Food traditions

Foods traditions to explore while traveling

Holidays get us eating specific traditional dishes whether it being turkey on Thanksgiving, matzo on Passover or hallaca on Christmas.

But there are other foods that cultures have on specific days of the week and while traveling, it is great to make a point of trying them.

Friday Couscous in Morocco

On last week’s episode, Booker’s first Moroccan meal was couscous (link: —this was no accident. In Morocco, Friday is the holy day, and couscous is traditionally eaten in a manner similar to Sunday dinner in Christian families. Couscous is pasta that many believe to be rice for its grainy appearance, and is served with roasted vegetables and grilled meats of the chef’s choice—these toppings flavor the pasta as the mixture stews together.

Brazilian Feijoada

Photo credit:

While it’s not served for a holiday, Feijoada is to Brazil as cheesesteak sandwiches are to Philadelphia. Considered the national dish of Brazil, feijoada’s name comes from the word feijao, which is Portuguese for the beans that make up the base of this delicious stew. The beans are typically cooked with beef or pork, though other types of meats can be used, and topped off with vegetables like carrots, kale, and okra. The broth becomes purplish brown from the mixture of beans and meat juice, and is either served over rice, or with rice as a side.

In Rio, feijoada is only served on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays. In São Paulo, catch this great dish on Wednesdays or Saturdays.

Kesar Chawal

Photo credit:

Kesar Chawal is a slightly sweet dish made from saffron rice, eaten to celebrate the Indian festival of colors, also known as Holi. On Holi, it is a tradition for revelers to chase each other through the streets, using dry powder or colored water to cover each other in bright hues. One can see from the bright yellow color of the rice that this food is the perfect dish for its companion festival! Saffron rice is combined with various vegetables, raisins, cinnamon, and cheese cubes known as paneer to create a tasty treat for when you’re on a break from throwing paint at your neighbors

Australian Pavlova

Photo credit:

You would think the traditional dish for Australia Day would be an upside-down cake, but instead it’s a tangy, fruity concoction featuring fruits and other toppings arranged artfully on an egg meringue base. As you can see from the picture, pavlovas can become quite creative, even using multiple layers to shape frozen meringue into an ice sculpture of sugar! Some are arranged to look like flowers, with the fruit inside the blossom. Others are more simple, taking the form of cake-sized tarts. Whatever their appearance, the taste is always on point!

Moroccan Pastilla au pigeon/ b’stilla

Photo credit:

We end with another Moroccan favorite, this time a dish served at almost every Moroccan holiday—without it, no celebration is complete. A designated feast dish, Pastilla is a pastry made up of thin, crumbly layers that will melt in your mouth. Between these layers this cake-like shape is filled with pigeon meat and egg sauce, along with a special, nutty filling. Pastilla can also be made into individual slices to resemble tarts or croissants. Another delight from the wondrous land of Morocco!


Leave a reply