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10 European Cities Known for a Specific Food

Jul, 23 || No Comments | Tags: , , , , , ,

If you are a gourmet traveler, you would certainly love to taste your favorite foods in the cities where they were invented. Instead of wandering around Europe, here is a guide of the places you should visit!

Chicken Tikka Masala – Glasgow, Scotland

If you thought chicken tikka masala was an authentic Indian meal, you were wrong. Instead, this can be thought of as a true example of British cuisine. The recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala was made in Scotland’s capital, Glasgow.

According to late labor party MP, Robin Cook, chicken tikka masala is a true national dish of Great Britain as it symbolizes the country’s culture. If you take a look at the recipe, you’ll realize that there’s truth in this claim – traditional Indian meal mixed with British gravy.

Danish Pastries – Vienna, Austria

Although this type of pastries has been synonymous with the cuisine of Denmark, its birthplace is actually in Vienna. The story goes that in 1840s, Viennese chefs brought the recipe to Scandinavia. The recipe was known to Austrians for centuries, but people in the north of Europe fell in love with it much later. In fact, they became so attached to the pastries that it became their national meal.

Fish and Chips, London, England

You would think that this meal could’ve been born in any part of the world, as it’s very simple to make. The name says it all – everything you need to make it is fish and chips.  However, if you’re gonna trust UK’s National Association of Fish Fryers, the birthplace of the dish was Whitechapel, a town which is now a part of London. According to the same source, it was Joseph Malin, a Jewish émigré, who opened the first ever chip shop. The location of the chipie was in the street now called the Cleveland Road.

French Fries – Namur, Belgium

There’s still a dispute about the exact birthplace of this dish between France and Belgium. Although no one can say for sure who started deep-frying slices of potatoes first, many historians think it all began in Namur, a city in the Belgian province of Wallonia. According to the journalist Jo Gérard who did an investigation on this question, people from Meuse valley used to make French fries back in 17th century. Gérard adds that the reason why the dish got its name is that Belgium belongs to the “French gastronomic hegemony”.

Paella – Valencia, Spain

While there is some doubt whether French fries were actually invented in Belgium, there’s absolutely no doubt that paella is one hundred percent Valencian dish. In fact, the word “paella” is a Valencian word, meaning frying pan. In the past, people from Valencia used to cook this dish in open air on the shores of the lake Albufera. Traditionally, Valencian paella was made of rice, green vegetables, and meat.

Barbagiuan – Monaco

Barbagiuan is often served as an appetizer in restaurants along the French Riviera. In Monaco, it is considered the national dish and is traditionally eaten on 19 November, which is the national day of the country. The dish is basically a fritter, filled with spinach, ricotta and Swiss chard.

Carpaccio – Venice, Italy

Carpaccio is probably the most famous dish that was invented in Venice. Same as the previous dish on our list, this one too is an appetizer. But, unlike barbagiuan, which has its vegan variants, Carpaccio is all meat. Basically, Carpaccio is mixture of several types of raw meat, thinly sliced and served with lemon, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese.

This dish was invented by Italian chef, Giuseppe Cipriani, who worked at the legendary Harry’s Bar, back in the 1950s. So, if you want to eat Carpaccio at the place where it was invented, head straight to Venice. The bar is still at the same place it’s always been, Calle Vallaresso 1323.

Fondue – Zurich, Switzerland

The earliest know mention of the dish fondue is found in the recipe book called “Käss mit Wein zu kochen”, which translated as “to cook cheese with wine”. The book was published in late 17th century in Zurich, implying that fondue was a common dish in this city at the time. Still, it took a few centuries until fondue gained worldwide fame. It all started in 1930s, when the Swiss Cheese Union started promoting it as Swiss national dish.

Sandwich – Kent, England

There is no doubt that people used to put two bits of bread together with a piece of meat in the middle many centuries ago. Still, the dish got its name in the 18th century to celebrate John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. Supposedly, it was him who popularized it among British aristocracy. The legend goes that the Earl was an avid gambler, who used to spend hours playing cards. Instead of stopping the game to go for a meal, he used to pack lunch with him, a dish we now call sandwich.

Pizza – Naples, Italy

There are some ancient manuscripts mentioning the word pizza in the southern parts of Italy, but the pizza we know and love today is the one that was first made in Naples. There’s an apocryphal legend that the famous 19th-century Neapolitan baker, Raffaele Esposito was hired to create a dish in honor of Princess Margherita of Savoy. However, historians believe there wasn’t a single event that sparked pizza’s popularity. Instead, the dish evolved slowly through time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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