One of the best parts of going abroad is sampling the foods that certain countries are known for. Tapas in Spain, pastries in France, chocolate in Belgium, gelato in Italy… I could go on forever. There are some foods that just genuinely taste better in Europe. I love you America, but here are the foods that are much more enjoyable across the pond.
Pizza in America is drunk food, or a greasy dinner when you’re too lazy to make yourself a real meal. Pizza in Europe is a gourmet and satisfying lunch or dinner — and the closer you get to Italy, the tastier it gets.
Belgium is the place best known for their waffles, but honestly, you can find yourself a good waffle anywhere in Europe. And this isn’t your standard breakfast dish. These waffles are different from the American version; they’re much sweeter and denser, and you can get them piled high with Nutella, gelato, fruit, cookies, sprinkles, you name it.
American fries will always be the OG greatest, but the Europeans also know what they’re doing. Seriously, you can buy a whole cone of french fries on the street in many cities. A WHOLE CONE, PEOPLE.
If you’re an American french fry purist and just won’t accept that another country could rival our fries, just try some Spanish patatas bravas, which you definitely can’t beat in America.
Nowhere in America can you get such high quality meat for such a low price. In Spain, you can find jamón ibérico (Iberico ham), which is the highest quality ham, for less than $5. And it’s so good, you can just eat it on its own. When’s the last time you ate plain supermarket lunch meat by itself? I’ll take fresh Italian prosciutto over that any day.
I’m a big fan of farmers markets here in America, but the food markets across the Atlantic really put anything we have here to shame. When have you ever been able to buy fresh seafood, meat, cheese, fruit, vegetables, bread, homemade candy, nuts, ice cream, popsicles, fresh juices AND a quality sit-down meal all at the same market in America? Yeah, you’ve probably never experienced that.
The markets in Europe have all of these things, and at cheap prices and high quality. I swear, if I ever move to Europe, I’ll never step foot in a commercial grocery store again. For more info on food markets abroad, click here.
High quality chocolate is abundant in Europe. Swiss chocolate, German chocolate, Belgian chocolate… they all claim to be the best, but I really don’t think I could rate one better than the other. One thing is for sure, they are infinitely better than the boxes of assorted mystery flavors you see find at grocery stores in the States.
7. Ice Cream
Yes, I realize you can get gelato in America, and I admit this new trend of gelato roses is pretty dope. However, nothing compares to walking down the cobblestone streets of Europe with a gelato cone in hand. And it’s obviously way more authentic.
If that doesn’t convince you, try not to hop on a plane after scrolling through Instagram and seeing a few pics of the newest European gelato craze: trdelník (AKA Czech cinnamon sugar donuts) cones.
In America, a macaroon is a questionable clump of flavored coconut. In Europe, a macaron (which most Americans still pronounce “macaroon”) is an artfully crafted cookie sandwich with filling in between layers. It’s like Oreo’s more sophisticated and better-looking older sister (no offense to Oreo’s). Look at a macaroon, then look at a macaron, and ask yourself which looks more appetizing.
All Americans are jealously aware of Europe’s 18-year-old drinking age, especially college students. And if you’ve ever been to Europe, you’re probably familiar with that mixed feeling of shock and elation when you see the price of alcohol on menus or in convenience stores. Yes, in many cases, beer or wine is actually cheaper than water. Let me just take a moment to say, thanks Europe, for having your priorities in order.