Snacking is a universal pastime. In 2014, total global snack sales reached over $300 billion. Apparently, chocolate is the favorite snack by people everywhere. In the global snacking study conducted by Nielsen, chocolate is the most common response. Fruits, vegetables, cookies and bread wound up to the top of the list.
In the United States, people have reported less-healthy eating habits than the rest of the world. People love salty chips for one. Americans also love snacking on cheese, cookies and chocolates. This is what the United States has in common with other people in the world when it comes to snacking habits. Chocolate is a snack favorite. Although other foods come close, ice cream and yogurt are a favorite in many countries as well. But if you would really like to know what people love to snack on, here are the favorite snacks in some countries:
1. Pepitas (Mexico)
Pepitas is a term used for the edible seed from pumpkin or squash. They are flat and asymmetrically oval. They are light green in color, but they could have a white outer hull. Like other nuts and seeds, are rich in phytosterol, a plant-based compound that helps reduce bad cholesterol. Pepitas also contain amino acid tryptophan which helps in the production of serotonin, a compound in the brain which helps in mood management. It helps improve people’s mood.
Pepita is a Spanish culinary term for the pumpkin seed, the edible seed of a pumpkin or other cultivar of squash. The seeds are typically rather flat and asymmetrically oval, and light green in color and may have a white outer hull.
2. Edamame (Japan)
Edamame is actually just a fancy name for boiled green soy beans. Like all beans, they are packed with protein, fiber, vitamin K and folate. They are actually more delicious than they sound. Edamame bean is a preparation of immature soybeans in a pod. Although it is popular in Japan, it is also a favorite snack in China, Korea and even Hawaii. The pods are boiled or steamed and served with salt.
3. Hummus (Middle East)
The origins of this dish is still a source of debate, but there is no denying that there is a lot of health benefits to eating this dish especially if you’re going to eat this with brightly-colored vegetables. One main ingredient is the chickpeas, a type of bean which is known for its health benefits. Chickpeas also help with weight management. Hummus is rick in protein, fiber, iron and folate.
4. Summer Rolls (Vietnam)
Nem cuốn is a Vietnamese dish consisting of pork, prawn, vegetables, rice and other ingredients wrapped in rice paper. They are served cooled, and they are not deep fried or cooked on the outside. This dish is a favorite Vietnamese snack. They are also popular among Vietnam’s neighboring countries. They have gained popularity in western countries as well. Filled with fresh ingredients, these rolls are filled with possible combinations. Some of the most common ingredients include lettuce, carrots, cilantro, mint and shrimp.
5. Tzatziki (Greece)
Tzatziki is a popular Greek sauce that is served as dip for grilled meats. It is made of strained yogurt that is mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, lemon juice, red wine, vinegar, dill, parsley and mint. This dip is a great source of protein. The fresh mint adds flavor to the dip without adding calories.
6. Fruit Salad (Nigeria)
Fruit is a great snack anywhere. There is no one country that lays claim to its nutritional benefits. But you’ve never tried a fruit salad until you’ve tried a Nigerian fruit salad. It is jam-packed with tropical fruits which include papaya, apple, banana, pineapple, watermelon, oranges, pawpaw, mangoes, sour sop and coconuts. They add some cinnamon and sugar to the mix. There are a lot of fruits in Nigeria. You will practically find fruit sellers at every corner.
7. Green Mangoes (Thailand)
Green mangoes are quite popular as a snack in Thailand. They’re usually dipped in prik gup kleur, a mixture of salt and red pepper flakes. Mangoes are rich in fiber, vitamins A, C, B6 and pectin. This is why there’re great for the immune system. They help protect the eyesight. They also help reduce bad cholesterol in the body.
8. Parmigiano Reggiano with Honey and Walnuts (Italy)
These two are perfect for each other. They are also packed with health benefits. Cheese is a great source of calcium and protein. Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties. They promote healing. They’re also great for coughs. Walnuts have high amount of alpha-linolenic acid which is good for the heart.
9. Gulab Jamun (Indian Subcontinent)
These deep-fried milk dumplings are a favorite snack in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. In Nepal, it is called Lalmohan. They are spiced doughnut holes that are soaked in gulab, a rose-scented syrup.
Biltong is a spicy, diced and dried snack, quite similar to American jerky. This is a popular South African snack which dates back to the 17th century. Biltong has reached United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Korea. Beef biltong is by far the most popular, but there is biltong that is made of ostrich, kudu or springbok.