12 European Countries, 12 Foods: Food Traditions of Europe


The culinary traditions of Western Europe are some of the most diverse in the world. From France to Finland, there is an abundance of different dishes that have been passed down through generations and adapted to suit each country’s needs. 

The following blog post will explore 12 European countries and their favorite foods!

Bulgarian Cuisine- Bulgaria

Bulgarian cuisine is largely influenced by its geographical location, climate and history. Bulgarian food traditions are a blend of dishes from Middle Eastern countries such as Turkey, Greece, Macedonia and Hungary along with local cuisines to create unique flavors that set it apart. 

Dishes- The most popular traditional dishes include Shopska Salata (tomato salad), Shopski Likorian (spicy pork ribs) and Sarmi (cabbage leaves stuffed with meat, rice and fresh herbs).

Spanish Food- Spain

Spain is known for its vast variety of foods that are heavily influenced by the country’s location. Boasting over 50 different types of sausage alone, Spanish food traditions include everything from seafood to desserts! 

Dishes- The most popular traditional dishes include paella, tapas, gazpacho and jamon.

Austrian Food- Austria

Austrian food is a mix of Germanic influence with Italian and Hungarian flare! Traditional Austrian meals are hearty but simple in preparation which includes cured meats such as salami or ham along with schnitzel (breaded veal fried in a pan) and pretzels.

Swedish Cuisine- Sweden

Swedish food traditions are a mix of Mediterranean, Germanic and Nordic influence! The most popular traditional dishes include Swedish meatballs (served with boiled potatoes), Janssons frestelse (fried herring served with anchovy sauce and mashed potatoes), blood pudding sausage or the famous IKEA meatballs.

Flemish Food-Germany

Multi-cultural influences are evident in Flemish food traditions that have slowly been changing over the years due to immigration and globalization! 

Dishes- Traditional dishes include carbonade (beef cooked with beer, onions and mustard), Vlaamse stoverij (slowly braised beef served with mashed potatoes) or waterzooi (chicken stewed with vegetables).

Polish Cuisine- Poland

Polish cuisine is a mix of various cultures that have influenced the country over time. This includes Slavic, German and Jewish influences along with traditional Polish dishes! 

Dishes- The most popular traditional dishes include Pierogi (dumplings stuffed with cheese, potatoes or meat), Golabki (stuffed cabbage) and kielbasa (sausage). This includes Slavic, German and Jewish influences along with traditional Polish dishes! 

Czech Cuisine-  Czech Republic

Czech cuisine is a blend of both French and Germanic influence that offers unique flavors to those who try it! 

Dishes- Traditional Czech dishes include smažený sýr (fried cheese), guláš (goulash) and Knedlíky (dumplings).

Norwegian Cuisine- Norway

Norwegian cuisine is a mix of Nordic influence with seafood being the most popular dish. 

Dishes- Some common traditional Norwegian foods are fårikål (lamb and cabbage), kjøttkaker (meat patties) and fiskesuppe (fish soup).

Belgian Cuisine- Belgian

Belgian cuisine is a mix of French, Germanic, Dutch and Mediterranean influence! Traditional Belgian dishes include waterzooi, moules frites or Carbonade Flamande.

Italian Cuisine- Italy

Italian cuisine has a strong influence from the Mediterranean area which is why many dishes include seafood and olive oil. 

Dishes- Traditional Italian foods include bruschetta, pasta carbonara or tiramisu!

Switzerland’s Food- Switzerland

Switzerland’s food traditions are heavily influenced by French cuisine with a mix of Germanic influences added to the mix. 

Dishes- The most popular traditional Swiss dishes are cholera (chocolate-covered raisins), fondue (melted cheese) or raclette (cheese melted over potatoes with ham).

French Foods- France

France’s food traditions are a mix of Germanic, Mediterranean and African influence! 

Dishes- Traditional French foods include cassoulet (white bean casserole), escargot de Bourgogne (snails in garlic butter) and boudin noir (blood sausage).

Whether you’re looking for a taste of Spain, France, or even the Nordic countries like Finland and Sweden, there’s an abundance of delicious food waiting to be discovered. If you’ve been on the hunt for a culinary adventure that will make your mouth water and leave you feeling fulfilled by new experiences, look no further than Europe. There is something for everyone here – from French crepes with Nutella to Finnish soup flavored with cinnamon and allspice! What are some dishes that made it into your list now?