From the sickly sweet caramel treats made fresh in Leiden markets to tangy, sour noodles in Hua Hin, plenty of adventurous dishes await study abroad students. Trying new foods can be a risky bet to take, but it can pay off in brand_new flavors and delicious entrees often unavailable in St. Louis. grab a fork and start exploring.
London, Great Britain
Great Britain is not known for its food. British plates are usually high in carbs and bland in taste when compared to savory French cuisines like pastries, bread and cheese. Even the names of British foods can leave something to be desired—“bangers and mash” tastes a lot better than it sounds.
Bangers and mash consists of sausage links laid on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes. This UK combo is often slathered in gravy and presented to many a pub-goer from Dublin to London. But despite a bland look, bangers and mash are anything but tasteless. The creamy mashed potatoes complement the juiciness of the sausages nicely. Add a Guinness to round out a traditional Irish meal.
For those unsure about trying a food that looks a bit too mushy, the British favorite of fish and chips is everywhere. Pubs are known for serving the best fish and chips.. The so-called “fishy smell” that accompanies fish when prepared other ways is nonexistent with fried haddock and cod. Don’t expect to reach for the ketchup, though—tartar sauce is the typical condiment for this dish across the pond.
For those looking for a variety of flavors, Webster Thailand is close to plenty of intriguing food options. One mouth-watering example is
Pad Thai, a noodle dish that blends an intoxicating amount of salty, sweet, sour and spicy ingredients.
Pad Thai is typically made up of rice noodles, bean sprouts, egg, scallion and a type of protein, usually from a choice of tofu, shrimp or chicken. Chili, peanuts and a lime are usually served on the side. When flavored with fish sauce, garlic, sugar and whatever else the chef decides to throw in, the customer is treated to an intense flavor experience.
The less adventurous traveler may prefer a simple bowl of noodles. Bowls of noodle soup are served all over Thailand in small, family-owned noodle shops. A small stand just down the road from the Webster students’ residence in Hua Hin serves up a delicious bowl of thinly-sliced pork, tom yum broth, crispy garlic, bean sprouts, peanuts and noodles topped with a hard-boiled egg. For a dish that costs less than a dollar, it beats Ramen noodles from back home any day.
Leiden, The Netherlands
Leiden travelers missing cheap, American fast foods can find solace in The Döner Company. The Döner chain of restaurants began in the Netherlands but serves Turkish döner kebabs. Travelers on a budget should try the Döner box, a 3-euro combination meal of fries and döner kebab. The kebab is similar to a gyro, made up of marinatedbeef or chicken and topped with Dutch mayonnaise, hot sauce, lettuce, cabbage, onions, tomatoes and jalapeños.
Additionally, those with a sweet tooth should look for stroopwafels, sweet treats available all around the Netherlands. Stroopwafels consists of two thin waffles held together by a thick caramel sauce, often accompanied by tea or coffee. Stroopwafels are best served fresh from vendors at the market on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Story by: Allison Klinghammer
Photo by: Alex Kendall