Europe Food: Dishes To Dine For
From humble home-made regional delights to sumptuous fine dining in Michelin star restaurants, the variety, choice of meals, and flavours available on a European jaunt is a major factor in travelling!
Below are some of our favourite flavours that we love to seek out, whether we're at home or abroad.
1. Cassoulet, France
The fortified town of Carcassone is a self-proclaimed capital of this popular slow-cooked dish, one of the oldest specialties in France. While it’s available in cans across France, there’s simply no comparison with the mixture of meats such as pork, goose or even duck, and white beans when prepared in a traditional earthenware pot by someone who knows what they’re doing. Visit on our Canal du Midi Cycle tour.
2. Cherries, Slovenia
Centuries ago, Europe’s ruling elite as far away as Vienna, St Petersburg and Prague developed a taste for Slovenia’s famous little fruit. Today, the simple cherry still entices, with visitors across the continent converging on the countless Cherry Festivals held across the country throughout June. Try one for yourself whilst on one of our active Slovenian holidays.
3. Gozleme & Sage Tea, Turkey
Being greeted by gozleme, a type of pancake cross with flatbread filled with spinach and cheese, is an honour you’ll want to be bestowed on you. In the markets, gozleme varieties include a mixture of minced lamb, potato, white cheese, parsley, and chilli – or for the sweet tooths, try the honey or chocolate with nuts variety. To complete the experience, wash it down with sage tea. Taste it on one of our active tours in Turkey.
4. Meatballs and Lingon Berry Jam, Sweden
The Lingon Berry is a Scandinavian favourite. Its abundance in the local forests means it’s also plentiful in local restaurants. Splash it over herring, pancakes, mashed potatoes or try the countries favourite use for it, meatballs and Lingon Berry. If you’re an adventurous eater you may also want to try some of Sweden’s other favourites on their own, bleak roe (“löjrom”) or roast elk! Sample them during one of our tours in Sweden.
5. White truffles, Italy
If you’re a wannabe trifolau, join the likes of Sophia Lauren and Alfred Hitchcock and head to the Piedmont town of Alba to try Italy’s most famous – and pungent – fungi. The local truffles are legendary, as the International White Truffle Fair, which has existed since 1929, will lay testament to. Held in October to November, it’s a chance to try the local delicacy as well as watch the many medieval games held within the region. Try a truffle in Piedmont during one of our tours.
6. French Cuisine, France
Yes, the entire country of France gets its own position in our top ten European food list! This is because we don't know where to start: croissants, duck l'orange, boeuf Bourguignon, crepes, mussels, etc. There's a reason French cuisine is world famous.
One of the best ways to eat your way around France is on the Food Lovers French Way of St James, which is a 12 days guided cycle accompanied by Australian author, Mary Moody. Explore historic towns, eat lunch at a 100-year-old family restaurant, go truffle hunting, visit the local markets, indulge in wine tasting and fine dining experiences. Food Lover's French Way of St. James
7. Seafood, Greece.
After spending your days frolicking in the Aegean, Ionian, or Mediterranean seas around Greece, surely there's only one thing on your mind: tucking into a sumptuous meal of freshly caught seafood. Whether it's shrimp saganaki, Greek lobster pasta, pan-fried sardines or humungous seared octopus, the seafood in Greece is bound to hit the spot.
8. Burek, the Balkans (Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia).
There's an art to crafting burek, which is a flaky pastry filled with meat, spinach or cottage cheese. The countries that make up the Balkans will typically argue over who makes it the best (shh, but we think it's the Bosnians!). Whatever you do, just don't call it a sausage roll.
9. Pretzels, Germany and Austria.
Although the humble pretzel comes in various forms around the world, you have to try it in its original incarnation in Germany or Austria. Crunchy yet soft, with chunks of salt, it's the perfect accompaniment to that other Germanic staple: drinking beer. Proust!
10. Churros, Spain.
This is one of those delicious moments of culture shock: in Spain, it's perfectly fine to dip fried and sugared doughnut sticks into melted chocolate for breakfast. When in Rome...
What food in Europe have you indulged in that's worth travelling for? Let us know in the comment section below.