Even if we don’t always remember the history behind the Colosseum, the significance of Tower of London, or who commissioned Versailles, after returning home from a trip, we can almost always remember what we ate while we were there.
Of course, food memories can range from pleasurable to uncomfortable or even mediocre. Judgments aside, though, most of us travelers can agree that the times when we eat during a trip are most often also the times when we feel the most engaged. With all five senses stimulated, we not only see, hear, smell, or even touch a certain place — we taste it, too.
Globalization has made sampling delicacies from around the world fairly easy. Most of us don’t have to live in Spain to have delicious paella, or travel to Switzerland for incredible fondue. But our list isn’t solely about individual dishes; it’s about the experience of eating in an authentic context. It’s about actually stepping foot in the wood-fired pizza ovens in Naples and London’s iconic pubs for fish and chips. You may be able to recreate a crêpe, but you (sadly) will have a difficult time recreating the crepêrie that wafts saccharine batter aromas from a Parisian street corner.
Our European food selection is a dense and delicious mix, with highlights spanning culinary capitals from Austria to Northern Ireland. Some of the more familiar dishes on this list include pizza and spaghetti al pomodoro, while generally lesser-known dishes like colcannon and ćevapčići, are also reconginized for their cultural importance. Whether or not you've got your own Eurotrip planned in the near future, our roundup is the next best thing to being there yourself.
Of course, none of these dishes could have been created in a vacuum. They are most often the sum of geography, traditions, necessities, and personal tastes of a given culture. This considered, many of the dishes on our list arguably have multiple homes across several borders, yet we’ve chosen to bring you the locations where we believe you can find them in some of their purest forms. Check out the slideshow to learn more!