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Foodie Experience Travel in Europe

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Foodie Experience Travel is a multi-million dollar business dedicated in providing travelers and foodies alike with an experience unlike any other. Europe for example is full of great food. So much so that it can be fairly overwhelming trying to determine what to eat when you’re there. Even those who aren’t foodies may want to visit the following countries to try their signature dishes.

Austria

Austrian cuisine is hearty, delicious and versatile. Austrian dishes include excellent soups, Wiener schnitzel (the genuine article is made only with veal, though pork and turkey versions are common), tafelspitz (boiled beef served with horseradish and applesauce), and a dizzying array of sausages, trout, chicken and wild-game dishes. Hungarian goulash, Serbian roasted peppers and Italian gelato are also widely available, remnants of the days of the Hapsburg Empire. There’s a variety of things to try at both highly rated restaurants and street vendors. For a real taste bud pleaser, try the sausage filled with cheese known as Kasekrainer.

Czech Republic

Czech food once consisted of many variations of gravy, meat and dumplings. Today, an increasing number of restaurants, especially in Prague, serve not only imaginative variations of local dishes, but also foreign delicacies—including Italian and Asian dishes.  Looking for a sweet treat? Roast pork, sauerkraut and dumplings constitute the traditional national meal—it’s served almost everywhere, in more- or less-elaborate versions.  Try the Trdelnik in the Czech Republic. It consists of dough put on a stick, roasted over a fire and topped with sugar and nuts. One bite will have you hooked.

France

For centuries, the French have mastered the art of wine making, cultivating a rich culture amidst tumbling pastures and sun-drenched coasts. Much like the complexity of their finest Bordeaux, the Wine Route, or “Route du Vin,” entices travelers to take another sip as they explore the aromas and flavors of this delicious country.  There’s so much good food in France it’s hard to narrow it down to just a couple of items. You must visit some of the open air markets while here and sample some of the bread and the pastries. The figs are also phenomenal, especially when they are stuffed with foie gras. Wherever you go, experiment with various sauces, a French specialty, and be sure to try the coffee (on the strong side), quiche, crepes, croissants, pastries, brioches, jams, cheeses (more than 250 kinds), oysters and truffles.

Greece

Food here focuses on using fresh ingredients. Olive oil is a staple—after all, the Greeks have an olive-growing tradition that dates back 5,000 years. The Greeks also love to make dishes from fresh vegetables, such as eggplants, beans, lentils and tomatoes, and they commonly use lamb and fish.  Traditional items like moussaka combines simple ingredients, but has an amazing taste thanks to the quality of the ingredients used. Common everywhere are tzatziki (garlic-yogurt spread), souvlakia (meat or fish kebabs marinated in garlic), spanakopita (spinach pie) and tiropita (cheese pie). Fresh seafood is common, particularly on the islands.

Italy

Each region in Italy has its own distinct cuisine.  Always try the specialties of a region—they are often absent from menus elsewhere, or of a lesser quality. In Tuscany, for example, one generally finds more gamey foods, such as pheasant (fagiano), wild boar (cinghiale) and truffles (tartufi). You can’t visit Genoa without trying real pesto, traditionally served with a mixture of pasta, potatoes and green beans. Roman food is typically less refined, with such dishes as spaghetti carbonara, bucatini all’amatriciana (pasta with a spicy tomato-and-bacon sauce) and trippa (tripe), which, if cooked well, can be delicious. Many visitors are already familiar with Parma’s famed prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.  Don’t miss the abundant seafood specialties on the Ligurian Coast, the Italian Riviera and the Western Coast, as well as in the towns dotting the Eastern Adriatic Coast from Ravenna to Pesaro to Lecce. Sicily also has a flavorful Arab-influenced cuisine with a focus on seafood.

Netherlands

This country has some of the best breakfast items in all of Europe. For instance, the pancakes (pannenkoeken) are phenomenal and locals tend to top them with a variety of things other than just syrup. Ice cream and chocolate are both popular items. You might just forget that you are actually eating breakfast and not dessert!  You’ll also find excellent seafood and fish dishes (especially oysters and herring, which is a popular street food), stamppot and delicious pea soup (usually served in winter). Marvelous cheeses include Goudse, Edammer and Leidse (a Dutch specialty is the introduction of such herbs or spices in the production process as cloves, cumin, caraway or nettle).  If you need a quick sandwich, go to a shop offering broodjes. In many places, french fries are sold on street corners. The best are called vlaamse frites (Flemish fries), made from cut potatoes rather than potato pulp pressed into the shape of a french fry.

Portugal

Those that are looking for some of the freshest seafood in the world should visit Portugal. The locally caught sardines are delicious; they bear little relationship to those things that come in cans. Other seafood dishes worth sampling are cataplana (a shellfish stew cooked in a sealed, shell-shaped copper pan), porco a Alentejana (clams and pork) and the national dish bacalhau (salted codfish—an acquired taste).  Try caldo verde (especially tasty in northern Portugal which is a kale based soup). Portuguese sausage is excellent, especially when combined with fava beans in a rich stew called feijoada. We also recommend leitao da bairrada (roasted sucking pig), chicken piripiri (spit-roasted with a spicy vinegar sauce) and the cabrito (goat) in the Beira Baixa region if you are feeling adventurous. Portuguese wines are excellent!  Make sure and try the rich flavored ports.

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Source: http://blog.atlastravelweb.com/special-interests/foodwine/foodie-experience-travel-in-europe/


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