In Featured Posts, Gallivanting the Globe


Dubrovnik, Croatia restaurant

Eat Like a Local as You Travel the World

Every destination has its own flavor, figuratively and literally. Because food is at the heart of virtually every culture in the world, bringing people together in the most far-reaching places it can bring a destination to life for travelers as they explore the flavors and traditions surrounding its cuisine. Countries have official “national dishes”; cities establish their own character in the form of distinctive restaurants; and in some places, the signature cuisines can shift even among neighborhoods.

Some destinations are eclectic foodie meccas, having evolved from their own origins to become epicenters of the culinary world (we’re looking at you, Paris and New York), while many have stuck more exclusively to their roots. No matter where your travels take you and what marvels you experience in each place, it’s often the food that you remember long after. Beyond the given pizza in Naples and schnitzel in Vienna, maximize your connection to the destinations on your 2019 travel list with a menu of signature dishes you must try as you explore.

When in…

Hungary, try comfort food on the go. Lángos are everything to love in a snack. Doughy flatbread fried until it is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, then slathered in sour cream, grated cheese or garlic butter (NOTE: you don’t have to choose – try them with all three!). Some are served with sausage on top, but all are perfect grab-and-go comfort food to fuel your discoveries in Budapest.

Hungarian Langos
Hungarian Langos

Norway, stick to the sea. The national dish of Norway may be Fårikål, a hearty entrée made of mutton or lamb, but Norwegians have a seagoing culinary heritage that dates back to the Vikings, with most of the daily fare consisting of cod and other white fish. Pickled herring is perhaps the most famous, with thin slices of the fish treated with copious amounts of vinegar and salt, and is a tangy-sweet-sour staple in local diets.

Norwegian herring sandwiches with pickled cucumber

Croatia, explore the dark side. At the end of your meal, your mouth and teeth will have turned black and your appetite been more than satisfied. Such is the result of indulging in the decadence of Croatian black risotto, or crni rižot. It’s prepared with cuttlefish or squid, olive oil, garlic, red wine and squid ink (hence the intense color) and offers seafood lovers the rich flavors of Croatia’s coastline.

Croatian black risotto
Croatian black risotto with seafood

Singapore, don’t skip breakfast. There are dozens (or more!) traditional dishes that illustrate Singaporean traditions, with the added bonus that many of the best ones are easily available in outdoor markets and food stalls along your exploration of the city. And while surely every local has their own favorite and definitive dish, they virtually all agree on the one customary breakfast in this lovely Asian melting pot. Kaya Toast & Soft-Boiled Eggs is the go-to first meal of the day for Singaporeans, with thick cuts of fluffy white toast slathered in coconut or egg kaya and butter, served with soft-boiled eggs seasoned with dark or light soya sauce. Fancier takes on the classic can include Jiam Tao Loh Tee which uses French baguette instead of toast.

Singaporean breakfast
Traditional Singaporean breakfast

Australia, pick the prawns. With winter sun warmly shining during the holiday season, Aussies are often out on the water playing and seeking the catch of the day. This makes for one of the most delicious local traditions – sweet, succulent king prawns, served virtually any way you please. Squeeze a lemon over for simple tangy flavor, roast with fresh veggies, or grilled to perfection. There’s no wrong way to eat these like a local.

Australian prawns
Australian prawns

Crystal voyages celebrate the many varied flavors of the destinations they explore, with foodie-focused experiences ashore, Wine & Food Festival theme cruises, and a host of elegantly casual global cuisine served throughout each of our ships. Add these specialties to your list, and find your new favorite dishes when you set sail.

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