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Six local foods you must try in Europe

About Travel Like A Local

Travel for me is an opportunity to get a glimpse into another culture's day-to-day.

I'm no professional traveller, but I have picked up a few tips and tricks along the way.


Where better to try these delights than in their place of origin?

I see every trip as an opportunity to eat delicious things.

Living in Australia, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to multicultural restaurants. But there's something special about eating or drinking something delectable in its country of origin.

Read more Travel Like A Local: How I discovered Europe on $60 a day

While we all appreciate the need to drink Port in Porto, eat pasta in Italy, and fish and chips in England, here are a few local European delicacies you may not have heard of.

In fact, we hadn't heard of them, either, until the locals insisted we try them.

Sweet and crunchy Navettes.

Sweet and crunchy Navettes

Navette, Marseille France

We walked for a while to get to Le Four Des Navette, famous in Marseille, because if you’re going to do it, do it right. These guys have been making Navette, sweet biscuits, since 1781. The town even has a ‘Navette Express’ shuttle so you can try all the varying types from the different shops!

Heavenly Loukoumades .

Heavenly Loukoumades

Loukoumades, Greece

Loukoumades, one of the first things I ate on the Greek islands, are best described as doughnut balls. Except they are heavenly, light and fluffy, typically drowned in local honey and icing sugar. You’ll be able to find these throughout Greece and they date back to the first Olympic Games.

Focaccette, Aulla Italy

When you’re driven up a mountain and sat down in front of wheels of cheese and piles of cold cuts, you know you’re in for a treat.

Turns out the tiny province of Aulla in Italy has a well-kept secret on how to do a meat and cheese platter infinitely better than anyone else.

Forget your silly, flimsy gourmet crackers or artisan bread. Focaccette is baked fresh to order and is like a mix between woodfired pita and a plain pizza base, just big enough so you can eat maybe 10 in one sitting and sample every combination of cheese and meat. Thankyou forever, Zia.

Haggis, Scotland

Whatever you do, don’t Google haggis. Just eat it and enjoy it first, and then ask what’s in it. Ok? Promise?

Churros are a yes, horchata, not so much.

Churros are a yes, horchata, not so much.

Horchata, Valencia Spain

I’m going to be honest with you, I would not drink this again.

But while you’re in Valencia, maybe after a paella lunch, head over to the local horchata parlour and get yourself a glass with some churros for dessert.

Horchata is made from rice, plus sweet spices and nuts. We tried ours at Horchateria Santa Catalina, which is one of the best, apparently. However, the flavour was not my cup of tea.

Pasteis De Nata, Lisbon Portugal

Maybe more commonly known as a Portugese custard tart, these are warm, flaky, creamy tarts that are not too sweet and sprinkled with cinnamon. And I love them. You simply must try them if you’re ever in Lisbon.

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