The Best Things to Eat in the European Union – Part 1
The European Union is a collection of twenty-eight different nations spread all over the continent. Each member country has its own identity and culture and this very much includes their cuisine. If you consider the amazing differences between the locations of these states it is hardly surprising there is a massive change in food from country to country. From the Mediterranean cuisine of Spain, to the French and Italian Alps food, to the earthy flavors of the Baltic states. In this blog we highlight dishes that may not be national dishes but are recognized as regional favorites.
Austria – Wiener Schnitzel
An Austrian classic is a Wiener Schnitzel, which is a very thin piece of veal, chicken or pork that is first breaded and then pan fried in butter to produce a delicious and tender golden cutlet. The Wiener Schnitzel is Austria’s national dish, that is why it is probably named after the capital.
Belgium – Carbonnades Flamandes
Belgium has a really interesting cuisine with influences from the bigger countries that surround it. Famous for its waffles and types of French fries, not to mention its beers, a simply superb dish is Carbonnades Flamandes. In a way this dish pays homage to the Beef Bourguignon from France, but this version is enhanced by using a sweet and sour technique that comes from dark beer, cider vinegar and cranberry jelly.
Bulgaria – Banitsa
One of the poorer nations in the EU, Bulgaria takes its food influences from all around including Italy, Russia, Greece, and Italy. There are no fine sauces or delicate desserts that many of other EU countries can offer, but Bulgaria does have some great dishes. And one such simple item is the humble Banista, which is a cheese and egg mixture that is wrapped up in filo pastry and deep fried. There are sweet versions of this dish also but the savory option is the most popular.
Croatia – Crni Rizot
Croatia takes many Italian influences in its own cuisine, and the Rizot is the Croatian version of the Italian Risotto. This version the Crni Rizot uses squid ink to flavor and color the rice and around coastal areas it is embellished with seafood.
Cyprus – Grilled Halloumi
The Mediterranean cuisine of Cyprus is influenced by Greece, Turkey and the flavors of citrus and olive oil. Cyprus is well known for Mezas, which can be vegetarian delights or meat, and one dish that could feature would be grilled Halloumi. Cyprus produces really great Halloumi cheese, which is a combination of both sheep and goat milk. The big advantage of Halloumi is its consistency which allows it to be grilled and not to melt. Thus, it can adorn any platter with an amazing taste and texture. Halloumi can be served by itself or is great on a salad or some freshly grilled vegetables.
We leave our taverna in Cyprus and move on to part two of the best dishes of the European Union where we sample even more delicious food from the countries that make up the 28 states including dishes from the Czech Republic, Denmark and Estonia.