5 foods to steer clear in Europe!
Nothing can spoil your travels as much as being stuck in your hotel room being sick or unable to leave the toilet. Even taking one bite of something a bit gross can ruin your day when you’re unable to forget the horrible taste. I made a list of foods that you should be avoiding when in Europe:
1. Andouillette sausage, France
You could easily be tricked into eating an Andouillette sausage – on the outside, it looks very similar to any other delicious sausage. But it’s the insides that might put you off. It’s made from chopped-up pig intestines squeezed into a casing.
Usually it’s fried, and it isn’t necessarily the taste people complain about – it’s the smell you won’t be able to forget. If you’re interested in picking one up and cooking it, try this recipe. But be warned, even they only got two-thirds through the meal before the smell put them off.
Oh, lots of other European countries have some kind of variation of this dish (in Slovenia it is a stew of intestines called vampi). Another similar sausage, also very common in Europe, is blood sausage.
I kind of like this one, don’t kill me!
2. Gooseneck barnacles, Spain
They might not look like something you can eat, but these crustaceans are so popular that a plateful can set you back €100. In fact, men are risking their lives trying to get supplies of gooseneck barnacles to sell.
If you fancy seeing what all the fuss is about, you’ll have to prepared to put some work in too. You have to peel off the skin from the stalk and avoid splashing seawater everywhere before getting to the tasty flesh underneath – that’s where all the flavour apparently is, although many people say it just tastes of the sea. I tried it once in Portugal and it was really yucky. Probably not worth splashing your cash on.
3. Sardinian Maggot Cheese
Now watch out for this one. This cheese makes it to the top of the Secret Traveller’s most challenging foods of the world – and it’s no surprise. It’s sheep’s milk cheese that has live insect larvae inside it. If you’re feeling brave, you’ll have to ask around in Sardinia because it’s questionable in its legality. But be careful, the maggots can leap up to 15cm and leave a sour aftertaste. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Eeeeeew!!
4. Mass-produced gelato, Italy
Gelato is a must-try when you’re in Italy. But it can be wildly different from one gelateria to another. Don’t waste your time on the mass-produced stuff made from mixes. You’ve got to hunt down the real stuff to avoid disappointment of this famous dish.
Luckily, as Landlopers say, you can spot it from a mile away most of the time by looking for natural colours and the word ‘artigianale’ to tell you it’s made with natural ingredients, not preservatives.
5. Buffets, everywhere
If you want to avoid getting ill, you should avoid buffets at all costs. The dishes are warmed up and left sitting out for germs to gather. The longer they’re there, the greater risk they have of being contaminated. You’re better off with freshly cooked street food. Use your intuitive and stick to places where the locals eat.
Have you tried any of these foods? What did you think? Share your experiences with us.