Top local eats: Lonely Planet

Fideua from Calatonia, Spain (Shutterstock.com/somor)

Fideua from Calatonia, Spain (Shutterstock.com/somor)

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A 12-layer lasagna in Italy and a sticky, walnut and fig dessert jokingly referred to as "Turkish Viagra" are among some of the foods singled out by Lonely Planet as offering a great way to get a taste of local culture.

The travel guide's list of "best hidden foodie highlights" is part of its newly released "Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2014" edition, a projection of the best travel destinations and experience for next year.

Travel as much with your taste buds as you do with the eyes? Take a tour of the world with the editors' picks for the most authentic local specialties around the world.

Vincisgrassi, Le Marche, Italy: lasagna
No less than 12 layers, lasagna here is described as "turbo-charged" with a rich veal ragout made with chicken livers, lamb sweetbreads, truffles and mushrooms layered between sheets of soft pasta, béchamel sauce and Parmesan.

Chicago, USA: the hot dog
The hot dog could be described as the Windy City's edible icon, the result of the city's multicultural European, Jewish and Mediterranean roots, says Lonely Planet. The authentic version: an all-beef frankfurter topped with mustard, relish, celery salt, diced tomatoes, onions, pickle spear and hot peppers, all tucked cozily into a poppy seed bun.

The Philippines: adobo
A meat stew seasoned with garlic, soy sauce and vinegar, topping a bed of boiled rice is this country's food staple. Every household and region has their own variation, and can be made with chicken, pork or chicken livers.

Turkey: Incir Dolmasi
Described as a hallmark of Turkey's Ottoman cuisine, the dessert referred to as Turkish Viagra is a sticky fig stuffed with walnuts and cloves which is gently poached in a cinnamon-spiked sugar syrup. The result is a sticky, lovely treat.

Catalonia, Spain: Fideua
Paella may be known as one of Spain's signature dishes, but in Catalonia, rice is replaced with short, thin noodles called fideus. Otherwise, the recipe is more or less the same with the fragrant, aromatics of saffron and seafoods like squid, shellfish and prawns.

For the complete list, visit http://bit.ly/Hdr6hR.


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