Eating the local food is one of the most important ways to experience local culture. After all, you might be eating it every day – although you may want to avoid some of the local delicacies in European cuisine. Dutch raw herring, for instance, doesn’t go down a treat for all expats! But, especially if you live in a major city, international cuisine is readily available. You may find it strange that the Dutch smother their chips (frites) with mayonnaise, but is Dutch cuisine really so bad? The Belgians, who are famed for their frites, eat them with mayonnaise too; read the story of their humble roots and find out if the famed Belgian chocolates are under threat. Another little known fact; Berlin is thebirthplace of the donor kebab.
Treat your loved one to a dinner under the stars in Belgium, an Indonesian rijsttafel in Amsterdam or enjoy paella with a little flamenco on the side on the Costa Blanca, a region where it is possible to eat cheap and well, according to one expat food blogger. A multicultural blogger in the UK discovers the delights of a pizzeria in Brixton. Should your heart be set on sushi, here’s where to find sushi restaurants in Germany.
Trends in cuisine
Let’s not forget France, a country famed for fine cuisine, where French chefs tune into changing times, while the Gastro Bistro thrives as top chefs turn to ‘democratic dining’. Spanish chefs are also adapting to hard times as they revolutionise Spanish cuisine by adapting their menus to simpler, cheaper fare, while one famous chef in Spain unveils the food of tomorrow. A Swiss chocolatier is busy inventing chocolate that won’t melt in your hand, while an ice-cream store in Switzerland has developed a flavour based on the Brazilian cocktail caipirinha.
Learn more about Germany's favourite snack, the curried sausage or "currywurst," which has now got its own museum. Plus, here's the story of Munich's Weisswurst to help you make sure that you are buying the 'real' thing which should be "as white as snow" according to the experts.
Beer and wine
Find out about wines in the Southern Rhone Valley, or, for those with deep pockets, visit the chateaux of Bordeaux. Spanish winery Vega Sicilia explains its philosophy of quality before quantity or if wine’s not your tipple of choice become acquainted with some thirst-quenching Catalan beers. On the subject of beer, check out where to locate the best bars in Brussels, Antwerp, Brugge, Ghent or Amsterdam.. If you don’t agree with our choice or see one missing, please send us your recommendations or leave them under the article via the ‘reply’ button. Not sure what beers to drink in the Netherlands? Our guide to Dutch beer should help. Love beer and festivals? Then head for Munich in Germany to enjoy Oktoberfest! And for those who’ve overdone the tipple, an apple a day could keep your hangover at bay.
Expatica’s Dining & Cuisine section is full of local recipes. Find out how to make Spanish: Empanadillas, Belgian: Liege meatballs, Netherlands: Dutch apple tart. In Germany, go forth into nature and follow our recipes for picnics! In Switzerland, learn about roasting raclette and, if you’re based in France, skip the recipe and try out a cookery class and make your own lunch at the same time. Last but not least, here’s how to enjoy Britain’s great traditional meal: the Sunday Roast.
Finding the right ingredients, restaurants and bars
Making your favourite, or national food, in you new country of residence may not be easy as one American in Holland discovers on her quest to find the ingredients for cupcakes in the Netherlands.
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