Tantalise your taste buds with a culinary adventure in some of the most famous foodie countries the world has to offer! Devour your way through delicious dishes and traditional treats from your bucket list eats. Whether it's mouth-watering mezes, tasty tapas or a concoction of scrumptious seasonal flavours – whet your appetite with these taste sensation destinations. Gourmet globetrotters are sure to find all the right ingredients for an unforgettable foodie holiday…
A Mediterranean marvel, Greece has countless tricks up its sleeve when it comes to culinary masterpieces. Known for eating up to five times a day – you're guaranteed to never go hungry on a Greek holiday! Find the truest taste of authenticity at a traditional taverna and tuck in with the locals. Tables buckle under mountains of melt in your mouth meze, which make for a great way to sample as many dishes as possible. Dolmades, Courgette Balls and Tzatziki dip are some of the staple bites and should all be tasted at least once.
If you fancy a break from the taverna table, don't forgot to delve into the delicious street-food stalls. Succulent Souvlaki is almost impossible to avoid, which is great – because you don't want to miss out on one mouthful! The food of the masses for good reason, it's essentially any kind of meat grilled on a skewer (what's not to love?). Souvlaki's close cousin, the Gyro, is very similar. Instead of sitting on a skewer, slices of meat are placed in a pita, and then garnished in tzatziki, tomatoes, lettuce, or whatever you fancy!
For those with a sweet tooth, you'll want to sample some of Greece's delightful deserts. Baklava is a gorge-worthy wonder made of nuts, butter and sugar. Syrup is generously poured over the freshly baked beauties, and the crispy layers of phyllo pastry soak up every last morsel of scrumptious goodness. For foodies always on the hunt for the next sugar fix, look no further than Loukoumades. Little bite-sized golden balls of fried dough, the Greek take on donuts are sprinkled with (yet more) sweet syrup and cinnamon and are every bit as scrumptious as they sound!
No holiday to Italy would be complete without consuming your body weight in mouth-watering local dishes! The best meals are elegant and simple, relying on the freshness of the ingredients to do all the hard work. The menu is hugely diverse, and hugely dependent on what's in season and which region of Italy you're in. If holidaying in the Amalfi Coast, you can expect dishes that are influenced by the sea. If you're staying inland, it'll most likely be centred on whatever you see roaming around outside – boar, lamb, chicken – you name it. You can't get much fresher than that!
If pasta is Italy's gift to the world, then pizza is its gift to the universe! Available in all shapes and sizes, no English or American take on these Italian staples will ever do the dishes justice. The crowd-pleasing comfort food is found everywhere, so be sure to treat your taste buds to the real deal. Aside from the go-to goodies, foodies should keep their eyes peeled for Tuscany's Panzanella (summer salad made with chunks of leftover bread) and Sicily's Arancini (creamy risotto rice that's breaded and deep-fried).
Of course, you can't visit Italy's Amalfi Coast without sipping on a luscious glass of Limoncello. Made from strongly scented lemon zest, mixed spirits and lashings of sugar, this drink packs a punch. Especially if the brew you've bought is homemade!
It's virtually impossible to detail the diversity of dining in Spain – between the islands and the mainland – there's so many regions with their own unique take on dishes and techniques. Sinking your teeth into Spain is best done at the dinner table, from paella to papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes), it allows you to get a real taste of the captivating culture. You'll see key ingredients resurface time and time again, especially the beloved Spanish sausage chorizo – not to mention the different takes on paella. Born in Valencia, the rice dish is now internationally known, and uses just about every ingredient imaginable! Chicken, pork, shellfish, eel, equid, peas, peppers, saffron spice… the list never ends!
Menorca has a magical gastronomic tradition of its own – Caldereta de langosta. Lobster stew for those in the know, this signature dish is a delicious delicacy you must try. Only available over the summer months, the lobster is added to a concoction of onions, tomatoes, garlic and parsley. Boiled and eaten with thin slices of bread – this one's got to make it on to your culinary bucket list.
It should be illegal to visit Spain and not tuck in to some tapas! Tortilla Española (Spanish omelette), Patatas Bravas (fried potatoes covered in tomato sauce) and Gambas al Ajillo (garlic shrimp) are among some of the most popular dishes. The sheer amount of choice can be a little overwhelming, but fortune favours the bold – so be brave with your sustenance selections and introduce your taste buds to a whole new world! You'll find tapas all over Spain, with regional twists and finishing touches of course.
When it comes to deserts, there are countless delicious discoveries to be made in Spain. From sugary custards to pastries overflowing with chocolate, there's plenty to satisfy even the most stubborn sweet tooth. A go-to any-time-of-day sugar fix is the classic churro. Often accompanied by a pot of hot, melted dipping chocolate, this sweet treat is a forever favourite. And the best bit? There's no bad time to get stuck in! Breakfast? No judgement. Lunch? Why not? Midnight snack? Ok!
Treat your taste buds to a trip to Croatia and you'll hit the culinary jackpot. An irresistible mixture of Mediterranean and eastern European foods make for a magnificent holiday menu. Coastal Croatia serves up scrumptious seafood, while the interior whips up a wonderful selection of stews, soups, goulashes and meat dishes.
Istria has quickly shot up to the top of the gourmet ladder with its unique specialities, not to mention the tempting truffles that find their way into everything! We're not talking chocolate truffles either, rather the underground mushroom with a potato-like body. The region is becoming renowned for some of the highest quality truffles on the continent – beating out the likes of Italy! Even if you're not totally sold on the idea, this is a delicacy worth trying. For the more hardcore foodies, you can hunt down truffle ice-cream…
An unmissable dish that you'll find in almost every seafood restaurant is the infamous Crni Rizot (black risotto). Squid ink gives the dish its distinctive hue and can be a little intimidating to the unsuspecting diner. Don't let the colour put you off though – it makes for a delectable dinner, jam-packed with mussels, clams and other shellfish. It'll also make a wonderful addition to any foodie Instagram feed.
Croatian desserts are slobber worthy and severely underrated. From wafer-thin strudels to rich and creamy cakes, here's a country with a serious sweet tooth. Mađarica (chocolate layer cake) is the go-to Croatian sweet, with layers of crumbly cake sandwiched between layers of chocolate buttercream. It's always the first thing to fly off the shelf! Another popular sugar fix is the Croatian Fritule, a miniature donut that can be found all along the Dalmatian coast. Of course, you can't possibly only eat one – the bite size goodies are far too addictive for that!
France and foodie holidays go together like cheese and crackers, with countless culinary treasures to be discovered throughout the region. Here dishes are influenced by the geography, seasons and local ingredients – not to mention the areas proximity to the mesmerising Mediterranean. Known for their love of food, it's no surprise that France emerges as a fantastic foodie destination. The sun-kissed south is one of the most popular places to visit, and home to some truly special one-of-a-kind eats. Bon appétit!
A breathtaking banquet of the senses, it's no wonder the birthplace of the Michelin star paves the way for delightful delicacies and world-class wines. With an ever-changing gastro scene, the south of France is crammed with culinary triumphs which range from simple to lavish. One of the most noted specialities is the fish soup, Bouillabaisse. It's the defining taste of a summer's day in the French Riviera and originated from a fisherman's recipe from Marseille. Another favourite is Ratatouille, which was first dreamt up in Nice and combines a delicious medley of rich tomato sauce, soft aubergine, courgette and peppers – perfect for vegetarians!
Famed for more than food, the south of France is well known for its wonderful wines. Vineyards are nestled on hilly slopes, surrounded by never-ending natural beauty with envious views over the sparkling sea. Whatever vintage or colour you're looking to sample and sip, there's a whole host of wine festivals, tasting tours and winemaking museums on offer. Don't forget to bring home a few bottles for the wine rack too – that's if you don't drink them all before you leave!
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