Not too long ago, I wrote a Part One about some of my favorite meals/dishes that I have tried while traveling throughout Europe during my time abroad this past year. Of course, the previous list, which you can find here, was far from being exhaustive in that I had to make a Part Two!
So without further ado, here are more mouth-watering European eats to feast your eyes (and potentially your stomach) on! Bon appetit! 😛
1. Pork loin with paprika sauce and cabbage dumplings (Budapest, Hungary). I am usually not a huge fan of pork (with the exception of bacon): I always find the meat either under-seasoned or too dry. However, this dish that I had in Budapest just blew my mind: not only was it well-seasoned with paprika (a standard spice for many Hungarian dishes), but also the meat was tender and just right. The cabbage dumplings were amazing as well; I couldn’t stop eating them, even when I was super full! 😛
2. Apricot Cottage Cheese Cake (Budapest, Hungary). Of course, you can’t complete a meal without dessert, right? After the heavenly pork loin, I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty the cake was. At first, I was skeptical of the cottage cheese ingredient, considering that I don’t like it by itself. But once mixed into the recipe, the texture greatly resembled that of a typical cheese cake, which I love. The apricot flavor was cool and refreshing, and you can bet that I finished that cake down to the last bite!
3. Tapas (Barcelona, Spain). Spanish tapas are the stuff of gastronomic dreams. Instead of one plate, there are multiple: imagine them as sort of sampler meals in which you order many small dishes and get your fill’s worth just from that. Definitely helps with portion control (size-wise and wallet-wise; they ain’t cheap!). I had the most incredible tapas while in Barcelona, at this tiny hole-in-the-wall: from the fatty, melty pork cheeks with chips to the buttery artichokes with Brie cheese and caviar, I was dying again and again in tapas heaven~ ❤
4. Francisinha (Porto, Portugal). Story has it that the francisinha was invented by a Portuguese who had fallen in love with a French girl and wanted to dedicate a food dish to her. He decided to recreate the classic croque monsieur, but with a Portuguese twist: basically, it ended up being a jacked-up version of the French dish, stuffed with as many meats as you can imagine, topped with heavy amounts of melted cheese, and drenched in a tomato-based soup. It’s greasy, it’s fatty, and oh-so delicious; my stomach was super content afterwards!
5. Spaetzel (Germany). I am aware that you can spaetzel in Austria and eastern France, but I chose to get it while in Germany. Spaetzel is a type of egg noodle, cut up into small, bite-sized pieces and topped with tons of creamy cheese: imagine it as the classier version of the mac n’ cheese. I had it while in the cold, high altitudes near the Neuschwanstein Castle, and the piping-hot quality of my spaetzel warmed me up in no time (along with the mulled wine, of course, but that’s just a small detail…). 😉 Get spaetzel: it’s the ultimate comfort food!
6. Napolitana de chocolate (Spain). The “pain au chocolat” of Spanish pastries, the napolitana de chocolate beats any of the French equivalents by a mile! Having been disappointed time and time again with France’s flaky, but underwhelming skimpy amount of chocolate pastry, I was overjoyed to have discovered Spain’s version: not only is it packed with a ton of chocolate inside, but also on the outside! Double the trouble for my taste buds…as well as my waistline! 😉
7. Leitão, aka suckling pig (Lisbon, Portugal). Besides the abundance of seafood and bacalhau (cod fish), Portugal also serves up a mean pig. Suckling pig, that is! Known as leitão, this incredibly crispy, fatty, and juicy piece of meat will be sure to stay in your dreams even long after you’ve left Portugal! While in the Belém district of Lisbon, I ordered the leitão and I don’t regret it! While definitely on the salty side (as it is with any Portuguese plate), the saltiness added to the overall flavor of this drooling-worthy dish! 😛
…All right, did I make any of you hungry? Thought so…more exciting food adventures to come later. Until then, time to dig in! 😉
— The Finicky Cynic
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