Europe has allured travelers for as long as Austria has been making croissants, and its attraction continues even today (probably in part because of the still-amazing pastries). But finding your way to Europe can be an expense more than some of us can bear. If this struggle feels real for you, we have a suggestion: bring the great continent to you.
One of the biggest attractions of visiting the nations of Europe is the food. So rather than spend thousands of dollars getting over to the continent, we suggest you discover the best foods Europe has to offer from the comfort of your home. By now most folks know about the wonders of French crepes, Italian pastas and German sausage, but there's so much more to discover. And we've compiled the list you need to make that happen in your own home town.
Without further ado, the European foods we should all be eating more often -- because they're delicious, and will save you major money on airfare.
1. Churros con chocolate
The Spanish have given the world a great gift and it comes in the form of fried dough (sometimes dusted in cinnamon sugar) that is served with a cup of thick hot chocolate sauce for dipping.
The Swiss might be famous for their fondue -- and with good reason too -- but that might not be their best dish of melted cheese. Raclette is a type of semi-firm cow's milk cheese from the French/Swiss Alps that is perfect for melting. The dish Raclette involves the cheese, scraped on top of potatoes and served with pickles, cured meats and pickled onions. It's exactly what your body needs during the cold months of winter.
3. Cornish Pasties
We all know how great pies are to eat. And most of us are privy to the magic of hand pies. Cornish pasties, from Cornwall in the UK, takes that concept and makes it savory filling their hand pies with beef, potatoes and other delicious fillings.
4. Semlor Buns
Semlor buns are similar to our beloved cream puffs only they're cardamom-scented and filled with an almond paste-whipped cream mixture. They basically taste like heaven on Earth.
5. Romesco Sauce
One taste of romesco sauce and you will never reach for the ketchup again. This Spanish condiment -- which is served aside many dishes, but most notable patatas bravas -- is a tomato-based sauce that's blended with hazelnuts, roasted red peppers and garlic.
6. Hagelslag on Bread
Hagelsag is the Dutch word for chocolate sprinkles. And yes, they really do eat chocolate sprinkles on top of buttered bread on the regular. For breakfast. Or lunch. Or a snack. It's awesome. (Psst, you can buy them here.)
Get this: German pork sausage, topped with curry spiced ketchup and served with a side of fries. Germany sure does do fast food right.
8. Spanish Tortilla Bocadillo
The Spanish tortilla is a simple dish of eggs baked with onions and potato. It's great on its own, but even better when sandwiched between two slices of bread and served as a tapa.
9. Ham and butter baguette sandwiches
So simple, but so good. The French highlight some of their most delicious ingredients -- bread, butter, ham -- and sell it for a few euros at a bakery as a quick lunch fare.
10. Chimney Cake
Claimed to be one of Hungary's oldest pastries, chimney cakes are hollow pastries made with a simple yeast dough. The traditional method to make them is an all-day affair, but worth the effort for the taste of caramelized sugar crust and the soft open center.
In Belgium and the Netherlands, these balls of fried dough are doused in powdered sugar and sometimes studded with dried fruit or flavored with zest. They're basically what you always wished Dunkin' Donuts' Munchkins would be.
12. Danish Cake Parties
In Sønderjylland, located in the south of Denmark, cake parties began a little over 100 years ago. Traditionally, these parties would boast 15-20 cakes and not only could you sample every single one, you were expected to try them all. (We know, amazing.) These gatherings have evolved to become significantly less extravagant, but the idea of having guests over for tea and an abundance of sweets still remains.
Breaded, deep-fried risotto. Words cannot describe how perfect this food tastes.
The Greeks have a lot to share when it comes to good food, but one of their greatest gifts to the world is their fried cheese. Saganaki -- which refers to anything that is fried in a small skillet, but has become the name for the cheese prepared in this way -- is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside and absolutely addictive.
15. Mince Pies
There's a reason this dish has survived the test of time. Dating back to the 13th century, these fruit-based sweet pies are a traditional British Christmastime fare that deserve to be in the spotlight year round.
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