Foodie Friday: European edition

Until we got to the Mediterranean, I was unexcited about the cuisine through middle Europe. I gorged on potato salad for weeks, but otherwise, the meats and such weren’t terribly enticing. Perfectly serviceable food, and filling too – just not the kind that would get me out of bed in a hurry.

For example, bread bowl soup in Prague was cute in a gimmicky way, though overpriced, as was all the other (albeit tasty) street stall food we bought during our brief visit.

Soup in a bread bowl - Prague


Things started to come right in Greece. Succulent lamb. Dolmades. Salad with feta.

But Italy? Italy blew my tastebuds out of the water. Stopping to take photos before devouring food proved too difficult in many cases, but here are a few meals I did capture.

Pizza in Bologna, Italy

One of our first pizzas (if not the first) in Italy – in Bologna, to be precise

umbrian wild boar pasta

A lunch stop in Orvieto – Umbrian wild boar with pasta!

spaghetti bolognese rome

A simple bolognese in Rome

tiramisu rome lunch buffet italy

Tiramisu at an all-you-can-eat Roman lunch buffet

squid ring shaped pasta viterbo, italy, la buca di san fastino

‘Squid ring’ pasta at La Buca di san Fastino, Viterbo

Sausage stuffed eggplant, Viterbo - - La Buca di san Fastino

Followed by sausaged stuffed eggplant

caprese salad amalfi town

My kinda salad…

black mussels amalfi seafood

Splurging on seafood in Amalfi town

baked crumbed mussels naples

And again, in Naples

Shrimp linguini in Naples

And again…

spaghetti with clams, naples

And again…

Naples was a bit of a bust, much as I wanted to love it. Like Bologna, it’s meant to be a city of great food, but I found it somewhat underwhelming. Many places were shut down, being early/mid August when locals go away on holiday (timing couldn’t be helped in this instance) and while we had a LOT of great meals (including countless excellent pizzas) we also had one terribly underwhelming one. Never mind – Pasticceria Mazzaro more than made up for that.

After eating our way through the country, I can only say that it has totally changed my outlook on food. Particularly after our HelpX stint, where we ate veggies and fruit fresh from the garden almost every day, I am committed to shaking up how we eat when we get home. Simple, GREAT ingredients. No more quick and dirty pasta dinners, with a $1 packet of pasta, $3 jar of sauce, maybe some minced meat and a handful of veggies. Nope. Just some top-notch EVOO, tomatoes, cheese, and maybe some courgettes, eggplant, or string beans. For example:

fresh pasta italy

Not only do I want to change my diet, I think I need to change how I eat overall. I’m not going to give up sugar or fried food, but my body definitely knows what it likes. I was almost constantly hungry on the farm in Italy while HelpXing, but hunger aside, I felt great. Even though we rarely had dessert and didn’t snack, I didn’t have any cravings at all. On days that I did ingest meat or sugar, I definitely felt an immediate difference, digestively speaking. It was like a second, more complete detox post-Asia.

10 thoughts on “Foodie Friday: European edition

  • Reply mochimac @ save. spend. splurge. September 20, 2013 at 12:14

    I want to go to Italy JUST for the food.

  • Reply krantcents September 20, 2013 at 14:03

    The food looks so good. The pizza reminds me of the pizza I love in New York.

  • Reply Sense September 20, 2013 at 15:27

    ahhhhh, I’m so hungry now! I’m so glad I’m not reading this from NZ. 🙂

  • Reply cantaloupe September 20, 2013 at 21:13

    Truth, Italy was absolutely delicious. I thought I loved pizza in New York (and I do) but the pizza in Italy was just so fresh and absolutely amazing. I could literally eat an entire pizza without feeling like shit afterwards (well, not as shitty as if I ate half a pizza in NY) because it was all natural and not just a pile of grease. It was amazing the difference that the quality of ingredients made.

  • Reply CF September 21, 2013 at 06:12

    Yum… looks so good! I’ve been making lots of fresh tomato salads with plenty of boccochini – so many tomatoes are coming out of the garden these days.

  • Reply The Asian Pear September 22, 2013 at 08:30

    Now I’m hungry. Dang it. 🙁
    I think between Franch and Italy, I loved French food more. But then again, my budget was SO low, all I could afford was bad pizza. ^__^;

  • Reply femmefrugality September 22, 2013 at 09:33

    Oh, man, Italy looks delicious. I don’t know if our food here in the states is really just that crappy and processed, but every time I eat in Europe the food literally gives me a high. So fresh. So simple. So right.

  • Reply Jennifer September 22, 2013 at 10:19

    The soup in Prague looks cute, its a great way of presenting it. All the photos of pasta are making me hungry!

  • Reply KK @ Student Debt Survivor September 24, 2013 at 14:36

    Just ate dinner, but I’m immediately hungry again after seeing all of those photos. Everything looks delicious and so fresh!

  • Reply RTW budget: What it costs to travel in the UK/Western Europe | NZ Muse January 12, 2014 at 16:44

    […] harder to make more money than subsist on crackers and bananas (particularly in Italy! Oh, the food!) or miss out on certain experiences. And while trains aren’t always the cheapest way to get […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *