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National Dishes Around the World


Cuisine makes up a huge part of a country’s culture. We have compiled a list of just a few national dishes around the world and explored their origins and impact on the rest of the world.

From roasted meats to stews and pastries, food helps unite us all. Sampling a country’s national dish is always a must when visiting. This small selection of offerings will be sure to get your taste buds tingling.



National Dishes Around the World


Feijoada – A stew comprised primarily of beans and fresh pork or beef, this hearty dish is traditionally served as a leisurely weekend lunch.


The name ‘Feijoada’ comes from the Portuguese word feijão, meaning bean. This National Dish is usually served with rice and accompanying sausages.



Peking Duck – Similar to the much loved Crispy Aromatic Duck popular in the UK, this traditional dish dates back to the Imperial Era.


The thinly sliced meat is served with spring onion, cucumber and a sweet bean sauce, wrapped in thin pancakes. The popularity of this roasted duck dish has spread internationally since the mid-20th Century.


Czech Republic

Vepřo-knedlo-zelo – One of the most hearty national dishes comes from the Czech Republic.


This popular meal combines roasted pork, dumplings and sauerkraut to form a traditional roast dinner. Perfect for chilly winter evenings in the Central European country.



Stegt Flæsk – Most simply described of slices of fried pork belly, this popular Danish dish is generally served with potatoes and parsley sauce.


Lightly salted, the key to Stegt Flæsk is the fat kept on the slices which tend to measure 1/4″ thick.



Beef bourguignon – Comprising of beef, red wine, carrots, onion and garlic, this stew has a relatively short history compared to other national dishes. First documented in 1867, Beef bourguignon was not always popular due to the fact it is traditionally made from leftovers.


It has since become a standard in French cuisine and its popularity in Parisian bistros has grown significantly.



Bratwurst – Famous across the globe, this pork based sausage dates back to 1313 and is common sight throughout Germany.


It should be noted that there are many different types of Bratwurst, with different regions having their own recipes. This also applies to how it is served, with some opting for simply serving in a bread roll, while others use it as part of a larger meal.



Pasta – One of the most famous national dishes, pasta is regularly eaten in countries around the world. With it’s multitude of styles, shapes and sizes, there are over 310 different forms to choose from.


With the option of being served as a starter, main course or accompaniment to another dish, pasta is incredibly versatile.



Sushi – Combining a range of ingredients with prepared vinegared rice, this traditional dish from Japan has wide range of varieties. Traditionally made with seafood, often raw, and vegetables, sushi is served in small amounts with a meal consisting of multiple plates.

The popularity of sushi worldwide has increased dramatically over recent years. Different countries have even added slight changes to dishes to suit their audience.


South Korea

Bibimbap – This hot dish consists of rice, vegetables and a flavoured paste. Bibimbap is regularly served with an egg and slices of meat. All ingredients are stirred together just before eating providing a delicious mix of flavours.


Thanks to the ‘Korean Wave‘, the popularity of this national dish has increased dramatically over recent years in Western countries.



Fårikål – Directly translated to English this national dish means ‘mutton in cabbage’. This casserole is made up of mutton with bone, cabbage and pepper and is traditionally served with boiled potatoes.



Fårikål Feast Day is celebrated on the last Thursday in September across Norway.



Bacalhau – With a wide variety of recipes to choose from, Bacalhau, or dried and salted cod, is popular throughout Portugal.


Often cooked on social situations, Bacalhau is a traditional Christmas Eve dinner in certain parts of the country. Bacalhau can be used in a range of dishes and is one of the few non-fresh fish dishes found on the menu in Portugal.



Kabsa – Served communally, this mixed rice and meat dish is famous across the Arabian Peninsula. Notable for its combination of spices, this national dish translates directly to “squeeze together”. The translation of Kabsa arises from the process of the ingredients being squeezed together in one pot.


Kabsa is a popular dish to be eaten communally amongst families and large groups.



Tortilla de patatas – Commonly known in the English speaking world as a Spanish Omelette. This dish is made from eggs, potatoes and onion. Due to its density it is one of the most filling of the national dishes.


The dish has made its way to other countries and is popular in the UK in particular.



Köttbullar – Translated directly as ‘meat buns’, Swedish meatballs are famous worldwide for their flavour. Traditionally served mashed potatoes, gravy and lingonberry jam.


The popularity of Swedish meatballs has grown internationally over recent years thanks to companies such as IKEA selling them in store.


More information about National Dishes and their countries of origin with Cactus:

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