Interesting food cultures I experienced while studying in 3 cities

Tripoto
1st May 2016

I am currently in the last and final term of my one-year Master’s program in Global Business and over the past 12 months I’ve traveled to 5 countries and studied in 3 out of those. Along with understanding how people live and do business in these parts of the world I was strongly influenced by the unique diversity of food that served as the heart of their culture. The three special countries I am talking about are Singapore, Australia(Sydney) and United Arab Emirates (Dubai).

First Stop: Singapore

Second Stop: Sydney (Australia)

Third Stop: Dubai

At every location I ensured that I went out and experimented with the unique culinary experiences that they had to offer.

Here are a few observations I made when I went out in pursuit of food.

1) The Ice-Cream Sandwich: Singapore

Ice creams come in all flavours, shapes, sizes and most importantly, brands. Fancy cafes and gourmet style ice-creams have taken the spotlight away from the good old cart-style ice-cream sellers. Surprisingly, Singapore still has a few who sell delicious and perfectly sliced slabs of ice-cream sandwiched in between wafers or coloured bread. You will mostly find these ice-cream sellers near the Metro stations. It serves as a refresher after a hard day’s work.

Photo of Interesting food cultures I experienced while studying in 3 cities 1/2 by Anushree Tricannad

2) The Milo Dinosaur/Godzilla: Singapore

As an Indian child who grew up drinking Milo every day in the morning, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t elated by the fact that Milo was readily available everywhere in Singapore at any time of day. The Milo Dinosaur is an amalgamation of Ice, Chocolate Malt Milo topped off with a heap of powdered Milo. The Godzilla is an extension of the Milo Dinosaur with ice-cream and tastier. The more chocolatey the drink the better.

Photo of Interesting food cultures I experienced while studying in 3 cities 2/2 by Anushree Tricannad
Milo Dinosaur

Milo Godzilla

Photo of Spize Singapore by Anushree Tricannad

3) Laksa: Singapore

Laksa is a main course dish that comprises of rice noodles/vermicelli combined with meat, served in a portion of spicy soup. The soup is usually based on curry and coconut or tamarind. It is a nice mix of noodle and soup.

Photo of Holland Village Singapore by Anushree Tricannad

4) The good old Fish & Chips: Australia

Australia is known to have the best beaches in the world. If there is a beach, then one has to find Fish & Chips around. Australia boats of a big number of restaurants serving this delicacy along with calamari rings. Their beer battered fish is quite the star.

Photo of Manly Ocean Foods, The Corso, Manly, New South Wales, Australia by Anushree Tricannad

Calamari, Fish, Prawns and Chips

Photo of Manly Ocean Foods, The Corso, Manly, New South Wales, Australia by Anushree Tricannad

5) The Chicken Schnitzel: Australia

Before I landed in Australia, I frankly had no idea about the existence of a Schnitzel. It is nothing but well pound meat (preferably chicken) deep fried and made crispy-crunchy. The most common way of eating a Schnitzel is in the form of a burger. The portions are usually quite large and one always walks away with a stomach that is fuller than needed.

Photo of Bondi Beach, New South Wales, Australia by Anushree Tricannad

6) Coffee: Australia

Thank God people aren’t obsessed with Starbucks in this country. That is because they have so many indigenous brands to look forward to.

I had absolutely no clue about Australia’s coffee drinking culture before I set foot there. Sydney and Melbourne both have several coffee cafes that provide solace to every kind of caffeine addict. They serve a variety of coffees sourced locally and globally. It is a coffee lover’s (people like ME) paradise!

Chocogato (Chocolate + Affogato)

Photo of Interesting food cultures I experienced while studying in 3 cities by Anushree Tricannad

7) Dessert: Australia

Australians loves their dessert more than they love their main course. Australia is house to several dessert cafes and outlets all offering unique varieties of lip-smacking that will always leave you wanting for more. It is perfect for people looking for some sugar rush. Ironically, every item of food served comes with a serious and accurate calorie count.

Photo of Tella Balls Desert Bar, Majors Bay Road, Concord, New South Wales, Australia by Anushree Tricannad
Photo of The Choc Pot, Railway Parade, Burwood, New South Wales, Australia by Anushree Tricannad

8) Manakeesh: Dubai, UAE

All this time I had knowledge of only pita and hummus as Middle eastern foods. I’ve spent more than two months in Dubai and Manakeesh topped with Za’atar and Cheese is my new favourite. Za’atar is a powdered Arabian herb mix and Manakeesh is more like pita. One serving of this is a winning lunch combination.

Zaatar Muhamara Manakeesh

Photo of Dubai International Academic City - Dubai - United Arab Emirates by Anushree Tricannad

Zaatar Manakeesh

Photo of Dubai International Academic City - Dubai - United Arab Emirates by Anushree Tricannad

9) Dates Milk: Dubai, UAE

Chocolate and strawberry flavoured milk are too mainstream. The Arabic world begs to differ and introduces the indigenous date milk.

10) Falafel, Pita and Hummus: Dubai, UAE

Falafel is more on the lines of a chickpea cutlet. I’ve encountered Falafel plates, Falafel sandwiches, Falafel rolls and Falafel Manakeesh. It is an ideal option for the vegetarians. Pita is nothing much fresh Arabic bread eaten with a side of Labneh (yogurt cheese) or Hummus (chickpea dip). Pita is also used to make the fames Shawarma rolls. Arabic food is very healthy in comparison to it’s other cuisine counterparts.

Falafel and Pita

Photo of Lau Pa Sat Singapore by Anushree Tricannad

Turkish Pita

Photo of The Mahal Turkish Cuisine - Dubai - United Arab Emirates by Anushree Tricannad

11) Fattoush Salad: Dubai, UAE

I am a meat-lover and would usually prefer meat over salad any day. But a couple of months in the Middle East and I have begun to take a unique liking to this particular type of salad. It is a refreshing mix of veggies such as cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes and fruits such as pomegranate. It has a delightful crunchy element in the form of fried pieces of pita bread.

Photo of Interesting food cultures I experienced while studying in 3 cities by Anushree Tricannad

12) Baklava and Künefe: Dubai, UAE

Every delicious meal ends with an even more delicious servings of dessert.

Baklava is a pastry based Turkish sweet that comprises of layers of filo. The filo is combined with nuts (usually pistachios) and honey that holds the dish together. There are several variations available and you will be spoilt for choice.

Künefe is another popular Turkish delight. It is a cheese pastry that is soaked in super sweet, sugar syrup. Crushed pistachios are usually sprinkled on top as an adornment. Sometimes it is accompanied by Kamyak, a creamy dairy product, used as a topping.

Kunefe

Photo of Global Village - Dubai - United Arab Emirates by Anushree Tricannad

Baklava

Photo of Global Village - Dubai - United Arab Emirates by Anushree Tricannad

The above mentioned delicacies are just 1/10th of the food that I've actually eaten across these fabulous countries. The description and pictures barely do justice to their tastes.

For more food and travel stories, follow me on Instagram.

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