In the world of food, Great Britain may be best known for its roast dinners and fish & chips. With so much influence from our European countries, it’s no surprise that we’ve adopted a number of their own original dishes and claimed them for our own. Of course, even our best attempts are futile compared to sampling the genuine article in its country of origin. When making your European travel plans, remember to renew your EHIC card in order to cover yourself against the expensive cost of medical bills if you require treatment while abroad. Once your application is approved you’ll be able to enjoy the following meals during your European break.
Of all the European countries, there may not be any that have seen so many of their national dishes adopted within the UK. Drive down any main road in the UK and you are guaranteed to see a number of pizza shops as it becomes one of the country’s most popular takeaway dishes. Spaghetti Bolognese and lasagne are very popular dishes that cooked at home in the UK, while we also have to thank the Italians for ice cream.
A number of Spanish dishes have become common place in the UK especially paella which is very easy to prepare and packed full of flavour. The Spanish are a big fan of fresh meat, vegetables and big flavours, all of which are present in paella. Gazpacho (a cold soup) is also very common, made from ripe tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, peppers and cucumber. Tortillas and omelettes are also common place in England thanks to the Spanish influence.
For some people, French cuisine can be hit and miss, but if you are adventurous enough then all of it is delicious. Snails and frog legs require a little bravery if you’re a first timer, but they very lean and succulent. Meanwhile, coq au vin is a very popular dish around the world. Translated literally as rooster (or cock) and wine, the dish comprises of chicken braised in wine with lardons, mushrooms and garlic. Beef bourguignon is very similar except with beef instead of chicken, and both meals can be enjoyed on their own or served with potatoes or rice.
Admittedly, we mainly have Ikea to thank for the enjoyment of their biggest delicacy. More than 150 million Swedish meatballs (commonly known as kottbullar in Sweden) are sold in Ikea stores every single year. Made from ground beef and pork mixed with onions and tossed lightly in breadcrumbs, they are then served with chips, a light gravy and lingonberry jam, and they are heavenly.
While perhaps not a mainstream European country, the Hungarians have certainly had their influence on us when it comes to goulash. Translated as a ‘Shepherds soup’ in its home country, goulash is a thick stew with chunks of meat, potatoes and vegetables. With soups and casseroles being a common place in the UK, especially in the winter season, a Hungarian goulash fits right in.