National cuisine is one of those things a traveler should learn about before planning a trip. In this case, the question is not referred to the prices, but to the way food is prepared, commonplace dishes, dominant products, etc., as adjustment to local culinary traditions might became a serious obstacle. Certainly, restaurants serving international cuisine might be at hand, although national cuisine is still a valuable travel attraction. As an alternative, one may get familiar with it step by step; thus, it is recommended to start with popular snacks. Surprisingly, some countries might boast of iconic snack dishes that are essential only for their area.
In Europe it is impossible to omit Spain, where national cuisine is a result of regional traditions’ mix. Catalan, Andalusian, Galician and Basque chiefs contributed a lot, notwithstanding the existence of common for all Spaniards dishes; perhaps, the most recognized is tapas that is served everywhere. Bars in Madrid, Barcelona, Segovia or any other metropolitan area might be even inferior to conventional cafes in the countryside, where original tapas recipes are in use. The classic version of tapas is ham or chorizo, marinated or grilled vegetables, fried or pickled mushrooms, meatballs, potato or rice, fried calamari or mussels, and an endless myriad of tartlets. According to Madrid.net, the best of classic tapas might be tasted in Madrid tapas bars.
In neighboring France croquettes is a sort of tapas’s analogue, as large as walnuts snacks made of minced meat, fish, potatoes or cereals, often breaded in flour and fried in oil. Commonly, croquettes combine meat and cereals or fish and potato, but there may be purely meat or potato. Regardless of being typically French snack, croquettes gained popularity abroad as a real delicacy, and different nations has altered them in own way: for example, in Florida, they are made of crab meat (and known as croqueta de jaiba), whereas in New England the priority is given to chicken leg quarter with maple syrup.
Apparently, in beer-loving Germany there is no way to get along without a plate of some snacks. Surely, sausages are symbolic to German cuisine, although there are also some other traditional appetizers travelers are strongly recommended to try. For instance, Pretzels are, in sober fact, bread cracknels of an intricate form, especially known in South Germany as a beer garniture. They are also very popular among German bakers, who keep introducing new recipes of this snack.
Prior to all types of pasta, pizza or risotto dishes, Italian guests are served focaccia, baked in a very hot oven, preferably – on the stone. Some even equalize focaccia to the simplest pizza, as it also has different fillings – vegetables, mushrooms, anchovies, cheese and olives, but one should learn a crucial difference: in focaccia the priority is given to dough, whilst in pizza Italians value its filling.
Both sauce and a snack is Greek tzatziki. Everything that is served with it is delicious beyond words. In reality, tzatziki is a mix of Greek yogurt and cucumber, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Every meal begins with traditional appetizers (mezedes) and Greek sauces. Mezedes are usually presented with artichokes, olives, fresh vegetables, fried cauliflower accompanied with tzatziki sauce.