Food is one of life's great delights, and when you head to an overseas destination you will likely be treated to all kinds of flavour combinations, new tastes and exotic offerings by the local fare.
Trying new dishes is an absolute must-do when you go to a new country – whether you consider yourself a budding food connoisseur or you simply enjoy a great dish and glass of wine.
If you're looking to expand your palate while you are overseas, these five countries will deliver:
Cheese fans will be in heaven when they visit Switzerland, for the country is renowned for top quality. One of the favourite ways to eat cheese is with a fondue, in which cheese is melted in a traditional ceramic pot called a caquelon.
There are plenty of restaurants that offer delicious cheese fondues, and tourists can even enjoy a cheese fondue aboard a cruise ship on Lake Zurich. Schwellenmatteli Fondue Hutt in Bern is a fabulous restaurant for authentic Swiss cuisine, and is best visited in winter for a cosy chateau atmosphere and delicious warming food. If you can, make sure you taste both Vacherin and Emmantaler cheese, both made from creamy and delicious Swiss milk.
Other foods you have to have a bite of include raclette, which is melted cheese with jacket potatoes, gherkins, onions and pickled fruit, and Swiss chocolate – which has a longstanding history in the country and is potentially the richest and creamiest in the world!
If you're a fan of flavoursome spicy dishes and indulgent desserts, Spain will be right up your alley. One dish you can't leave the country without getting a taste of is the traditional Spanish paella. This is probably the country's most famous dish, and though it is recreated worldwide, there's nothing like a paella made by the Spanish locals. Head to Barcelona, where you will find a wealth of restaurants that offer this rice dish, which is cooked in a traditional large, flat "paella". Restaurant Cheriff is one of the best, and offers scrumptious seafood paella and other flavour combinations.
Another traditional Spanish treat is churros, or Spanish doughnut. The yummy batter is fried in olive oil and has a crispy outer shell and soft inside, and are served with cinnamon, chocolate and sugar.
Thai cuisine is popular here at home, but no one makes a better pad thai or gai med ma moung than the Thai locals! No matter where you are staying, there will be restaurants offering delicious traditional cuisine.
However, one of the best ways to pick up yummy bargains in Thailand is at one of the floating markets, which are prolific across the island. These bustling markets line the edge of the inner canals of Thailand, and you can explore by foot or hire a canoe to paddle the waters. Locals even cook and sell treats from their canoes! The most popular markets are Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Amphawa Floating Market, and Taling Chan. The latter is famous for its seafood, and according to Go Backpacking Round the World travel guide, you'll find roasted snake head fish and prawns.
You won't have to head far to sample the fresh fare of New Zealand, and it's a short trip worth making. New Zealand's crowning flavour is seafood caught straight from the Pacific Ocean, and any coastal location will have a spread of ocean samples just waiting to be tasted.
Kaikoura is one destination known for its seafood, particularly the crayfish, which also gave the area its name. Head to a restaurant in the area, such as the Koura Bay Lodge Restaurant, for your pick of fresh fish, prawns, mussels, cockles, calamari and more as they come into season.
For those who want to get a taste of delicious Japanese cuisine in a bustling and vibrant location, Tokyo is the perfect choice. Grab a box of sushi from a sushi bar for a fresh, healthy and satisfying lunch, or indulge in Teishoku, which is a set menu usually including a meat or fish dish such as fried chicken or grilled fish, miso soup and more.
Make your way to an upmarket restaurant such as Kozue, which overlooks the city from the 40th floor of Park Hyatt hotel, and indulge in sake and sashimi, or hunt down a street stall or small restaurant and pick out delicacies such as takoyaki and gyoza.