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New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Must-Have Foods on a Trip to Europe

As far as I'm concerned, there are certain foods you have to at least try - and more than likely enjoy - while on a Eurotrip:

1) Crepes: It doesn't matter if it's filled with Nutella and fruit, or savory items like French cheeses and fresh meats. You have to have a crepe. My favorite spot would be while enjoying the view at Notre Dame in Paris. Sure, it's touristy but...*psst* you are a tourist.

2) A fresh baguette sandwich: While we're in France, I'll emphasize this favorite too. I think what I love about French food - and in many instances European food, in general - is the simplicity and freshness. There's nothing like picking up a freshly-made baguette, hopping on a train, and enjoying the meal/snack while watching the beautiful landscape go by.

3) Italian spaghetti: Sure you can make it at home, but not like this. A thick, fresh batch of spaghetti - maybe with a bolognese sauce - Perfecto! (Disclaimer: my family is Italian so I may be biased)

4) Gelato: Again, while we're in Italy... walking down a cobblestone street in Florence on a hot, sunny June day and you're hardest decision to make is between the hazelnut and chocolate gelato or the chocolate pistachio gelato. There is nothing like eating gelato with Tuscany as your backdrop. Nothing.

5) Spaztle: This little-known noodle is wunderbar! It hails from southern Germany and is an egg noodle that tastes amazing with anything gravy and/or schnitzel. Mountains, beer, and delicious noodles - it's a beautiful thing. (the spatzle at The Biergarten in Albany ain't bad either)

6) Chips: No, not American chips. British chips. Or fries, if you will. Getting chips in England is very similar to getting a slice of pizza in New York City. It's something that you do when it's late and you're pissed (aka drunk). But there are a few more condiments available on British chips including vinegar and mayonaise - ya know, for when you're not drunk and want to enjoy the fried goodness.

7) Raw herring and onions: Now we're getting to the slightly less mainstream portion of the list - or at least odd-sounding portion. But, I kid you not, it is delicious. I had it in Amsterdam but you can also find it in parts of Germany and Sweden.

8) Haggis: For sheeps bladders and giggles, I figured I would add this to the list. It looks gross and, in my opinion, tastes even worse - but, while in Scotland you probably should try this traditional dish. For me, one memory forever engrained in my mind is of a British child on holiday with his family who innocently looked over at my haggis in Edinburgh and said, "Mum, that looks like poo."

You probably noticed that a lot of these foods, for me, have memories associated with them. Because, in the end, your favorite food or snacks really comes down to a lot of factors - sure taste and quality play a role - but a lot relies on who you were with, where you were, and your emotions and attitude at the time.

I hope you enjoy finding your own favorite Eurofoods!


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