Food, glorious food. A gastronomic guide to some of the best local dishes from the 51 countries that make up Europe. Each country has it’s own unique culinary history from Georgia’s khinkali to Belgium waffles.
With so many delicious dishes to choose from, choosing just one per country was a difficult task, so I asked my fellow travel bloggers to collaborate on a five part series, sharing some of their favourites dishes.
Originally created by Franz Sacher for an Austrian prince, Sachertorte (Sacher’s Cake) is now world renowned as a local delicacy in Austria. Rich and chocolatey in flavour, covered with apricot jam and typically served with whipped cream; this delicious little cake is a must when visiting Austria. – Justine from Wanderer of the World / Twitter
I think everybody knows Belgium because of its chocolate and waffles. I prefer the normal waffles only dusted with some icing sugar instead of the big heaps of whipped cream and fruit. I had this one at the Brussels Christmas Market but I can eat them anytime and anywhere. – Sharon from Travel Eat Enjoy Repeat / Facebook
Banitsa – A traditional Bulgarian breakfast is a greasy pastry which can be found all over the country. You can fill it with feta cheese, onions, cabbage, spinach, or mushrooms. For your sweet tooth, you can also try with apples and walnuts. – Lisa from Our Passion 4 Travel / Facebook
A classic Georgian dish is called khinkali. It’s a sort of a soup dumpling eaten by hand that’s very hearty and traditionally beef; though you can get it in lamb and pork as well as some vegetarian ones these days. You bite into the side of the dumpling, drink the ‘soup’ and then eat the rest. The top part of the dumpling is not consumed, I’m assuming because you can keep count of how many you’ve eaten! – Aneesha from Om Nom Nirvana / Facebook
Amazing Salmon from Tryggvaskali: If you didn’t know, Iceland has an abundant in seafood dishes. Almost everywhere you go in Iceland offers an array delicious seafood. This dish from Trggvaskali is freshly caught Salmon cooked to perfection. Served on a bed of barley and complemented with kale and Icelandic blue cheese. The fish was so succulent and juicy. As you sink your teeth into its delicate flaky goodness, you can tell it was caught recently. – Larah from Fresh Yellow / Instagram
The pizza margherita as we know it, the most famous type (tomatoes, olive oil, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese) was born in Naples, Italy, in the early nineteeth century, to honor the Italian Queen Margherita di Savoia. The pizza maker Raffaele Esposito wanted to represent the National colours of the Italian flag on a pizza. Many countries try to copy the original Neapolitan pizza, but it has a different taste even if you just eat it in another Italian region! The secret is probably in the water and in the natural leavening that can take from 8 to 12 hours (some pizzeria salso work with a 24 hours leavening!). That’s why you can’t visit Naples without trying the real pizza. The original version is soft and pliable, while in Rome they make a different version, more crispy: Neapolitan purists refuse to consider that “real pizza”. – Dany from Travelling Dany / Twitter
No trip to Amsterdam is complete without Dutch Frites and lots and lots of Fritessaus or frietsaus (“fries sauce”)! These were everywhere and the perfect mid-day snack or late night drunken snack after a night out in the Red Light District. – Larah from Fresh Yellow / Instagram
Salata de Boeuf – You may ask why a traditional Romanian dish would contain a French word? No, it wasn’t first prepared in France. It was first prepared in 1860 in Moscow, by a Belgian chef and had a different name. The original recipe has been lost, but,after 1905 numerous chefs started inventing similar salads with much cheaper ingredients. The original recipe is said to have contained game and seafood, but those were replaced with chicken or beef (thus the “boeuf” in the name, which is “beef” in English). It shortly became a popular dish in Romania, Russia, and Poland.
Romanians make “salata de boeuf”(translated to: beef salad) for every major occasion; from birthday celebrations to Christmas and Easter meals. Or, just because they crave it.
There are a lot of recipes out there and each household makes it as they like it. My family makes it with boiled potatoes, carrots, parsnips, canned peas, boiled chicken meat (or beef), gherkins (pickled cucumbers), and home-made mayo. Most often, I make it without meat, but the one in the photo has a bit of chicken meat in – Cris from LooknWalk / Facebook
Spain is a country with a rich gastronomic culture that varies by region, but one food item loved by all is churros con chocolate. I have a huge sweet tooth so this is my top pick. Churros are deep fried dough – the blissful moments of biting into these crunchy, cinnamony sticks never fail to brighten any day. To make things even better, at the churrerías (churro shops), you can even get a cup of rich hot chocolate to dip your churros in. This is often eaten for breakfast but can be enjoyed any time of the day. I’ve lost count of the number of churros I’ve inhaled in Barcelona as a post-clubbing snack! – Tendelle from travelalatendelle.com / Facebook
Turkey’s Adana Kebap is absolutely delicious. It’s a tender, succulent, minced meat kebab made out of lamb and cooked by chargrilling on flat skewers. It is just mouthwatering served with a flatbread and a green salad (usually parsley). – Aneesha from Om Nom Nirvana / Facebook
What are your favourite European dishes? Have you tried any of these?