A Food Lover’s Guide to Europe
If you’re a true foodie, then travelling to sample Europe’s best dishes will be top of your bucket list. To help anyone planning a delicious European trip, we’ve listed our top five European destinations based on their food, plus information on key dishes to wet your appetite.
Italian food is now widely available all over the world, but there is nothing better than sampling authentic Italian cuisine. From crisp cut pizzas to aromatic lasagne and mouth-watering past dishes, every restaurant will have their own recipe (potentially passed down through generations), so make sure you visit a mix of high class and local restaurants to really sample the flavours on offer. P.S., if you love truffles, why not time your trip to coincide with truffle harvest season?
Key Dish: Pizza – this may not be an obvious choice for a true foodie, but pizza as we know it is nothing compared to the authentic pizza made in Italy. Travel to Naples, where pizza is thought to have originated, for some of the best.
For years France was considered the ‘fanciest’ and most indulgent food in the world, with French restaurants the choice for all celebratory dinners; and it’s not hard to see why. Your lunches should consist of delicious French cheeses, warm buttered baguettes and sumptuous pastries. Then in the evenings try oysters from Brittany, quiche Lorraine, steak frites and onion soup – to name just a few amazing dishes which should be on your list.
Key Dish: Pot-Au-Feu – a delicious and hearty stew made from seasonal meat and vegetables. Traditionally this dish would cook all winter long, with more ingredients added each week to replace what was eaten, giving you rich flavours and melt in the mouth chunks of meat.
Spanish food is fantastic for foodies who love to share, because they just keep on giving. Tapas is an amazing way to sample multiple dishes, from salty olives and cured meats, to spicy chorizo and fresh sea food. Always start your day with a Spanish tortilla (an onion, potato and egg omelette), and end your day with a giant pan of smoky paella.
Key Dish: Paella – there is nothing quite like an authentic Spanish Paella, again, each region and restaurant will have a slightly different restaurant, but the key to a good Paella is great flavours, fresh fish and soft rice.
If you’re on a diet then Germany is not the place for you. If you love to indulge your passion for food, then Germany will not disappoint. There aren’t many ‘light’ dishes on offer when it comes to traditional German food, but you will leave the table feeling happy and full. Just a few things to add to your list include; anything with sausage (bratswurst, bockwurst, frankfurters, landjäger, and weisswurst), anything with potato (kartoffelklöße and potato salad), krapfen donuts, schupfnudeln, spatzle and sauerkraut (pasta or noodle like dishes). P.S. Don’t forget to sample some famous German beer.
Key Dish: Sauerbraten – this dish is a real labour of love, as the meat should be marinated for three to four days before cooking, to ensure the flavours shine through. The dish is made from beef, vegetable and herbs – it is absolutely delicious.
Greek food is widely underrated, and well worth a spot in our top five. Let’s start with Greek meze – Feta cheese, salty olives, tzatziki, taramosalata, warm pitta bread, hummus, lemon potatoes and spanakopita. Then you have gyros, amazing fresh salads, moussaka, souvlaki, kleftiko, Stifado and Spetsofai. Then, if you can fit anymore in, desert should be baklava, or Greek yogurt covered in honey and nuts.
Key Dish: Moussaka – it is thought that Moussaka became a stable of Greek cooking in the 1920s, when an influential chef at the time included it in his cookbook. The dish is made from layers of aubergine, meat and béchamel sauce, similar to a lasagne but with a mouth-watering Greek twist.
Food poisoning on holiday
Being a food lover comes with its risks on holiday. Although more commonly associated with cruise ships, all-inclusive hotels and package holidays you still can get hit with food poisoning in restaurants whilst out and about. Luckily we offer single-trip travel insurance cover which cover food poisoning, and although we can’t re-coup the holiday time lost, we can provide cover for your medical bills.
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