Food Tastes Better in Europe~

Guess who ate one of these cake slices? I did and it was divine. You can trust France to make killer-good-desserts.

We are heading off now to explore new parts of Europe and are looking forward to the food.

This cheese is well, French. It is raw milk, hand-made, and it is to die for. Yep, we ate slices of this too! What the heck, it’s France!

France has an amazing selection of gorgeous fresh mushrooms, all sold in open-air markets.

Venice on the other hand is justifiably world-famous for its outdoor, fresh fish markets.

Venice also has incredible produce, small farm grown and picked when ripe,

along with every imaginable, Italian seasoning and condiment, all sold in charming open air markets.

Greece is chock-full of mom and pop produce stands selling delicious small farm produce.

Most German towns have weekly outdoor markets.

Spain’s open-air markets are extensive,

and Portugal’s produce is just picked fresh.

Hungary’s desserts are old-world delicious and will definitely make you hungry.
I wish I could beam you over here with me to go grocery shopping, tasting and eating!
Cheers to you from Europe’s outdoor markets~

330 thoughts on “Food Tastes Better in Europe~

    1. One doesn’t realize how much flavor we lose when produce is picked before it is ripe, wrapped in plastic and left in refrigerators, until one tastes produce that is actually freshly picked when ripe. Milk, butter, cheese everything is so much better. There are certain European foods I crave when I get home. German food definitely, and German pie crusts, French cookies, and Italian pizza. All unprocessed and made with fresh unprocessed ingredients. I basically can’t eat American chocolate anymore. European chocolate is just so much better.

    1. People point out that we have open air markets in California. We do, but the bulk of the produce and dairy are all processed in the Central Valley and they are so inferior.

  1. While my hubby worked I walked down to a local market in Munich, Germany and was going to buy some fruit. Instead of pointing at what I wanted I picked the grapes up and boy did I get reprimanded 🙂 Hopefully that has changed over the years…

  2. Your tour of Europe is being wonderful. Apart from savoring the best in fruits and cakes, the cities are spectacular because they preserve the brightness of yesteryear. The photos are to taste them. I’m glad for you. Greetings.

  3. Now I‘m hungry. Thankfully I‘m currently in my home village in rural Germany and can go plunder my parents‘ garden 😀 There are also nice Hofläden nearby not to be missed by gourmet travellers.

    1. There is, but it is not as available as it is in Europe. Some foods in the States can’t hold a candle, like cheese and chocolate, so I buy imported. Wonderful pastry and desserts are much harder to find here.

        1. It is a far, far better thing I’ll do, than I have ever done before~
          It’s a sorta quote….who said, something like, “It is a far, far better thing, than I have ever done before?’
          I have no idea. It just sounds good.
          Love to you Mandy~
          And I will eat the cheese, only for you, well, just a little bit for me too <3

  4. You are so right. Food tastes better over there. I think a lot of it has to do with shunning artificial additives to their food and using natural ingredients in baking, cheesemaking, and winemaking. Farm to table is another good policy with fruit and vegetable markets available. Wonderful photos, Cindy.

  5. I love the fresh veges and fruit here in Spain and of course, the French pastries are to die for. Don’t even get me started on the fabulous cheeses in Europe. Everything tastes better here and isn’t as expensive!!

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  7. The food I had in Paris, and Italy, but mostly Paris, has ruined me for life. I realized that I never truly had fresh, delicious, amazingly delicious food in my life. I can’t even look at an eclair any longer, ours are so thick and gummy, compared to the delicate airy delicious eclairs in Paris. Sigh. Everything was better there. Your photographs are truly beautiful. I feel as if I was with you walking through all that wonderfulness. <3

  8. Anonymous

    Nice post Cindy. Remember those open air markets well when I lived in Europe in the mid 80’s for 5 years. Thanks for sharing.

    1. There is just something so nice about buying your neighborhood produce, bread and cheese, the day you are going to cook it, and talking with the vendors and buyers. It is communal and part of the whole enjoyment of food and eating which Europeans tend to do so very well.

  9. How do you ever come back home after all that lusciousness? I’d emigrate in a heartbeat if I were a bit younger and healthier. Just to travel all over and taste and see everything. I’m salivating here.

  10. All so beautiful in beautiful pictures. Please let us know what you read on your scales when you get back home. I am calling my good friend (at least he should be, I get so much from him through a Kindle) Jeff Bezos and ask him to put all the displayed product and produce on Amazon Prime. Okay, two day-old bread, a small price to pay. Sorry I can’t reblog this, WordPress took my site down.

    1. I do love to shop at Jeff Bezos site! I guess shopping at Amazon for food summarizes the difference between the European neighborhood model and the American one. However, one can, and I do, shop for imported food at Amazon.

  11. The produce, cheese, meats, and desserts in France are divine! I wish I could beam over to have a slice of cake and a slice of cake with you to fortify ourselves for all the window shopping and walking. 😜 Bonne vacance Cindy!

  12. I agree Cindy, the food in France or Europe is wonderful. They used to call me “Madame Cheddar” at the food store in Paris.

  13. My Mum used to work on an open air fruit and vegetable stall and she moans like mad that everything is becoming just supermarket pre-packed tasteless offerings now, markets are closing down and small veg shops like the one my Nana had close down because they just can’t compete.

    1. “..supermarket pre-packed tasteless offerings…” I so agree with your Mum. She well knows the difference and it is sad on so many levels that the more superior food items are being forced out. We all suffer for it <3

  14. maryplumbago

    I spent a day on a Sat in Basel, Switzerland. The market was amazing! Such beautiful clean healthy fruits and vegetables. And the cheeses and spices! Nothing like it here except maybe in big cities.
    And here in the US the emphasis is on quick and easy to fast, no lingering over interesting conversations to speak of with a few glasses of wine or a good expresso. Everything here is fast and throwaway…we miss so much. No wonder most of Europe is happier than the US.

    1. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Take peach shopping in California grocery store for example, I buy peaches regularly, and 98% of them are utterly tasteless, with none of that strong, heady, peach aroma. I have stopped peach shopping in the US. It is just one example of how produce is degraded when it is picked unripe, cold stored for too long, and packed and sold in plastic.

  15. Wonderful! Food definitely tastes better in Europe, the cheeses in particular. I’ve had excellent cheese in America, but only in expensive specialty shops. The commercially available cheese is vastly inferior to Europe.

    I once had a simply lovely dinner at a cafe in Old Nice. On the table next to us, an elderly Italian-looking man sat alone with a crock pot of steaming scampi, a loaf of fresh crusty bread, and a bottle of fine wine of course. The aroma was incredible, and it looked like he was in heaven!

  16. Oh my gosh Cindy! I miss all that! When I was there it was baked goods, chocolate, coffee, Italian Gelato! So much good food – much of it as you show here, fresh and good for you too! We’ve been watching the Great British Baking Show. The cake picture made me think of that. Thank you for sharing this – brings back happy memories.

  17. Beaming is not working so well, I’m afraid… What a pity… Well, I’ll have look what my fridge can offer… there should be some nice cheese… 😉

      1. It’s amazing what one can create when they’re motivated by more than speed and low production costs! I suspect that the intricate, time-honored craftsmanship of Europe will long outlast the quick-fixes of the land across the pond.

  18. It all looks divine and absolutely fresh and delicious.

    Now why don’t we have some of these in the middle of Melbourne, Australia – especially since the whole city is now filled with high-rise apartment blocks (albeit mainly for the overseas university students, but also many wealthier folk who want to live in the newer inner melbourne with its bars, cafes & multicultural restaurants). We did have a weekend market down on the river bank for a couple of summers, but now i don’t live near the city, i don’t know whether that’s still going.

    My Goddaughter has wonderful open air markets near where she lives in the middle of Barcelona.

    1. Oh yeah! Barcelona has some of the most amazing open air markets in Europe. The Spain photo was taken there. We have returned to eat there again and again. Maybe Australia and the US don’t have the cultural traditions around food, and it’s production and consumption. It makes a noticeable difference. Still Oz has the most amazing natural ecosystem in the world, and I am not just referring to the birds. I love Australia <3

      1. I’m so glad you love my Country, Cindy. I love the history in the U.K & Europe (since we only have about 200+ years of white settlement here).

        I remember looking down at the ruts in the cobblestone streets around the Colosseum in Rome and thinking, chariots or horse-drawn carts made those ruts centuries and centuries ago. It was like stepping back in time.
        Maybe it helped to have studied art and history in my schooling days in my youth. 🙂

  19. I’m not much of a cook and I hate grocery shopping in the US but when visiting Europe, I love food shopping at outdoor markets and preparing simple meals. Everything tastes so good. The ambiance of an outdoor Europen market is a treat. Can’t say that about my local grocer. Thank you for sharing, Cindy.

  20. The cake I can live without those lovely cheeses caught my eye as did the shellfish …I wish I could get more cheese here I have to resign myself to feta or blue cheese unless someone brings me some over 🙂 x Lovely images 🙂 x

    1. I have to go to specialty markets to buy imported cheese, which I do, despite the inconvenience and cost, because it is actual cheese. So I hear you and entirely concur. <3

  21. A friend of mine has just come back from her home island of Sardinia, and brought back some local cheese. I asked her what it was called. She looked puzzled, then said, ‘Village cheese. From my village.’ It was terrific.

  22. I may have gained a pound reading this post. Luckily we have 2 fabulous markets in Toronto, Kensington Market & St. Lawrence Market that are open all year. In the summer the markets bloom into the street. All summer there are Farmers’ Markets city and suburbs wide. You just about can’t find white bread here, unless it’s a baguette! I live on a street lined with local grocers selling the best fresh in season fruits and veggies, about 5 coffee houses, 5 bakeries, a library, and at least 10 small local restaurants. It’s a great hood. I’m going shopping, now!!!

  23. Nice you could have some great tastes in the many European countries with each their own specialities. Hopefully you could taste also a lot of non-DNA-tempered chemical-free biological food and understand why we are not so eager to allow several manufactured genetic manipulated products in our Union. Though there it is not just a matter of taste, but also of health and a respect for mother nature.

  24. Love the food in France, UK, and Scotland. I think Europe makes food a priority and eating an event. Unlike here in the USA where we wolf down whatever is available and hurry on with our day. Plus the open air markets make shopping so much more enjoyable than mega supermarkets here.

    1. It’s true. We have farmers markets but they often are buying produce that is mass produced and not picked fresh, and you are so right. The culture around food in Europe is very different and so enjoyable.

  25. Cindy, I’m pretty sure I packed on five pounds just reading this post and drooling over these luscious foods! Enjoy your stay (and my hips thank you for NOT beaming me over, ha!!)

  26. Oh, god…I was ready to go to bed before I saw your photos…and now? I am ready to eat something from this delicious food 😀 Thank you for this great appetizer, Cindy <3

  27. Oh Cindy, even looking at your pictures was foodie heaven and had my mouth watering… I have had wonderful food in Melbourne in spite of the other blog comment… the streets lined with Italian restaurants, and the one lined with Chinese for starters.. and the foodie markets with stalls loaded with food by Italian and Greek and Spanish and every other immigrant were a must when I visited my son Melbourne…Enjoy your eating holiday, and I hope you are one of those lucky people who can indulge and not add on the pounds at the same time….

    1. I have had excellent seafood and Chinese Food in Australia so I believe you. Unfortunately I must mostly look at the delicacies in these photos, and only rarely indulge, in order to keep the dreaded pounds away. Cheers to you Valerie <3

  28. I completely agree! I am originally from Europe, and the toughest part is to be ok with food in Canada. I have posted numerous times articles about the Latvian farmers markets. The capital city of Latvia Riga has the largest produce market in Europe. It also includes fish pavilions, meat, dairy and all kinds of other foods. I am in Latvia right now and definitely enjoying the food. Hungary, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, any country has very delicious foods. I sometimes wish Canadians went over and learned what good bread is, what good cheese is and so on.

    1. My grandmother was Polish and she taught me to cook and my grandfather Bulgarian, so I know how right you are. We have eaten in Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, The Chezk Republic, Croatia, Montenegro and the food is incredible. I want to visit and eat, in more of this beautiful region.

  29. Oh Cindy!! I’m so excited that you are heading out on a new adventure. I love tagging along! Safe travels, wherever your adventures take you! Many hugs coming your way.

  30. I grew up buying food at open air markets. So happy I have the Tuesday Culver City farmers market within walking distance. Great photos!

  31. Not surprising that food is better there. They don’t allow all the fake stuff that dominates our food supply. Even stuff like instant oatmeal made by American companies has to change from things like the strawberry flavored bits they use for Americans to actual bits of strawberries.

  32. Europe especially Eastern part really know how to make cakes especially. I find when I go visiting Hungary or Croatia or Poland I am totally immersed in the tastes and aromas of their sweets. Extraordinary! <3

  33. Now that’s what I call a spectacular spread. Not just the food looks so vibrant but the presentation with old world charm is an extra treat. 🙂 <3

  34. Well Cuz, you must know, you totally ruined my diet !!! After reading this, I had told go the Italian bakery and order one of everything. Hahaha!!!!! 🙂

  35. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    This week Cindy Knoke is not focusing her lens on wildlife in all its glory but on the food markets around Europe that she visited on her trip. I must say that in Spain the fish counters and the patisserie departments even in the supermarkets were beyond compare. Fresh produce took pride of place with aisles of fabulous fruits and vegetables and only one small aisle of prepared dishes.. Fabulous.

        1. Well the weather is certainly a bit of a change from the fires, drought, and heat of Californina. Right now it is what I think you might refer to as a “bit blowy” outside!

    1. What a great name! We were there when it was cold . I think we may have seen it. We spent a lot of time underground, in the markets and restaurants near the hauptbahnhof, and I was blown away by the underground city!

  36. Our style of “super market” emphasizes predictability, but also uniformity… Any Krogers/Safeway/WalMart in the USA will have exactly the same products on the shelves, but a relatively limited variety. Our experience, confirmed by your photos, is that European markets (not to say that our model has not invaded the larger cities) carry regional varieties, in season. But, when you cook with something harvested nearby and just a short while ago, the flavor is much more delicious. Furthermore, what wonderful discoveries to have select something that you may not find next week. Memories are made from novelty. – Oscar

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    1. Indian food is some of my most favorite food, and I make lots of Indian curries, peas pilau, raita and a few other dishes. I would love to visit India and eat Indian food. at it’s source.I know it is complex, full of amazing spices and flavors. Just writing this makes me hungry to be in India tasting Indian food!

  38. Oh gosh Cindy, you had me on Food and Europe! This is probably my favorite of all your posts– such a wide sampling of bright and beautiful foods! Is this a collection of photos from past travels?? Are you in Europe now?? Loved it! xox

  39. Wonderful post. I love the food in Europe. Fresh and unprocessed …. the taste is amazing. Someone was raving about a recipe recently that included Lipton dry soup mix. Yuk! That’s what many Americans consider good food. Sad.

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  41. When are you coming to Finland? 😉 In the summertime there is also good markets… outdoor and indoors too…but nowadays here in Helsinki it’s very much also those big supermarkets. I guess it’s all about the price. People don’t have money and they have to buy that cheap food…

    1. Yes the cheap mass-markets are springing up all over Europe which is such a loss. I hope you never lose your glorious markets. I have been to Finland and to Helsinki and posted about it. I remember the summer produce and the fish markets well. The islands off the coast of Finland are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen, or photographed in my life. Surreal almost. I would really love to return to Finland and go inland this time, and look for your brown bears. I actually was just looking into this.

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  43. Since 300 years all international community from every country have been living here in India. Now their foods are mixed with Indian food culture. Including native Indian community India is the most food diversified country. Every taste of the world is the taste of India. In India food taste and language change after every 20 kilometres. So is it enough to change the opinion? If not I’m ready to provide more information…ha ha ha…but your writing is amazing, good collection of photos.

    1. You do not have to change my opinion, because my opinion agrees entirely with you.
      Indian food is knock your socks off good.
      I was just saying food tastes better in Europe, than it does in the United States.
      I haven’t been to India, but I have this gastronomical need, to regularly eat Indian food.
      In India, cooking seems to be a complex art form, passed down through the generations.
      The knowledge of spices?
      The making of vegetables?
      How is it possible that it is so good?
      My mother and my daughter,
      spent time in India.
      I think I should too.

      1. I was just kidding. Actually every nation has it;s unique style and taste. Perhaps taste and flavor don’t respect any boundary today.
        An amazing fact in India i want to share you you… Orisha and Bengal are two different states in India. And ‘Rasgolla’ is a deadly famous sweet in India. For last few years the two states were fighting officially to get the copyright as the origin and producer. But amazing fact is that none of the states consumes as much Rasgollas as more they export to other states and countries ! After all, last month court declared Rasgolla born in West Bengal. Ha .. Ha.. Ha…

    1. I hope you do become a chef. Such a creative and people positive profession, and I love to cook, and eat, so more power to you. Do go to Europe, and you will taste the difference yourself. There are specific places I fantasize about returning to just to eat specific food items, like Passau for their chocolates, and Stuttgart for their lemon cream pie.

  44. Beautiful post! Amazing pictures too 😊👌🏼 I also think food has a very special quality in Europe. Everything is much fresher, colorful, fragrant, and just all around delicious. I would say Italy, Spain, and France are among the best culinary capitals of the world! Thank you for sharing this post! It was amazing! Looking forward to seeing more of your work! 🌟🌸

    1. Agreed. Germany has amazing food. Switzerland has wonderful dishes and baked goods. Belgium has the chocolates…..I could keep going, and drooling! Thanks for stopping by and lovely to meet you.

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