Eating Your Way Across Europe
One of my favorite things about visiting a new place is trying out the local cuisine. So many countries around the world use different spices and cooking techniques to produce indigenous culinary concoctions that are so full of flavor. I mean, if you go to Paris and eat at McDonald’s the entire time, you are missing out on an important aspect of travel. No disrespect to McDonald’s since we love a good cheeseburger and fries, but really consider feasting on dishes that a place is renowned for so you can get the full experience.
We’re going to eat and drink our way through Europe which is a cultural potluck home to an array of sweet and savory cuisine that is sure to satisfy even the most particular palate.
Pizza and Pasta in Italy
We’re going to start with the basics. Italian cuisine is one of the most delicious foods on the planet and though you may think you’ve tried it all at the authentic Italian restaurant in your neighborhood, you have not. When in Italy, you’ll realize that you actually know nothing about Italian food - even the basics like pizza or pasta. For example, pizzas in Italy have a way thinner crust and much less cheese than the pies you get from Pizza Hut or Papa John’s. All of their sauces are made fresh with a combination of tomatoes, basil, olive oil, white wine, and garlic. It’s heaven in your mouth and you can’t miss it.
Fish and Chips in London
This is another one of those dishes that you find on menus all over the world. The batter-dipped fried fish is usually accompanied with thin-cut french fries in the United States, and though it may look similar in London, it has an entirely different kick to it. For one thing, the batter coating the fish is seasoned with a more bitter beer while the ‘chips’ are thick slices of potato that are deep-fried to a crunchy, yet soft, perfection.
Irish Coffee in Dublin
Dublin is hands-down one of the best places for a mug of Irish Coffee. They’ve artfully mastered the right amounts of pure coffee, whiskey, and cream to create a drink so good you’ll seriously consider whether you can have it every morning before work. (You can’t - HR will not approve.) The drink will keep you warm and happy - unlike your horrible ex, so be sure to try a couple of cups while you’re there.
Cheese Fondue in Switzerland
Why would you go to a country with cheese named after it and not have their cheese fondue? Traditional Swiss fondue is a cheese lovers’ dream come true; the pot melts Emmental and Gruyere and usually has a shot of white wine and kirsch for some extra oomph. The mouthwatering gooey concoction is served with chunks of crusty bread for a flavor combo so good that we guarantee you’ll have it more than once.
Crepes in Paris
Ah, Paris. The epicenter of rich cuisine that varies from humble baguettes and croissants to oysters and escargot. There are so many things that you have to eat in Paris but for now, we’re going to focus on their crepes. You can find hundreds of sweet and savory variations of crepes at street vendors, local cafes, and established restaurants all over Paris. Get them filled with your choice of toppings; we suggest one with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and a handful of almonds.
Stroopwafels in Amsterdam
If you’ve never had one before, stroopwafels are this really simple dish made of two thin, crunchy waffles stuck together with a thick layer of caramel sauce. The famous Dutch treat can be found all over Amsterdam and are often the snack of choice with a cup of coffee or tea. You’ll probably see several people place their stroopwafel over their drink so that the steam softens it up. Side note, try a space cake when in Amsterdam if you’re up for that type of thing.
Waffles in Belgium
They don’t call them Belgian waffles as a joke. Unlike the waffles you may be used to back home, the waffles in Brussels are larger, lighter, and crispier than any other waffle you have ever had. What makes it a billion times better is that they have hundreds of sweet and savory toppings you can add to cater the waffle to your taste buds. May we suggest the Nutella, cream, and strawberries combination that will leave you wanting more? Definitely buy one of these top waffle makers if you want to make Belgian waffles in the comfort of your home.
Paella in Barcelona
Paella is a traditional Spanish rice dish that is full of vegetables, seafood, and spices. Every once in a while you’ll come across a place that will substitute the seafood with your choice of meats. In Barcelona, you can get a delicious traditional paella but you can also get one made with noodles instead of rice for a Catalonian twist you’ll fall in love with.
Currywurst in Berlin
This is exactly what it sounds like - a curried bratwurst - but don’t knock it until you try it. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the fried pork sausage (bratwurst) is cut into slices and tossed in a flavored curry that uses ketchup as the base. It’s then served over crinkly cut and seasoned french fries. You’ll find it in street stands and restaurants all over Berlin and it’s perfect for a snack while taking a break from sightseeing.
Pierogi in Poland
Popular in several Eastern European countries, pierogies are these flat dough dumplings which are usually stuffed with minced meat, mashed potatoes, cheese, sauerkraut, or fruit. Street vendors usually put their own little twists on them and top the (savory) soft snack with butter, sour cream, and fried onions. You can get fruit perogies topped with local jams if you prefer something sweeter.
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