Let’s take a whirlwind tour and discover what European gastronomy is all about.
Meat, whether in the form of beef, pork, poultry or seafood, remains to be a key ingredient in many European dishes. The serving size of meat is relatively larger too compared to the size of meat servings of other cuisines in other continents.
And because Europe is divided into two social classes, the simple folks and the nobles, the cuisine ranges from straightforward meals to rich and complex menu. The food prepared in a kitchen also depends on the climate and geographical location. The east is marked by Turkish and Arabic cuisine while the west keeps the Central European and Hungarian cookery. The Balkan countries have the Mediterranean cuisine while Northern Europe takes pride in their sophisticated food combinations. Southern Europe, on one hand, is led by the mouthwatering Italian and Spanish cuisines.
To make the gastronomical tour simpler, take a look at the traditional and popular dishes in each country.
- England: Ploughman’s lunch (cheese, pickled onions, bread, ale)
- Iceland: smoked lamb, shark meat, salted pork rib
- Norway: smoked salmon, crabs, pickled herring, Danish pastry
- Sweden: coffee bread, yellow pea soup, Pannkakor (thin pancakes)
- Ireland: Barmbrack (currant cake), Irish stew (mutton and lamb stew)
Central and Eastern Europe
- Poland: Bigos and Flaki (traditional Polish stew), Kielbasa
- Russia: Vodka, Chicken Kiev, Beef Stroganoff
- Hungary: paprika stew, goulash, Hungarian wines
- Czech: dumplings, garlic soup, kulajda (thick soup with mushroom, cream, egg, potato, dill, spices)
- Slovakia: Bryndzové Halusky (potato dumplings with bacon and sheep cheese)
- Slovenia: Horse meat (try horse burger)
- Belgium: chocolates, waffles, Waterzooi (creamy chicken stew with potatoes, carrots, onion and fresh herbs)
- France: Foie gras (goose or duck liver), Ratatouille (vegetable dish), Quiche Lorraine (egg, bacon, cheese pie)
- Germany: different types of wurst (sausage), beer
- Cyprus: yogurt, Bamies (baked okra with oil and tomato), Flaounes (Easter pie made of goat cheese, egg, herbs)
- Greece: Moussaka, Greek salad, tripe soup, cheese pie triangles, sweet egg bread
- Turkey: yogurt, Katmer (rolled dough with sweet or salty filling), Pilaf, Kebabs (grilled or skewered meat), Baklava (dessert)
- Italy: prosciutto, cheeses, pizza, and pasta
- Spain: tapas, paella, chorizo (spicy sausage), stews
Good food, along with great beer and fine wine, are fairly easy to find in Europe. No matter which country in Europe you travel to, you are sure to enjoy the exceptional blend of simplicity and sophistication of European cuisine.
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