Europe is home not only to exquisite architecture but is also a land of culinary delights for one and all and I fell in love with Europe in my first visit itself. Being from India I love spicy food and even crave for spices, yet I completely love desserts, varieties of breads and almost anything sweet. In my European travels, I tasted and loved a variety of authentic dishes and try to find them back here in India. As obvious it may sound I like the privilege of having to enjoy their variants in my city but for me, they don’t taste anywhere close to the authentic ones.
I think after a pretty fair share of my travel to Europe, here are some of my *Must-Have* delicacies from the continent which you might find handy in case you are planning a visit anytime to Europe.
Heading to Paris? Then crepes are a delight you must not miss from the city of love. You might wonder why am I even mentioning it here considering everyone already know this so let me tell you a story here –
Recently some of my relatives went on a Europe trip including Paris. I met them after they came back and I asked if they liked *Crepes* and then they asked me back me what is that? I was like..OMG what?? How could go to Paris and not even try crepe!! So that drove Crepes on my top list so that people don’t miss this wonderful and unique dish which might not taste like the one we get there.
For my vegetarian friends, it doesn’t contain the meat of any sort, although it does contain egg if that’s a concern to anyone. It is a sort of pastry usually circular in shape, are sweetened with or without fillings like chocolate, banana etc.
Another popular delicacy from France, popular due to its crescent-like shape and found in various flavors including praline, chocolates and even almonds. Easily found in various bakeries around Paris and is also a famous pick for breakfast.
The pastry variant is nowadays easily available around the world but what makes it so special? I think it’s the way it’s made, and the flavors specific to a region. I kept looking for a typical chocolate croissant version in Delhi, and I must admit I’m yet to find that close to perfect croissant – Noooo!! a choco-chip croissant is not same as chocolate croissant – I guess I need to head back to its origin now!!
Care to taste a twisted bread? This is my top choice for a unique, knotted and asymmetrical dough which is looped into the final product as a delicious bread. This dish is typically salty in nature and if you like you might even choose butter variant – just like me 🙂 Yet to make it to Germany, but I tasted this delicacy on Munich airport on way to Vienna – aren’t layovers best spent if we get a taste of the country in the short window itself!!
Pretzels are believed to be originated from upper German regions and known to have religious significance as well in terms of shape and ingredients. At one time, during Lent season eggs were forbidden and as Pretzels are made up of simple floor and water were allowed till Easter. Nowadays people hide eggs before Easter day prayers like in those early days pretzels were hidden. So this savory is not only delicious but also have a great historical connotation – hope I got your attention now!!
Originally Macarons are French cookies garnished with eggs, almond paste, sugar, jam or cream filling. Gaining popularity at a fast pace and are easily found today in almost every major city around the world.
Various flavors are available in the cookies ranging from rose, vanilla, orange, hazelnut, chocolate, pistachio and even few more. As most of these are a little too sweet for my preference so personally my favourite includes chocolate, hazelnut and almond.
Chocolates from Belgium are one of many glories of the nation with a history of its own. Although the cocoa doesn’t originally come from the nation, was in-fact brought to the country from Africa during its colonial era.
French are known for their vineyards and Belgians for passing the authentic chocolate recipes through their families for so many generations. Even the small Belgian villages have their own chocolate shops. Next time you’re anywhere in Europe – even if not Belgium – you will find Belgian chocolates in most major bakeries. Don’t miss that!!
A dish made from dough uniquely identified by its exclusive shape generated from waffle iron peculiarly in squares – Waffles are relished in all parts of the world. Upon hearing Waffles, the attention immediately goes towards the special Belgian waffles which were showcased to the world in 1958 in Brussels Expo.
Although I still haven’t got the fortune to enjoy the waffles from Belgium itself, but waffles from Europe are still not to give a miss. I tried the above one from a huge bakery – I don’t remember of that though – in the town square of Prague. Not typically Belgian, but Gosh that was delicious!!
A culinary treat which is uniquely found in Czech Republic, although not many know about it’s roots to be non-Czech. Trdelnik is a fire cooked sweetened dish made from thin rounds of dough and optional toppings available to suit your taste buds.
There are various theories about the history and myths of the dish. The delicacy is believed to have arrived in Czech by an Hungarian army personnel in the 18th century. Few people believe it to have connection from the stone age as guessed by the methods of its preparation, nonetheless Czech got its ownership now!!
Roaming through the streets of Czech capital you will easily find Trdelnik being prepared in a concept almost similar to barbecue. The dough is wrapped in thin round shape onto a rod and is cooked until it turns light brownish in colour. A savoury yet to make its way to being famous beyond Czech is a must have while in Prague.
Step into any European bakery and you will find variety of cakes aka various flavours on display for you to choose and relish. I also had the good fortune of nibbling some flavours including my ever favourite chocolate and red-velvet. There are variants to the types available in each country and each region, but cakes from entire European are delicious and must try!!
If you guys have been following my blog, then you must know by now that I am a huge coffee buff and have coffee no matter where I go. Either a milky or creamy cappuccino or an iced coffee or a typical milk flavoured cold coffee from Starbucks – I enjoy all sorts of coffee. To my surprise, the coffee seems to have an intriguing impact on my taste buds while in Europe and hence an addition to this list 😉
So here are my most favourite choices of delicacies from Europe. How many of these have you had? Do share your experiences with me!!
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Disclaimer – All images are my own unless stated with image source.
– The Wanderer