European food is very rich and is considered an art in many European countries. Every time I visit a new city or country, I always try to eat something from that specific place to get a taste of where it originated from. Since being abroad, I have traveled to seven different countries and will be sharing with you specific foods I have eaten from those places. Here’s how to eat your way through Europe, the right way. Bon appétit!
When you eat your way through Italy, remember that Italian food is considered an art. Food here is hearty and rich in flavor, so you can be sure you won’t leave hungry. Breakfast is a smaller meal, usually consisting of a cappuccino and a croissant with chocolate or jam. Lunch is usually the biggest meal of the day, consisting of a salad and select meats with wines, a pasta or soup dish, and a meat dish. Italy is made up of many different regions, with different foods from each region. Rome, for example, is from the Lazio region, and a typical dish from that region is pasta carbonara. Pasta carbonara is usually made with spaghetti, eggs, cream, pancetta, and topped with grated cheese. It’s delicious!
2. The Netherlands
The Netherlands has very rich cuisine, and many of the dishes you will find here are very hearty. If you’re headed to eat your way through the beautiful city of Amsterdam – or the Venice of the north as many would say – there are a few foods you should definitely try, one of which includes stroopwafel. They’re these thin waffles with spiced caramel in between, and are actually considered a street food.
Two restaurants I would recommend are Pancakes and the Pantry. At Pancakes – which I would recommend for breakfast or lunch – skip the American style, and go for the traditional Dutch pancakes. These are large, very thin pancakes stuffed with things like cheese, bacon, or chocolate. You could also try poffertjes, which come with butter and powered sugar, or ice cream and chocolate sauce (I personally recommend this one).
At the Pantry, the most popular dish is hutspot, which is mashed potatoes with stewed beef, carrots, and onions, served with meat. I got the stamppot – equally as good – which is a dish of mashed potatoes mixed with kale, served with a smoked sausage or meatball. As a snack, make sure to hit up a Febo! They’re a little sketchy looking because you’re buying hot food out of a machine, but it tastes amazing.
Germany is another country that you can eat your way through in rich and hearty foods, and of course a beer with every meal. Similar to the food, the country has a very rich history to go along with it. Some foods that are seen all the time in Germany are bretzels (extremely large pretzels!), bratwurst, mulled wine, apple strudel, etc. Bratwurst is similar to sausage and mulled wine is hot wine with spices mixed in. I had the opportunity to taste all of these while I was in Germany, during the time when the Christmas markets were up and running.
Switzerland was one of my favorite countries to go to, and is known for its delectable and filling fondue, and chocolate too! Switzerland is incredibly gorgeous, with many scenic views, especially of the Swiss Alps. Since weather is usually cold, they compensate by offering food delicacies that will warm you up. This includes fondue made with Swiss cheese, and wine or some sort of liquor. You can usually dunk mixed bread into the ooey, goey, goodness of the fondue, or you can have a variety of mixed veggies and meats as well – definitely a must try if you are in Switzerland.
London is like the European New York, with so many different food choices. It’s especially nice if you’re missing that little bit of home! London has everything from Chinese food to Thai food to traditional English food, like fish and chips. One food experience you should definitely try and take advantage of is afternoon tea. Afternoon tea is usually split between two people and you get a whole pot of tea to yourselves, in addition to a variety of finger foods like tea sandwiches, scones, and mini pastries. Most restaurants and cafés give you ample time to enjoy and bask in each new item you taste, while enjoying an afternoon with your friends. The Liberty department store’s café is a good place to go to for a traditional but chic experience you won’t forget.
While I was in Ireland, I had the opportunity to visit both Dublin and Galway, but spent most of my time in Dublin. You will eat your way through Ireland with the heartiest of cuisines. From breakfast to lunch to dinner, all the food consumed will fill you to the core! You should start your day off with the traditional Irish breakfast, which includes regular sausage, white and black pudding, tomatoes, beans, and toast. Top it all off with a pint of Guinness and you’re good to go.
A burger would be a good choice for lunch, but dinner is also usually a big meal as well. To start off, I would go to the Boxty, which is a decently priced restaurant in a good location by the Temple Bar. For your meal, order the selection of Irish soda bread to start off, and then the seared corn bread with purple potatoes and black kale (similar to cabbage) for your main meal. Your meal can follow with a traditional Irish coffee if you’re feeling up for it.
Over my spring break, I had the opportunity to travel to Paris by myself, and the food and culture were overwhelming in the best way. When you eat your way through France, crepes are a must. You can get a good crepe and eat it by the Eiffel Tower, but you should definitely head to a small but traditional shop that makes crepes from scratch.
Chocolate croissants are also a must in Paris, because you’ll never taste a better one in your lifetime. French onion soup is a good starter, especially if you go to Paris when it’s very cold out. And if you want something delectable, try French savoyarde fondue for dinner and chocolate fondue for dessert, and you’ll leave fully satisfied. If you still have room for more dessert, pick up a few macarons from Ladurée to munch on later on.
Know any other countries that are MUSTS to eat your way through? Comment below!
Featured image source: cookingclassy.com
Kaitlyn Weinberger is 20 years old, about to be 21 in August. She is from Queens, NY and a rising senior at the Fashion Institute of Technology, studying Fashion Merchandising Management with a specialization in Product Development and a minor in Italian studies. Most recently she studied abroad in Florence, Italy for the entire 2015-2016 academic year. In her spare time she enjoys painting, hanging out with her friends and writing!