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  1. What One Thing Should You Eat in these 14 European Countries?

    posted by Adam Groffman | 9 Comments

    What One Thing Should You Eat in these 14 European Countries?


    Adam Groffman is a globetrotter and self-styled hipster. He covers city trips in Europe and around the world, writing about food, festivals, nightlife and LGBT tourism on his personal travel blog, Travels of Adam and is the editor of My Gay Travel Guide. When he’s not eating, he’s usually out exploring the coolest bars and clubs. You’ll find him most often in Berlin, Germany or on Twitter at @travelsofadam.

    Europe is so much more than just ancient history, kings and queens, castles and churches. Europe is also home to some of the tastiest and most interesting food in the world – but what should you eat and where? Let us show you the way…

    1. Palacinky in Czech Republic 


    The Czech Republic is probably most famous for its great variety of pilsner beers, but the country also serves up some tasty Czech foods to soak up all that alcohol. One of the must-eat dishes in Prague are palacinky pancakes. These crepe-like desserts are filled with fruit jam and served rolled up. Try them and other Czech food specialties on a Prague food tour.

    2. Currywurst in Germany


    In Germany it’s all about the wurst! There are hundreds of varieties of sausage in Germany but one of the most popular fast food versions (imbiss) is currywurst. You can get currywurst either with or without the skin of the sausage (order mit darm for with, ohne darm for without), but either way the sausage comes cut up and is served with ketchup and curry powder sprinkled on top. You can choose different levels of spice and it’s best when eaten with pommes (fries) and a cola.

    Wanna know more? There’s an entire museum dedicated to currywurst in Berlin.

    3. Breakfast in England 


    Don’t think that the Full English with eggs, ham, beans, fried tomatoes and black pudding is all that the English breakfast has to offer. Besides the good ol’ fry-up, there’s the greasy bacon butty sandwich. In London, you’ll want to try the bacon butty sandwich at this East London bakery.

    4. Pizza in Italy 


    There are few countries as well-known for great cuisine as Italy. And while there’s more to Italian food than just pizza and pasta, you’ve still got to try the original. It seems most cities in Italy are competing for the best pizza, but really, you’ve got to try it in Naples if you can. Oh, and while you’re in Italy — might as well get your fill of gelato, too!

    5. Herring in Netherlands 


    In the Netherlands, it’s all about the herring. As a seafaring country, fish has always been a part of the national diet. With the unique Dutch herring preservation process, the small silvery fish has become a symbol of Dutch food. It’s best to eat during the first catch of the season, but almost all food markets in Amsterdam and elsewhere sell the fish as a healthy snack.

    6. Goulash in Hungary


    The hearty Hungarians have been eating goulash for centuries. It’s usually a thick stew (or sometimes a soup) with meat and vegetables, seasoned with paprika. It’s best served in a bread bowl and with a beer.

    7. Štruklji in Slovenia


    Slovenia might not first come to mind as a culinary destination, but the country’s unique placement in central Europe means Slovenian cuisine has taken the best of its neighbouring countries' cuisines. Located between the Mediterranean, the Alps and ancient Roman sites, you’ll find amazing prosciutto, fine cheeses and hearty meat dishes in Slovenia.

    But it’s not all savory, the sweets are good too. And the best of the best is a crepe-like dish called Štruklji. These cottage cheese pancakes are made with tarragon (usually reserved for savory dishes) and they’re unique to Ljubljana (the capital). Learn more about Slovenia cuisine on the Ljubljana website.

    8. Crème Catalan in Catalonia, Spain 

    Creme Catalan 

    Though crème brulee may be very French, the best custard dish (with burnt caramel) comes from Spain’s northern state of Catalonia. The two countries dispute which came first, but Crème Catalan is cooked on the stove rather than the oven. Just about any trendy restaurant in Barcelona will serve the dish.

    9. Crepes in France 


    Besides baguettes, there’s nothing more French than a crepe—savory or sweet. The best crepes are the simplest ones and can be found throughout France — we like the ones with Nutella on the inside!

    10. Beer in Belgium 

    Belgian Beer 

    Okay, so beer isn’t a food. But if you’ve been to Belgium, you’ll know that beer is practically a meal here. In a country with over 150 different breweries, Belgium is spoiled for choice in types of beer. Belgium tourism has a handy guide to the many different beer breweries, festivals and tours on their website.

    11. Haggis in Scotland 


    Sheep’s stomach stuffed with oats and other spices? Don’t let the description scare you —you just might be surprised how tasty it actually is! In Edinburgh, you can even get haggis burgers! And if you don’t care for stuffed sheep stomach, there’s always deep-fried EVERYTHING in Scotland.

    12. Stew in Ireland

    Irish stew 

    Maybe it’s the famously blustery Irish weather, but there’s little better than a good Irish stew on a wet day in Ireland. (And really – most days are wet!) Traditionally made from lamb, this stew is best when it comes with a Guinness.

    13. Pierogi in Poland


    It seems every culture in the world has some sort of dumplings dish and in Poland, it’s called a pierogi. They come in hundreds of varieties, but most traditionally they’re baked or fired in butter with onions — and almost always served with sauerkraut! They can be vegetarian (in Poland, that means potatoes) or with ground meat. Entire restaurants are dedicated to pierogi!

    14. Banitsa in Bulgaria 


    The best of Bulgarian food lies in its Banitsa (Баница), a mixture of eggs, Bulgarian feta cheese and filo pastry baked in an oven. Served as a breakfast food, it can be eaten hot or cold, but it's delicious at any time of day. Banitsa with spinach (spanachena banitsa), milk (mlechna banitsa) or pumpkin (tikvenik/Тиквеник) are all excellent choices, and there are plenty of special bakeries just for banitsa throughout Bulgaria.

    What's your favorite European food? Tell us in the comments...

    Related posts:

    Thanks to Roman KonigshoferBistro FranzJonathan KhooLyzaGavin AndersonJuan FernandezArjen RienksRoland Tanglaodaspunkt and Merle ja Joonas for the photos off Flickr. All other photos c. Adam Groffman. 

  2. 9 Comments so far.

    Alex B said on 26/09/2014 at 1:58am

    Nice that you mentioned pierogi, but you wont find potato-filled pierogi. The closest thing is "pierogi ruskie": cottage cheese, potatoes and onion. The other veggie fillings for pierogi (there are many and very few include potatoes!) include mushroom and sauerkraut, mushroom and cabbage, spinach and cheese, buckwheat and mushrooms and more:) Polish cuisine has a wealth of traditional meat-free dishes, a great food culture for vegetarians. Smacznego! ;)

    Malw said on 26/09/2014 at 1:27am


    Joanna said on 25/09/2014 at 9:07pm

    Sorry, but we do not eat pierogis with sauerkraut on a side! You can put sauerkraut IN it, with some forest mushrooms, but this is just one variety out of hundreds. And as far as vegetarian versions are concerned, this is one of them. "ruskie", so pierogis with white cheese, onion and potato are another, but we eat them with feta cheese, kasza, or spinach, and, above all, with all possible fruits - raspberries, plums, blueberries, apples, cherries, pears, strawberries, and you name it!

    Carlos said on 28/08/2014 at 2:57pm

    Actually "crema catalana" is well known in Spain. You can even find it on most supermarkets, along with "natillas" and "cuajadas". That being said, I agree with Jessica, there must be something universally Spanish to recommend, like anything based on the delicious Iberian ham, or something like that!

    clara said on 18/08/2014 at 7:05pm

    Croquetas! That is something you find all over Spain and they are sooooo great! I have never seen them out of Spain. Btw i agree with jessica, the crema catalana is mainly typical in Cataluña, but not in the rest of Spain. Happy though that they didn't choose the paella that everybody already knows!

    Jessica said on 17/08/2014 at 6:11pm

    Overall an excellent list, but I'd agree that the Spanish one missed the mark. I've lived many places in Spain for several years and have never even heard of Creme Catalan (which is Catalan and not really "Spanish" anyway, but we won't get into politics here...), so you should probably choose something that exists in the whole country and is actually a staple of the place. You could go the more traditional route and say something like paella, bocadillos, various tapas, or tortilla de patata (Spanish omelette), or even a regional food that is still famous around all of Spain like Galician octopus, but picking something so non-Spanish kind of defeats the purpose, right? Definitely not saying the Creme Catalan isn't worth mentioning though, and I'm sure the Catalans would appreciate getting their own separate category on the list!

    Sarah said on 17/08/2014 at 11:28am

    Currywurst is not "served with ketchup and curry powder sprinkled on top" btw. It's usually Curry sauce, not ketchup ^^ (and nouns are capitalized in German ^^)

    eider said on 16/08/2014 at 9:20pm

    What the fu...ing is this??? Where are the best pintxos and plates from Basqueland????

    Matteo said on 07/08/2014 at 10:03am

    Hey you are missing "Bocadillo con Calamares" in Madrid!!! Is a sandwich with fried calamari served with a fresh mahou beer :D

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