After returning home from spending time abroad, you are subject to the never-ending question flow about the most exciting time of your life. If you have ever spoken to a former education abroad student, you’ll find that they love talking about their experiences. And if you’ve ever talked to me about my own personal experience, I have more than likely mentioned the food. If I had one thing to say to say about my time abroad, other than YOU SHOULD DO IT, it would be to eat everything you possibly can. Food is the window to the soul, and the way to many hearts – including my own. Since expressing my passion for food and my love of my Education Abroad experiences are high on my list of favorite things to do, I thought no better time than to recap my travels via experimenting with foreign cultural cuisine.
The love for my host country began with dumplings. A good ol’ fashioned typical Czech meal always consisted of dumplings.
What is a stop in Munich, Germany for Oktoberfest without trying schnitzel?
A perk to studying abroad while in college is that there are others before you who have visited the same locations and can give recommendations. My friends and I were able to find this hole in the wall authentic Hungarian restaurant to try some goulash.
Before traveling to the Netherlands I would have told you that gelato is the go to European dessert. However, Amsterdam revealed the secret of the stroopwafel.
The stroopwafel is made up of a caramel-like syrup center baked between two layers of dough. I will have to say a fresh, warm stroopwafel is something that you must seek to find on the streets of Amsterdam.
In my travels I found myself once again in Germany and hungry. I found myself pondering, “If you visit Germany and don’t eat a bratwurst did you really even visit Germany?” It was a cultural experience I certainly was not going to neglect myself, and I would suggest the same to all my fellow travelers.
Visiting Norway was an experience beyond compare. I was able to watch the sunset while sitting on the top of the Oslo Opera House, travel through the mountains for the first time, and try a reindeer burger. Sorry, Santa.
I had heard that fondue was ‘the move’ for those who were traveling to Switzerland, so naturally I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have Swiss cheese fondue while sitting in the midst of the Swiss Alps.
With my next adventure, I found myself in Paris face to face with the ultimate crepe challenge. My travel companion and I found ourselves trying to resist the urge to say no to any crepe station we came across while exploring the city. Needless to say after crepe number 6 happened we had to quickly abandon the challenge.
No trip to ‘the city of love’ is complete without a cheese plate and a bottle of wine while admiring the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the night light.
I never understood the hype behind the whole Paris-macaron association until I visited Ladurée for myself. Even though the line for these little pastries was a bit too crowded for my liking, one bite into the famous sweet treat and I was singing a different tune.
Although traveling across Europe and trying each countries specialty dishes were exciting and fairly satisfying to say the least, nothing compared to returning from the weekend travels to a nice homemade Czech meal.
Courtney Henning is a senior at the University of Kentucky majoring in International Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies. She studied in the Czech Republic in the Fall of 2013 though an International Studies Abroad (ISA) program.