5 Fantastic Foods you Need to Try When Exploring Europe
Updated: Feb 12
Eating is what keeps us alive, just like oxygen, sleeping and exploring the beautiful planet that we live on. Fortunately, we have combined them both in this article as we tell you about 5 fantastic foods that you must try when travelling around Europe. This isn't a blog about the best food in Europe, as European cuisine differs all over the continent. Instead, its about showing you European food that we think you should try. We have tried to include dishes from all over the continent, to give you a diverse variety.
Goulash is a soup/stew that traditionally contains a range of meats, vegetables and spices such as paprika. It is the national dish of Hungary where it is believed to have originated from, although some will claim it came from other Eastern European countries. In Hungarian the word Goulash actually means cowboy’s soup and traces of the recipe can date back as early as the 9th century, when it was first made by shepherds! Traditionally, Goulash uses beef but there are some places, particularly in Budapest where you may find pork or other alternatives.
4. Ħobż biż-żejt
Ħobż biż-żejt is a Maltese delicacy, which literally translates as bread with oil (although there is more to it than just that) and is referred to as an open sandwich. It is normally served as a starter or appetiser and is one of the country’s most popular snacks. Ħobż biż-żejt is made by starting with thick slices of bread then topping it with a range of ingredients. A sweet tomato paste (kunserva) is spread onto the bread first, then topped with capers, olives, anchovies (which can be substituted for tuna), salt and pepper and finally a dash of beautiful, Mediterranean olive oil.
Mekitsi is a truly wonderful European food expertly crafted over centuries from Bulgaria. It essentially is deep fried dough, very similar to a donut but differs in the way in which it tastes. Yogurt, flour, salt, eggs, water and oil are used to create the dough, which is then kneaded into small donut-like shapes, ready for the deep fryer.
The dish is consumed as part of breakfast and although originating in Bulgaria, is also found in Serbia and North Macedonia. North Macedonian’s prepare Mekitsi a week after the birth of a newborn baby as a celebration.
Semla is a sweet roll that is believed to have been invented in Sweden, although it is popular all around the continent of Europe, especially in the Nordic countries. In the UK, we traditionally eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, but in the Nordic countries they celebrate with Semla. While known as Semla in Sweden, they also refer to it as Fettisdagsbulle (fat tuesday roll). The buns are spiced with cardamom, contains a filling similar to marzipan as well as whipped cream and a dusting of icing sugar. The dish supposedly dates back as far as the 16th century and was also King Adolf Frederick of Sweden’s favourite dessert, although it was what eventually killed him after consuming too much of it.
Piroshkis are an Eastern European comfort food that is believed to have originated in both the Ukraine and Russia. The concept of a Piroshki, sounds very similar to a Cornish pasty, as it is technically meat and vegetables in a small pastry. The pastry, however, differs from a pasty as it is more sweet like a donut, which is probably because it is deep-fried rather than oven-baked. The dish can be created in both a sweet and savoury format, by either incorporating meat, vegetables, mushrooms etc or apple, cherry and lime jams.
If you’re anything like us and you don’t want to wait to travel to these countries before trying these delicacies, then make sure to check out each of the recipes under each name.