Posts Tagged With: Belgium

So this is goodbye?

Well, I am officially back in New Jersey so I guess this is goodbye. I could talk about what an amazing and life changing experience this was and how I grew as a person and sound as cliche as a Study Abroad pamphlet. So rather than be a redundant bore, I’m going to talk about how delicious the food is in Europe.

I actually tried snails! They were surprisingly minty and gross.

I actually tried snails! They were surprisingly minty and gross.

Spanish Tortilla with salmorejo (creamy tomato soup)

Spanish Tortilla with salmorejo (creamy tomato soup)

First, I’d like to thank my incredible host mother because home is where I had the best meals. She even taught me how to cook a few of my favorites, like Tortilla Espa├▒ola.

Churros and Chocolate: possibly the best thing to ever exist.

Churros and Chocolate: possibly the best thing to ever exist.

Those who study abroad and have the option of a host family should definitely do it, without my homestay, I would not have been exposed to the delicious cuisine of Spain without breaking the bank.

Patatas Bravas :)

Patatas Bravas ­čÖé

Pancakes from a very american brunch place in Spain

Pancakes from a very american brunch place in Spain

In Spain, the majority of the food was deliciously fried or very meat heavy. Ham and cheese croquettes was one of my favorite meals. The seafood in Spain is also beyond amazing (before going there I did not eat fish…that changed quickly upon arrival!), cod fish, shrimp, and other shell fish are popular.

Ham and cheese croquettes.

Ham and cheese croquettes.

Don’t be surprised either if you find all your meals lacking in vegetables. Coming from a home where I ate raw veggies on the daily, it was hardest to get used to having all of my veggies cooked in oil or fried. Bread is another staple at every meal. My host mother would buy bread from the bakery basically every other day and we would eat it with breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Pirinono (a cinnamon-bun like dessert from Granada)

Pirinono (a cinnamon-bun like dessert from Granada)

Spanish coffee is better than Starbucks. But then again, any coffee is better than Starbucks.

Spanish coffee is better than Starbucks. But then again, any coffee is better than Starbucks.

Another main difference between Spanish and American cuisine is the hour at which food is eaten. In Spain, I would eat breakfast, then snack, then lunch at around 3pm, then another snack, and dinner was early at anywhere between 9 and 10pm.

I found the best cake place in Sevilla (its near Plaza Nueva!)

I found the best cake place in Sevilla (its near Plaza Nueva!)

Cookies from Madrid

Cookies from Madrid

Besides just eating in Spain, I tried foods from eleven countries total: France, Holland, England, Morocco, Portugal, Czech Republic, Scotland, Belgium, Germany, and Hungary.

Sausage and potatoes in Budapest.

  Sausage and potatoes in Budapest.

Dutch cheese

Dutch cheese

Currywurst in Germany

Currywurst in Germany

Beef in Hungary!

Beef in Hungary!

Trying local cuisine was one of my favorite aspects of traveling but that is just because I’m an incredible foodie.┬áIMG_4766

Fancy grilled cheese in Paris

Fancy grilled cheese in Paris

French Croissant

French Croissant

Anyways, I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone (AKA my grandma) for reading about and keeping up with my semester in Spain.

Belgian Waffle

Belgian Waffle

Adios! 

Coffee

Coffee

Fancy Iced Coffee

Fancy Iced Coffee

More Coffee

More Coffee

French Coffee

French Coffee

Coffee from an eastern european country (I forget which one)

Coffee from an eastern european country (I forget which one)

Spanish Coffee....Again

Spanish Coffee….Again

I'm not the only one who drinks coffee!

I’m not the only one who drinks coffee!

Categories: Food, Study Abroad, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Land of Chocolate

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In a city known for chocolates, waffles, and french fries I managed to eat and see my way through Brussels in 24 hours with the company of my dear friend Vicky. This marked the start of our two week, five country Europe trip. Brussels was actually exactly what I expected it to be- a small quirky city with good food and friendly people. Even though it took us about an hour to figure out what language is spoken there (turns out its both French AND Dutch), communication and navigating the city was quite simple.

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Outside the Royal Palace!

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After a quick lunch and coffee we started our day walking into the city center and exploring the streets. We wandered past a few beautiful churches and parks, passing by┬áthe European Union building and foreign embassies. Then we strolled through the Sablon area which should really just be called “Chocolate Lane” since every other store was a chocolatier. I bought some of the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted in my life there.

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We spent the afternoon touring the comic museum (Brussels seems to be very interested in comics, since there are many graffiti comic-murals spread across the city as well). In the evening we stumbled upon the plaza containing the town hall as well as numerous other gold plated buildings and relaxed on the clean cobblestone for some time.

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For dinner, I tried pork meatballs in a speculous (yes, as in the cookie) and dark beer sauce which turned out to be really good! Before heading home for the night we stopped to take a peek at Mannekin Pis which is literally just a tiny statue of a boy peeing. Usually he’s dressed up in one of his hundreds of outfits but that day he was in the nude.

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Mannekin Pis

The next day we walked back into the town center and saw a couple palaces and government buildings, I liked the Royal Palace the best, it made me feel like a princess. We went to the Musical Instruments Museum which is well worth the two euro it costs to get inside.

There was also a celebration going on for VE day which for some reason entailed an excellent procession of fat geese as well as around thirty food trucks and a weird “vintage-y” merry go round.

I have come to the conclusion that Brussels is the oddest city with the best chocolate I have visited so far.

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Categories: Study Abroad, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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