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Everyone knows that food connects people. We travel to different places and one of the main attractions is to try the local food (some even say it’s the BEST part). During my traveling, I tried the famous Cream Cake of Lake Bled in Slovenia, the Wiener Schnitzel in Vienna Austria, Banana Roti in Thailand, and more.
It’s a difficult time to go out and travel the world, so I decided to bring a little piece from the trip to our home. I talked to my friends around the world and ask them about their favorite local food and give me a recipe. This article focuses on my friends from Europe and their family recipes!
This is the first post of a five-part series of local food around the world.
French Toast (France)
My friend from France gave a family recipe for French Toast. It’s one of the most common dishes nowadays in America, Europe, and Hong Kong.
- Its earliest reference goes back to the 4th or 5th century!
- In France, French toast is called “Pain perdu” = lost bread, because your use stale bread to make it.
- The meal came from the desire not to waste food both for religious reasons and for economic once.
Pro tip: People tend to add cinnamon of their French toast but it’s not considering to be a “real” French toast according to the French people. If you want to make it loyal to the French cuisine, don’t use cinnamon on your toast!
- 1 Brioch Bread
- 3 Eggs
- 170 gr Sugar 0.375 pound
- 70 ml Half and half
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Cut a slice(about 2 inches) from the brioche and leave it out for a day until the brioche is hard.
- Take 3 eggs and mixed it with the 170 gr of sugar (0.375 pounds).
- Add 70-80 ml Half and half (only milk works)and mixed again. Then add the vanilla extract and mix again.
- In a pan put salted Butter and warm it! Grab your brioche and put it on the preparation and cook it until both sides or brown (not too much).
- Warm the oven to 180 (350 Fahrenheit). Add a little bit of sugar on the top and put 2-3 minutes in the oven to cook it a little more inside.
- Eat it with nothing or some jam but the old French version is only with sugar on the top.
Lampredotto and Peposo Stew (Italy)
Written by my friend Alessia, a tour guide in Florence and Tuscany. If you want to experience Florence and Tuscany like a local she’s your person! Check out her website
What is lampredotto?
Lampredotto is a dish of traditional Florentine cuisine based on one of the four stomachs of the calf, the abomasum.
Eating a sandwich with lampredotto in the city is an experience to try, and there are many variations to be found around. Every self-respecting Florentine has his own trusty tripe vendor, and there are so many food trucks around the city that fill the entire neighborhoods with a good lampredotto smell. This is the most typical Florentine street food, a sandwich that will satisfy all lovers of offal and not.
The original recipe calls for the upper part of the bread to be quickly soaked in the broth in which the lampredotto was previously cooked. The recipe also calls for green parsley sauce prepared with stale bread, vinegar, oil and anchovies in oil. But there are also gourmet versions enriched with vegetables, pecorino and other ingredients.
For the broth:
- 1 Celery
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Onion
- 1 Tomato
- 200 gr Lampredotto
For the sauce:
- White vinegar
- Anchovy fillets
- Olive oil Extra virgin
- Stale bread
- Cook the lampredotto with the broth for 90 minutes, no more and no less.Mix the ingredients of the sauce and put it on the bread. Add the broth to the sandwich and eat.
By cooking it whole, however, the inside remains very juicy and the dish will be much tastier. The other mistake is to cook it directly cold. Useful only if you need to prepare a broth.
Which bread for the lampredotto? The bread ready to welcome this delicacy is called ‘semelle’, a typical Tuscan bread which, unlike the classic Tuscan bread recipes, is salty. Generally, the upper part is lightly soaked in the broth of the lampredotto just before serving it to give more roundness and softness to the sandwich.
Peposo is a beef stew created in Impruneta, a town south of Florence renowned for its terracotta. The story goes that it was invented by the furnace workers (fornaciai) who baked the terracotta tiles for the Brunelleschi’s famous Duomo in Florence. They mixed roughly cut up beef shank, salt, lots of black pepper and red wine—Chianti wine, of course—in terracotta pots and let it all bake slowly in a corner of their furnace until it was time to eat.
- 1 kg Beef for stew (2 lbs.)
- 1 Head of garlic
- 20 gr Whole peppercorns (3/4 oz)
- Salt sea salt
- 1 Bottle of red wine Preferably Chianti
- Cut the beef into large chunks and lay them into the bottom of a terracotta pot and insert the garlic cloves interspersed among the beef chunks here and there. Sprinkle the whole peppercorns and salt over everything..
- Pour over enough red wine to cover the beef.
- Cover the pot and place in a slow oven (160C/324F) for 4 hours or more, until the beef is falling apart tender and the red wine has reduced into a rich sauce.
- If the dish is still too liquid and you’re ready to eat, remove the cover, which will allow it to reduce more quickly.
- Peposois traditionally served with slices of Tuscan bread, accompanied perhaps with beans or sautéed spinach.
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A few years ago I visited a friend in Madrid. She was incredible and showed me all the best places in town and of course, their local food. The Gaszpacho was one of my favorites and I asked here to give me her recipe.
Gazpacho was born in the everlasting Al-Ándalus in the 8th century. The original recipe does not incorporate vegetables and it was only made with water, oil, and vinegar, although sometimes almond or garlic could be added.
This cold soup was still associated with the Mediterranean and with the region of Andalusia (the ancient Al-Ándalus), although two of the main ingredients of the modern version, tomatoes and green peppers, were brought to Spain from the New World only in the 16th century.
Hard workers of that time had gazpacho to resist long working days, first in the field and afterward in the factories. In the 19th century, it started to be popular among the middle class who added the famous “stumbles” of vegetables.
- 1000 g Ripe and red tomatoes
- 1-2 Cloves of garlic
- 50 g Green or red pepper (I personally prefer red pepper because it gives a sweeter taste to the soup)
- 70 g Cucumber, partially peeled
- 30 g Sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 8 Ice cubes
- 50-100 g Extra virgin olive oil
- 200 g Cold water
- Croutons Optional
- Put in a mixer all the vegetables, the vinegar, the salt and the ice.
- Blend the ingredients for 30 seconds at a middle speed, after for 3minutes at high speed.
- Incorporate the olive oil and mix up for 5 seconds at a middle-highspeed.
- Add more water with ice if you prefer it more liquid. If you like it better thicker add 150g of white bread in step 1.
- It maybe served with croutons, additional chopped vegetables (same vegetables used in this recipe).
Yorkshire Pudding (England)
Written by my friend Hannah, a travel blogger based in Yorkshire. Her blog- Get Lost focuses mostly on Europe and the United Kingdom and I highly recommend reading her blog before planning a trip to the area!
Any resident of Yorkshire, England, knows that no meal is complete without the addition of a Yorkshire pudding. This side dish consists of a batter, similar to pancakes, but is baked until risen and crisp. It is typically served as part of a traditional Sunday lunch, but much larger versions can be made and served ‘filled’ with Sunday lunch or sausages and gravy – like a giant bowl!
- 140 g Plain flour 0.3 lb
- 4 Eggs
- 200 ml Milk 6.7 oz
- Sunflower oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 230 degrees Celsius/gas (446 F) mark 8/ fan oven 210 degrees Celsius (410 F).
- Pour a little sunflower oil into the holes of a non-stick muffin tray and place in the oven for heating.
- Beat the eggs and flour together until smooth then gradually add the milk a bit at a time while beating. Once thoroughly mixed, season with salt and pepper.
- Remove the trays from the oven and carefully pour or ladle the mixture into the holes with the oil.
- Place the trays back into the oven for 20-25 minutes until the puddings have risen and browned.
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately or leave them to cool and freeze for up to one month. To reheat the frozen puddings, place them on a baking tray while frozen and reheat them in the oven for 5 minutes until warmed through.
Extra- Brezel (Germany)
The German name of pretzel is brezel. When I talked to my local German friend, she said that Brezel is one of the most popular local food in Germany. The main source is the word brazellus which means bracelets used in the medieval ages. The pretzel is traditionally made from white flour, malt, salt, yeast, and water. In some regions in Germany, fat is added to the dough in order to soften it.
Some rules about brezels:
- Use just as much sugar in the dough as you need to make the yeast work.
- Put the salt on the pretzels before you bake them.
- Eat with cold butter.
- You better eat them within an hour after baking.
I couldn’t find an authentic recipe for this one but highly recommend trying it if you’re going to Germany!
Tried one of the recipes? Share it on your social media and tag me @shany_yizhaki . I would love to hear your thought!