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Lonely Planet's best street food

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11 April 2012 by Luke McCormick

Lonely Planet's The World's Best Street Food shows you where to find and how to make some of the world's most authentic and popular dishes.

The book explores 100 of the world's must-eat dishes from markets, hawker centres and bazaars across the globe that have been discovered by Lonely Planet's travel experts.

Each street food delicacy has two dedicated pages detailing the history and culture behind the food and the recipe to help you make the dish yourself.

From Banh Mi, a little-known culinary secret from Vietnam that is arguably the world's best sandwich to Uruguay's Chivito al pan, an overloaded steak sandwich that is the cheapest, tastiest and most accessible way to sample the country's famous beef - oddly named after the chivito (grilled goat) requested by a woman at Antonio Carbonaro's restaurant in Punta del Este in 1950 of which Senor Carbonaro was all out. It turns her loss was Uruguay's' gain.

Elsewhere the book offers up savoury satisfaction and sweet delight, as it takes a globetrotting, epicurean look at the tastiest dishes which are loved by locals and travellers alike, whether served from rickety carts, permanent stalls and local restaurants.

Recipes include:

  • Burma's Mohinga (noodle soup)
  • Brazil's Acaraje (black-eyed pea fritters)
  • Morocco's sweet Stenj (fried doughnuts)
  • Lebanon's Man'oushe (flatbread)
  • Turkey's Gozleme (stuffed flatbreads)
  • Indonesia's Martabak Manis (folded pancake)
  • Malaysia's spicy Sarawak Laksa (spicy noodle soup)

Internationally renowned foodie Tom Parker-Bowles, who talks about his travels to discover the world's best street food, provides the book's foreword.

"This is where you'll find the soul of a cuisine, somewhere among the taco carts and noodle stalls and baskets of herbs... some of the finest things to ever have passed my lips have been eaten standing up, or sitting at the most rickety of roadside tables, surrounded by diesel fumes, cigarette smoke and noise."

"Street food is the most democratic grub in the world, a place where politician eats alongside peasant, and flavours are unashamedly bold, " he says.
"I like the fact that countries with a strong street-food culture - Mexico, Thailand, China, Malaysia, and Vietnam, to name a few - take it very seriously indeed."

The hope is that ‘armed with this tome, you'll march straight past the second-rate pretenders' and avoid the ‘tired, dirty, grease-soaked muck about'.

As Parker-Bowles adds, "Local recommendations are worth their weight in spice, and always look for queues. High turnover not only means they must be getting something right, but that the food's cooked fresh too, as there isn't time for it to sit around."

Lonely Planet's destination experts provide their secrets to discovering the best (and avoiding the worst) examples of street food while travelling, including how to pay, where the best stalls are, how to order and what to avoid.

All in all, the book is a tasty look at most people's favourite aspect of travel: the food you enjoy along the way.

The World's Best Street Food

Various authors

Lonely Planet Publications

£14.99

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