A Tribute to my Favorite European Eats and Drinks
In 2007, two of my girlfriends and I backpacked across Europe to visit our friend, Aboma. Aboma moved to Spain to live la vida loca, and one night when he was home in Minnesota for a visit, we got to talking and decided that now was the perfect time in our young lives to travel through Europe. The four of us leaned across the beer pong table, joined pinkies and made a (now legendary) promise to meet again in Spain.
We started planning our trip in September, and took off for a full month in October. The trip was fast and full! We visited Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Bern, Alicante, Barcelona, Brighton and London. We sightsaw, explored, rode on planes, trains and automobiles and ate and drink our way across Europe. I don’t have many pictures of the local fare we indulged in, but the memories I have are strong. I can still taste these delicacies! Here’s a rundown of some of my very favorites.
Source: Alacarta Express
The kebab. Or kebap. Or bocadillo – whatever you want to call it. Bottom line, this is the BEST sandwich I’ve ever eaten. We spent about 10 days in Alicante, Spain, and I had this sandwich at least four times. It’s very similar to a gyro, with shaved lamb or chicken, tomatoes, lettuce and a yogurt sauce, but this was so much more special than a regular gyro. It was fresh and the bread was so soft and flavorful. I’ve considered buying a plane ticket to Alicante just to eat one of these!
This next one, cafe con leche, is a no-brainer. Obviously one should drink cafe con leche in Spain.
Rich, bold, creamy and always steaming hot. Every morning in Alicante, we’d wake up and walk a few blocks to one of Aboma’s favorite cafes. We’d order cafe con leche and a pastry or toast and jam and spend an hour or two enjoying our coffee and playing Sudoku.
Another one of my Spanish favorites was the tea.
We frequented a small tea shop that served sweet, minty tea. We would order a pot for the table and play dominos for hours. So relaxing and enjoyable. Gosh I miss this tea.
My final favorite in Spain is Ensalda Rusa, or Russian salad.
This was a creamy potato and tuna salad. We often ordered it along with many other tapas to enjoy at dinner. It sounds/looks weird, but I loved it, and I’ve never seen anything like it here.
Let’s move Northeast to Munich, Germany. It was cold in Munich. Bitterly cold. So after a chilly, drizzly guided tour around the city, we ran to the Hofbräuhaus seeking shelter and authentic German brew.
I’d never typically order a big ‘ol German beer, but this was so much more about the experience. My girls and I downed two of these babies in a matter of minutes. 😉 I’d give anything to be back in that beer house with a mug of Hofbräu Original in hand.
Also, when in Germany, you have to eat a Bavarian pretzel, of course!
These pretzels were great, but they came with an even better story. You see, nothing in Europe is free, or cheap for that matter, so when we saw these pretzels sitting in a napkin-covered basket on our table, we were psyched! Free food for a change! After paying for packets of ketchup at McDonald’s, this was the best sight ever. We gobbled up all of the pretzels before our waitress arrived and then it occurred to us. These pretzels weren’t free. Of course they weren’t! So, being the sly cats that we are, we slowly recovered the basket and acted very innocent. Our waitress came, took our order and swooped in to grab the basket. Yup, she knew we had eaten them, and you better believe the price was added to our bill. Dang. Disappointing, but oh, so worth it!
I tasted so many delicious things in Europe, and of course the food is just a small part of the experience, but it was one of the most memorable. I dream of a day when I can go back and taste a million more new foods!