10 Traditional Dishes We Love & 10 We Think Are Pretty Questionable

10 Traditional Dishes We Love & 10 We Think Are Pretty Questionable

When it comes to traditional dishes around the globe, there's an endless array of flavours and ingredients that have been captivating taste buds for generations. They tell stories of tradition, survival, celebration, and the everyday lives of people. Here are 10 traditional dishes that have garnered love and admiration worldwide. We certainly do love them! 

1. Pizza Margherita - Italy

Nothing says Italy quite like a classic Pizza Margherita. Born in Naples, this dish keeps it simple with fresh basil, mozzarella cheese, and tomatoes, all representing the colours of the Italian flag. It's a global favourite for a reason - biting into a slice is like taking a trip to Italy without leaving your home.

pizza-2446700_1280.jpgImage by nan nan from Pixabay

2. Sushi - Japan

Sushi is a testament to the Japanese art of minimalism and precision. This dish, comprising vinegared rice paired with various ingredients such as seafood, vegetables, and occasionally tropical fruits, offers an endless variety of flavours and textures. It's a culinary experience that has taken the world by storm, with sushi bars popping up in cities far from its Japanese origins. 

sushi-8113165_1280.jpgImage by mekan abdyllayew from Pixabay

3. Tacos - Mexico

Tacos are the heart and soul of Mexican street food. Whether you choose soft or crunchy shells, filled with savory meats, fresh vegetables, and topped with cilantro, onions, and a squeeze of lime juice, tacos are a celebration of flavour. They embody the vibrant and diverse culture of Mexico, with each region having its own unique twist on the classic. 

taco-1018962_1280.jpgImage by stina_magnus from Pixabay

4. Chicken Tikka Masala - India

Often considered Britain's national dish but with roots deeply embedded in Indian cuisine, Chicken Tikka Masala is a beloved global sensation. It's a rich, creamy, and aromatic curry made with marinated and grilled chicken pieces simmered in a tomato-based sauce. The spices are the soul of this dish, with each chef adding their own blend to create a signature flavour. 

curry-5517287_1280.jpgImage by Iril Kolle from Pixabay


5. Paella - Spain

Originating from Valencia, it's traditionally made with rice, saffron, chicken, rabbit, and a variety of beans and green vegetables. Seafood versions are equally popular, showcasing the bounty of Spain's coasts. Eating paella is a social event, meant to be enjoyed slowly, surrounded by friends and family.

paella-785515_1280.jpgImage by Ben Kerckx from Pixabay

6. Ratatouille - France

Ratatouille is a French Provençal stewed vegetable dish that is as healthy as it is delicious. It features a medley of eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and herbs slowly simmered together. This dish is a testament to the French philosophy of letting simple, quality ingredients shine. 

ratatouille-5316205_1280.jpgImage by Petya Stoycheva from Pixabay

7. Pad Thai - Thailand

Pad Thai is a street food classic from Thailand that has won over hearts and palates around the world. This stir-fried noodle dish is a harmonious mix of sweet, sour, and salty flavours, combined with the crunch of peanuts and the freshness of lime and cilantro.

pad-thai-921884_1280.jpgImage by Sharon Ang from Pixabay

8. Beef Stroganoff - Russia

Beef Stroganoff is a luxurious Russian dish that has found its way into the hearts and kitchens of people around the world. It consists of sautéed pieces of beef served in a sauce with smetana (sour cream). The dish is a perfect blend of rich, creamy texture and robust flavours, often served over a bed of rice or noodles. 

beef-693307_1280.jpgImage by mateya from Pixabay

9. Baklava - Middle East

Baklava is a sweet, rich pastry that's a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. Made with layers of filo pastry, filled with chopped nuts, and sweetened with honey or syrup, it's a dessert that's both crunchy and melt-in-your-mouth. It's a dessert that's often enjoyed with a cup of strong coffee or tea.

baklava-1759329_1280.jpgImage by djpresc16 from Pixabay

10. Feijoada - Brazil

Feijoada is a hearty Brazilian stew that's a true comfort food. Made with black beans and a variety of salted pork or beef products, it's slow-cooked to perfection. Traditionally served with rice, collard greens, and orange slices, it's a dish that's both nutritious and bursting with flavour. 

bean-stew-5181831_1280.jpgImage by Gilmar Koizumi from Pixabay

Here are 10 dishes we feel are pretty questionable in the food scene. 


1. Foie Gras - France

Foie Gras, a luxury food product made of the liver of a duck or goose, has been a subject of ethical debate due to the force-feeding process used to enlarge the animals' livers. It's a delicacy in French cuisine, known for its rich, buttery, and delicate flavour. While it's celebrated for its taste, the conversation around animal welfare has led some to question its place in modern cuisine.

foie-gras-1762238_1280.jpgImage by takedahrs from Pixabay

2. Shark Fin Soup - China

Shark Fin Soup is a traditional Chinese dish considered a symbol of status and prosperity. However, the practice of shark finning has devastating effects on shark populations and the health of marine ecosystems. The ethical and environmental concerns have led to a global movement advocating for the dish's removal from menus.

matthew-hamilton-RA4mwm9_jKA-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Matthew Hamilton on Unsplash 

3. Bushmeat - Various Regions

Bushmeat, which refers to the meat of wild animals hunted in regions like Africa, Asia, and South America, includes species that are sometimes endangered. While it's a source of sustenance for many communities, the unregulated hunting poses a threat to wildlife conservation and risks the spread of zoonotic diseases.

meat-2758553_1280.jpgImage by Анна from Pixabay

4. Ortolan - France

Ortolan, a small bird consumed whole after being drowned in Armagnac, is a French dish that's both rare and controversial. The preparation and consumption practices have raised significant ethical concerns, leading to legal protections for the bird and a call for the dish's discontinuation from those concerned with animal welfare.

birds-7376434_1280.jpgImage by Beto from Pixabay

5. Fugu (Pufferfish) - Japan

Fugu is a Japanese delicacy that requires a licensed chef to prepare because of the potent poison found in the fish. While it's a revered dish, the risk it poses to human health if improperly prepared has sparked debates on whether the culinary thrill is worth the danger.

pufferfish-74950_1280.jpgImage by Kevin Yi from Pixabay

6. Hákarl (Fermented Shark) - Iceland

Hákarl is an Icelandic delicacy of cured shark that's known for its strong ammonia-rich smell and taste. While it's a traditional dish celebrated in Icelandic culture, the acquired taste and unique preparation process have led some to question its appeal in contemporary cuisine.

jez-timms-DVRXFIH42d0-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Jez Timms on Unsplash 


7. Casu Marzu - Italy

Casu Marzu is a Sardinian cheese that contains live insect larvae. While it's a testament to unique cheese-making traditions, health officials have raised concerns over the consumption of live larvae, leading to legal restrictions in some regions.

cheese-3463368_1280.jpgImage by Alexey Klen from Pixabay

8. Balut - Philippines

Balut, a fertilized duck embryo boiled and eaten from the shell, is a popular street food in the Philippines. While it's rich in protein and considered a delicacy, the dish has sparked debates around ethical eating and animal rights among international audiences.

egg-4026167_1280.jpgImage by congerdesign from Pixabay

9. Surströmming - Sweden

Surströmming is Swedish fermented herring, notorious for its powerful odor. While it's a traditional dish with historical significance, the strong smell makes it a challenging food for many, leading to discussions about its place in modern dining.

roll-mops-4028046_1280.jpgImage by NoName_13 from Pixabay

10. Whale Meat - Various Regions

Whale meat, consumed in countries like Japan, Norway, and Iceland, has been the center of international controversy due to whaling's impact on whale populations and marine biodiversity. While it's part of traditional diets in these regions, conservation efforts and ethical considerations have led to calls for reducing or ending its consumption.

whale-1632159_1280.jpgImage by Jörg Petersen from Pixabay