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Cultures and countries are defined by food, and many are rightly proud of their culinary heritage. So if you are a serious global foodie, this list will help you decide where to go and what to eat to start you off.

Buffalo Wings
In 1964, Teressa Bellissimo first created this now Superbowl favourite to fill her son's ravenous appetite. Originally made using a part of the chicken reserved for making soup stock, Bellissimo's Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, still serves the perfected recipe: deep-fried wings smothered in a hot and spicy, buttery sauce.

Peking Duck
The first Peking Duck restaurant, Bianyifang, opened in 1416 and still offers amazing duck. The incredible crispiness of the duck's skin is created in a process that lasts days and nowadays involves a bicycle pump. Beijing's largest duck restaurant is Quanjude, which can serve more than 5,000 dishes a day. At seven stories high, it has to be seen to be believed.

Yorkshire Pudding
This pastry-like pudding, traditionally made from the fat that dropped in a dripping pan while meat was roasting, was created in the north of England as a cheap way to make the Sunday roast go further. In 2008, the Royal Society of Chemistry dictated that a pudding is not a Yorkshire Pudding unless it is at least 10cm tall. Still, others say a true Yorkshire Pudding must be served to you by a person in Yorkshire that possesses the brusque temperament of the area, which is then reflected in the hot fat and resulting crispness of the pudding.

Salad Niçoise
The Nice section of the Mediterranean coast is known as the place where "the fish live in the sea and die in oil" and the perfect Niçoise experience includes those fish and a view of that sea. The internet is filled with foodies that argue over the true ingredients of Salad Niçoise. Most agree that anchovy, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and black olives are in, other ingredients are disputed, but all must be heavily doused in a good local olive oil.

Nanaimo Bars
These triple-decker treats traditionally involve a layer of chocolate biscuit and coconut, a layer of vanilla- or custard-flavoured butter icing and a thick layer of chocolate. To sit at one of the cafes in Nanaimo's on Vancouver Island and indulge is to pay homage to the home cooking of women called variously Mable, Mabel, Joy and Joyce - all of whom lay claim to having created the original recipe in the '50s.

Mole Poblano
The residents of Puebla (Poblano) lay claim to the finest mole in Mexico. This rich, dark sauce typically involves at least 20 ingredients (including assorted chillies and chocolate) and is traditionally served over turkey. A popular story of its origin involves the nuns of the Convent of Santa Rosa who needed to feed the Archbishop. They were poor but, inspired by an angel, they mixed together different chillies, day-old bread, nuts and chocolate and left it to simmer for hours. The Archbishop loved it! For extra points eat it at Cinco de Mayo or Christmas.

Singapore Chilli Crab
Hot steamy Singapore is foodie heaven; a true Asian melting pot that has perfected many of the popular dishes of the region. However, it does have one dish to call all its own and that is Singapore Chilli Crab, which was created in 1950 by the owners of Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant. Grab a Tiger beer and spend an evening tearing apart the juicy crab in its sweet, sticky chilli sauce at a hawker market to experience true foodie nirvana.

© 2011 Lonely Planet. All rights reserved. The article ‘A must-eat foodie checklist’ was published in partnership with Lonely Planet.

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