Around Europe in 7 Days – A Foodies Guide to European Cuisine
Europe is without a doubt the food capital of the world. Don’t get me wrong, there is amazing food in other parts of the world also (India, Thailand and Mexico just to name a few), but in Europe there is such an assortment of varied flavors and cuisine over a span of many countries that you could literally hit a different authentic dining experience each day of the week. In no particular order except for flow of our tour, here are 7 countries that food lovers must visit on a European vacation.
– With such celebrated master chefs as Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay making their mark in England, this country is more than just fish and chips and pub grub. Generally unfussy dishes made with quality ingredients allows British cuisine favorites such as steak and kidney pie or Sunday roast to stay true to the purest taste rather than being disguised under elaborate sauces and spices. While not as fancy or extravagant as other exotic locations, England is home cooking done right.
– Always a leader in international cuisine, France is a destination that food lovers could end up spending days on end gorging in rich, creamy and savory dishes and (in a good way) never be satisfied. As technical as it is beautiful, it is no wonder why most top chefs of the world have trained in France at one point in their career. The many regions of France each have their own unique style and distinct cuisine yet the quality and flavors are always in the forefront. France benefits from having the best freshest ingredients right on their doorstep from seafood and meats to produce and splendid wine regions, everything comes together naturally. Crepes, cheeses, truffles, duck, escargot… it is a never-ending list of ingredients, dishes or techniques that if the French didn’t invent they certainly perfected.
– A seafood lover’s paradise is not the only reason to stop in Spain. As healthy as it is tasty, Spanish cuisine uses the bounty of the land and oceans to create flavorful dishes such as chorizo, tortilla, paella and various stews however, no stop in Spain is complete without experiencing tapas. As fun to eat as it is delicious, tapas is an assortment of cold and hot appetizers using the best Spain has to offer such as squid, cured meats, breads, olives, cheeses and countless other treats. Similar to their cousins hors d’oeuvre and dim sum, eating tapas is a social engagement and the Spanish take it even higher as tapas can evolve into an entire meal in itself.
– Pasta, Pizza and Passion are three words that could be used to sum up Italian food but realistically, it goes well beyond that. In Italy, food means family and it shows in the love they put into their cooking. Fresh ingredients, time and generations of passed down family recipes all go into the zesty sauces and hearty pasta dishes that Italy is famous for. Experiencing a full Italian dinner from antipasto with the superb cheeses and cured meats to the full course and followed up with Italian treats such as tiramisu and annoli. The different regions of Italy all boast their own flavors and techniques but wherever you go in Italy, matching your meal with their first class wines will have you at the table for endless feasts.
– Mideast meets west in this colorful country of rich culture and heritage. The food is as exotic as the architecture and it comes across with flavors than can only be described as refined and true. In Turkey, the dishes are simple yet the pure taste of ingredients are not masked with spices and overpowering sauces. Every dish tastes exactly how it should yet even using simple ingredients, the natural flavors of favorites like lamb, yogurt, eggplant and other grilled meats and seafood come to life. While mostly using veggies and grains as the base for most dishes, the assortment of kebabs are sure to satisfy the meat lovers as well.
– You would be hard pressed to find anyone that hasn’t had Greek food at one time in their life. Go through any major city and the smells of souvlaki on the grill or gyros slow roasting waft through Greek neighborhoods worldwide. With olive oil, olives, herbs and a variety of meats, cheeses and seafood, Greek cuisine is fairly simple to recreate yet complex in flavor. As typical Mediterranean fare, Greek food carries on the flavors of many different characteristics and that is why it ranks as some of the popular food throughout the world.
– Around the streets of Brussels, there is a gem of a snack frying up in baskets that are the most popular in Belgium. Simple and available throughout the world, but in this country, it has been perfected – Fries. Fries in Belgium are served in fry shops with an assortment of sauces and toppings in a white paper cone. As a snack or a meal, the fries are either served on their own or accompanied with a traditional meat side such as a frikandel. Making Belgium the last stop on the tour seems only fitting as it is all about the desserts. Belgium waffles and chocolates are stand out favorites among any visitor to the sweetness capital of Europe.