Pictures like these are downright cruel and unusual if you're already experiencing the winter doldrums. I heard about this book on The Splendid Table (sorry, NPR!) — in an interview with the editor in chief of National Geographic Traveler magazine. Food Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 Extraordinary Places to Eat Around the Globe is a foodie/traveler's coffee table dream. (Or nightmare, again, if you're stuck in a cold, cloudy city.)
With more than 60,000 lakes and almost 800 miles of coastline, Finland's cuisine is replete with seafood, such as flame-red crayfish.
Photo courtesy of Franco Figari/Finnish Tourist Board, from National Geographic's Food Journeys Of A Lifetime: 500 Extraordinary Places to Eat Around the Globe
Italy's Piedmont region lies on the border of Switzerland and is surrounded by the Alps.The cows that graze in this region produce milk for some of Italy's best cheeses.
Photo courtesy of Roberto Marinello/Shutterstock
Dishes of lamb with seasonal vegetables at Seagars Cook School in New Zealand. The island cuisine is characterized by fresh seafood and influenced largely by British cuisine.
Photo by Jae Frew
Vietnamese street vendors carry ingredients and cooking utensils to create banh khoai pancakes and other dishes.
Photo courtesy of iCEO/Shutterstock
Ithaa is a restaurant located about 15 feet below sea level in Rangalifinolhu, Maldives. Tuna and tubers are main staples in the Maldivian diet.
Photo courtesy of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Hong Kong claims to have the best dim sum in the world, an assortment of light dishes served with tea.
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Tourism Board
The waterways of Venice continue to draw tourists; according to USA Today, approximately 13 million people travel to the city each year — a flood of people almost as detrimental as the flooding water.
Photo courtesy of Hotel Cipriani, Venice by Orient-Express
Mauritius is a tiny island east of Madagascar, where the most widely spoken language is Mauritian-Creole. Inhabited by numerous ethnicities, the cuisine is fittingly diverse — with influences as far-ranging as Indian and French.
Photo courtesy of Constance Le Prince Maurice
Scotland's rivers produce a steady supply of fresh salmon — a much simpler alternative to the national dish of haggis, which contains stomach, heart and liver, among other ingredients!
Courtesy Boath House Hotel
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It actually inspired me to look up national dishes from around the globe, and I found this list on Wikipedia. America's national dishes are stuffed turkey, steak and hamburger — surprise! Some other highlights include octopus curry in Mauritius, skoudehkaris in Djibouti (don't act like you've never heard of it) and the ever-polarizing vegemite on toast in Australia.
Have you had any crazy adventures in food and travel? Even if they're not up to the National Geographic standard, upload your photos to our Flickr group pool.