World's 50 best foods

World's 50 best foods

CNN Travel staff • Published 12th July 2017,

essential spanish dish Paella-phaidon

(CNN) — "There is no love sincerer than the love of food," George Bernard Shaw said. Judging by the number of amazing dishes out there, he was right.
But which are the tastiest? Which are the best foods?
We've scoured the planet for what we think are 50 of the most delicious foods ever created.
For now, feast your eyes and control your drooling, as we reveal some of the world's best foods:
Original Post

50. Buttered popcorn, United States

Taking a love of popcorn to a new level.Taking a love of popcorn to a new level.

Stephen Chernin/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Corn -- the workhorse of the industrial world -- is best when its sweet variety is fried up with lashings of butter till it bursts and then snarfed in greasy fistfuls while watching Netflix late at night.

49. Masala dosa, India

The world's best pancake?

The world's best pancake?
Courtesy McKay Savage/Creative Commons/Flickr
A crispy, rice-batter crepe encases a spicy mix of mashed potato, which is then dipped in coconut chutney, pickles, tomato-and-lentil-based sauces and other condiments. It's a fantastic breakfast food that'll keep you going till lunch, when you'll probably come back for another.

48. Potato chips, United Kingdom


Potato chips -- you can never have just one!
Courtesy Kate Ter Haar/Creative Commons/Flickr
It's unclear when and where the potato chip was born -- US legend has it that they were invented in New York in 1853, but the earliest known recipe for "Potatoes Fried in Slices or Shavings" appears in a bestselling 1817 cookbook by Englishman William Kitchiner.
Whatever the case, they're now one of the world's most child-friendly and best foods. But think of them this way -- if a single chip cost, say, $5, it'd be a far greater (and more popular) delicacy than caviar, a prize worth fighting wars over.

47. Seafood paella, Spain

The embodiment of Spanish cuisine.

The embodiment of Spanish cuisine.
The sea is lapping just by your feet, a warm breeze whips the tablecloth around your legs and a steamy pan of paella sits in front of you. Shrimp, lobster, mussels and cuttlefish combine with white rice and various herbs, oil and salt in this Valencian dish to send you immediately into holiday mode. Though if you have it in Spain, you're probably there already.

46. Som tam, Thailand

A traditional Thai dish you can't resist.

A traditional Thai dish you can't resist.
Courtesy Jessica Spengler/Creative Commons/Flickr
To prepare Thailand's most famous salad, pound garlic and chilies with a mortar and pestle. Toss in tamarind juice, fish sauce, peanuts, dried shrimp, tomatoes, lime juice, sugar cane paste, string beans and a handful of grated green papaya. Grab a side of sticky rice. Variations include those made with crab (som tam boo) and fermented fish sauce (som tam plah lah), but none matches the flavor and simple beauty of the original.

45. Chicken rice, Singapore

Singapore taking

Singapore taking "moreish" to the next level.
Courtesy Madeleine Deaton/Creative Commons/Flickr
Often called the "national dish" of Singapore, this steamed or boiled chicken is served atop fragrant oily rice, with sliced cucumber as the token vegetable. Variants include roasted chicken or soy sauce chicken. However it's prepared, it's one of Singapore's best foods. The dipping sauces -- premium dark soy sauce, chili with garlic and pounded ginger -- give it that little extra oomph to ensure whenever you're not actually in Singapore eating chicken rice, you're thinking of it.

44. Poutine, Canada

Poutine Festival

It sounds bad, it doesn't look great, but it tastes delicious!
Courtesy PoutineFest
French fries smothered in cheese curds and brown gravy. Sounds kind of disgusting, looks even worse, but engulfs the mouth in a saucy, cheesy, fried-potato mix that'll have you fighting over the last dollop. Our Canadian friends insist it's best enjoyed at 3 a.m. after "several" beers.

43. Tacos, Mexico

Mexico City Navarte tacos_MG_1938

Tacos -- you can't just have one.
Jake Lindeman
A fresh, handmade tortilla stuffed with small chunks of grilled beef rubbed in oil and sea salt then covered with guacamole, salsa, onions, cilantro or anything else you want -- perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is the reason no visitor leaves Mexico weighing less than when they arrived.

42. Buttered toast with Marmite, UK

Divisive but irresistible [for most of us).

Divisive but irresistible (for most of us).
Courtesy SteveR-/Creative Commons/Flickr
OK, anything buttered is probably going to taste great, but there's something about this tangy, salty, sour, love-it-or-hate-it yeast extract that turns a piece of grilled bread into a reason to go on living. For extra yum (or yuck) factor, add a layer of marmalade.

41. Stinky tofu, Southeast Asia

When it smells horrendous but tastes delicious ...

When it smells horrendous but tastes delicious ...
Courtesy Toby Oxborrow/Creative Commons/Flickr
Nothing really prepares you for the stench of one of the strangest dishes on earth. Like durian, smelly tofu is one of Southeast Asia's most iconic foods. The odor of fermenting tofu is so overpowering many aren't able to shake off the memory for months. So is the legendarily divine taste really worth the effort? Sure it is.

40. Marzipan, Germany

Germany's best sweet treat.

Germany's best sweet treat.
Courtesy Alpha/Creative Commons/Flickr

Don't be fooled by cheap imitations, which use soy paste or almond essence. The real stuff, which uses nothing but ground almonds with sugar, is so good, you'll eat a whole bar of it, feel sick, and still find yourself toying with the wrapper on bar number two.

30 best condiments

A trusted sauce: Ketchup.
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images

39. Ketchup, United States

If Malcolm Gladwell says it's a perfect food, then it's a perfect food. Let's face it, anything that can convince two-year-olds to eat their carrots rather than spitting them onto the floor is worthy of not just a "delicious" title, but a "miracle of persuasion" title, too.

38. French toast, Hong Kong

A measly 500 calories is all this bad boy will cost you.

A measly 500 calories is all this bad boy will cost you.
Courtesy Connie Ma/Creative Commons/Flickr
Unlike its more restrained Sunday brunch counterpart, Hong Kong-style French toast is like a deep-fried hug. Two pieces of toast are slathered with peanut butter or kaya jam, soaked in egg batter, fried in butter and served with still more butter and lots of syrup. A Hong Kong best food, best enjoyed before cholesterol checks.

37. Chicken parm, Australia

Australians have put their own stamp on chicken parmigiana.

Australians have put their own stamp on chicken parmigiana.
Courtesy shirley binn/creative commons/flickr
Melted Parmesan and mozzarella cheese, and a peppery, garlicky tomato sauce drizzled over the top of a chicken fillet -- Aussie pub-goers claim this ostensibly Italian dish as their own. Since they make it so well, there's no point in arguing.

36. Hummus, Middle East

The whole world loves this chickpea spread.

The whole world loves this chickpea spread.
joseph eid/getty images/CNN
This humble Middle Eastern spread, made with chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice and tahini has become a fridge staple all around the world. This tangy treat tastes good as a dip, with breads, with meats, with vegetables, beans or -- hear us out -- on a Marmite rice cake.

35. Chili crab, Singapore

Singaporeans drench crab in a spicy tomato gravy.

Singaporeans drench crab in a spicy tomato gravy.
Courtesy May Wong/Creative Commons/Flickr
You can't visit Singapore without trying its spicy, sloppy, meaty specialty. While there are dozens of ways to prepare crab (with black pepper, salted egg yolk, cheese-baked, et cetera) chili crab remains the local bestseller. Spicy chili-tomato gravy tends to splatter, which is why you need to mop everything up with mini mantou buns.

34. Maple syrup, Canada

Maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees.

Maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees.
Courtesy Raffi Asdourian/Creative Commons/Flickr
Ever tried eating a pancake without maple syrup? It's like eating a slice of cardboard. Poorly prepared cardboard. In fact, Canada's gift to parents everywhere -- throw some maple syrup on the kid's broccoli and see what happens -- makes just about anything worth trying. Pass the cardboard, please.

33. Fish 'n' chips, UK

Fish and chips -- not just for Fridays.

Fish and chips -- not just for Fridays.
MJ Kim/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Anything that's been around since the 1860s can't be doing much wrong. The staple of the Victorian British working class is a crunchy-outside, soft-inside dish of simple, un-adorned fundamentals.

32. Ankimo, Japan

So, who's up for a chunk of monkfish liver with a little grated daikon on the side? Thought not -- still, you're missing out on one of sushi's last great secrets, the prized ankimo. The monkfish/anglerfish that unknowingly bestows its liver upon upscale sushi fans is threatened by commercial fishing nets damaging its sea-floor habitat, so it's possible ankimo won't be around for much longer. If you do stumble across the creamy, yet oddly light delicacy anytime soon, consider a taste -- you won't regret trying one of the best foods in Japan.

31. Parma ham, Italy

Parma ham -- a staple of Italian cooking.

Parma ham -- a staple of Italian cooking.
You see it folded around melon, wrapped around grissini, placed over pizza, heaped over salad. There's good reason for that: these salty, paper-thin slices of air-dried ham lift the taste of everything they accompany to a higher level.

30. Goi cuon (summer roll), Vietnam

Summer rolls: Light, refreshing and wholesome.

Summer rolls: Light, refreshing and wholesome.
Courtesy Ducson Nguyen
This snack made from pork, shrimp, herbs, rice vermicelli and other ingredients wrapped in rice paper is served at room temperature. It's "meat light," with the flavors of refreshing herbs erupting in your mouth. Dipped in a slightly sweet Vietnamese sauce laced with ground peanuts, it's wholesome, easy and the very definition of "moreish."

29. Ohmi-gyu beef steak, Japan

This premium Japanese Wagyu beef from famed Takara Ranch has been recognized by the Imperial Palace of Japan as one of the greatest beef stocks to be raised in the past 400 years. Called the "Rolls-Royce" of beef, it's best eaten sashimi style, anointed with a drizzle of kaffir lime and green tea sea salt. Marbled fat gives each mouthful texture as the beef melts away, leaving a subtle but distinctly classic beef flavor.

28. Pho, Vietnam

Pho is a noodle soup and a pillar of Vietnamese cooking.

Pho is a noodle soup and a pillar of Vietnamese cooking.
Courtesy Rory MacLeod/Creative Commons/Flickr
This oft-mispronounced national dish ("fuh" is correct) is just broth, fresh rice noodles, a few herbs and usually chicken or beef. But it's greater than the sum of its parts -- fragrant, tasty and balanced.

27. Lechón, Philippines

Lechón is Spanish for suckling pig.

 Lechón is Spanish for suckling pig.
Courtesy Lemuel Cantos/Creative Commons/Flickr
A Filipino national dish, lechón is a whole young pig slow-roasted over charcoal for several hours. The process makes for tender meat and crispy skin. It's prepared on special occasions throughout the year.

26. Fajitas, Mexico

A staple of Tex-Mex cuisine.

A staple of Tex-Mex cuisine.
Courtesy Denis Dervisevic/Creative Commons/Flickr
This assembly kit of a dining experience is a thrill to DIY enthusiasts everywhere. Step 1: Behold the meat sizzling on a fiery griddle. Step 2: Along with the meat, throw side servings of capsicum, onion, guacamole, sour cream and salsa into a warm, flour tortilla. Step 3: Promise all within hearing range that you'll have "just one more." Step 4: Repeat.

25. Butter garlic crab, India

As hot and as tasty as it looks.

As hot and as tasty as it looks.
Courtesy Jun Selta/Creative Commons/Flickr
This one claims no roots in Chinese, Continental or Indian cuisines. It comes from Butter Land, an imaginary best foods paradise balanced on the premise that anything tastes great with melted butter. This delicious, simple dish is made by drowning a large crab in a gallon of butter-garlic sauce, which seeps into every nook and cranny and coats every inch of flesh. The sea gods of Butter Land are benevolent carnivores and this, their gift to the world, is their signature dish.

24. Champ, Ireland

Irish national dish champ goes down faster than the first pint of Guinness on a Friday night. Mashed potato with spring onions, butter, salt and pepper, champ is the perfect side with any meat or fish. For the textbook plate of creamy goodness, we suggest the busiest pub in any Irish seaside town. Around noon somehow feels right.

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