Western European Countries
I live in England and my geography is pretty basic, but I have been fortunate enough to travel around the globe and experience some fantastic and unusual food!
I thought though that first, before sharing these countries culinary favourites with those Huber's hungry for good grub, that I should educate myself and find out just which countries are included in Western Europe.
Here's the list:
Favorite Andorran recipes are often based on farm produce and freshly caught game. Common entrees (main dishes) include trinxat (boiled potatoes and cabbage), grilled trout, and omeletts made with wild mushrooms. Andorra also has distinctive regional desserts, most notably coques, flat cakes made with grape syrup, brandy, and other flavorings.
Austrians are known for their love of food and drink. Perhaps the most characteristic Austrian dish is the Wienerschnitzel, a veal or pork cutlet that is breaded and fried. Soups and stews with dumplings are very popular, and hot sausages are often served as snacks with beer. Austrian pastry chefs are famous for creating such delicacies as apple strudel , Milchrahmstrudel (a cheese crepe in vanilla custard sauce),Sachertorte (a rich chocolate cake with apricot jam and whipped cream), and Dobostorte (layers of sponge cake and chocolate butter cream glazed with caramel). Wine is an important part of Austrian meals. The area around Vienna produces very good white wines. Many Austrians have a late-afternoon snack called Jause (YOWS-seh), which is pastry and coffee, because they eat dinner very late in the evening. Chocolate pretzels ( Schokoladen-Brezeln) might be served for Jause.
Belgium is known for its rich, tasty food—the Belgians' daily consumption of calories is among the world's highest. Two of the best-known dishes are carbonades of beef (stewed in beer), and a chicken or fish chowder called waterzooi. The North Sea and Atlantic Ocean supply many varieties of fish. The daily catch also includes eels, cockles, and mussels, all of which are considered delicacies. Other Belgian specialties include waffles, over 300 varieties of beer, and chocolate.When I visited I enjoyed the brewery tour in Bruge.The first thing that you notice is a fantastic shelving covering a very high wall, which is littered with hundreds and hundreds of beer bottles of different varieties. They take you round the brewery, starting from the first stage, and ending with a tasting session at the end. The ticket includes two beers at the end.
The old brewery has been brilliantly preserved, and a highlight is standing on the roof and looking over the whole of Bruge. Of course the brewery had to be very tall to encapsulate gravity in the days before they had good working pumps. Whilst I enjoyed our walk and lunch in the pretty town of Bruge I ended up spending a fortune on their chocolate truffles on show on every street corner .They were itended for gifts but after sampling them too delicious to take all of them back home!
Danish Pastry is in Danish called Wienerbrød, Viennese bread, though known in Vienna as "Kopenhagener Gebäck" or "Dänischer Plunder". In Denmark, it has been known since 1840 and is said to have been created by immigrant bakers from Vienna, perhaps strike breakers.
Rødgrød med fløde. The fruit dish the name of which is a test in pronunciation for all non-Danes. The stew is made of for instance redcurrants, raspberries and blackcurrants, which are boiled until soft. The juice is sweetened and thickened, and the dish is then served with cream or milk.
Danish food includes a wide variety of fish, meat, bread, cheese, and crispbreads. The Danes usually eat four meals a day: a breakfast of cereal, cheese, or eggs; lunch; a hot dinner that includes fish or meat; and a late supper. Lunch may include open-faced sandwiches called smørrebrød (smerbrerth), consisting of thin slices of bread with toppings such as smoked salmon or eel, tongue, ham, shrimp, caviar, eggs, or cheese. A popular spread for the smørrebrød is apple-onion lard, a distinctly Danish concoction.
The growing season in Finland is short. When fresh vegetables and fruit are available, they are served in abundance. Many families have vegetable gardens and grow apple trees, gooseberries and black currents.
Over Pancake with Strawberry Sauce
For the strawberry sauce:
1 pint strawberries
¾ cup sugar
For the pancakes
2 Tablespoons butter
4 cups milk 4
large eggs 4
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup flour
- Rinse, drain, and halve (or quarter) the berries and layer them in a stainless steel saucepan with sugar. Let stand for an hour or two so the juices of the berries begin to seep.
- Using very low heat, bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes without stirring.
- Allow to cool and serve over pancakes.
- Preheat oven to 400° F .
- Put the butter in a 9x12 baking pan and place the pan in the oven until the butter is melted.
- Remove pan and swirl until covered with butter.
- In a bowl, beat the eggs.
- Add milk, sugar, and salt and then mix in the flour.
- Pour the mixture into the buttered pan and bake for forty minutes, or until browned and puffed on top.
The pancake will sink as it cools. Cut into squares and serve topped with strawberry sauce. As in other parts of Scandinavia, the "cold table" plays a central role in the Finnish diet. The typical buffet of fish, meat, cheeses, and fresh vegetables eaten with bread and butter is called voileipäpöytä by the Finns. Hot dishes includekalakukko, a pie made with small fish and pork; Karelian rye pastries stuffed with potatoes or rice; and reindeer stew. A popular delicacy is viili, similar to yogurt. A common breakfast consists of cereal, hot porridge, and cold cuts. The oven pancake is a favorite dessert for many occasions, especially at Juhannus, or Midsummer.
The French are famous for their elaborate, well-prepared cuisine which is beautifully served and admired as art on a plate!Each region of the country has its own specialties. Central France is famous for boeuf bourguignon, beef in red wine sauce. Southern France has a typical Mediterranean cuisine that depends heavily on garlic, vegetables, and herbs. One of its typical dishes is a vegetable stew called ratatouille.
Ingredients and dishes vary by region. There are many significant regional dishes that have become both national and regional. Many dishes that were once regional have proliferated in variations across the country.Cheese and wine are a major part of the cuisine as well as bread.
French bread is a lean bread as it contains little or no fat or preservative and so therefore will only last for about a day at most. This is why people visit the local "Boulangerie" (bakery) and buy it daily in France. French bread is eaten at all meals, and forms the most important part of breakfast.We travelled through France by car on our way to visit relatives in Spain, and it amused me when I saw the local people each morning carry their long loaves of bread, avec (with) their morning paper:)
The traditional German diet is high in starch (noodles and dumplings in the south, potatoes in the north). Würste (sausages)—in hundreds of varieties—are a staple throughout the country. Bread is usually eaten at every meal. In addition, the Germans are famous for their love of beer.
Various regions have their own special foods. They include Weisswurst (light-colored sausage) and Black Forest cherry cake in the south. Labskaus (stew), seafood dishes, and bean soup with bacon ( Bohnensuppe mit Speck ) are favorites in the north. Spaetzle, tiny dumplings, are enjoyed by all Germans.