Why can’t have a favourite. Always open to outside influences.
variation on a theme, where Italians have ravioli, it lead to Polish Pierogi soon I found myself in Ukraine’s Vareniki. Then I turn my attention to the Spain, to surprise they tudk into rice-rice based paella dish, I became a Spaniard. After one too many boozie nights, the Turks came knocking with kebabs and tangy haloumi cheese, while the Greeks insisting their gyros and feta are superior.
European cuisine often represents variations on a theme. Where Italians have ravioli (stuffed pasta), Polish have similar pierogi and Ukrainians vareniki. Spaniards tuck into rice-based paella dishes; Italians are keen on risotto. Turks dish out kebabs and tangy haloumi cheese, while Greeks serve gyros and feta.
Italy and France are the Continent’s two top gourmet destinations, where the love of good food is seemingly inculcated in every citizen. The first boasts homemade pizza and pasta, polenta, truffles, fresh herbs and wonderful gelati (ice cream). The second is the home of classic haute cuisine. Yet there’s more to traditional French food than rich creamy sauces, steak tartare, coq au vin, duck confit and goose-liver pâté. Rustic French cooking features simple, satisfying dishes, such as ratatouille (vegetable stew), cassoulet (grain-based stew) or bouillabaisse (a seafood stew from Marseille).
Spain and Portugal follow closely behind these two culinary giants, with tapas, ham and grilled sardines on the menu. Along the North and Baltic Sea coastlines, fish is understandably popular, where Scandinavians, for example, find salty ‘roll mop’ herrings a particular delicacy, and northern Germans are keen on smoked varieties.
Otherwise, German cuisine has much in common with hearty central European fare. The country shares a love of Wurst (sausage) and smoked pork with the Czech Republic and Austria (which also makes a mean apple strudel). And both Germans and Slavic countries are fond of cooked cabbage (Sauerkraut to the Germans). The latter consume plenty of borscht (beet soup) and vodka.
Like its language, Hungary’s cuisine is unique and unusual. Always open to outside influences (es�֬isedpecially Ottoman), it makes ample use of spices, such as the paprika found in the national goulash stew. Other European regions have their own specialities: the Swiss are known for fondue, fondue, rösti (fried, buttery, shredded potatoes), chocolate and cheese, while Belgians favour mussels and chips.
While British cuisine has improved immeasurably in the past decade and a half, you can always order curry if in doubt, thanks to the country’s links to the Indian subcontinent.