Contributed by Stephan Essex
Europe is bursting with diverse flavors and gastronomic treats. Every nation you visit has something different to offer. You’ll discover all kinds of weird and wonderful dishes if you take time to travel around and let your taste buds roam free. If you’re a foodie who also loves to travel and broaden your horizons, here are some of Europe’s best culinary hotspots.
There’s no other place to begin but Paris when gastronomy is the subject of conversation. Fondly known as the city of love, Paris is also known for its stunning array of classic and fine dining restaurants. During your visit, embrace the cosmopolitan cafe culture and try the local delicacies. You may automatically think of snails and frog’s legs when thinking of French food, but there’s much more to Gallic cuisine. Start the day with a strong coffee and a croissant. Snack on savory or sweet crepes. Finish the day with a rich Boeuf Bourguignon in the winter months or a lighter cassoulet in the spring.
If you’re planning a trip to Holland, take time out from browsing holiday apartments in Amsterdam to learn about the cuisine. You’ll be treated to a veritable feast of savory and sweet delights when you arrive. Start your day with small, fluffy pancakes known as poffertjes and enjoy a syrup waffle with your mid-morning coffee. Sample the many types of wurst, or traditional sausage, on offer. You must try the Dutch classic, Hollandse Nieuwe herring, at least once. This raw herring dish is served with chopped onions and bread.
Any fan of Italian food will fall in love with Rome instantly. Eat as much fresh pasta and pizza as you can. Cool down with a generous helping of gelato. Channel the Italians and order a meat or fish dish as well as a pasta course. Order an espresso and cleanse your palate with a shot of limoncello between courses.
Think of British food and you’ll probably conjure up images of roast beef and fish and chips. While these are best-selling classics, you’ll quickly discover that London is a melting pot of eateries when you leave your hotel. You’ll find just about every type of food you can imagine here. From greasy spoons serving a comforting fry up to some of the best fine dining establishments in the world. There’s something for everyone. If you’re visiting the East End and you’re feeling brave, sample some winkles and jellied eels. Order pie and mash to warm the cockles on a chilly day or a visit a cozy pub for a cottage pie or a hotpot.
Valencia is a fantastic spot to enjoy some of Spain’s most iconic dishes. Head to the waterfront for fresh seafood or watch chefs create a giant paella at one of the city’s many rustic eateries.
If you’re a fan of food, a voyage through Europe’s iconic cities comes highly recommended. Sample the classics, and explore fusion food and modern takes on ancient recipes. If you have time, add some cooking lessons to your itinerary. When you get back, you can show off your skills, as well as your photos.