Monday, June 5, 2017

Best Spring Travel Destinations for the Foodies

Photo from Pixabay

Nowadays, you can find great food any time of the year but there’s nothing better than fresh seasonal eating. Due to the different seasons and traditions across Europe, you’ll find plenty of choices when it comes to tasty cuisines. Producers and chefs who are passionate about their seasonal national dishes get the best out of local produce from field to table. Here are five examples of destinations and their celebrated fruits and vegetables you should try.

Artichokes in Italy

Italy is world renowned for its exceptional cuisine and spring is an excellent time to visit to sample fresh local produce. Artichokes are celebrated in spring and April is the month of Artichoke festivals.

Tuscany and the provinces of Rome are where you will usually find these festivals. During this time restaurants often offer fixed price menus where dishes are solely based on artichokes and you’ll find magnificent displays built from these vegetables. Different varieties can be found across the country and each has their own look and subtle flavor differences.

The most popular dish to try is the Roman-Jewish deep fried artichoke which can be found in many establishments especially in Rome. Simply served with salt and pepper, it might seem basic but it is delicious, especially when washed down with great Italian wines. The best places to try artichokes in Rome is in the Jewish Ghetto, with restaurants such as Piperno, Giggetto, and Pompiere.

Oranges in Spain

During this season, the wonderful aroma of orange blossoms can be found in cities such as Seville, Córdoba, and Málaga. This is probably a scenery you would expect when you think of great spring destinations. Fresh Oranges are in abundance in Spain and in many different varieties too, whether they are used for eating, cooking, or in jams, they are all celebrated.

In Seville, the streets are lined with bitter orange trees which when blossoming gives the city its own lovely distinct smell. Although these oranges are rarely used for eating fresh, they are often used to make marmalade and flowers are used for aromatherapy.

Popular in Spain Valencia is often called the ‘Orchard of Spain’ and produces the sweetest varieties of oranges. There are many activities for food lovers including orange picking, visiting the Orange Museum and making your own fresh orange juice. As well as sampling the different orange varieties of course!

Aubergines in Turkey

As the most prized vegetable in the country, more aubergines are grown in Turkey than anywhere else in Europe. This vegetable is loved for its versatility and is often used as a meat substitute in dishes. It used to be called the poor people meat in the past but now it is valued by all. Nearly two hundred different dishes, including pickles and even jam, are made from aubergines in Turkey.

The best way to sample aubergine in its different forms in Turkey is to try a few dishes in a traditional meze. When you order a meze, you can try lots of little dishes including patlican salatasi – an aubergine mash, baba ganoush -an aubergine salad and saksuka – aubergine and tomatoes. Your host might also recommend dishes for you to try.

Istanbul is a great place to dive into Turkish cuisine and one of the top-rated restaurants for aubergine dishes is Karaköy Lokantası in the center of the city.

Rhubarb in the UK

A vegetable that is also a fruit is celebrated in the Rhubarb Triangle in Yorkshire, England. This versatile vegetable is used in stews, crumbles, sauces, jams and even drinks.

Peak season is between April and June, and this is when many spring markets and food festivals showcase the best produce. Here rhubarb is traditionally harvested by candlelight from forcing sheds where it is kept ensuring a sweet flavor. Those who are looking to prepare and cook their own rhubarb should be aware that the leaves are poisonous and are not to be eaten or used in any cooking. Retailers tend to sell just edible rhubarb stalks to prevent any mishaps.

You can find local dishes such as rhubarb crumble and custards prepared all over Yorkshire and the rest of the UK. Pubs serving local cuisine will usually have a rhubarb pudding on the menu at this time of the year. For something a little different the restaurant 400 Rabbits in Crystal Palace serves up a rhubarb pizza, or why not try Edinburgh Gins and ginger liquor served with rhubarb.

Asparagus in Croatia

Croatia’s coastline is filled with wild asparagus during spring and it is a popular local pastime to go foraging for this elusive vegetable. You can join a group or book a tour to find, cook and eat your own wild asparagus.

If you don’t fancy picking vegetable yourself, restaurants up and down Istria and Dalmatia have plenty to choose from on their menus. Dishes range from traditionally served with boiled eggs with a little salt and pepper, the Istrian favorite of asparagus fritaja or fuzi to the Dalmatian specials of risotto or asparagus soup.

Recipes vary between regions, however, the whole of Croatia appreciates the natural gift their country has given them. Croatians have found many ways to use this versatile veg and now you can try a taste of it too.

Where is your food heaven in Europe in spring?

Europe has a vast assortment of regional cuisines and favorite produce to suit each destination. The key to amazing tastes is to use seasonal local ingredients well and Countries listed above do just that. But this is just touching on the great flavors available in spring in Europe.

Did your favorite spring destination feature here? What in your opinion is the most delicious cuisine available in spring time?

John Miller is a travel blogger who loves to travel and write about his experiences. If you want to know more take a look at his blog at and find him on Facebook and Twitter.

No comments:

Post a Comment