The Best Things to Eat in the European Union – Part 4
The concluding part of our epic culinary journey across the states of the European Union visits Spain, Holland and Poland. Already we have seen some exceptional dishes from all over the EU, that defined the rich heritage of the member states that form the Union. We begin this particular tour in the Netherlands.
Netherlands – Bitterballen
The Dutch love their snacks and especially with a glass of beer. A common sight in many cafes and bars after work is a group of coworkers sharing a bowl of Bitterballen and having a relaxing drink together. The tasty treat is a mixture of minced meat and tangy gravy which is deep fried in small balls until crispy. Ideal for snacking upon whilst gulping down a Heineken or two.
Poland – Pierogis
Who can resist a plump dumpling stuffed with all manner of goodies, because that is exactly what Pierogis are. Pierogis are Poland’s national dish and have been made the same way since the 13th Century, other nations have claimed credit for their existence including China via Italy, but one thing is for certain the recipe has appeared in Polish cook books for almost four hundred years. The dumplings are made with unleavened dough and can be filled with mash potato, ground meat, vegetables, cheese, spinach, legumes and all manner of sweet varieties. There is a book called 100 ways to Eat Pierogi which highlights their versatility.
Spain – Paella
There is one particular dish that epitomizes the colors of Spain, and it has to be Paella. Few dishes have created their own cooking vessels, but Paella is one such dish. As to create a perfect Paella you will have to have a huge flat and shallow pan which is basically useless for cooking other dishes.
You cannot effectively make an individual portion of Paella, it is a dish that is cooked for numbers and should be enjoyed in a communal manner. There are two basic variations, a seafood and a meat Paella, but the original hails from Valencia.
The key ingredients for a Valencian Paella are, Paella rice, green beans, chicken, rabbit, white beans, snails, saffron, garlic, onions and stock. Unlike Risotto which should be continuously stirred, Paella should be left alone whilst the rice absorbs the stock and all the flavors.
UK – Roast Beef
Once a laughing stock of classic cuisines such as France and Spain the traditional Sunday roast dinner from the UK is a classic occasion. Roasting meats has been a tradition in the UK for hundreds of years and they are adept at doing so, and a prime joint of beef is probably the ultimate. The meat should be almost rare after resting and should be accompanied by Yorkshire puddings, crunchy steamed vegetables and a deep flavored gravy made from the roasting juices. Fiery fresh horseradish sauce should be the main accompaniment to bring the meat to life.
These delectable dishes form the conclusion of our gastronomic tour of the EU states, as you can see the variation of dishes and ingredients is quite incredible, and highlight the different cultures and traditions within the European Union.