One of the things I most look forward to when we travel is the chance to try new food. You are probably not shocked to hear this if you have seen photos of me!
The chance to not only have another bite of some fantastic French pastries but to add a whole lot of new experiences had me very excited, especially reading about the options in the Christmas markets of Europe.
This post will have a lot more photos than usual and not just because of my food obsession. You may also find it hard to believe that I actually lost weight during this five week trip, a testament to the crazy amount of walking we did every day.
Let’s start off with something delicious, shall we? Maybe a look at some of the sweet treats we discovered… and devoured.
These amazingly realistic implements are actually made of fine chocolate and were common throughout the Christmas Markets no matter which city we were in.
This store had by far the best display and you actually had to look twice to be sure they weren’t real tools.
You know the trip is going to turn out well when this is the counter of the third shop you see on the first morning in France.
Although it does make the breakfast decision extremely difficult.
We never did get to try this but it looked delicious. Even when you are away from home and keen to try new food you just can’t fit everything in.
These wonderful shortbready, pastry thingies filled the gap as a mid afternoon snack. Can’t remember where they were from but do remember that they tasted pretty good.
The first Trdelnik we had in Cesky Krumlov set the bar very high as far as these incredibly tasty Czech pastries go. We did have others wherever we could find them and while they were all good, none were better than the first.
Is it bad that I remember how good things taste but have no idea what they are called? We had one of these the first morning in Reims and it was a wonderful surprise. Thin, crispy chocolate over a fluffy marshmallow centre on a thin wafer base.
French crepes are just the best anywhere. Dana even decided to leave a little on her chin for later.
Why would you ever walk around hungry in Heidelberg when you can duck in to a cafe and devour one of these crumbly delights for around one Euro?
We waited over two weeks between seeing these for the first time and actually having one. Why? Well, it’s because they are called Rothenberg Schneeballen (snowballs) so we waited until we got to Rothenberg ob der Tauber. They were nice but maybe not worth the wait.
After all that food most people would be searching for a refreshing beverage to wash it down. Since most of this trip was in Germany then you would assume that means a giant glass of beer. Unfortunately not everyone seems to love a good ale.
So let’s get back to some more food to get that horrible beer taste out of my mouth.
Great barbecue ribs at a trendy Amsterdam food court. We also shared some Moinkballs! If you have never tried these tasty morsels then I suggest you find them at your earliest convenience.
Meatballs wrapped in bacon and slow cooked in barbecue sauce.
I decided to try something different in Cesky Krumlov after deciding the traditional Czech dumplings were not for me. This tower of deliciousness is a stack of chicken and warm apple in a cranberry sauce. It sounded a bit weird but tasted a lot great.
On a cold and wet night in Brugge it was nice to sit by this roaring fire and watch our tremendous slabs of beef be cooked with precision and love.
Since I am not a big pork lover I opted for the German mixed grill. Every piece of meat was great and the salty beans with bacon was one of the best side dishes of the trip.
Eventually one needs a change from the relentless schnitzel and sausage offerings. When we met up with our daughter in Prague it was agreed that Mexican was the perfect option. It turned out to be some of the best I have had outside of Mexico.
Speaking of schnitzel, they certainly don’t hold back on the portion sizes as Dana found out in Innsbruck.
But the winning entry goes to this magnificent beast Pauline had in Regensburg. Massive, tender and delicious and once again the sweet cranberry sauce was perfect as an accompaniment.
Another standard change of pace food is pizza and it can be a very hit and miss proposition. Luckily we had a big hit with our two pizzas in Rothenberg. Unusual combination of toppings but unbelievably good.
One thing that I was never going to try was the unfortunately named second dish on this board. It seems more at home on a dairy farm than at a restaurant.
One place that you have to eat in Amsterdam is The Pancake Factory. An unassuming little place in a basement beside the canal close to the Ann Frank House. The pancakes are huge and there is certainly no guarantee you will get through your whole meal. None of us did.
One thing we did find was this awesome Brasilian pop up restaurant in the Christmas Markets on the Champs Elysee. An incredible variety of well cooked meats that continue to arrive on your plate until you are at bursting point, plus the most ridiculous amount of side dishes. This was just for two of us!
No meal is complete without dessert. And when in Austria no dessert is complete without strudel. These two impressive offerings were found in a lovely little beer hall in Innsbruck.
A sensational and huge apple pancake for dessert in the appropriately named Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. I was already full from a wonderful meal but luckily the human stomach has that reserve tank for dessert.
And to wrap up part one of this food journey we have the perfect afternoon tea in Salzburg, some magnificent hot chocolate and the world famous Sacher Torte, eaten in the Sacher Hotel of course.
Please come back for our second course where we explore the offerings through the Christmas Markets.