That tiramisu that was to die for, that German potato salad that kicks your mother-in-law’s “southern style” in the rear. The American “To Go” box just isn’t going to cut it this time – you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and get in the kitchen to reincarnate those heavenly dishes you came across in your European travels.
While it’s an excellent idea to try to pick up a local recipe for a traditional dish while you’re in the country (a timeless souvenir), we understand that silly things like itineraries and language barriers can sometimes get in the way. We’ve got your back on a few classic favorites from around Europe that are as authentic as your local grocery selection will permit, which is often surprisingly greater than you’d expect. If your local grocer comes up short, a trip to the nearest Wholefoods or international grocer (World Market and Fresh Market are some options) is well worth the authentic flavor. And, well, you can still tell your dinner party that you picked up the recipe while abroad, seeing as these recipes are so authentic that you might as well have done. We won’t tell if you don’t.
Below, you’ll find our list of a few can’t-miss European dishes from some of Europe’s most popular countries. We’ve grouped our authentic recipes by country, so click on the country link below to find the recipes for the dishes we’ve listed.
Bratwurst mit sauerkraut
From the region of Nuremberg comes the beloved roast bratwurst with sauerkraut. A bratwurst is a type of sausage made of finely chopped veal, pork or beef. Sauerkraut is fermented shredded cabbage. Sauerkraut with grilled brats has become a more common dish in the U.S. in the past years, but we have a recipe straight from the Mother Land with an authentic secret tip that’s delicious and maybe even a little naughty.
German potato salad
Potatoes go with almost anything, and because German cuisine is a meat-and-potatoes kind of style, we had to include some on our menu. This lumpy staple food has found its way into the cuisine of so many cultures since its origination in Peru (not introduced to Europe until after the beginning of the colonial era in the mid-16th century – interesting fact of the day), and there are many delicious ways to dress it up, so you can’t quite call it a boring side. German potato salad is one of those simple but delicious dishes that grants dimension to your menu. American southern style potato salad has its merits, but German potato salad always seems to win out as the most popular one at the party.
Wholesome, comforting and flavorful. Need we say more? No, but just in case you’re not a ricotta fan, we’ve got an alternative that will make a lasagna-lover out of you yet.
Most commonly prepared with either veal or chicken, saltimbocca is an easy, delectable Italian favorite that you can cook and gobble up in no time – the word literally means “to jump in the mouth.” Sage, prosciutto, capers and white wine create this dish’s characteristic savory flavor.
Light-as-air cake, cream, chocolate and coffee. The lasagna of desserts. Need we say more?
Coq au vin
There’s a difference in having wine with your chicken and eating wine with your chicken. The French got it down in this classic dish flavored with rosemary, and if you’re worried about stewing it for hours…we’ve got a trick that will cut time considerably without sacrificing authenticity.
Cream puffs au chocolat
Dare to indulge. Crème brulée isn’t the only French dessert. Cream puffs are another well-known French favorite that are a little more unexpected in a home menu, but delightfully easy to make. Luckily, our recipe is completely authentic and completely scrumptious, but not completely unhealthy like the full-fat recipes, so you can pour on more chocolate without feeling guilty.
This refreshing and simple dip is served as both an appetizer and an accompaniment in Greece, and like the rest of Greek culture, it’s been around for ages. Serve with bread, toasted pita chips, vegetables, lamb or fish and you’ll instantly add an authentic Greek twist.
A classic trait of Greek cuisine is the tendency to stuff things with rice, lemon juice and meat. These roasted stuffed tomatoes are the epitome of an authentic Greek classic and are served with (hey, what do you know!) authentic tzatziki.
There’s supposedly more to Spanish cuisine than paella and tapas…we just aren’t quite sure what it is. So until Spanish cookbooks can convince us otherwise, we’ll take some hot paella please. This traditional gem of Spanish fare originated in Valencia in the mid-19th century, and the laid back, eastern coast beach town is still known for having the best paella. So of course, our recipe is Valencian, tried and true.
To spice up your dinner menu with this delectable European fare, select the country names above and follow our authentic recipes. Bon appétit!