5 Unique and Tasty dishes to try in Europe
One of my favorite things to do while traveling is trying exotic and unique dishes traditional to the area I am visiting. I love that first encounter with a foreign dish, the unexpected and captivating flavors, and those one-of-a-kind culinary experiences that will create a fascinating memory for the rest of my life.
To share some of my experiences, I’ve created a list of 5 unique dishes that mesmerized my palate while traveling in Europe. Even though these dishes are not for the faint of heart, I invite you to give them a try on your next trip and expect the unexpected.
1. Beef Tartare in Paris, France
The first and only time I’ve tried Beef Tartare was in Paris at Les Deux Magots located in the Saint Germain quarter of the 6th arrondissement. Les Deux Magots café is a world-famous destination for many tourists due to the fact that it is the place where several well-known artists and intellectuals such as Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Julia Child, among others, used to hang out.
When I ordered the beef tartar, the waiter very politely reminded me that the dish consisted of raw beef, just in case I didn’t know what I was ordering (I guess this happens often). I know the texture and look of raw meat are not very inviting at first, but once you get over the appearance, I promise you the punch of flavor you will experience is worth a try. I am happy I tried this dish here, not just because it was delicious but also because of the historical significance of the restaurant. If Beef Tartare is ever offered at any reputable restaurant I am visiting, I’ll have it again for sure.
2. Fast Food in Amsterdam, Netherlands
While in Amsterdam we visited one fast-food establishment on the Damrak that has been on TV several times called FEBO. This place has a counter that offers hamburgers, fries, and drinks, but the main attraction is the food being displayed at the automats. The mechanism is simple, money is inserted into the machine and you get to pick items such as krokets, burguers, and all kinds of snacks filled with a creamy and cheesy content. The fun part comes when you get to pick a kroket with a mysterious filling, so it is like blind tasting it. I know these snacks are not for all, yet my husband and I came back a couple of times to try different items. At times we were confused by the flavors, but for some strange reason, we couldn’t stop eating them.
3. A Bouchon meal in Lyon, France
Bouchon are traditional meals specific to Lyon and have been a staple of the Lyonesse cuisine since the 17th century. They are hearty and heavy, made with ingredients that normally get passed by fancy restaurants such as liver hearts, calves feet, ground fish, etc., and meant to be a meal to recover after a long day of work in a factory or out on the fields.
We had dinner at Le Petit Glouton on Rue Saint Jean. We started with a chicken liver salad, which is a dish I have never seen on any other menu. The dish depicted in the picture above is called Quenelle de Brochet and can be described as a fish mousse cake on a creamy sauce. This meal was rich and full of surprising flavors and textures, it was definitely an experience that will be hard to replicate unless we come back to Lyon.
4. Pickled Herring in Marken, Netherlands
While visiting Marken in the Netherlands, we came across a food stand by the pier that offered fresh seafood from the area with herring being on display. We had seen Andrew Zimmern on TV trying different versions of herring and always wondered about the taste, so we couldn’t let this opportunity pass without trying it. The fish came with pickles and onions and it tasted so fresh like it had been just pulled out of the ocean. Even though it was salty, it had some sweet notes with the onion and the pickles which added spice and complimented the flavors. It was definitely a great experience for the memory book.
5. Anchovies in Vernazza, Italy
Anchovies are a local specialty of the Cinque Terre region where expert fishermen still use traditional fishing techniques to catch them. In this region, anchovies are eaten fresh and prepared in many different ways. In Vernazza at the Ristorante Belforte, we had the “Misto di acciughe delle 5 terre” which translates to “mix of anchovies of the Cinque Terre”. They were fresh, salty, and sweet with different tones of flavors determined by the variety of spices and techniques used to cook them. They are definitely a treat and an explosion of flavor to your taste buds. If you ever find yourself visiting the Cinque Terre just give this dish a try, you will find it easily on most menus. And if you are looking for a fancy dinner with a great view, Ristorante Belforte is the place to be.
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August 21, 2017 @ 4:38 pm
Hi Gabriela! I’ve nominated you for a blogging Liebster Award! This award is given to new bloggers who have excellent content and a great message to share. See your nomination in my latest blogpost http://www.carinacyril.co.uk. If you’d like to accept the award and participate, here are the next steps: 1. Write a post, thanking the person who nominated you and link back to their blog, telling a bit about it 2. Upload the image or award somewhere to that post or in your sidebar via widgets 3. Answer the questions you’ve been asked in my blog link above 4. Nominate 5-10 newish bloggers with under 1000 followers ( this is just a rough estimate….. anyone kind of new is fine), linking to their sites. 5. Rewrite the questions to ask your nominees whatever you’d like them to answer in their acceptance blog. 6. Notify the owners of the blogs you’ve nominated so they can accept the award.
August 15, 2017 @ 10:14 am
I absolutely adore beef tartare! I wish they had it here in Spain:) but anchovies I will never, ever like! Thanks so much for sharing:)
August 13, 2017 @ 3:21 pm
Some of these look really tasty! Thanks for sharing!
August 13, 2017 @ 2:14 pm
Wow that food sounds great!
August 13, 2017 @ 9:00 am
i think France Food Is Better Than These All Foods. Especially I will Say It Is Better Than Italy Food
August 12, 2017 @ 3:25 am
I think my favorite is the automated one in Amsterdam. It seems fun to try it and see what surprise you’ll find inside.
August 12, 2017 @ 4:45 pm
I agree, the concept is so interesting.
August 11, 2017 @ 3:48 pm
Europe has been on my bucket-list. After reading this post, it gives me ideas on the food I should try because I love trying unique dishes.
August 13, 2017 @ 6:44 pm
I love trying new food, for me it is part of the whole traveling experience and I don’t scare easily 🙂
August 11, 2017 @ 12:50 pm
I’m such a foodie so this is right up my alley! Thanks for sharing!
August 11, 2017 @ 7:21 am
I have got to go with Netherlands and Italy. So lovely good looking good and just hope that they’re well spiced. So nice!!
August 11, 2017 @ 6:46 am
Ohhh this post just brought me back to my own food experiences around the world! I was actually starting a post about food around the world yesterday. I just regret now afterward that I have not recorded more my extraordinaire food but at that time I was not blogging. So keel traveling and keep tasting! Bon appetit!😘
August 13, 2017 @ 6:43 pm
Thank you, I would love to read about your food experiences.
August 11, 2017 @ 6:07 am
Now I’ve a better idea of food in Europe, thanks for sharing this! Food looks delicious, nicely captured! 🙂
August 13, 2017 @ 6:40 pm
August 11, 2017 @ 3:27 am
All that food looks so wonderful! I’m sure Europe has some amazing food compared to here in America. We don’t really have a culture to it, it’s just whatever!