Don't worry -- there's no bunny in bunny chow. It's a hollowed out bread loaf filled with various meat curries, and it's hugely popular in the South African city of Durban. Lucky for me, "meat in a bread bowl" is my middle name.
French fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds. Luckily, this delectable artery-clogger has made its way down south and it's not impossible to find poutine in the U.S. But you gotta go up to Montreal for the real thing. I would maybe venture to say making this dish is Canada's biggest talent -- oh, and hockey.
This Egyptian treat is similar to falafel, except it's made with fava beans instead of chickpeas (so it's Hannibal Lecter approved...and, you know, better for you). It's typically served in a pita with pickled veggies, salad, and tahini sauce. Count me in!
Jerk Chicken -- the real deal -- is some of the best bird you'll ever eat. This heavily spiced chicken (allspice, thyme, chili peppers, ginger, onions) is left overnight to absorb all that flavor, then grilled over pimento wood to complete the smoky awesomeness. This chicken seems like the opposite of a jerk, if you ask me.
Fried milk sounds a little strange, doesn't it? But it can be found in street carts all over the place, not just in Taiwan, but throughout Europe as well, in different variations. It's a sweet treat, crispy on the outside with a milky, creamy center. It's essentially a sweet custard that is then breaded and deep fried. It's a wonder this deep fried concoction hasn't made its way to the state and county fair circuit in small towns across the U.S. We seem to want to deep fry everything!
Chicken rice is a staple of Hainan Island. It is indeed, chicken and rice, but the chicken is cooked in quite a unique way: it is boiled in a stock and then put in ice-cold water, which turns the fat into a clear, jelly-like layer underneath the skin. The rice it's served with, is cooked in chicken fat, sesame oil and pandan, and it comes with soy and chili sauces for dipping.
Mohinga is a staple dish in Burma -- a noodle soup made with fish broth, shallots, the core of the banana tree, and chopped coriander. You can add akyaw, which are fried fritters made of lentils or vegetables, and the soup is seasoned with turmeric and lemongrass. Mohinga can be found all over Burma, including in your belly...if you're in Burma.
Currywurst is far from the worst. It's German junk food, often eaten late at night when people are on their way home from the bars -- it's basically the equivalent of the LA street dog or the New York $1 pizza slice. And for that reason alone, we salute you, currywurst. The dish is comprised of cut up sausage covered in spicy tomato sauce, and it's served either with french fries or bread (but why would you get bread when there are french fries).
India is so full of street food they even have their own word for it (chaat). There's a whole lot of variety in this department (India is a big country), but one of the most famous street cart dishes, bhel puri, can be found in Mumbai. It's a savory-sweet combo of puffed rice, fried vermicelli noodles, veggies, and tamarind sauce. Sometimes there are peanuts or pomegranate seeds added as well. This sounds like something I could easily stick my face in.
Simit bread looks like a bagel, but that's where the similarity ends. It is a lighter, flakier dough than a bagel and is most often covered in sesame seeds. Simit can be found all over Turkey, often eaten for breakfast with a cup of tea. It's usually eaten plain or with jam or cheese.
You can find arepas all over Colombia. They're corn cakes that resemble very thick tortillas, and they're grilled or baked, then stuffed with cheese, meat, and all kinds of goodness. It's part taco, part sandwich, and all delicious.
When I die, I'd like to be buried in a bánh mà¬ sandwich. Snuggled right in that crispy, doughy baguette. It's a common street food in Vietnam-- a sandwich made with perfect French bread, some kind of meat (usually pork belly, sausage, grilled pork, pâté, chicken, or sometimes eggs or tofu), vegetables (carrots, cucumber, cilantro, pickled daikon), a spicy sauce, and mayonnaise. It is perfection.
Everyone is familiar with New York's legendary dirty water hot dogs, but the street carts that may be eclipsing the popularity of these beautifully soggy meats are the Halal Guys. They serve up middle eastern dishes: gyros, chicken, beef, falafel, with rice or as sandwiches, all with their famous red and white sauces. What's in those sauces, you ask? Well obviously they're made of red and white. Now stop asking questions and place your order.
There are 7000 street food vendors on the Malaysian island of Penang, so you won't have any trouble finding one of their most famous dishes, assam laksa, a sour fish curry soup. Shredded fish, veggies, mint leaves and ginger make up the soup, which is served over thick or thin rice noodles. There are several varieties of laksa, so maybe give yourself a week on the island so you can try them all.
Hong Kong is the place to go for cheap seafood and fun street food. They're known for their curried fish balls, fried seafood, and affordable hot pots. Another dish they're famous for is "stinky tofu," which is exactly what it sounds like: pungent fermented tofu said to smell like garbage and taste like rotten meat. That dish is only for the very brave.
Rio is no stranger to awesome street delicacies. In addition to skewered meats and cheesy bread, stands all along the beaches and boardwalks serve pastels -- doughy, deep-fried meat pockets. I don't know what you think, but I bet this is the perfect pre-Olympic game-watching snack...
Gelato is one of those foods that's become trendy across the Atlantic, but nothing beats the authentic version of this Italian treat. Creamier and softer than the clearly inferior "ice cream," gelato comes in many different flavors but has only one purpose: to make you happy.
Thailand's street food carts seem to take up whole neighborhoods in this mecca of eclectic tastes. But one dish that stands out for its ubiquitousness is phat kaphrao, which translates to "holy basil." It's a stir-fried meat dish made with basil. The basil leaves are fried along with minced pork, chicken, or seafood, garlic, and chilies, then tossed in fish sauce and some sugar. It's then served over rice and usually topped with a fried egg. So in other words, it's perfect.
They look like doughnuts, but Moroccan sfenj are a bit more spongy -- they're made of an unsweetened dough with no milk or butter added, sometimes served coated in sugar, sometimes not. They're most often eaten for breakfast in the morning and then again in the late afternoon. And if I lived in Morocco, for lunch, for dinner, and every time in between.
While tacos and tamales are very popular street foods throughout Mexico, tlacoyos are as well. They are oval shaped masa cakes, either fried or toasted, and stuffed with refried beans, cheese, peppers, and other ingredients, although traditionally, tlacoyos are only supposed to be eaten with salsa. They have to be eaten immediately after they're cooked or they become very tough and dry, so you know you're always getting them fresh. I'm on board.