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A taste of Europe: 5 great ways to sample the continent’s cuisines

From Greek ouzo to Danish smørrebrød, food and drink can be one of the best ways to explore Europe’s many cultures.

Audley Travel have chosen five experiences that let you delve a little deeper into the continent’s gastronomic traditions, whether that’s a guided tour of San Sebástian’s Basque tapas or a chance to meet Piedmont’s hazelnut farmers.

Piedmont, Italy: meet artisan producers

A land of sun-gilded hills and vineyards, Piedmont’s culinary traditions are largely defined by its farmers. We can arrange for you to meet with three of these artisanal producers: visit a shepherd and their flock of heirloom sheep before you sample the creamy-sharp cheese; bake a crumbly nut-based cake with the owner of a hazelnut orchard; and enjoy a tasting at a family-owned winery.

San Sebastián, Spain: pintxos tasting tour

Basque Country has its own regional twist on Spain’s ubiquitous tapas, called pintxos (pronounced ‘peen-chos’). For the most innovative pintxos, you can take a guided tasting tour in the region’s undisputed gastronomic capital, San Sebastián. Guided by a local culinary expert, you’ll sample signature dishes at five bars — you might try garlicky shrimp, braised rabbit, or sautéed wild mushrooms.

Nafplio, Greece: bees, cheese, and aniseed

The rural Peloponnese is often considered home to Greece’s best cuisine and we can arrange for a tour that introduces you to some of the people who create that food. You start at a small family-run shop to sample local varieties of cheese and meats, and then meet Yiannis, a beekeeper who will introduce you to his hives and let you compare different varieties of sweet, golden honey. The finale is a tasting and tour at a fifth-generation ouzo distillery, which has been making this anise-flavoured aperitif since 1869.

Paris, France: learn to make macarons

Arguably, macarons are the most quintessentially Parisian confection and almost every patisserie in the city displays rainbow-coloured rows in their shop windows. A baking class with a French pastry chef is a hands-on way of exploring these emblematic treats. You’ll join chef Martha in the kitchen of her classic Haussmann apartment and make traditional versions, like pistachio, as well as more modern flavours, like matcha tea or passion fruit.

Copenhagen, Denmark: discover smørrebrød

 

Smørrebrød is a traditional open faced sandwich made with dark rye bread with various cold toppings.

Piled high with feathery slices of salmon, rosy ribbons of beef, or slices of cucumber shingled over an herb-flecked dairy spread, smørrebrød can resemble a tiny, edible work of art. These open-faced sandwiches are built on rugbrød (a dense, chewy rye bread) and are composed of ingredients chosen as much for their beauty as for their complementary flavours. You can discover the history and etiquette behind smørrebrød at this hands-on workshop, which will teach you how to make your own multi-course meal.

Include these experiences as part of a tailor-made trip across Europe with Audley Travel — tour operator with more than 25 years’ experience in creating meaningful travel shaped around you.

Audley – Tailor Made Travel

 

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