Inger and I are by no means foodies by any stretch of the imagination (…sure, we enjoy watching MasterChef just like the next person…) but that does not mean we can cook – usually far from it! Europe is full of Michelin star restaurants and celebrity chefs; however in our humble opinion the best food in Europe is still the simple foods served in cafes and small local restaurants like it has been for decades, using fresh and in season ingredients. Here are some of our favourites:
Pizza (Italy) – a simple, delicious pizza, served alfresco style.
Crepe (France) – France’s answer to the pancake and can be bought from any café in France, either sweet or savoury. My favourite is fromage (cheese), beautifully melted. Viva la France!
Cheese and cold cuts – served all over Europe, great anytime… for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner or even for a snack. I prefer Gouda and Edam, good Dutch cheeses and aged Prosciutto from Italy.
Souvlaki (Greece) – Souvlaki served with garlicy yogurt dressing, hot chips and of course, fresh salad covered in olive oil from Kalamata.
Turkey treats (Turkey) – Apple tea served with Baklava in the old part of Istanbul.
The baklava was still warm, full of nuts and dripping with sweet sticky syrup. Inger loves Turkish Delights, I prefer baklava.
Coffee (Italy or France) – strong and served alfresco style in a small village square, so you can do some people watching.
Chocolates (all over) – We love Swiss chocolates, we love Belgian bon bons, we love Dutch chocolate, it really does not matter – it all tastes amazing.
Calzone (Italy) – Just like a massive pizza folded in half, the calzone is a true Italian master piece. Inger had one while we were in Lake Maggiore and it was enormous!
Tapas (Spain) – Nothing is nicer than sitting in a tapas bar somewhere in Spain enjoying a table full of tapas treats, sampling the fresh flavours and tastes on offer.
Uitsmijter (Holland) – Fresh white bread, open faced, covered with 3 fried eggs sunny-side up, ham and melted cheese. Served in pubs and café’s across Holland and a real treat for your heart.
Snails and Frog legs (France) – Just joking, not on my list.
Ice cream (Southern Europe) – Made super fresh and serviced all over Europe.
While we were in Croatia, our ice cream intake went through the roof as it cost about 1.5 Euro per service, so our ritual was a morning ice cream, an afternoon ice cream and then an ice cream after dinner.
Tiramisu (Italy) – Made with fresh cream, it’s making my mouth water as I type this.
Chips with satay sauce (Holland) – Piping hot chips covered in satay sauce, you simply can’t beat it.
Fresh fruit (all over Europe) – Spring and summer in Europe brings out a massive range of fresh fruits, ready to be eaten from the local markets.
Strawberries the size of small apples, berries by the bucket loads and peaches to die for. Plus it’s healthy, compared to most other things on this list.
Pancakes (Holland) – Sweet or savoury, either way I love them.
The Dutch like them big and thin, eating them as a main meal for dinner. I’m more of a traditionalist, so go for brown sugar and cinnamon on my pancakes, while Inger prefers caramelised banana and ice cream.
No matter which way you look at it, each region has their own specialty and that’s what makes Europe such a wonderful place to explore.