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Five Popular Snacks from Around the World

Five Popular Snacks from Around the World
on May, 13 2013

Snacks aren’t a meal, but can be quite filling on their own. All over the world, different people enjoy on different things to munch on, to tide them over till their next meal and to share with friends. When the need to nibble strikes, try any of these treats from around the world.

German pretzels
Germans make great cars and sausages, but they also came up with one of the most popular snacks in the world, the pretzel. In Germany, it is called Brezel, Brezn or Breze, which is from the Latin world bracellus, which translates to bracelet. Made from dough and baked to either a soft or crunchy consistency in a distinct loop shape, pretzels can be sweet, salty or topped with a variety of flavors.

South African Biltong

Biltong is South Africa’s answer to the American beef jerky. The dried strips of meat have been eaten in the country since the 17th century. The Dutch settlers in the country brought with them meat drying recipes from Europe, especially since they needed ways to cure and preserve meat in the absence of refrigeration. Biltong comes from two Dutch words Bil and tong. These translate to rump and strip, respectively. It is usually made of beef, but other varieties include kudu and ostrich.

Japanese edamame

The edamame bean is enjoyed in Japan, as well as in parts of China and Hawaii. The soybean is packed with nutrients such as riboflavin, folate, vitamin K and phosphorus, and it is an excellent source of vegetarian protein. The Japanese have been enjoying this since the 13th century and its name translates to twig bean, from the Japanese words eda, meaning twig, and mame, meaning bean.

American Potato chips

Potato chips or crisps are enjoyed around the world, but it hails from the USA, particularly Saratoga Springs, New York. They were invented by Chef George Crum in 1853, who thinly sliced potatoes and fried the slices to a crisp, in response to a restaurant patron who kept sending back the potatoes because they were sliced to thickly. In the US, Canada, Australia and India, these are called chips, while in the United Kingdom and Ireland, these snacks are called crisps. In New Zealand, these are sometimes referred to as chippies, while in Bangladesh, chips are called Alu Bhaja.

Portuguese Empanada

When you’re in the mood for a bocado or snack, an empanada may be just the thing. This stuffed bread can be eaten as a main dish or a heavy snack and is enjoyed in many parts of Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia. The name is of Galician, Spanish and Portuguese origin, from the verb empanar, which translates to wrap or coat. The filling can be a combination of meat, cheese, fruits and vegetables. Portuguese colonizers brought the dish to Brazil and Indonesia, while Galicians introduced it to Latin America. In Afghanistan, their version is called bolani, while in Cape Verde, it is pastel and in Curacao and Aruba, it is called pastechis.

Bernadine Racoma

Bernadine is a writer, researcher, professional and multi-awarded blogger and new media consultant. She brings with her a rich set of experience in the corporate world, as well as in the field of research and writing. Having taken early retirement after working as an international civil servant and traveling the world for 22 years, she has aggressively pursued her main interest in writing and research. You can also find Bernadine Racoma at .

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