Sea, sun and food top our list as the best words to define an enjoyable holiday. Shimmering sea in the background, 10 hours of sun a day and countless amounts of food on repeat. We don’t need much more to unwind.
The last thing we need on holiday is a strict dietary regiment and lack of “feel good” food. Who wants to stay lean while travelling? Well, probably everyone but there’s enough time to go on a guilt trip after the real trip. A recent survey shows that 37% of Brits don’t watch what they eat on holiday, while one in four eat an extra 500 calories per day than they would at home.
A summer holiday in the south of Europe still ranks high for most of the British. The Mediterranean Sea with its splendid islands, rich culture and easy-to-reach resorts is the first choice for many holidaymakers and it lends itself not only for a proper summer holiday but also for a spontaneous weekend getaway. Hop on the plane and you’ll be soaking in some sunshine and sipping on a glass of wine on a southern European beach in no time.
There’s no such a thing as a bad conscience with Mediterranean cuisine. Even a little bit of overdoing can be pulled off as healthy (if we’re not talking wine). As summer is just around the corner and the holiday has been booked, we can start daydreaming about hidden beaches and coves in the south of Europe, summer vibes and all those flavours reaching out for us.
Greece for Foodies
Greek cuisine is a paradise for the palate! Versatile and rich in flavour, colours and texture, it’s really hard to choose only one thing as supreme. A healthy and well-balanced mix of veggies and meat, spiced up with sun-ripened olives and herbs, sprinkled with soft goat cheese, comes on your table in a variety of dishes. Despite these unifying elements, each region in Greece has yielded its special local touch on Greek cuisine, reflecting the true character of the place. We recommend having moussaka, a typical Greek dish, in its original setting. Moussaka is all about layers and flavours. Imagine minced meat, garlic, onion, grilled aubergine, tomato sauce and creamy cheese in one bite. That’s moussaka! Wine and dine in a typical Greek taverna off a beaten tourist path for the full experience.
Italy for Foodies
There’s hardly any other nation on our planet whose cuisine has gained world popularity with only three ingredients. It still puzzles us how Italians have come up with the most delicious and beloved dishes based off dough, tomatoes and cheese. The number of dishes is limited but the combo really seems to hit the spot. Add some oregano and basil and off you go! Pizza and pasta, comfort food celebrities, are luckily not the only pearls of Italian cuisine no matter how well-known. Italians are also master of sweets; hot, cold, creamy, fruity, crunchy or soft, you choose! Quite conveniently, the Italian all time favourite dessert Tiramisu actually means “pick me up”. The finest pick-me-up Italian dessert melts in your mouth thanks to the perfect combination of creamy mascarpone and lady fingers soaked in espresso. Blissful!
Spain for Foodies
Tapas have evolved to be a mainstay of Spanish cuisine. Imagined as a wide variety of fingerfood, these appetizers used to be served in bars for free with a drink. No one knows for certain how tapas came into being and there is a fair number of legends circulating in the gastronomic milieu. We can live with that as long as we get to sample a rich assortment of Spanish specialities in tapas bars. Plan a tapas bar hopping this summer and let us know what your favourite tapas are!
France for Foodies
France spans over the western part of Europe, it has the Atlantic as its western border and the Mediterranean to the south. Such a variety of scenery with mountains, hills, flat land and the sea has most certainly played its part in the shaping of French cuisine. Its versatility and fineness have followed it to top chef’s kitchens and the most renowned restaurants around the globe. Again, each region of France boasts its own special dishes made with local produce. When you finish sampling mussels marinated in wine, onion soup, foie gras paté and dozens of other tasty dishes too difficult to pronounce (as if the level of complexity directly corresponds to that of deliciousness), we hope you’ll still have some place left for………macarons! Delicate, fine, fragile and incredibly photogenic, macarons look and taste heavenly!
These delicious foods are just a tiny piece in the rich puzzle of Mediterranean cuisine. There are a lot more things to try once you’re out there. Don’t forget truffles, fish, wine and, most importantly, days filled with fun and good eats during your summer gastronomy tour of the Mediterranean!