Rease took me to one of her favorite spots in the Italian neighborhood of St. Louis. Although we spent an entire day eating at the Taste of St. Louis, this meal from Zia’s was my favorite meal in St. Louis. We had these stuffed mushrooms, toasted ravioli, and an impressive tomato sauce pasta. Yum!