Here is one for the foodies amongst you today. Navigating a menu on holiday can be a nightmare sometimes, even when they are translated you don’t really know what something actually is. Purple Travel gives you the lowdown on the top 7 delicious Spanish foods to try on holiday so you don’t miss out! Have you tried any of the dishes mentioned below? Let us know your top tips for eating out in Spain.
The number one must-try food is tapas, less a food actually and more of an experience – you can’t go to Spain and not try tapas. The great thing is that you can eat it anytime and anywhere and because there is a little bit of everything on the plate there will be something for everyone to enjoy. Another awesome thing about Tapas is that in most bars in Madrid and Barcelona, you will get tapas for free – whether it be mini sandwiches, almonds, squid (really you can get anything). In other places such as the Basque Country and Andalusia you will have to pay but I’m sure it will be worth every penny.
Arguably the biggest holiday of the US calendar, July 4th is a celebration of the Founding Fathers, the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Here’s why you should get in the swing and celebrate Independence Day!
Because… New York City’s Fourth of July celebration fireworks show uses 22 tonnes alone. That’s pretty cool to us
From the freshest fruit and vegetables to mountains of cheese, perfectly grilled meats and desserts dripping with honey, Greece knows its food. Here’s what you should eat on your next holiday to the Mainland or the famous Greek Islands. Enjoy our Purple Travel guide to the best food in Greece.
Who doesn’t absolutely love Crete? Once you’ve been we’re sure you’ll fall in love with it, so here’s a little extra inspiration, especially for you expert foodie types (and beginners) on what to eat in Crete.
Cretan food is not just food, it is mouth-watering temptation, it’s twice baked breads and oozing cheeses, honey drenched sweets and rich flavours, slow cooked meats and the freshest fish you can imagine. It’s more than just food, it’s Cretan food!
Cretan food is entrenched in the culture, Greeks themselves talk about Cretan food in haloed terms, and sharing as you eat is a big aspect. Families tend to gather and enjoy many plates over many hours, as they talk, eat, laugh and drink. It’s a really wonderful experience whether you want a whole sit down feast, or simply snacking for a few hours in the sunshine. So, here’s our beginner’s guide to Cretan gastronomy.
Dakos: This is a very typical dish, kind of like a bruschetta. It’s a traditional dried bread, baked several times. On top you add some chopped tomato, high quality Cretan olive oil, lots of cheese and oregano and hey presto! It’s the perfect snack on those hot days.
Dolmades: These are probably one of the most famous dishes in Greece, stuffed vine leaves. They are a little tricky to make, but when you get the good ones, they are really good. It’s usually prepared with a mix of rice, herbs and meat, wrapped inside grape leaves. Totally delicious.
Cheese: There are so many types; you could say Crete is famous for its cheese. How about kefalotiri, a firm goat’s cheese, graviera, a slightly salty cheese made of sheep milk, mizithra, made from sheep’s milk or anthotiro, that changes from mild and soft when fresh and becomes saltier as it hardens. A great idea is to walk through one of the locals and get some samples in. Of course a simple Greek salad, horiatiki will always tickle your tastebuds.
Meat: Crete is food heaven for meat eaters. Lamb, kid and pork cooked in a myriad of different ways until utterly tender and delicious are some of our favourites, while a local special you shouldn’t miss is kohlious boubouristous (snails), fried in tomato sauce for a delicious treat.
Vegetables: Although Crete might not be the first place you think of for vegetarian fare, the variety of absolutely fresh, locally grown produce is a real treat, and many dishes (e.g. dolmades) can be served in meat free versions. The kolokythokeftedes or fried zucchini dipped in a mountain of tzatiki will impress the most hardened carnivore.
Loukoumades: these are little handmade donut balls, fried in oil and served with lashings of honey and cinnamon. They are divine and possibly my favourite Crete food!
Bougatsa: you’ll find lots of pastries on offer in Crete and this simple filo filled with cream and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon makes an indulgent breakfast treat.
Kalitsounia (sweet): The sweet version of kalitsounia or lyhnarakia is made of home made pastry filled with mizithra or anthotyro, cinnamon and sugar.
Krasi or Cretan wine: Crete is one of the biggest producers of wine in Greece. It goes back 2000 years, and is essential with meals where you order by the kilo. That’ll certainly keep you going over a couple of courses!
Raki (or Tsikoudia): You couldn’t go to Crete and not sample at least a little drop of the local firewater, Raki. This potent but smooth little number will knock your socks off and makes a delightful digestif after a big meal.
From fresh to aged, smoked to salty, stinky to sweet, good cheese can come in many forms. The options vary even further when it comes to the milk options – cow, goat, sheep, even buffalo – with their country of origin playing a massive role in overall flavour. But where can you go to find the best of the best? We’ve tracked down the world’s best cheeses to inspire even the most discerning of cheese-lovers.
Parmigiano Reggiano, Parma, Italy | Probably the most-loved cheese in human history, everything about the culture and recipe of Parmesan is a testament to nutritional ingenuity. The creation process is one of the world’s most sophisticated and efficient technologies, developing a saliva-inducing flavor that adds depth to almost any dish.
Roquefort, Les Causses; France | Roquefort is the best of the blues for a number of reasons: Charlemagne loved it, its pasty texture makes it a great mix of spreadable and hackable, and its use of sheep’s milk over cow’s makes for a lingering richness. For the best of the best, try smaller producers such as Coulet, Papillion, and Carles.
Brie de Melun, Ile-de-France, France | Not just for Christmas, Brie is a universally popular cheese and the most famous of the soft ripened category. A word of caution though – the real, raw milk brie is made in Ile-de-France, and more specifically, the village of Melun. Rustic, earthy and nutty at the same time.
Gruyère, Fribourg, Switzerland | This cooked-curd alpine cheese is one of the most famous cheeses in the world, with a pliable texture and strong intensity of flavour. A noticeably nutty, yet buttery tang stems from propionic acid, while the more well-aged tend to posses small, crunchy pieces of crystallising protein.
Stichelton, Nottinghamshire, England | Real Stilton, Britain’s beloved blue, is made with raw milk, which provides a nutty, rich flavour.
Mozzarela di Bufala, Naples, Italy | While mozzarella is everywhere (on almost every pizza, in sandwiches and sparingly placed on pasta dishes), fresh handmade mozzarella is of course something completely different from its rubbery, overused neighbour. And if this is true, then di Bufala is not even on the same planet. Water Buffalo from farms in Naples are milked to make this incredible cheese.
Feta, Greece | While a pickled cheese may seem odd, true Greek Feta, made from sheep’s milk and salt, is a delicious and distinctive cheese that makes a great salad condiment.
English Farmhouse Cheddar, Somerset, England |A classic. Cheddar, deriving from the west country of England, is an EU protected cheese that’s a far cry from the supermarket variety. Meaty and salty at the same time, what’s not to love?
Roncal, Navarre, Spain | In the thirteen villages of the Roncal valley of Navarre, Roncal cheese has been made using the same recipe for the past 3,000 years. Made from sheep’s milk, it smells a lot like buttered popcorn, with a taste that lingers long after its been swallowed.
Book your cheese holiday with Purple Travel today by calling 02079939228.
Purple Travel Tip:Swiss cheesemakers have won The World Champion Cheese Contest for the past three years, however for 2012, it was a low-fat Gouda named Vermeer from Friesland Campina, a company based in Wolvega, Netherlands, that took top honours.
So, you already know they are mouthwatering and easy to find once you’ve been to their homeland, but why not enjoy a genuine and tastier version than those found at first glance. Check out our guide to food Ibiza Spain.
Imagine, for example, that you are in downtown Ibiza, having spent the whole day on the beach, soaking up all that sun, sea and sand. Last stop would definitely be a night full of Ibiza-style entertainment, but before that… or afterwards?
We’re sure that your palate would be asking for some delicious paella. The first thing to do is head to the port of Ibiza. There you will find numerous local restaurants serving this savoury treat.
However, paella is best eaten by the sea, so try the Bar Flotante on Talamanca beach by Argos or if you have a car drive to Sa Caleta beach, where you will find Sa Caleta Restaurant, one of Ibiza’s most famous paella restaurants.
Yemanha in Cala Jondal is home to not just amazing paella but an amazing view too. Finally, for the best paella in town you should pay a visit to Formentera Restaurant in the port of Ibiza, where you’ll have hearty, great value portions.
Stay tuned for volume two of our top places to eat like a local soon.
In Athens, the Greek capital it would be really difficult to find yourself starving! Souvlaki outlets are all over the city. Souvlaki is the term for what is basically the Greek equivalent to a burger, quick to eat, tasty and really cheap. It’s usually made of meat, chicken or pork, cooked on a skewer and put into a pitta bread with onion, tzatziki and tomato.
However, as a tourist you’ll probably be wandering around the centre. So, here are some tips for an ultimate souvlaki experience in Athens city, whether you’re staying a few days or heading for the beautiful islands.
Some of the most charming areas in downtown Athens are undoubtedly Plaka, Monastiraki and Thissio. Apart from the many archaeological sites, there is also a heap of local restaurants and spots serving various versions of the infamous Greek souvlaki. But, take our advice and have a delicious meal in one of the following places. We bet that you’ll be asking for more food in Athens before the end of your holiday.
Try Thanassisin Monastiraki and taste the best traditional kebab in town, as this is its one and only specialty. What’s more prices are so low that you’ll be coming back again and again to saturate your cravings. For the traditional gyros, you can’t get much better than Bairaktaris, slap, bang in the middle of Monastiraki Square. Huge portions and great value will set you up for a great night out.
Kavouras in the nearby neighbourhood of Exarcheia is all about the taste. Simple food – no refinement here. And the neighbourhood, a kind of alternative place where people gather is really worth a look.
Another great choice is Nikitas in Psyrri, just across from Monastiraki square, is a good spot for an authentic and tasty lunchtime treat. This place has been serving since 1967, so they must be doing something right. Plata Iroon in the same area is also a firm local favourite.
For those savouring the Greek sun and sea on the shores of Attica, Zachos in Varkiza is also a worthwhile choice. This place serves a wide range of dishes, such as pork or chicken souvlaki, gyros (sliced pork meat, tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce, wrapped in pita bread), even traditional burgers. You choose!
From the best in codfish to the ultimate veggie buffet, we’ve got the low-down on the best places to eat food in Lisbon. Visit some of the best restaurants in beautiful Lisbon with Purple Travel.
Portugal’s capital Lisbon isn’t simply scenic surroundings, romantic atmosphere and livin’ it up, it’s also a foodies’ paradise. It’s where you can savour mouth -watering delicacies like fresh codfish or perfectly cooked meat.
It’s related to Mediterranean cuisine, but the traditional Portuguese gastronomy is influenced by lots of spices, a habit left over from the colonial age, when Prince Henry the Navigator ordered his ships to bring back as many exotic fruit and vegetables as possible from the New World. However you might be more familiar with the famous piri-piri flavour that permeates Portuguese dishes, as well as black pepper, cinnamon and saffron.
So, if Lisbon is planned to be your next city break, here are some top foodie picks from your friends at PurpleTravel to fascinate your palate.
Cozido a Portuguesa Even if the original recipe was once considered the rich man’s stew, people around the countryside soon discovered cheaper methods. When it comes to a stew with veggies and as many types of meat as possible, the sky and the cook’s imagination are the only limits.
Solar Dos Nunes found at Rua dos Lusiadas, 68-70, Lisbon 1350-868, has some great traditional, earthy, rural flavours and offers meaty stews, and delicious seafood, like ameijoas alentejano (clams cooked in a wine, chilli, coriander and garlic sauce with pork).
Trempe on Rua Coelho da Rocha 11/13, Estrela is a delicious restaurant with a flavour from Portugal’s biggest region, Alentejo. A rustic style eaterie, it has plenty of tasty treats like Dog fish soup and fried pork with clams.
Caldeiradais another traditional dish. It is basically a stew, with lots of fresh fish and vegetables thrown in. The secret is a little white wine and – of course – the spices. Piri-piri, black pepper, ginger, garlic, all combine to create a mouth watering flavour.
Tavares Restaurant at Rua da Misericordia, 37, Encarnacao, Lisbon 1200-270 is an excellent choice. It is said to be Lisbon’s oldest restaurant which opened back in 1784. Here your palate will be thrilled by the genuine Portuguese cuisine in grandeur style.
Veggie If all that meat sounds a little much, don’t worry, there are plenty of veggie options in Lisbon too.
Try Paladar Zen, Avenida Barbosa du Bocage 107 C, Avenidas. This is an all-you-can-eat vegetarian buffet, not something that you usually hear about. For €12 you can eat whatever you want from the first class cookery on offer here.
Pasteis de Nata deliciously soft, sweet, custard tarts are a cult in Lisbon. And one place is the undisputed master of making them.
Go to Antiga Confeitaria de Belem, Rua de Belem 84-92, for the ultimate in pastries. Here you’ll find heavenly, sugary treats made from eggs and cream sugar. The recipe is 170 years old and absolutely top secret, only three chefs learn it at a time. The result is a perfectly cooked taste of Lisbon.
Wine Bars in Lisbon
Whether red, white or “green”, wine is the traditional Portuguese drink. Introduced to the area by ancient civilizations, such as the Carthaginians and the Greeks, some might say that today’s Portuguese wine is the result of a centuries-old tradition. As a matter of fact, Portugal has been a major wine exporter since the Roman Empire!
So, once in Lisbon wine-lovers should take our advice and head for one of the following.
Binhoteca Rua das Padarias 16, 2710, Sintra is where you will find over 150 wines on offer. It is a great place to go wine tasting with a little help from some experts.
Bairru’s Bodega, Rua da Barroca, no. 2, Bairro Alto, this is a place where locals go to enjoy a drink or two, it’s a really relaxed cafe with great Portuguese music and friendly staff.
Miradouro’s Wine Bar Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, 1250. This might have the best view in the whole city, overlooking the Carmo convent, Castle, Cathedral and neighbourhoods of Alfama and Graca. By day, it’s calm and relaxed, at night the top bar opens with lively music, while the Wine Bar is a calmer, romantic affair.
While the cuisine in Andorra is often likened to the Catalan cuisine, with its added bonus of French flavours and unique cooking methods, it does deserve a category in its own right. The exclusively traditional, mountain-style gastronomy famed in the Pyrenees has been enriched in Andorra, with much more variety. Set between two countries well-known for their gastronomic products and reputation, you can expect to find hundreds of cheeses, wines, foie gras, Iberian ham, baby squid, piquant potatoes, octopus Galician style, and much more.
The region has cleverly married the best of these local products and traditional recipes with new techniques and experiences. While in the mountains, you can take a meal in a typical rural inn called a borda, and be welcomed warmly by hospitable staff and homely decor or you can try some haute cuisine in one of the many exclusive restaurants offering unique gastronomic experiences. Find your way round the menu with our guide to Andorran cuisine.
So what’s on the menu?
The status of escargots – called, in Catalan, “cargols” – approaches that of national dish in Andorra. Snails are typically served as an appetiser and charred in wood or coal ovens, sometimes sauced, but usually kept plain.
Catalan spinach is particularly delicious in Andorra due to its mountainous location. At its simplest, it is sauteed greens with raisins and pine nuts and a little black pepper.
One of the most famous and popular dishes in Andorra is Trinxat, which is basically an alpine take on ‘bubble and squeak’. As is the standard in a mountainous climate, the locals learned to make the most of what crops grow best on poor soil and at altitude, so potato frequently features in Andorran dishes. Equally, so does pork, as the mountainous landscape also means that grazing land for cattle is at a minimum. Trinxat, meaning chopped in Catalan, is then a hearty mash of potatoes and cabbage, fried in a skillet-sized cake and garnished with fat back or smoky bacon.
The most surprising thing about Andorran food is the emphasis on seafood.Mountains always mean trout, so that’s a given, but the rest of the seafare on the menu seems more attuned to the coast than to the stream. Squid and octopus – “calamar i pop” – are very popular, as are cod (“bacallà”), and anchovies (“seitons”), the Atlantic staples.