International Street Food Festival: Elegant European Eats
Think of Europe and you usually think of cobblestone streets, cathedrals, long languid wine-soaked lunches and afternoon siestas.
Food is, of course, a highlight of a visit to Europe and each country is famous for its regional specialities. But not many European street food dishes spring to mind.
Never fear, some amazing Europe-based bloggers have rustled up some street food sensations from Spain, Italy and Germany. Meet Christine from Christine in Spain, Mette from Italian Notes and Laurel from Monkeys, Mountains and Maultaschen.
Street Food Sensation: Churros from Spain
Crispy. Golden. Piping hot. These doughy flutes known as churros are Spain’s most well-known breakfast food. Dip them liberally in thick milk chocolate or a café con leche or opt for a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar, though in Spain the latter is less common.
Churros are sold by street vendors and cafés year-round as well as specialized churrerías (often in a trailer) that fry up these doughnut-like pastries during the holiday season. Street vendors start frying up churros in the wee hours of the morning to catch the late-night fiesta-goers on their way home from the nightclubs. It’s a ritual for many indulging in Spain’s nightlife: go out until sunrise, stop for some churros, before hitting the bed for the rest of the day.
The origin of churros is often argued and beliefs range from them originating from the Portuguese, who borrowed the idea from the Chinese, while others say nomadic Spanish shepherds made churros easily from an open fire and a bit of oil for a snack.
Whatever their origins may be, they’re most popular in Spain and Latin America and musn’t be missed during a breakfast out!
Nominated by … Christine
… who ditched 9-5 corporate America to learn Spanish and soak up a new culture in southern Spain. She blogs over at www.christineinspain.com about expat life, and shares her photos and stories of travel around the world.
My personal mantra is to never let the fear of something prevent you from doing it. Sometimes the best things in life are the things that scare us senseless! As travelers, we all had to take that first step out the door despite surely many doubts hanging over our heads, but we never would have got where we are now without pushing that fear aside. – Advice from Christine for people who have a dream but are a little afraid to jump into it.
Street Food Sensation: Italian Options
To the surprise of most people – or me at least – Italy isn’t big on street food.
You don’t see fast food on wheels at farmers markets or town squares, and apart from pizza joints there are few outlets selling take away. On festive occasions, you can buy a sandwich or some fried fish, but that’s it. To Italians food is still a communal thing, and you don’t walk and eat or gorge yourself on snacks outside the proper mealtimes. Basta.
There are local exceptions. In Tuscany, you can come across a porchettaro selling sandwiches with delicately thin slices of whole roasted pig (porchetta). I have read about a Puglian speciality called Bombetta Pugliese, which is a thin slice of pork wrapped around a piece of cheese and grilled, but after years in Puglia I’ve never seen it in real life.
And then there are the irresistible Sicilian Arancini di Riso or rice balls with a bleeding heart of cheese coated in bread crumbs and fried to resemble small oranges. They are sometimes sold on the ferry to Messina as an appetizer to the island, and they can make me long for Sicily anytime.
Nominated by: Mette …
… who blogs at Italian Notes and is dreadfully preoccupied with all things Italian.
“In my experience you live to regret what you don’t do, not what you do” – Mette’s advice to people to people who have a dream but are too scared to jump into it.
Street Food Sensation: Weisswurst & Weissbier (White Sausage & White Beer)
Weisswurst is one of Bavaria’s most famous sausages, easily identifiable by its white color. It’s served with sweet mustard, a pretzel and a Weissbier (white beer).
Weisswurst is rarely served outside of Bavaria, so indulge it in while in this mild tasting sausage when in the southeast corner of Germany.
To eat it like a local, you must eat it before noon, or you may as well have “tourist” stamped on your forehead.
Ordering it after noon virtually ensures good-natured heckling by the vendor!
The tradition of eating Weisswurst before noon, dates back to former times, prior to refrigeration, when it had to be eaten soon after preparation to avoid spoiling.
Despite modern day refrigeration, the tradition of eating it before noon has continued.
To celebrate TGIF, some hearty souls will even have it for breakfast on Friday – beer included of course, before heading to work.
Not being Bavarian, I prefer eating my Weisswurst just before noon in a beer garden.
Nominated by: Laurel …
… a freelance travel writer and travel blogger exploring Europe and beyond for outdoor adventures, off-beat locations, local cuisine and monkeys! Laurel blogs at Monkeys, Mountains and Maultaschen
Read: Being Cariboo by Karsten Heuer. “Karsten and his wife, Leanne followed the migration of the endangered Porcupine Cariboo herd for five months – on foot,” Laurel said. “It’s adventure, inspiration and educational all at the same time.”
Stay tuned for more street food sensations from around the world tomorrow, day six of the International Street Food Festival here on The Dropout Diaries. Tomorrow’s menu includes some unusual eats from Africa, Australia and Thailand.
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