5 must-try foodie delicacies in Europe

21 March 2017

With magnificent natural scenery, fascinating history and a diverse range of enchanting cultures all wrapped up in one intoxicating continent, there are more than a few very good reasons why Europe seduces travellers from all over the globe.



Whether it's the jewel-toned seas of Sicily, the bloodthirsty beauty of Rome's ancient history or the glittering peaks of the Swiss Alps that appeal, beautiful Europe lays on an experience for every taste.

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If, like many other travellers of the epicurean nature, the taste of local specialities plays a key role in making that final holiday decision, discover our top five must-try European delicacies that can't possibility disappoint.

Italian gelato

After a tasty helping of pizza, pasta and antipasti, something sweet usually goes down a treat. Fortunately, along with its popular savoury options, Italy is the home of gelato (pictured above), a creamy form of ice-cream that will take you on a one-way trip to food heaven.

Churned at a much slower rate than ice-cream, gelato has a denser, silkier consistency as well as a lower cream (and therefore fat) content. The only problem is, this delicacy comes in a rainbow of mouth-watering flavours from panna cotta to pistachio – you'll want to try them all.

Hungarian goulash

 

Hungarian Goulash

 

If your travels take you through the verdant lands of Eastern Europe and you find yourself hungry in Hungary, be sure to sample the infamous Hungarian goulash, a thick and flavoursome meat and vegetable stew, seasoned with paprika and an assortment of other spices.

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This traditional dish is one for those that enjoy their meat as it can be prepared using beef, veal, pork or tender lamb. Just the sort of food for the soul that can warm the cockles of your heart on a crisp Eastern European night.

French crepes

 

French Crepes

 

More sophisticated than a pancake, the traditional French crepe will have just the right consistency – not too thin, not too thick and light as a feather. However, it's what's on the inside that counts and the French know how to get fancy with their fillings.

Recipe: Crepe Suzette

From chocolate sauce and fresh fruit to spinach and goat's cheese, the crepe is your oyster. Plus, you can enjoy them at any meal of the day – all three if the mood takes.

Greek moussaka

 

Moussaka

 

Moussaka is a sumptuous dish suitable for both the dedicated carnivore and the passionate vegetarian foodie with one tiny tweak. The traditional Greek recipe consists of aubergine or potato cooked, layered with minced lamb and smothered in spiced tomatoes and a thick, cheese sauce. The dish is then baked in the oven until well browned. This is European comfort food at its very best.

Related: The 5 best food markets in Greece

Spanish paella

 

Spanish Paella

 

This quintessentially Spanish speciality might seem like a simple rice dish at first glance, but this irresistible mix of saffron rice, spice and seafood is hardly a piece of cake to create.

Allegedly, one of the secrets of the flavour is to strategically allow some of the rice to burn and stick to the bottom of the pan – it's a fine line to walk though so best left to the experts. The original dish is thought to have come from Valencia, so head to the east coast to sample variations bursting with aromatic flavour.

Find out the best places to try authentic Spanish food...

These are just a few picks from a seemingly endless list of European delicacies you must try at least once in your lifetime. Explore our collection of Euro breaks and begin your foodie journey today.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.