A Bison Abroad | 5 European Foods You Must Try

I’m thoroughly convinced that calories don’t count once you’ve stepped on European soil. So many of our own “American” foods have stemmed from European soil like pizza, pasta, pastries, you name it.

One of the many (if not one of the best) joys of traveling is trying all of the exotic foods. Since food is such an essential part of any culture, it’s important to let your uncertainties go and immerse yourself in the carbs.

All of the preparation that goes into creating a meal and sitting down to eat with the people around us is such a unique bonding experience because food is not only enjoyable, it’s essential.

After traveling to 11 different European countries, I’ve compiled a list of my top foods that anyone traveling abroad must try.

Coffee

Although Starbucks does exist around the world, my advice is to forget about America’s favorite coffee joint and stop into one of the many local cafés.

It doesn’t take long to discover that Europeans take their coffee very seriously (and seriously strong).

Particularly in Italy, I noticed the coffee culture was held in such a high regard, which became evident within the dozens upon dozens of espresso bars I happened upon.

So the next time you’re in Italy, grab a shot or two of espresso, finish it off with a croissant and you’ll be sure to feel like a true Italian in no time.

If you’re not a coffee drinker, try the Belgian hot chocolate or the Italian hot cocoa (it’s basically a thick, liquefied chocolate bar).

In Europe, there seems to be a café around every corner. If you’re not going for the drink, go in for the charming picturesque café atmosphere.

Paella

Emily Wotzka| THE SPECTRUM
Paella, a traditional rice dish from Spain.

Paella is a traditional Spanish dish that consists of rice and a mixture of vegetables, seafood, beans or meat. It comes in varying degrees of spiciness and can be found in almost any café or restaurant.

Gelato

I think it’s time to settle the gelato versus ice cream debate once and for all.

Gelato is technically made with less cream than ice cream, and it ends up being the healthier option with a lesser fat content (four to five grams less), which oddly enough creates a less dense, creamier texture.

Each country typically has a signature flavor, and if you ever end up in Amsterdam, I highly suggest the stroopwafel gelato. Made with chunks of the traditional Amsterdam cookie, the stroopwafel, and swirls of gooey caramel, you will surely be transported to gelato heaven.

Trdelník

The trdelnik is a gooey, chimney-looking pastry that originated in Slovakia, but is commonly found in stands all over Prague, Czech Republic.

These pastries are made by rolling dough (covered in sugar and butter) around a stick and then roasting them over an open flame.

Spaetzle

Emily Wotzka| THE SPECTRUM
Egg noodles drenched in butter and parsley create the traditional Austrian dish, spaetzle.

For every pasta lover out there, this one is for you.

Spaetzle is a traditional soft egg noodle dish found most commonly in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Drowned in butter, parsley and other light spices, Spaetzle is comfort food like you’ve never experienced before.

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