Traditional European foods

When we talk about traditional European foods, it isn't easy because one of the most extraordinary parts of living in the continent of Europe is that in relation to food, we are so spoilt! There are so many wonderful dishes to choose from, even in one country, let alone when considering the scale of flavours and dishes available throughout the continent. In no particular order here, we offer a few classics that are both popular and famous in their country of origin.

A British Classic

Fish n Chips are up there at the top of the list that you'd recommend to anyone visiting Britain for the first time. Some would say that when the batter is fresh, crispy and light it is a fish dish that is hard to beat! Whether you choose traditional cod over haddock is not as important as the way it's cooked. The chips are unique as they are thick cut and usually fried to perfection. One thing that shocks a newbie to a fish n chip shop supper is that Brits love vinegar as well as a generous shake of salt on the favourite takeaway meal of the nation. Another tradition is that 'mushy peas' or even a saveloy sausage are also a part of these great frying institutions. Just don't forget the pickled egg!


An absolute must when you are anywhere near a fresh market and stall is of course, the Escargot or snail. This dish will always divide the room, but if you like something a little different, what could be more French than a fresh snail dripping with butter and garlic? The truth is that this is 'real food' of a very rustic nature but for centuries was a well-kept secret of the peasants in the country estates throughout the land. Just add a nice glass of a vin de table, and Bob, or rather Robért is your uncle!

Greek Myths

One thing is for sure is that the Greeks like to eat, and eat well they do! There is nothing quite as satisfying as a day at the Acropolis and nice gyros to stave off the hunger of all those kilometres walked looking at ancient sites and ruins. A good gyros is a joyous thing. It is a pita filled with pork or chicken, with generous amounts of onion, tomato, fried potatoes and a dollop of tzatziki. The incredible flavours of well-grilled meat and fresh salads are hard to beat. This is truly one of the stars of the street food scene, and that's no myth!

Spanish Paella

Paella is a great traditional rice dish from Valencia and a mouth-watering feast of flavours. This is traditionally made with short grain rice, rabbit or chicken, green beans and, most important saffron, giving the dish its wonderful sunny colouring. The name itself comes from the shallow pan used to cook together all these wonderful flavours. Paella Valencia is the oldest and most traditional recipe, which utilises a rich chicken stock and olive oil to bring all the flavours together. Naturally, this is great on the coast when you are treated to whatever seafood is fresh, often mixed with chicken. This is best when cooked outside and at a fiesta or at a local celebration!

The Schnitzel

The Wiener schnitzel is the classic dish of Vienna and one of Austria's national dishes. This is a very thin cut of veal which is then bread-crumbed and deep-fried or pan-fried. It is so delicious that it only usually needs a side dish of potato salad or a light green salad. A so called butterhead lettuce with a vinaigrette dressing is the way it is traditionally served. The dish itself was first described as 'breaded veal cutlets' in a German cookbook published in 1831. If you are not a fan of veal, then a pork schnitzel is also very popular.