While in Europe, I, like most travelers, love using up as much time as I’ve got to soak in the atmosphere and see all the sights, from the very famous to the happenstance. That’s why, although Europe offers a multitude of leisurely dining options, I often opt for something that’s quick and easy to purchase — and even easier to eat on the go. The list below chronicles a few of my favorites thus far and I’m sure that with more trans-Atlantic visits, my list will only grow.
Chips and Kebab (U.K.)
While most everyone knows England is famous for its fish ‘n’ chips (fries), I often craved chips and doner kebab instead while I studied abroad in Oxford, England. After a late night spent in the library (or pub), my friends and I always gravitated toward food trucks that offered this Turkish specialty — french fries doused in mayonnaise and other sauces of your choice, with perfectly seasoned doner kebab ground meat. We weren’t alone, either; a long wait in line wasn’t unusual.
Croquettes (The Netherlands)
Buying croquettes in Amsterdam
at Febo // © Deanna Ting 2009
Talk about convenience: While in Amsterdam this summer, I discovered FEBO (www.febodelekkerste.nl
), a Dutch fast-food chain that lets customers purchase piping-hot croquettes directly from a wall vending machine. The croquettes, usually made up of mashed potatoes, minced meat and vegetables, came in a variety of flavors and, to my surprise, were fairly filling for something purchased for so few euros. If your clients want something a little more substantial, they can also purchase fries, hamburgers and drinks from the counter.
Currywurst in Cologne,
Germany // © Deanna Ting 2009
Perhaps one of the few snack foods with its own documentary film (www.bestofthewurst.com
), currywurst is a unique amalgamation of curry spice powder, ketchup and German pork sausage (wurst). This dish, with its sweet and savory flavors, is considered a national dish in Germany, so much so that an estimated 800 million servings are sold in the country annually. Although I devoured my first currywurst at a proper sit-down establishment, it’s more common for folks to order it go from numerous currywurst stands found throughout Germany.
No trip to Italy would be complete without at least one or more helpings of gelato ice cream. The sheer assortment of flavors, and the smooth, creamy consistency of gelato makes it a dessert to savor year-round, and not just in the summer. And while you can find gelato just about anywhere in the world nowadays, nothing compares to the gelato savored on the cobblestoned streets of Rome or the beautiful canals of Venice.
Pommes Frites (Belgium, France, Germany)
Pommes Frites, also in Cologne // © Deanna Ting 2009
Call them french fries or freedom fries — whichever you prefer — fried potatoes slathered in gobs of mayonnaise, ketchup and fried onion pieces are a universally delectable treat. I savored some amazing pommes frites on a recent trip to Germany, but I’m almost certain you will find variations of it that are just as tasty throughout Europe, especially in Belgium and in France.
If you have any favorite European foods or treats, feel free to share them with us by leaving a comment below. Bon appetit!