10 Delicious Snack Ideas You Should Be Stealing from Other Countries
If you're bored of your same old pretzels and trail mix, try one of these yummy, healthy—or just totally not junky—snacks that are all the rage around the world.
From Italy: Cheese with honey and walnuts
You don't need to be in Rome to do as the Romans do. Instead, try their go-to snack: Cheese with a drizzle of honey and walnuts on top. While parmigiano reggiano is often the cheese of choice in this delectable pairing, you have options. Other cheeses like pecorino, taleggio, asiago, and provolone also go nicely. And if you're not a fan of walnuts, you can swap them out too; just be sure to add some type of nut because they have major disease-fighting properties. Besides, Italy is known for having amazing food, so you can be sure that any Italy-approved snack is bound to be great.
From Mexico: Fresh fruit with tajin
This snack needs almost no prep. You simply sprinkle tajin seasoning (which is a chili lime salt) over fresh fruit to make a savory, sweet, and healthy snack. "It's really good and refreshing on watermelon and mango in particular, but you could also put it on any fruit," says award-winning chef and restaurant owner, Tim Cushman.
From Israel: Hummus
Hummus goes great with everything—pita, veggies such as carrots and celery, on a cracker, on a sandwich, in a wrap—literally anything savory. It not only tastes amazing, but it's also super healthy since it's really just smashed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. The best part: Hummus is easily found in supermarkets nationwide and comes in a variety of flavors like roasted red pepper, black bean, and even edamame. And if you've got some time on your hands, make it yourself. It'll be fresher, healthier, and you can customize it to your liking. Try one of these 7 unique hummus recipes.
From India: Papadum
Papadum are thin and crispy circle-shaped crackers made of flour—like black gram, rice, or potato—and then either fried or baked. They are commonly paired with chutney sauces, like mango, or topped with various chopped veggie medleys, such as carrots and onion.
From Japan: Wasabi peas
Okay, so this snack isn't totally new to the United States, but it's definitely one that needs to be mentioned. Wasabi peas are regular green peas covered in a mixture of oil, salt, sugar, and, of course, wasabi, and then baked in the oven. They usually come pre-packed and can be found in most grocery stores around the country. Caution: Wasabi is spicy, so if you don't enjoy a little heat, this may not be the best snack for you.
From Thailand: Khanom khrok
These coconut-rice pancakes are served as a dessert in Thailand, but why not make it for breakfast or lunch? The batter is made by mixing together rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk that is then cooked on a stove—similar to the way you'd make pancakes. Khanom khrok can be both savory and sweet, depending on what you put in the batter. Chef Cushman recommends trying shrimp and green onion if you're looking to make a meal. He says it's both fun to make and fun to watch being made!
From South Africa: Biltong
Unlike American beef jerky, which is smoked, biltong is meat that is spiced and dried. While beef is the most popular type of biltong, other meats can be used, too. It's a great grab-and-go snack that's high in satiating protein.
From Nigeria: Fruit salad
Forget the cantaloupe and grapes. Nigeria is known for its enormous selection of tropical fruits, which makes for a deliciously exotic fruit salad. Staple fruits in Nigeria's version include papaya, coconut, and pineapple. Looking for more fruit salad inspiration? Here are the healthiest fruits for your body.
From Greece: Tzatziki
Served as a dip or as a sauce with meats, tzatziki is a mixture of strained yogurt, salt, cucumbers, garlic, and olive oil. It can be bought at most grocery stores, but it's also very easy to make on your own. It goes nicely with chopped veggies or pita bread. Here are other foods to add to your diet if you're looking to make it more Mediterranean.
From Vietnam: Summer rolls
Wrap raw vegetables, rice noodles, and shrimp, chicken, beef, or tofu in a lettuce leaf, and you've got yourself Vietnamese summer rolls. Easy to make and customizable, summer rolls are the perfect light, healthy snack. Also, there's isn't a rule about having these outside of summer, so feel free to indulge in the colder months, too.