This page which is called ‘European food recipes’ is nothing but a hub to link to pages about specific countries. In this text I will explain a bit about the different regions of Europe, links to specific countries go from here and on each you will find more specific information of that particular country. On many of these you will find submitted family recipes. Bear in mind that this is a work in progress recently started. I am very much doing this from a layman’s perspective, please correct me if you find inaccurate information.
In the sense I am using this includes Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Finland. This is a region that long was a bit like “the poor cousin” up in the north. All this changed in the 20th century when these countries have risen to place themselves on the world top list for best living standards. Denmark separate themselves with better soils and climate, but Finland, Sweden and Norway all have a difficult ambiance for agriculture which has been quite limiting; Therefore hunting game and fishing traditionally has been very important. This has been reflected in the European food recipes of this region, the national dishes tend to be rustic and filling in place of being sophisticated and elaborate. The introduction of the potato had a huge impact and it still probably is the most important staple food.
In my sense this includes Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland. The wide conception of European food recipes from these countries is that they are heavy, bland and unimaginative. Recently a rebirth of the traditional foods from here has lead to bringing the traditional pies, roasts and the afternoon tea to a new recognition. The TV chef Jamie Oliver, made popular around the world, has brought traditional foods in to his repertoire. Dairy products like clotted cream and Stilton cheese are famous. Many beverages like ales, stouts, bitters and whiskys are well recognized. In Scotland the national dish is Haggis, it is made from sheep innards. Just like in so many other parts of Europe, the potato is the most important staple. In the last few decades a lot has happened, many would claim that the English national dish is an Anglo-Indian curry, not fish and chips.
With this I mean France, Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. Needless to say, France is one of the more important food countries in the world, talking about European food recipes thay deserve a lot of space. Wine, cheese, history, innovations, restaurants, the Michelin Guide… For along time France was the number one food nation in the world, lately they have met stiff competition. It is nation were food and drink for a long time has been very important. Holland is not so famous for food and drink, you can clearly see strong influences from both Germany and France. Belgium has a more distinct tradition, mainly when it comes to beer and by many Belgian beer is considered to be the best in the world. The cuisine is very much related to neighboring France, the many elaborate mussel dishes is an example. The chocolate from here is also famous.
I include Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary. The big one in this group is Germany. It is famous around the world for great beer, tasty sausages, schnaps, sauercraut, sweet white wines and heavy food. It is highly based on meat. You can see similarities to this in the cuisines from all the other countries mentioned. Switzerland is famous for cheese and chocolate. In Austria you have Wienerscnitzel and Knödel. Hungary has the Gulasch and Tokajer dessert wine. Czech republic and Slovakia are famous for beer.
I include: Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. This is a great region and the cuisines vary quite a lot among the different countries, much due to climate and biotope. The most influential country is Russia and due to political history a lot of Russia’s cuisine is present in all these countries. Let us generalize about European food recipes from this region: In the north you have influences from the east and from Scandinavia. Vodka is drunk in all the Baltic countries, Russia and Poland. Closer to Central Europe you have lots of German influences. To the southeast you see more of Middle Eastern and West Asian cuisine. This discussion only gets interesting on a more particular national level which you have if you follow the links below.
The Balkan Countries
I include: Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. I have left Greece out since they have more to do with the history of Southern Europe when it comes to food. The countries in this list have a few things in common, they all show more or less influences from the Mediterranean cuisines and even more so from Turkey and West Asia, this has geographical as well as politic and historical reasons. Wine is produced in all these countries.
With southern European food recipes I refer to any that are from either Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal or any of the Mediterranean isles. Needless to say this is almost an impossible scope and an enormously varied region, therefor discussions only get detailed under each country. All these countries have one thing in common; for a long time they have been part of and influenced by the big changes (to a slightly lesser extent Portugal). Influences from Arabs, Egyptians and numerous other cultures have changed the cuisine. Trade also has had a great impact, stock food has gone out of fashion and changed to newer imports. To generalize about these Southern European food recipes is hard, if I have to I would emphasize how olives and wine a have been very important (and still are) in this region. Below are links to the different countries, there you will find adjoining information and submitted family recipes.