Warning: This post will make you hungry!
I had not been travelling for long before I realised that my trip would become a culinary tour of Europe, devoted mainly to trying different, and amazing, new foods—even more so than experiencing the sights it seemed! In this post I bring you the lowdown on the ten best foods I experienced over the summer.
1. Pierogi: Poland
Pierogies are delicious fried meat-filled dough pockets, which often come sprinkled with roast onions. Make sure you are hungry when you order pierogies in Poland as you will get plenty of them, and they are very filling! I ate pierogies in Gdansk.
2. Lamucun: Turkey
Lamacun is a very cheap Turkish dish that resembles a pizza. A round dough base is spread with tomato sauce with a spicy lamb mince sprinkled on top. Often served with a side salad, which is best eaten when thrown on top of the lamacun and rolled up kebab style. The best part about lamacun is that is it often the cheapest item on the menu. I ate lamacun for 4 lira ($1.97) in Istanbul.
3. Kleftiko: Greece
If you ask me what my favourite dish of all time is I will say Kleftiko, which is why I spent a day visiting a Greek island off the coast of Turkey—a day that was mainly spent in the pursuit of Kleftiko. Kleftiko is a lamb dish that also contains roast potatoes, onions, tomatoes and feta cheese, all of which are put into a pot and cooked in a clay oven, sometimes for the whole day. The fusion of flavours is simply divine, and I was very happy with the Kleftiko that I found in Samos.
4. Goulash: Hungary, Slovenia & Serbia
Of course I had to try Goulash in Hungary, and it was really good. But it was not as good as a local speciality I tried in Belgrade at the recommendation of our hostel host. A small bakery in the Skadarlija district, serves a delicious goulash on the softest and most delicious bread rolls I have ever tasted. You can have your goulash sandwich topped with Kajmak (see below), or a spicy cream cheese. Although eating a goulash sandwich sounds like a strange idea, it was probably the best food I tasted on my whole trip, and at €2 it was the cheapest too!
5. Kajmak: Serbia, Bosnia & Slovenia
Kajmak is a thick cream cheese that is served with practically everything in Serbia and Bosnia. It usually looks like a scoop of ice-cream served in a small bowl. We had a complimentary portion of kajmak with bread served to us at a restaurant in Sarajevo that was so good we actually wanted to send our meals away when they arrived! We also had the most delicious potatoes roasted with kajmak in Serbia.
6. Cevapcici: Serbia, Bosnia & Croatia
Cevapcici is the most common traditional food found in the Balkan states, it is a dish consisting of small, spiced sausages that are served with raw onions and soft flatbreads. It’s a simple and homely dish that is very common in the Balkans.
7. Burek: Serbia, Bosnia & Croatia
We had burek for breakfast at our hostel in Belgrade; it was so large and filling that we didn’t eat again until late evening! It is a large pastry filled with meat or cheese. You can also get dessert burek filled with spiced apples.
8. Cornish Pasty: Cornwall (UK)
On cold misty days in Cornwall there’s one thing that is guaranteed to warm the soul, and that is a traditional Cornish pasty. A thick and crumbly baked pastry encases a sumptuous meat and potato filling that will fill you up for hours.
And now for dessert…
9. Lokum: Turkey
You have most likely heard of lokum by the more common name ‘Turkish Delight’—small squares of flavoured jelly. The most common exports are rose or lemon flavour, but in Turkey lokum is a gourmet affair with the delicious treat coming in all different shapes, sizes and flavours. I didn’t tire of going into lokum shops in Istanbul to try out the free samples!
10. Kremna Rezina: Bosnia & Slovenia
You will not be in Bled, Slovenia long before you see Kremna Rezina, a gooey cake consisting of two squares of puff pastry. Sandwiched between the pastry is a thick layer of custard topped with a smaller layer of cream. Don’t think about the calories!
I hope you enjoyed my culinary tour of Europe! Have you tried any of these foods? Do you like the sound of them? What is your favourite food from Europe? Please leave a comment.