Trying out local foods is a great way to get an authentic taste of a new culture and destination. If you thoroughly enjoy sampling foods, that can’t be easily purchased in your hometown or city, simply continue reading to discover 10 exciting foods that start with D. Some of which you may have never heard of before and may be interested in adding to your bucket list.
Some Foods that Start with D
- Danish Pastry
- Deviled Eggs
- Dijon Mustard
- Dulce De Leche.
1. Dahl – India and Myanmar
Dahl is a staple food and is eaten on an everyday basis in India and Myanmar. Dhal is a mild, vegetarian curry, which features lentils, pulses, herbs, and spices. Such as turmeric, cumin seeds, and green chili. Dahl is often served with basmati rice, naan or roti. Archeologists have found evidence that Indian dahl dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization. During which period lentils were a staple food.
When in India I dip my roti or naan into my Dahl, just like the locals. Instead of using a spoon. I highly recommend purchasing dahl from a local eatery on your next trip to India. As you can find dahl on the menu of most local restaurants.
While I could eat traditional Dahl multiple times per week and have done during my trips to India and Myanmar, you can order Dahl that is packed full of vegetables or meat. As while traditional Dahl is plain and served without additional vegetables or meat, Dahl can easily be adjusted to suit your personal preferences. One of the reasons why Dahl is a staple, in most Indian households.
2. Danish Pastry – Denmark and Austria
I had to include a food from my native homeland. Danish pastries are multi-layered, sweet pastries that are often filled with cream cheese, custard or fruit. If you ever visit Denmark, I highly recommend treating yourself to a fresh Danish pastry. You won’t regret it.
If you’re a fan of tart fruits, you can’t go wrong opting to purchase a traditional apple filled Danish pastry. Although you can also purchase apricot Danish pastries. If you’re a little more adventurous when it comes to trying new foods. You may also be surprised to learn that you can purchase savory Danish pastries. If you head to “Meyers Bageri”, a popular pastry shop in Copenhagen, make sure to try a cheese and mushroom Danish.
It’s thought that the first Danish pastry was created in 1850. During which time there was a widespread strike among bakery workers in Denmark. Due to the strike, Danish bakeries were forced to hire foreign born employees. Historians believe that Austrian bakers, who migrated to Denmark to fill the shortage of bakery workers, brought brand their own baking techniques to Denmark, were responsible for inventing the Danish pastry.
3. Deviled Eggs – Italy and the USA.
Deviled eggs date back to ancient Rome, during which period they were boiled and seasoned with spicy sauces. At the time deviled eggs were served as an entree for aristocratic families. Or served as party snacks at the parties of the wealthy.
Modern deviled eggs are hard boiled eggs that have been cut in half, emptied and filled with a tasty paste. However, modern deviled eggs didn’t gain popularity until post WWI. When they became commonplace at cocktail parties and picnics in the United States. Modern deviled eggs feature mustard, vinegar, mayonnaise, and eggs and sometimes feature a dash of paprika.
While deviled eggs have their origins in ancient Rome and the USA, you can now find deviled eggs served across the globe. In fact, deviled eggs are commonly eaten in Australia and New Zealand. You can even find deviled eggs served in the buffets of most cruise ships.
4. Dashi – Japan
If you’ve ever contemplated learning how to make your own miso soup, you’ll need to purchase some dashi. Dashi is a popular fish stock that is used to create the base for miso soup. The Japanese also use Dashi to prepare clear broths as well as the broth for their famous udon noodle based soups.
You can use dashi to bring out the savory flavors of your food or to add a bit of extra flavor to grilled foods. As an example, the Japanese place dashi in the flour, which they use to create takoyaki – a fried seafood appetizer.
Dashi has a far lengthier history than you might think and is thought to be invented over 800 years ago. When the Japanese mixed fresh spring water with kombu, a special kelp extract. Kombu contains glutamate. Glutamate allows dashi to bring out the natural savory flavors of any food.
If you’ve tried to recreate your favorite Japanese dishes at home and haven’t had any success. I highly recommend purchasing dashi, as you’ll be able to add it, to a wide variety of Japanese dishes. Such as takoyaki, ramen, and miso soup.
5. Dijon Mustard – France
Dijon mustard is one of the most popular types of mustard in the world and is produced using mustard seeds, white wine, water, and salt. Although some brands of Dijon mustard choose to use wine vinegar instead of white wine.
Dijon mustard is often used to create Dijonnaise sauce. As if you mix Dijon mustard with mayonnaise, you get Dijonnaise sauce. A sweet sauce that is routinely used in French cuisine. If you visit France you may be served roast chicken or grilled fish served with a Dijonnaise sauce.
You may have guessed that Dijon mustard originates from the French town of Dijon. Dijon is located in the region of Burgundy, in France. During the Middle Ages, the town of Dijon was given the exclusive rights to produce the country’s mustard supply. Dijon mustard was originally invented to serve to King Phillip VI, in 1336.
However Dijon mustard gained widespread popularity when a Dijon native, Jean Naigeon, substituted white wine for verjuice. A vinegar which was comprised of the acidic juice of locally sourced, unripe grapes.
6. Duqqa – Egypt
Next on our list of foods that start with D is Duqqa. Duqqa is a dip that is made out of nuts, spices, and herbs and is often served with pita bread. Locals usually dip their pita bread into their Duqqa. Although Duqqa is also traditionally served with vegetables, you can also dunk roasted vegetables into Duqqa. Translated from Arabic to English, Duqqa literally means “to pound”. It’s one of the world’s most unique dips as it’s not powdery or pass like and has its own unique texture.
What I love about Duqqa is that each family has its own special ingredients, that they add to it. So even if you try Duqqa a handful of times, if you visit different vendors, each Duqqa will taste unique. Some examples of ingredients that are often added to Duqqa include chickpeas, mint, marjoram, zaatar, cumin, sesame seeds, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and coriander.
If you ever find yourself in Cairo, head to a spice market where you’ll be able to purchase Duqqa in a paper cone. The Duqqa which I brought from a spice market in Cairo featured crushed mint, nuts, salt, and pepper.
Duqqa originated in ancient Egypt, which makes sense as Egypt was located on a spice trade route. So it makes sense that the ancient Egyptians experimented with combining different herbs and spices and ended up creating Duqqa.
7. Dulce De Leche – Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil
If you have a sweet tooth and have always enjoyed desserts that include caramel sauce, such as caramel cheesecake, make sure to try Dulce de Leche, when you visit South America. Translated to English Dulce de Leche roughly translates to “sweet milk” or “caramel milk”.
Dulce de Leche is created by heating up condensed milk. When it cools down, the condensed milk starts to brown as it has a sweet, caramel-like taste. This is due to the fact that condensed milk contains higher sugar levels than regular milk.
There are countless foods to try in South America which have been flavored with Dulce de Leche. As examples, you can purchase churros, flans, waffles, cakes, cookies, crepes and sweets which are Dulce de Leche flavored.
Dulce de Leche is thought to have originated in Argentina. When a maid of a wealthy politician, Manuel de Rosa, heated milk and sugar and was called away from the kitchen. As you can guess, when she returned, her milk had turned into sweet, caramel-flavored milk. While most of South America uses condensed milk instead of regular milk to create Dulce de Leche, in Uruguay it’s still common to use regular milk and sugar to create Dulce de Leche.
If you’ve discovered a few foods that start with D that you’ve never tried before, it’s well worth adding them to your bucket list. As being adventurous and trying out new foods when you travel, you’ll get to better experience the unique countries and cultures that you’ll get to explore. After all, you can eat the foods you’re familiar with and eat on a weekly basis, when you’re at home!