This project/list began as a travel aid: What is a country known for that a tourist might enjoy? If I’m going to Denmark, surely I want to eat a Danish pastry. If I were in Sweden, wouldn’t a Swedish massage be a good idea? A Cuban cigar in Havana? Wouldn’t a Swiss watch be an appropriate souvenir from Switzerland?
Of course, words being words, with interesting histories, the country’s name may miss the point entirely. Panama hats are made in Ecuador, but originally were shipped out of the port of Panama, thus the name. In Scotland, what we call Scotch is merely whiskey. The French may stare at you with incomprehension if you ask for French fries. Even when I speak French, the folks in Paris stare at me with incomprehension. Merci, tout le monde.
German chocolate cake
Italian cream cake
Mexican jumping beans