Europe is a foodie paradise, and with so many different cuisines at your fingertips there’s tons of fabulous culinary variety just waiting to be savoured. The croissants are perfection, the souvlaki is to die for, the paella is divine, but what if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous?
You may not think of Europe as a place with a lot of obscure cuisine, but trust us when we say that there are countless local delicacies that are sure to surprise even the most experienced eaters. Here are 8 great options to write home about and photograph for proof during your next Europe adventure:
Black pudding – UK
Just using its name as a clue about the actual ingredients won’t do you much good, as there is no actual pudding involved. Black pudding is really a sausage containing oatmeal, spices and pork fat, and the ‘black’ colour actually comes from the last ingredient – pork blood. It’s often eaten as part of a traditional English breakfast, and is just called blood sausage in other countries.
Schwarzsauer – Germany
Continuing with the bloody theme, this German soup contains mostly giblets (organs), spices, onions, vinegar water, and blood. This soup is native to the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein.
Ris de veau – France
Even the English name of this dish is misleading, but the literal translation is spot on. Ris de veau is sweetbread, which isn’t really sweet or bread at all – it’s the pancreas or thymus of a calf. Sear it with some butter or onions and you have a new protein option.
Harðfiskur – Iceland
You’ve heard of beef jerky right? Well harðfiskur is basically fish jerky, and it’s very popular in Iceland. This dried fish is often enjoyed as a snack, similar to the beef version, and is best when prepared with non-fatty fish.
Frittelle di cervello – Italy
This Italian treat translates to brain fritters, which are bite-sized pieces of breaded and fried beef, lamb or veal brain.
Cvarci – Croatia
If you’re a fan of pork rinds, cvarci may just be right up your alley. It’s a form of lard fried in pork fat, and then eaten like a crispy little chip. It’s a very popular snack in the winter months.
Oreja de cerdo – Spain
Oreja de cerdo aka pig’s ear (not the cookie) is another crispy pork snack that is a popular tapas dish in Spain. It’s fried, cut into snackable pieces, nicely seasoned and served with a tomato sauce for dipping/ drizzling.
Fruit soup – Poland
This one is pretty self-explanatory, as it’s exactly what it sounds like. Fruit soup is served both hot or cold, and can contain a variety of fruit types as well as more savoury elements such as dumplings or noodles. It’s super versatile and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or as a refreshing snack.
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