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European cuisine

European cuisine unites the many national, regional and local cuisines of all the states on the European continent. European gastronomy has developed over time. It has its origins in Greco-Roman antiquity and has been enhanced by the influence of other civilisations. Culinary traditions, such as table manners, originated in Europe. European cuisine includes world-renowned cuisines such as Italian and French, but also traditional and little-known cuisines that are just as refined and exciting.

History of the Crescent

The croissant is a very popular pastry in France, especially for breakfast, but this pastry does not originate from France, but from Austria.

It is said that the crescent was created during the siege of Vienna by the Turks. The Turks attacked the city and it was the bakers who were up early who heard the noise and alerted the guards. By this action, they saved the city. To celebrate this victory the bakers made a Viennese pastry from bread dough in the shape of a crescent, the emblem of the Turks, to commemorate this victory.

The recipe for croissants was later improved. The croissant and other viennoiseries only arrived in France in the 1770's by Queen Marie-Antoinette of Austria.

Portuguese cuisine

Le Portugal fait partie des pays les plus visités dans le monde pour son excellente gastronomie, renommée à l’échelle internationale. La cuisine portugaise est une cuisine typiquement méditerranéenne qui allie aliments marins et terrestres. Ce pays regorge de spécialités culinaires du terroir. La cuisine portugaise s’est enrichie avec les traditions culinaires méditerranéennes et des anciennes colonies. Aussi si la gastronomie portugaise est si diversifiée, c’est parce que le climat y est propice pour quasiment tous les fruits, légumes et végétaux. Parmi les plats typiques du Portugal, il y a :

  • Balcalhau: dried cod is one of the most common foods in traditional Portuguese dishes.
  • Francesinha: this sandwich filled with sausage and cheese is one of the best sandwiches in the world.


Basque cuisine

Basque cuisine attracts many tourists. Basque culinary specialities are the result of ancient traditions that have been carried on in the region to this day. Basque cuisine is essentially made up of mountain products, but also marine products from the ocean. The Basque Country has a wide variety of local products thanks to its favourable climate. Agriculture and fishing are carried out in a traditional way and the markets in the Basque Country offer a wide variety of marine products: langoustines, lobsters, spider crabs, crabs, cod, mussels, seafood, etc.

One of the most popular culinary specialities of the Basque region is the famous Bayonne ham. This dark red and slightly salty sausage from the Adour basin, has a particularly mellow flavour and is much sought after by gourmets.

Hungarian cuisine

The gastronomic traditions of Hungary are shared by some Slovak, Ukrainian, Romanian, Serbian and Hungarian inhabitants. The ingredients used in Hungarian cuisine are the same as those used in Central European cuisines, such as beef, pork and cabbage. However, the special feature of Hungarian cuisine is its oriental touch and its pronounced use of paprika. This distinction is due to its Balkan and Turkish influence.

In Hungary, breakfast usually consists of cold cuts, bread, hot drinks and fruit. Lunch starts with soup, followed by salad and a meat dish and ends with dessert. Dinner is quite similar to breakfast.

Regional red wine is one of the most consumed drinks during meals in Hungary.  

Soup is a part of traditional Hungarian cuisine. Indeed, Hungarians eat soup at any time, such as :

  • goulash soup,
  • bean soup,
  • Frankfurt soup.

During the Christmas holidays, it is customary to prepare a fish and paprika soup called the Halászlé.