Trying All the Local Food and Drinks

One of the things my husband and I look forward to on our travels is trying local cuisine. I love getting the chance to try a dish where they are known for it. Then you know you are not getting the “Americanized” version when you try it.

We also like to try regional beer, wine and cocktails. It’s amazing to see how they differ from place to place.

Here are some things we tried on our recent trip to Europe:

Food

The Dinners

Beef tenderloin-Vienna, Salmon and Risotto-Paris (Mark had lamb shank and said it was fabulous), A farmhouse meal served family style in Innsbruck, fish and chips-London, Pot Au Feu-Vienna….and many more.

How about Snails in garlic, herbs and butter-Paris! If you are going to eat snails, do it where they are made the best. Delish! Mark had French Onion Soup instead but did try 1 of my snails.

Mark also had Frog legs for lunch in Paris while I was happy to find Salad Nicoise on the menu. Needed some veggies!

We sprang for a day in Burano, Italy where we traveled to by boat. We had been there before and I am in love with both the charm of the island and the amazing fresh seafood. (Huge lunch pictured later with big group/yellow table cloth).  They served us coarse after coarse of seafood based dishes.  To die for.

Desserts, Pastries and Treats

We shared a waffle covered in Strawberries, dark chocolate sauce and whipped cream-Brugges Belgium.

Both Cheese and Chocolate fondue at our dinner-Lucerne Switzerland.

House made Apple Streudel-Innsbruck Austria.

Lovely coffee with a gooseberry dessert-Vienna Austria.

The best,however, was the chocolate Torte. Whipped cream and a Cafe Melange at The Cafe Sacher in Vienna!

Not pictured: Wonderful fresh made Tiramisu-Varese Italy, and chocolate filled cream puffs from a Patisserie-Paris.

Tiramisu Gelato Venice

Breakfast

Breakfast is different in Europe. Italians really just want an Espresso and pastry on the go. Whereas the English prefer sausages (bangers), potatoes and eggs with tea. We had a full English breakfast on the ferry from Dover to Calais. Hardy.

Our breakfasts were usually hotel buffet breakfasts that catered to both American and European travelers. They featured sliced tomatoes, Italian meats and cheeses, scrambled eggs and bacon/pancetta, along with fruits, yogurt, and Pastries. So many pastries!! The coffee is so good.

Drinks

The Spritz

I should mention it was very hot and full sun on our trip. This drink is very refreshing! Spritz are a favorite of mine that I discovered on a 2 week trip to Italy a few years ago.

Tried them in London, Venice, Milan and Paris (not pictured…we drank them pretty fast there no time for photos).

Beer

A pint of Guinness for me in London with dinner and Mark had a local brew in a trendy Pub.

We all had to try beer for lunch at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich Germany. Yummy! I also shared a lovely plate of Sauerbraten with the hubby. One of my favorite dishes we had.

We found beer at dinner-Vienna, lunch-Lake Worthersee, with pizza-Verona Italy, at lunch on top of Mt Stansehorn-Switzerland, and huge Steins at our dinner show-Lucerne Switzerland.

Of course we also had beer in Belgium and Heidelberg. I think the Belgian beers were the favorites of the guys!

Wine

Tried some Riesling on our Rhine Cruise-Germany since the grapes were growing all along the river banks.

Always had wine with dinner in Europe. Simple, often house made selections.

Cocktails

We had Bellini’s where they were invented at Harry’s Bar-Venice Italy. Most we ever paid for such a small drink, but they were delicious! Frothy and fresh peach pulp. Divine.

Had the best Negroni with friends on the inviting patio at our hotel-Varese Italy. This and the Spritz are my favorite cocktails. They are made with Aperol & Campari which are Italian aperitifs. Can’t really order these drinks in the States as most places don’t stock the items needed to make them. You can buy the ingredients and make them at home though!

Whenever possible Mark and I ordered opposite items so we could try more things. I can’t imagine going to Europe and not diving into their amazing food culture.

We laughed at the number of types of Sausages we tried and how much meat is a part of the European diets. All meals were served in courses with Starters, entrees and always a dessert.

No wonder I gained a few pounds….so worth it!! And as Julia Roberts told her friend in Italy that was lamenting over gaining weight  in Eat, Pray, Love, “Just buy bigger pants!”

A special thanks to Nelson and Christina for all the Foodie adventures we shared. Loved grocery store wine night in Venice! Everyone was jealous!

Ps…sorry about the overuse of collages, but it was the best way I could find to exhibit so many things!