28 International Foods That Are Delicacies Abroad

Table of Contents

“I was moderately poor, but I ate caviar all the time as a cheap snack.”

They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and the same can be said about food. In fact, in different places around the world, the most commonplace foods are considered serious delicacies abroad. So Redditor u/Well_shit__-_- asked, “What common foods in your country are considered delicacies by foreigners?” Here are some of the responses.

1.

“In Spain, good olive oil. When people visit, you can buy the cheapest olive oil and it will taste so flavorful. In the U.S., even the more expensive olive oils don’t compare.”

2.

“It may sound silly, but here in Iceland our delicacy is water. Our tap water is perfect and every local drinks it straight from the tap. Around the world, however, people buy bottled Icelandic water.”

3.

“Durian in Southeast Asia, the number of durian farmers who have found overnight wealth is astonishing, all thanks to demand for durian exports. It’s an acquired taste and very polarizing. You either love it or hate it. I fall into the latter category, but I still respect it as the king of fruit in Asia.”

4.

“In China, seafood like lobster, king crab, Dungeness crab, abalone, spotted prawns, and geoduck can be pretty cheap and rather commonplace for people to eat on everyday occasions. In the U.S., these foods can be wildly expensive, so foreigners visiting China go nuts over them.”

5.

“In Egypt, falafel is basically food for the poor. It’s the cheapest meal you get from a street food cart, and you can feed a whole family on less than $1. In many other countries, fast casual falafel is comparatively so expensive it’s mind-blowing.”

6.

“Italian wine. There are some really delicious locally made wines that cost $10 dollars for a bottle. In the U.S. you’ll find the same wine (or one of the same quality) for over $60.”

7.

“Blue crabs here in Maryland. I’m from Annapolis, I could quite literally throw chicken off any random pier for about an hour and catch enough crabs for a feast.”

8.

“I lived in Iraq for a year where a dozen delicious lamb chops cost about $5. It costs $60 or more to buy the same thing in the U.S., only the quality is so much worse.”

9.

“I’m from Romania and I used to eat caviar all the time as a cheap snack growing up, even though I was moderately poor. I was stunned to find out it’s a delicacy elsewhere.”

10.

“I live in Finland where we basically have unlimited qualities of free forest berries (blueberries, cloudberries, lingonberries, etc.) Everyman’s Rights say that anyone can go and pick as much as you can find, and if you’re willing to spend enough time picking berries in late summer, you’ll probably have enough to last until next year in the freezer. Forest berries are considered to be superfoods around the world — very healthy and trendy — but here they’re just very commonplace.”

11.

“In Mexico, the avocados are incredible and SO cheap. My wife is Mexican, and every time we go to the grocery store here in the U.S. she comments on how ridiculously expensive avocados are here.”


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u/CoopsCoffeeAndDonuts

“I spent three months in Mexico10 years ago, and to this very day I am still disappointed when I eat an avocado or a mango in the states. They’re just nothing like the Mexican version.”

u/Anakron_Stargazer

12.

“Here in Hawaii, we’ve somehow turned spam into a sought after food, especially by people visiting from Japan.”

13.

“Carniolan sausage, also known as Krainer wurst. It’s protected by the E.U. as a Slovenian speciality that can only be made here, but it’s loved and enjoyed by millions of Germans and Austrians.”

14.

“Stroopwafel here in The Netherlands. They sell the pre-packaged caramel disks around the world, but you haven’t had Stroopwafel until you’ve bought one freshly pressed with still-warm and runny syrup from a street vendor in Amsterdam. 😍.”

15.

“Morels. I grew up in Minnesota and my mom and I would use vacation days each spring to go morel picking. We would get five to ten pounds on average depending on the year. I couldn’t live without them. No other mushroom compares.”

16.

“Tim Tams. My brother played the meanest joke by bringing these home from Australia. You can’t find anything like these chocolate coated biscuits in the states.”

17.

“In France it’s the baguettes. I’ve seen American tourists walk out of French boulangeries with about a dozen of them. Slow down buddy, fresh bread is made all day long here. You don’t need to stock up on that much.”

18.

“In Spain jamón serrano and jamón Ibérico de bellota are really common. You can find a very good product for a very affordable price. In other countries you’ll find it for a pretty hefty price tag.”

19.

“I’m from the UK and Ive had American friends beg me to send over Cadbury chocolate. IMO, it’s not as good as it used to be since it was bought out by Kraft (the irony!) but Americans still go nuts for it.”

20.

“Where I’m from in Canada, lobster isn’t for special occasions. In fact, people eat it all the time. Every Atlantic Canadian knows that aside from the wharf the best place to get it is from the back of a van straight from a chain smoking fisherman who advertises fresh lobster with spray painted signs.”

21.

“I’m from New England, so great maple syrup is just a local food for me, but for people from elsewhere it’s a real delicacy. Supermarkets still have the fake stuff on their shelves, so plenty of people don’t even know what they’re missing until the try real Vermont maple syrup.”

22.

“I live in Hawaii, I was so confused when I went to a ‘poke shop’ on the mainland. It was so expensive for barely any fish, it was low-quality, and they offered to load it up with weird toppings like pineapple. Back home in Hawaii, you can buy a pound of incredibly fresh ahi shoyu poke from any local grocery store’s poke counter for cheap.”


Ontherunphoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

23.

“Italian truffles. I was in Tuscany during white truffle season and every restaurant was offering pasta dishes topped with a very generous serving of fresh truffle shavings for about €12. Where I live in the US I’d expect to pay at least $30 extra for any dish topped with fresh truffles, but in Italy, it’s just a pretty standard pasta topping.”

24.

“Hot dogs! In the U.S. you can get a hotdog for a dollar, but abroad they’re silly expensive. At a train station in Switzerland I saw ‘authentic American hotdogs’ being sold for about 15€. They did not look authentic, and I was too cheap to find out if they tasted authentic.”

25.

“Quail eggs. In the Philippines I can buy them at any grocery store or even from a street vendor. In fact, in many Asian markets, you can buy them boiled peeled in cans. I’ve rarely ever heard of them outside of Asia.”

26.

“Pecorino Romano cheese from its namesake, Rome. I went to a cheese store and asked for Pecorino and the cheesemonger went over to his cheese wheel and sliced off a giant chunk. I asked him to cut me a smaller piece because I didn’t want to pay a fortune. When he finally handed me the cheese with the sticker slapped on the packaging, it was only €1.20. Back home in Canada this same slice would have easily been $20.”

27.

“Carnitas. In the U.S. if you order carnitas at a restaurant you’ll pay up to $10 for two little tacos. In Mexico they’re a street food I see being prepared on the side of the road everyday, and it costs less than a dollar.”

28.

“Halloumi cheese. It’s a huge staple in Cyprus, and we eat it all the times. In the U.S. I only really see it on exotic cheese plates and the very occasional summer BBQ. If you can get your hands on it, try it on white bread with strawberry jam. You are welcome.”

What’s a popular food from where you’re from that foreigners consider to be a serious delicacy? Tell us in the comments below!

Trisha Anderson

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