12 International Foods to Try Before You Die

  • vietnam spring rolls
  • cevapcici grill
  • preparing gnocchi
  • meze mezze hummus baba ghanoush tabbouleh pita bread
  • poutine
  • completo chile
  • kangaroo meat
  • churros and chocolate
  • saag paneer
  • lobster roll
  • queso helado
  • ktefa morocco
"Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald's? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria's mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once." -- Anthony Bourdain

Travel is about exploration and learning -- and trying a new food is an ideal way to shock your taste buds and open your mind. Whether you're on the streets of Italy with waiters begging you to join them for dinner or sampling the steaming wares at a street cart in Bangkok, every encounter with food is not just an opportunity to "Mangia, mangia!" but also to get out of your comfort zone, meet the locals and learn something new.

Can't decide where to take your next bite? We've chosen 12 foods from around the world to sink your teeth into. They're all important and iconic to their cultures -- and they taste pretty amazing too! Click on any of the images at left to start the slideshow.

--written by Lori Sussle