The area of Europe is a large area that is located between Asia, Africa, and the Arctic. Europe is often visited by tourists. Some head to see the culture of France or the United Kingdom, while others head to Spain, Greece or Italy in order to enjoy the warm weather and the beautiful beaches.
Europe is considered to be the cultural center of fashion, interior design, and cuisine. The only problem with this statement is that what is considered to be high fashion, great interior design and delicious cuisine varies from country to country. The cuisine in Europe, no matter which country is visited, is almost always delicious. Gourmet cooking has become a fine art, and visitors to the area can find almost any type of food, from Italian to Spanish to Chinese, no matter which country they are visiting.
The cooler climates tend to serve the heavier foods. England, Belgium, Ireland, Germany and Hungary are just a few of the countries that boast of a heavy fare for the casual traveler. Countries that are mostly landlocked, such as Hungary and the Czech Republic, learned how to create filling meals on very little. In Hungary, goulash is a meal that is found on almost every menu. Some consider it to be the national dish. Goulash is made by first browning meat in a skillet. Water is then added to the skillet along with onions, peppers and garlic. Sometimes potatoes are added as a way to thicken the broth. This hearty dish is served with mashed potatoes.
People in these cold climates needed to create foods that kept them warm and kept them full, so that they could work a long day without having to worry about food. This is why heavy sauces and thick stews are so popular. Those used to a lighter fare may have a hard time adjusting to some of these meals. In the United Kingdom, for instance, some consider it sacrilegious to serve a shank of meat without adding a gravy to it.
Food in the Mediterranean, which includes countries such as Greece, Monaco, Italy and Spain, generally has a much lighter feel to it. Emphasis is placed more on blending the tastes together rather than in creating a filling meal. In many of these countries, it is considered rude to not be served at least three courses during a full dinner setting. Coffee is also an important part of the Mediterranean culture. Espresso is a favorite coffee drink, as is cappuccino and caffe late. These drinks have migrated over into the Western cultures to become extremely popular. People that eat a Mediterranean diet generally eat a number of fruits and vegetables, as well as fish. Heavier meats are eaten, but are generally served in thin slices, not large chunks.