There is truly no end to the fascinating nuances that make up the spectrum of human culture around the world. For the individual who is prepared to travel both physically and mentally to learn more about their fellow humans, an infinite trail of discovery awaits. And best of all, with the right preparation, this trail can be delicious.
Let’s not kid ourselves: there are many great reasons to travel, but there are few moments more satisfying than filling your belly with the fruits of the international kitchen. And whilst many exotic regional specialties are truly unique on the global stage, there are few more simple and joyful treats than a chunk of really good bread. Fortunately, there are more different bread types and combos than there are nations of the world, which means this particular trail need never end.
Take Estonia and its famous cinnamon wreath, the ‘kringle’, for example. You may visit this Baltic nation for many of its various attractions, including the Viking history, folk music, or yachting opportunities. But when you get back to your hostel at night, you’ll be warmed by the rich and buttery kringle, and a cup of tea to wash it down – a sweet and satisfying treat, local in origins but universal in effect.
Or head south-east to where Europe meets West Asia, and you can pack an Armenian Lavash to go. The lavash is a traditional flatbread, baked in a tandoor oven – a cylindrical clay oven specific to the broader region around Armenia. You can fill this flatbread with any filling of choice, but Mediterranean veg or fish come highly recommended.
Another nation that loves its flatbreads is Russia, but here the climate demands something a little more substantial for a filling. Hot meat and/or mashed potato are the favorites, with millet making a great option for vegetarians. Perfect with a sip of vodka.
With most nations having half-a-dozen or so key bread types to keep them going, it can be difficult to know where to start, but a new infographic from Expedia cuts through the work by offering a curated A-Z guide. A cross-section of the top breads from Asia, Europe and beyond, it is also packed with tips on what to eat them with – and you may find yourself so intrigued that you rush to the world foods section of your supermarket before you even get around to booking your next trip!