I was lucky enough this summer to get to spend some vacation time in Europe and as a foodie, I – of course – ate my way through the trip. No, really. There are as many pictures of my meals from the adventure as there are of the beautiful sites.
Prague, Czech Republic is one of the most breathtaking cities I have ever had the privilege of experiencing. Everywhere you turn your head you’re overwhelmed by an architectural feast for your eyes. It is absolutely and unequivocally magical. When we weren’t busy falling in love with Prague’s cathedrals, castles and historical charm, we were having an affair with its food. Czech this out:
For my mom’s first Czech meal she wanted an authentic, native dish: pork four ways with three different dumplings and red and white cabbage. She was very happy with her choice and there was plenty to share with the whole crew.
My first taste of Prague was this mouthwatering mushroom polenta. The mushrooms had sooo much flavor and were a perfect accompaniment to the mild polenta.
Smoked fish is a very popular menu item throughout Europe and Prague was certainly no exception. This salmon was smoked to perfection and served with whipped potatoes and grilled zucchini.
This food kiosk on a busy promenade is exemplary of the prominence of smoked meats on the Czech food scene.
Hands down, the best mushroom soup I have ever tasted. Really and truly. By the way – have I mentioned that I adore mushrooms? If you do too and if ever your travels take you through Prague, do yourself a favor and stop in at U Tynka Restaurant in Old Town Square for an unforgettable taste of this Czech mushroom soup.
While there was no shortage of native dishes, Prague also cooks up great meal options spanning all of Europe. As a tourist-heavy city, they do a great job of offering authentic cuisine choices from its many European neighbors, like this escargot appetizer.
This shrimp with saffron cream sauce and whipped potatoes was as delicious as it was beautiful.
Traditional kielbasa appetizer served with some fresh veggies, mustard and horseradish.
In case you need any more evidence that meat is a staple on every menu. On the left is pork knee and on the right ribs – two pounds of each! Both served on their own wooden cutting boards with a bowl of gherkin pickles, mustard and horseradish.
On weekends in Old Town Square you can enjoy strolling through the pop-up market with plenty of food stands, souvenirs and crafts. This merchant is keeping an eye on his ham as it cooks over the rotisserie.
A close-up of the finished product.
One of Czech Republic’s most well-known pastries, trdelnik, is made from rolled dough that’s wrapped around a stick, then grilled (like in this picture) and topped with sugar and a mix of sweet toppings like walnut, almond and vanilla, among others.
Night falling over Prague Castle and the Vltava River. This magical city won me over, and it took all of about ten minutes.
Check back next week for the second half of Europe is for (Food) Lovers: Paris edition.