If there’s one thing we love to talk about, it’s food. Not only can different dishes give you a unique insight into a country or region’s culture, traditions and customs, but it also tastes great! All across the world, for generations people have been using ingredients local to them to whip up taste sensations that are inextricably linked to their culture. International travel means we now get to sample these different flavours, and what these dishes tell us about the countries we visit is fascinating. OK, we know there isn’t really any such thing as a national dish. After all, if you were to ask people what the national dish of England is, some would answer roast beef, others would point to Christmas pudding and still more would say fish and chips. As you can see, it’s almost impossible summing up an entire country with just one dish. So, with this in mind, we have put together a list of our favourite meals from around the world. What are yours? 10) Feijoada (Brazil) Brazilians are far more intelligent than British people when it comes to meal times, in that they have their largest meal at lunchtime. In the UK many of us wait until the end of the day to have our biggest meal, which is a bit pointless when all you’re going to do with that energy is go to sleep! In Brazil, it’s midday when you eat your largest meal, and a popular one is simply beef, rice, peas and salad. Many Brazilians are incredibly fond of a barbecue too. Our favourite Brazilian dish is Feijoada, which is a stew made from beef or pork with beans. It is so simple and is the perfect sharing food as you can put it in a large pot in the middle of the table and all dig in. Many people regard Feijoada as a national dish and although it started out as peasant food, today it is often made with top quality beef and other luxury ingredients. 9) Pierogi (Poland) The great thing about Pierogies is that you can have them as an appetiser, with a main course, for dessert or just as a snack – they’re that versatile. They are also delicious. While this Polish favourite looks like a miniature Cornish pasty, in reality it is quite different. These aren’t pasties at all, but dumplings made from unleavened dough that has been boiled and then baked or fried. Popular fillings include mincemeat, sauerkraut and potato or cheese and they can be cooked in butter and topped with fried onions for added deliciousness. If you’re wondering why you would eat them for dessert, they also come filled with strawberries, raspberries, peach, apple or any other fruit. 8) Surströmming (Sweden) We have included Surströmming on the list of our favourite national dishes despite the fact we’re not that sure we want to try it. However, it’s such an unusual dish we had to include it. This Swedish favourite doesn’t involve boiling a stew all day or blending spices to create the right amount of heat in a curry. No – all you have to do to enjoy this meal is open a can. That’s because Surströmming is simply Baltic herring that has been fermented in a tin. Frequently the cans are bulging at the sides due to the fermentation process and the smell when the tin is opened is so strong the dish is often eaten outside. It must be tasty though, as it is traditionally served simply between two pieces of thin, crispy bread with a bit of butter. 7) Bratwurst (Germany) While some would say the national dish of Germany is sauerbraten, a pot roast, our favourite is the sausage. If you love sausages you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice if you visit Germany as there are so many varieties. In fact, there is a whole range of them that are named after the city from which they originate. The hot dog – today a New York staple – originated in Germany. The Frankfurter Würstchen dates back to around the 13th century, but it was later that it became known simply as a frankfurter after beef was added to the original recipe. The snack’s popularity in New York began in the late 19th century, when German immigrant Charles Feltman set up a stall selling them on Coney Island. If we were going to choose a sausage for our hot dog it would definitely be a bratwurst. This sausage can contain pork, veal or beef and it is pan fried. Sometimes it is cooked in beer, which gives it an additional punch. To give it some extra German flavour, relish it with sauerkraut. 6) Pad Thai (Thailand) Pad Thai is widely considered to be Thailand’s national dish, and it’s certainly our favourite Thai meal. However, it actually originates from Vietnam, where it is called Phở Xào. The great thing about South-East Asia’s most-loved recipes is that they started out as street food. The dishes are cooked up on market stalls and then sold to the hungry workers for lunch. There are so many varieties of it that no two versions of the recipe are the same – the joy is putting your own spin on it. Pad Thai’s base ingredient is rice noodles stir fried with fish sauce, red chili, juice from the tamarind tree and eggs. Anything from chicken and bean sprouts to shrimp and lime can then be added, while peanuts are a great addition if you like crunch. Check out the blog tomorrow to find out our top five favourite dishes from around the world.