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Top International Cuisine
Although it's quick and simple, a list can be just as educational as it is easy to read. That's the idea behind TravelsinTaste.com's new "Lists" feature, which includes lists of some of the country's most exciting food trends, innovative ingredients, unusual restaurants, intriguing cocktails and more. Our editors have scoured America's kitchens, markets and menus in search of the most up-to-date, unusual items for your reading -- and dining – pleasure, then published them in a convenient, easy-to-chew list format. Scan, savor and enjoy!

One of the wonderful things about living in America is the great number of cuisines available to those of us living in 'The Great Melting Pot.' Occasionally, though, traditional flavors have been watered down to suit the mainstream palate but if you can manage to get your teeth into some authentic international dishes, you're in for quite a treat. Whether dining out or ordering in, these are the Top Five International Cuisines favored by American diners.

5. Italian
An old staple for any occasion, whether it be a romantic night on the town, an evening at home with pasta, wine, and a good movie, or a small gathering of friends with a nice, hot pizza, Italian food has been popular with American diners for decades. For an authentic experience, avoid the chain restaurants, head straight to Little Italy and try to find a place that serves Tagliatelle al cinghiale, a dish made with broad noodles and wild boar. You just may find a new favorite in this classic category.

4. Chinese
The best foods from this country are not necessarily the 'Americanized' Chinese dishes that consist of chicken fingers and pork fried rice, but the truly authentic cuisine you can get from restaurants in Chinatown. You know the sort of place, a once brightly colored sign written in a language that resembles graffiti, whole, roasted animals hanging in the front window, and perhaps a feeling of intimidation as you walk by. If you can manage to conquer the fear of the unknown, go in with an adventurous friend and order some liver stir fried with bean sprouts and greens, roasted pig heart, or, if those aren't your speed, some Peking duck soup.

3. Indian
For the people that have avoided this cuisine because they don't like spicy food, I advise them to go to an Indian restaurant and try the Tandoori Chicken. Flavorful, juicy, pleasing to all the senses, this may be some of the best chicken you've ever tasted. If you live near a large city and can take the heat, do a little research on the local Indian restaurants; many offer very affordable lunch buffets with a large sampling of the establishment's most popular dishes.

2. Thai
Diners that suffer from peanut allergies should be incredibly wary of Thai cuisine as this seemingly harmless legume is found crushed and sprinkled on many Thai dishes. The most well known dish, of course, is Pad Thai, an incredibly complex melange of rice noodles, fish sauce, garlic, egg, shrimp and crushed peanuts. There are, of course, a number of other ingredients but these are the headlining flavors on this eclectic stage and they put on an amazing show your taste buds won't soon forget.

1. Japanese
Though sushi is typically the first thing that springs to most minds when thinking about Japanese food, but there's so much more to the Japanese culinary experience than wads of rice and fish wrapped in seaweed. Rice is, indeed, the staple of the Japanese diet and is eaten with every meal but sushi is not as common as you might think. Higher in popularity are the rice bowl dishes which are, as the name suggests, a large bowl of rice with some sort of topping ranging from simmered beef, mild curry, or a mixture of chicken and egg. The latter is called O-yakodon, 'Parent-Child bowl.”

The American palate is entering an age of enlightenment as the once-popular homogenized international cuisines are being passed up for more authentic fare. Join the movement and try something new!

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