Today in my hometown a rather yummy event is happening. It is called “Taste of Chico”. Many of the local restaurants come together and bring foodies a sample of their delicious food and drinks in order to lure them in. It’s relatively inexpensive to attend and you always leave well fed, slightly tipsy, and with a new favorite food joints to visit.
While I was in Europe I took a tour of 9 different countries over a period of 18 days. I made a lot of great new friends, and had my own personal “Taste of Europe”. I thought today I would share a few of the foods I tried and enjoyed. I have to warn you this isn’t by any means coming from a culinary expert and I don’t remember the names of most of the items, but I can tell you they were good! 🙂
1. Best local food I ate in Prague:
I have to admit we stopped and at a McDonald’s and I also had some great food at a CHEAP local Thai restaurant. The best local fare I had would have to be these local dishes:I would have to say that the food wasn’t the healthiest, and wasn’t appealing to everyone, but was worth trying. The appetizer was a sort of ‘pig in a blanket’ it was tasty enough in its phyllo dough. The main course was meat with a side of traditional dumplings (steamed bread often white and dark mixed together), gravy, and a berry compote. The dessert was a sort of Baklava. A flaky, sticky crust with raisins, cinnamon, and spices within and whipped cream with a berry drizzle.
2. Best local food I ate in France
I tried a lot of different and interesting food in France. It’s hard to choose one or two things. There were many great dishes such as steaks with fries or pasta I enjoyed. I would have to say I really enjoyed the French Onion soup. I tried a couple different ones and they were made slightly different! They don’t look that great, but they tasted amazing!
3. Best local food I ate in Austria:
Austria has some delicious dishes, and the menu items are often similar to those that I would find in Germany. I still think that Austria has the best warm Apple or Cheese Streudel! Often served with a delicious, sweet vanilla sauce…. irresistible! We would often enjoy long hikes in the mountains and then stop at the local lodge or restaurant and have a cold beer and/or a delicious streudel. You could also find fresh buttermilk from the local cows if you fancied that.
4. Best thing I ate in Germany:
This one is really hard for me. Having lived in Germany for over a year I had so many different styles of food and tried so many local dishes. Some of the food I hated at first and grew to love. Some of the food I never acquired a taste for, and a few dishes I can’t get enough of. You all knew I love the pretzels and bread, so I thought I would share another love: Spaetzle (a type of small German egg noodle) !! I am definitely a noodle lover and so this was right up my alley. I have had it over the years since my aunt is German, but when I moved to Germany I was able to have it whenever I wanted. I soon learned to make it, and I’m still experimenting with all of the variations! Some people enjoy it with just cheese and carmelized onions and others enjoy it with a gravy or sauce. I will eat it either way, but really I just enjoy it with some allgau (an alpine, country area in southern Germany) cheese! Here’s a picture of some that I made for a family gathering (tastes better than it looks here).
5. Best local food I ate in Italy:
This one is near impossible to narrow down. Italian food is by far my favorite food in the world (so far). I am a bread and noodle freak, so I would have to say living there would be figure suicide for me. I had so many delicious pastries, pizzas, noodle dishes, and of course by far the BEST gelato in the world. Everyone knows that if you want to eat the best gelato IN THE WORLD you go to Rome. That is no longer a well-kept secret. Here are pictures of a few of the best things I ate:
6. The local food I ate in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
I ate out at a few places in Amsterdam. I had some Mexican food, some Chinese food, and a variety of ‘mixed bag’ items. Amsterdam definitely caters to the sweet tooth or those with “the munchies”. I would have to say the most ‘local’ thing I tried in Holland would have to be the cheese! Let me tell you it was worth the trip! 🙂 We visited a local family owned cheese shop and I spent over 80 euros on fresh cheese for friends and family after sampling it.
7. The local food I ate in Switzerland
Again, I’m going with the cheese theme. I tried a few different, and delicious foods in Switzerland. Some of them reminded me a lot of things i had eaten in Austria and Germany. They have the similar traditional sausages and potato dishes. I have had cheese fondue in many ‘fine dining’ restaurants in the States, but nothing compares to a relaxed fondue meal in Switzerland. Great fondue is made with great cheese. I really, really enjoyed the cheese fondue we had at our cabin restaurant in Lauterbrunnen.
These are just a few examples of some of the delicious palate pleasers you can enjoy around Europe. There are many, many more. Some of them will barely dent your wallet and will leave a lifetime impression. Some of them are a bit more expensive, but mouth-watering, and worth every bite, calorie, and extra hour of work in the future.
Food is one of the things I feel it is okay to splurge on. Food can make or break an experience and can add to the ambiance of an event, creating lasting…and delicious, memories.
When you find yourself on your next adventure don’t forget to indulge in some local cuisine. I am not saying you need to break the bank every time, but spoil yourself once in a while and you will find that the discoveries are endless!!