Jump to content

European food: What's good to eat


W_L

Recommended Posts

I am going to be in Europe next month, specifically Germany and will be traveling a bit. The plan right now looks like I will be around central Europe visiting Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, and potentially northern Italy or Poland. Beer is definitely going to be part of the meal, but I do not know what is the best kind in that area or what is traditional for meals. For me, I am a big lager or Ale guy, when it comes to beer, there is something nice about the taste of wood (Gay jokes aside :P ) in a nice cold beer.

 

I am not a Wine tasting person, but I do enjoy Zinfandel and Chardonnay if the taste fits the meal. Same goes with traditional red wines, I like something that works with my meal, not kill me by overpowering spice or dulls my tongue.

 

Can anyone give me some hints about the cuisine? Any cultural faux pas I should avoid?

 

Also, are there specific foods that I should avoid at all costs or indulge in like there is no tomorrow?

 

This is my first time in Europe, so I want to have a good bite of it.

Link to comment

Ok, that is a difficult question.

 

For Germany: Even within Germany we have a different "taste" in beer depending on the location. Here in Bavaria (south of Germany) you definitely have to try wheat-beer (called "Weißbier" or "Weizen") or just a "normal" beer (called "Helles"). It's always served as 0.5 litres. We have a lot of breweries here and each tastes different. You just have to try them all (joking). In the northern part of Germany beer can also be served in 0.3 or 0.2 litres.

 

Food: For Bavaria its definitely a roast pork (called "Schweinebraten") and white sausages (called "Weißwurst). But white sausages are NEVER eaten after 12 o'clock. If you happen to stay in Berlin (middle/east of Germany) you have to eat a "Currywurst" (sausage with a curry sauce and fries).

 

For Austria: Typical food for Austria are "Wiener Schnitzel" (that's like a steak with bread-crumbs) and "Apfelstrudel" (that's a dessert)

 

Since you will be in Europe in December you will find a lot of Christmas markets (at least in Germany and Austria). You have to drink "Glühwein" (heated wine with spices). That will definitely warm you up Posted Image

 

Oh, and pack warm clothes.

Link to comment

First off, you're going to the wrong places lol :P Scotland has raspberries and whisky. What more could a man want? Oh, and we're very very very particular how we wood up our whiskies. Sometimes we even imbue it with port, sherry, bourbon or other delights before we allow it to get woody near our national drink.

 

I'd be surprised if you can't find smoked chicken in those places ... that's brilliant! Have a good trip, and wave as you go over Scotland! xx

 

PS, apple strudel is fabulous, but gluwhein is hideous ... just my opinion :P

Link to comment

I won't argue with a German he surely would know best, but the best "Wiener Schnitzel" I ever ate was in Munich; so Austria, Germany, either place is great just make sure you try it, ours was made with veal, but you'll never have made in the US quite the same. As for Italy, being a first generation Italian, I can tell you that there is a big difference between the food over there and what we call Italian/American cuisine, especially if you will be traveling in the northern regions of the country. There you will find the food to have a heavy German influence and quite different from the heavy reliance on tomato sauce/garlic you will find further south. If you are in the north of Italy, try Ossobuco, which are veal shanks, there again, you'll never get the same over here. As for wine, no pun intended, but a nice Chianti always works; and you will find good quality selections there at a reasonable price. But whatever you do, don't leave Italy without trying the pizza! Again, it's nothing like what you're used to, the Italian government actually has a specific recipe and has a department the oversees it's strict adherence; and believe me, some of it can be better than sex! Have fun!

 

First off, you're going to the wrong places lol Posted Image Scotland has raspberries and whisky. What more could a man want? Oh, and we're very very very particular how we wood up our whiskies. Sometimes we even imbue it with port, sherry, bourbon or other delights before we allow it to get woody near our national drink.

 

I'd be surprised if you can't find smoked chicken in those places ... that's brilliant! Have a good trip, and wave as you go over Scotland! xx

 

PS, apple strudel is fabulous, but gluwhein is hideous ... just my opinion Posted Image

 

Forget the raspberries, give me men in kilts and a good glass of whiskey and I'd die happy! Edited by Pete Bruno
Link to comment

Mmmmm, loves me my glühwein! I also love the beer and ales from Belgium, Flanders red ale is my newest obsession.

 

What I liked the most was eating animals we don't eat that commonly eat in the U.S., hare, reindeer, wild boar, goose, etc.

 

In Switzerland I loved raclette, but it isn't in every region.

 

And although everyone talks about French pastries and bread, I loved the pastries and bread in Germany.

 

Lastly, Chocolate of course, they have great chocolate in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and you don't buy it from the supermarket, you get it at specialty stores and it is amazing.

 

I know I said lastly last time, but this really is the last thing, I also love the supermarkets in Germany (well actually in any foreign country), but shopping is so fun with the mix of different and familiar products.

Link to comment

Yeah definitely try the Glühwein, but make sure it's really hot otherwise it's indeed hideous. And of course there is more than wheat beer in Germany. If you happen to visit the Rhineland try Kölsch (I can't believe I wrote this) and Alt (yeah!).

 

I don't really like German food (white sausages... ugh sorry) except the large variety of bread and pastries, but Italian food, must be my Italian half. So antipasti (a variety of starters) and pasta dishes are always good, as well as minestrone, a thick soup with vegetables, rice or pasta. And for wine: yup chianti it is.

Link to comment

Well for beer and lager specially you need to go from Berlin to Vienna via Prague or any other Czech city/town. After all, "pilsen" lager is named after one of our cities. We make the best beer in the world anyway. ;) Moreover, you'll LOVE Prague (even if there are other nice cities too ;) ).

 

Sometimes they translate "Glühwein" as "mulled wine" to English. Then there is the Christmas punch and hot mead. Great for chilly days. :D

 

As for meals, our cuisine is very close to German one, we cook Schnitzel as well, the traditional cuisine is dominated by meals with thick, cream sauces. There is a web about good restaurants in the Czech Rep., so if you need any addresses or tips, then I can help.

 

In Northern Italy I'd certainly not miss risotto - made from rice they grow there. And ham from Parma! In Belgium definitely mussels and fries ("frittes"). And Switzerland - definitely cheese fondue or raclettes. And mind that Switzerland is really expensive - and now with the exchange rate even more.

 

Oh, and it depends from country to country how you tip. Sometimes the tips are included in the price or in your bill ("couvert" etc.), sometimes you round the bill up or you add 10 % and round it up or down to any amount you find suitable.

 

And make a travel blog with your experiences! ;):P Enjoy your stay! :)

Link to comment

Thanks guys,

 

I can't wait to try the food.

 

Are there any faux pas, I should watch out for when drinking, eating, or just grabbing a bite? I heard I am not suppose to over tip as it might be a bad sign on my part, but I don't know if there's any etiquette for certain things. I don't want to stand out too much (A chubby 5'10 Chinese guy in a German town is already bad enough :P ).

Link to comment

Thanks guys,

 

I can't wait to try the food.

 

Are there any faux pas, I should watch out for when drinking, eating, or just grabbing a bite? I heard I am not suppose to over tip as it might be a bad sign on my part, but I don't know if there's any etiquette for certain things. I don't want to stand out too much (A chubby 5'10 Chinese guy in a German town is already bad enough :P ).

 

Hmmm, chubby and 5'10" may or may not be bad, but it's all outweighed by those beautiful black eyes, cold wet big black button nose, floppy woppy ears, and that soft, soft, covering of blondey wondey fur you have.

 

BTW, what does W_L stand for? Wuvwy Labrador? :P

Link to comment

I have lived in Southern Germany for quite some years teaching at an International school and I agree there is a difference or two regarding food between specifically German and American. While I find soft drinks - e.g. Coke or Pepsi - a lot sweeter in the German version than in the versions available in UK or America (that's because they use different ingredients I think) my personal experience is that it is the other way around with cake and pastry. But that was in in Heidelberg, I don't know if it is like that all over the country. What you will find a lot, and maybe want to try unless you're a vegetarian, are kebab stands run by turkish people selling "Döner" kebaps. I've had people telling me they were confused by it, but it is common. Then depending on where you're staying you might find an overly large selection of potato dishes and stir-fries on the menu. Also unless in the gastronomics you might not find such things as bacon or sausage for breakfast. They're served at hotels etc. but rarely anyone does them at home for breakfast. Most people have varied kinds of bread or bread rolls - "Brötchen" - for breakfast (and often for supper, too) as well es cereals or muesli, so don't wonder if a breakfast with scabbled eggs, bacon or whatever fried food you want is advertised as specifically English.

 

I hope I could help.

Link to comment

I have lived in Southern Germany for quite some years teaching at an International school and I agree there is a difference or two regarding food between specifically German and American. While I find soft drinks - e.g. Coke or Pepsi - a lot sweeter in the German version than in the versions available in UK or America (that's because they use different ingredients I think) my personal experience is that it is the other way around with cake and pastry. But that was in in Heidelberg, I don't know if it is like that all over the country. What you will find a lot, and maybe want to try unless you're a vegetarian, are kebab stands run by turkish people selling "Döner" kebabs. I've had people telling me they were confused by it, but it is common. Then depending on where you're staying you might find an overly large selection of potato dishes and stir-fries on the menu. Also unless in the gastronomics you might not find such things as bacon or sausage for breakfast. They're served at hotels etc. but rarely anyone does them at home for breakfast. Most people have varied kinds of bread or bread rolls - "Brötchen" - for breakfast (and often for supper, too) as well es cereals or muesli, so don't wonder if a breakfast with scabbled eggs, bacon or whatever fried food you want is advertised as specifically English.

 

I hope I could help.

 

MMM, when you live in Southern California, our Costcos carry Mexican Coke, yummy Mexican Coke made with real cane sugar, it is like drinking a candy bar!

 

And two thumbs up for Döner kebabs, L.A. really needs a Döner kebab truck or street stands, love it, love it.

 

And Elisabeth, did you your, "Herz in Heidelberg verloren"? I know I did :)

Link to comment

And Elisabeth, did you your, "Herz in Heidelberg verloren"? I know I did ../..//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png

Yeah, Tim, I did! I loved living there and I really miss it. All of it, those beautiful nights at the Deutsch-Amerikanische Institut in Sofienstraße (though I am not American), the Bridge, the Castle, the Karlstor with it's wonderful subtitled films... I you get me grieving again. Where you with the Military there? I used to pass by the bases when I went to shopping and knew the odd person at Benjamin Franklin Village, but just like me they eventually had to go. The time is deeply in my heart though and I noticed very much that, do I want it or not, if I do fiction Heidelberg always ends up to be the setting. (I've done some German language fiction in the past years and am now trying to get acquainted with writing in English, like I did all my life before, again.) Hey, that would be a beautiful theme for a romance <i> I lost my heart in Heidelberg....</i> somebody singing that all the time or being given a "Studentenkuss" chocolate, wouldn't it?!

Link to comment

Yeah, Tim, I did! I loved living there and I really miss it. All of it, those beautiful nights at the Deutsch-Amerikanische Institut in Sofienstraße (though I am not American), the Bridge, the Castle, the Karlstor with it's wonderful subtitled films... I you get me grieving again. Where you with the Military there? I used to pass by the bases when I went to shopping and knew the odd person at Benjamin Franklin Village, but just like me they eventually had to go. The time is deeply in my heart though and I noticed very much that, do I want it or not, if I do fiction Heidelberg always ends up to be the setting. (I've done some German language fiction in the past years and am now trying to get acquainted with writing in English, like I did all my life before, again.) Hey, that would be a beautiful theme for a romance <i> I lost my heart in Heidelberg....</i> somebody singing that all the time or being given a "Studentenkuss" chocolate, wouldn't it?!

 

No actually I was going to school in the UK and my sister was going to school in Austria at the same time and every three weeks or so we'd meet in a European city for a few days and we just fell in love with the university atmosphere of Heidelberg :)

Link to comment

As for tips:.

In Italy, if you decide to get a coffee it will cost you more to sit down and drink it than it will to stand at the bar and drink it. Italians often don't really do the breakfast thing at home - a coffee and perhaps a quick biscotti or croissant at the bar on the way to work is pretty common. They'll drink coffee at the point of boiling and they will never order a capuccino after lunch (it's too milky) - but they don't really mind if tourists order one!

Never ask for pineapple on a pizza. It just isn't done in Italy. If you see a pizza advertised as a potato pizza- be careful. One of my friends received a pizza piled with hot chips. Lol!

If you're around christmas time, try Panettone or Pand'oro (brioche style cakey things, the first with mixed peel, the second without). And if you go to Siena try Panforte (a chocolatey nutty mixed peely sort of dessert. Be careful you don't break your teeth!!!).

and GELATI! No matter what time of year, you haven't had gelati until you've had it in Italy!

Some italian desserts are great too - the croissants aren't my favourite (they love to fill them with nutella or apricot jam, which i find really weird), but things like Canoli (you may not find these in the north) and Tiramisu, Rhumbaba, little biscuits and cakes you see in cabinets at bars... yummm...

Btw - a 'bar' is basically a coffee shop in italy.

Eat Lebkuchen in Germany (gingerbread!) and try the cakes! You can get them from backeries and they're great! Schwarzwalderkuchen in the south (black forest cake) ... yummmm!!!

In Munich, if you go to the Hofbrauhaus (the big famous beer hall) - you have to try Kasespetzle. They're like mini gnocci/dumplings and they are cheesey and delicious! And eat Brezeln- big german pretzles. So delicious!

Pork knuckles, German sausages, sauerkraut... all delicious! Leberkase (means livercheese, but has nothing to do with either liver or cheese) is like a meatloafey sausagey style thing you can eat in a roll with mustard (yum)....

And as mentioned above- turkish food is everywhere in Germany. They recently added the kebab to the list of national german foods!!!

So easy to travel cheap in Germany and eat bread and salami and cheese... i put on lots of weight while there!!! lol

I personally really liked the brown winter beers in Germany - and beer in Germany isn't as sacred as i thought. Apparently, as long as it contains beer, it's all good! You can get beer half half with coke, lemonade, fanta... whatever you like!

CHOCOLATE in belgium and switzerland! As well as the chips! If you go to Bruges, there are 2 chip stands under the tower in the main square - be sure to compare the chips from both! lol...

Cheese fondu in Switzerland (i forgot to try it)

Beer in Belgium and Switzerland too. You can try cherry beer and all sorts!

In Austria, try sachertorte- i think it's local! And Strudel nom nom nom....

Also, wine is supposed to be good in the western rhine region of Germany.

You're going some amazing places - let me know if you need any tips or travel advice! It's been a few years since i went but i'd love to live vicariously and tell you all about it....

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here: Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..