Foods of Europe: Mind Blown

Written by Melissa November 4, 2014

Our homecooked meal in Pompeii

Pasta in Roma

Kiachl. This is when I learned that Austrian people will give people the option to top almost anything with either marmalade or sauerkraut (which are strange options)

Churro with thick chocolate dipping sauce

Mixed chicken and seafood paella for Thanksgiving dinner

The La Boqueria

Fruit stand in the La Boqueria

My Italian teacher taught us her personal recipe for tiramisu!

One of our gourmet dinners with CIMBA

Fruit stand in the La Boqueria

Dessert at a gourmet dinner with CIMBA


Pastries in Bassano

Hot cocoa in Vienna

Beer from the Augustiner brewery

Kiachl und marmelade

Buchtel in Vanillesauce (a pastry in hot vanilla sauce), it's a dream!

Wiener schnitzel!

Pumpkin ravioli at the gourmet dinner was surprisingly delicious!

Israeli stuffed pizza with sesame seeds on the crust is surprisingly amazing!

A happy fruit stand vendor in Tsfat in northern Israel

The tea we were served by the Bedouins was the best tea I've ever had in my life!

Our dinner in the Bedouin tent in the Negev desert

We tasted fresh strawberries in the greenhouses in the Negev desert

My first Italian gelatto in venice

Italian hot chocolate is so thick and rich it's like drinking melted chocolate...

Seafood pasta in venice

Seafood pizza in Asolo

Shakshuka is a middle-eastern egg dish. It's wonderful!

We picked fresh tomatoes off the vine in the greenhouses in the Negev desert

Belgian Waffles

Cappuccino in Cinque Terre. I almost learned to like coffee while in Italy!

My first Italian pizza in Venice! This is when I discovered that they don't cut pizzas into slices in Italy!

Gelato in venice

Gelato in Verona

I discovered how different European breakfast is on our first morning in Venice!

Italian desserts in venice

Italian in-flight meals are different too! Breadsticks and a block of parmesan cheese!

Enjoying fresh fruit juice at the La Boqueria

My first Krapfen in Fietta!

Baguette in Paris

Perfect risotto at the gourmet dinner with CIMBA

Fresh mussel pasta in Manarola Cinque Terre

In 2014, I experienced a gastronomical explosion!

I know in just about every post I’ve written I’ve described some kind of cultural food or drink I’ve discovered in my travels. I wanted to compile all the pictures of awesome food in this one post for all the food lovers like me who want to appreciate the culinary smorgasbord I experienced. And this will benefit the others of the food-appreciation spectrum who can’t stand to see another picture of someone else’s meal. If that’s you then you can skip right over this post!

In Italy, I had a wonderful time exploring all the different pastas and pizzas and gelatos and other desserts. From my very first krapfen and cannoli to my first Neapolitan pizza (from Naples) to my first taste of wild boar in Tuscany, Italy’s food was full of great surprises.

In Spain, though I was only there for a little over a day, I loved everything I tasted. There, they used only the most fresh ingredients! I also had my first kabob in Barcelona, which is random, but shows the influence of outside cultures in every country.

In Austria, I tasted the food I grew up with my dad making for my family. All the traditional german foods were so great and made me feel like a kid again (which helped me to enjoy the Christmas markets even more, if that’s possible).

In France, I had a great time eating. There were macarons and baguettes and crepes and other fantastic things I enjoyed. I wish I had taken more pictures!

In Belgium, we had waffles and beer and chocolate. What more could you ask for?

Before I studied abroad with CIMBA, my first trip out of the U.S. was just a few months earlier when I went to Israel with a group of students from Virginia Tech. There, I experienced my first shawarma and falafel and fell in love with hummus!

My year of travel was the most exciting of my life so far. I’m turning 21 next week and I can’t believe how fortunate I’ve been in my life, but I know that the adventures have only just begun.