12 Funny food names and their meaning

Did you ever wonder about the curious names of certain food specialities? Some are in honour of an important person, others are named after a place or have a special story around it…Here are 12 well-known foods and the – perhaps surprising – meaning of their names:

1. Granny Smith apples: Named after Maria Ana (Granny) Smith, who grew them first in Australia.

2. Biscuit: coming from the latin’ bis coctus’ – with the meaning of ‘baked two times’, was initially referred to bone-dry hardtack – nowadays it is understood in continental European cuisine as a lightly baked delicacy.

3. Carpaccio: The colour of this thinly-sliced raw beef was similar to the red shades of paint, that Italian renaissance painter Vittore Carpaccio used in his work.

4. Headcheese: nothing to do with cheese – it’s a jellied cold cut, initially made of parts like pigs head, feet and belly, in modern version also with game or even with vegetables.

5. Kalter Hund: we all know Hot Dogs – however in Germany, the land of sausages, a ‘cold dog’ describes a cake made of shortbread and chocolate ganache.

6. Morcilla: this could be the name of an evil sorceress in an ancient movie- but it is the traditional Spanish blood sausage, cooked and cured with rice, onions and spices.

7. Pumpernickel: a very dark and solid bread, made of rye – the old German name is probably describing a rough, clumsy person – or a knotted log of wood.

8. Sandwich: Actually, Sir John Montagu, Earl of Sandwich, didn´t invite the custom to put meat between two bread slices – but he was famous to offer this casual snack to his high class friends in Britain at social occasions instead of multi-course formal dinners.

9. Tiramisu: ‘pick-me-up’ , the literal translation of this Italian dessert, might refer to such mood-lifting ingredients as cream cheese, sugar and coffee – or the desperate call for help with lifting from the table afterwards.

10. Pizza Margherita: this version of the classic Italian poor man’s snack was developed to honor the Queen of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, and the Italian unification by representing the colours of the flag with red tomatos, white mozarella and green basil leaves.

11. Welsh Rarebit: a classy British name for the always delicious grilled cheese toast.

12. Zwetschgenknoedel: this tongue-twister is a prune-filled sweet dumpling, famous in Austria.

Do you also know a funny food name? Please feel free to add to our list!

Sorrento – where the lemons grow

Sorrento – the city of azure sea and sky, golden sun and lemons, cradled by the gulf of Naples. Within sight of the Vesuv volcano, the beautiful islands of Capri and Ischia, this small town is favoured by nature. Since centuries ago, it incorporates the romantic dream of Italy for painters and poets as well as for vacationers.
The name of Sorrent lies in mystical times – it is said that here the sirens waited for sailors to distract them, unless Odysseus and his crew managed to defeat them. Historically assured is the founding of Sorrent by the Phoenicians in the 7th century a.d.. After a greek period, it became a roman municipium, since then summer residence of the wealthy and porwerful.
Sorrent and the Amalfi coastline are famous for their romantic sunsets and their juicy lemons – the citrus fruits are everywhere in Sorrento: growing in gardens, piled up at market stalls, deliciously prepared in a variety of delicate sweet-sour treats like lemon cake, Limoncello, Granita…during our tour, we explore some of the best preparations.
The small cozy alleyways and coveted backyards of Sorrento are full of small shops, fruit vendors, old craftshops and surprising beautiful sights. It is a delight to explore, and the Food Hopping guide knows the best places and amusing anecdotes.
In the lush greens of the backcountry is the key to another local gem: abundant pasture for cows and buffalos. So be a referee at our little private taste competition: what tastes better, the cow’s milk mozzarella („Fior di Latte“) or the buffalo mozzarella („Mozzarella bufala“)? In small family dairy shops, those tasty milky white orbs are fresh made by hand every day.
For the hearty hunger, Sorrent has more to offer: the regions most famous food, the pizza, also rolls deep here. Made by the meter, with a thin crispy crust and best fresh toppings, it is a must-try at any time.
Of course, in Sorrento we are also in pasta heaven: every cook is proud of his or her handmade fresh pasta dough. The fresh pasta has a very short cooking time, and is mixed at the moment with chopped garden vegetables and a dash of native olive oil for conciously sinnful pleasures.
Any meal should end with a sweet delicacy – here, of course with the emblematic citrus fruits involved, as a half-frozen dessert or as the sun-coloured Limoncello liqueur.
So what are you waiting for? Come to Sorrento and explore its delights with a Food Hopping tour in Italy!

Table Manners around Europe

Eating together and sharing food and drinks has a strong social meaning in all cultures around the world. Therefore, there are quite a lot of table customs and implicit dining rules that differ from country to country.
Even around Europe there are peculiarities in each region – here are a few of them:

Austria: Use your fork to portion potatos or dumplings at your plate. As potatos and cooked pastries are usually soft and a little sticky, they can be easily parted with the fork. Using the knife indicates that your dish is not cooked well enough.

Germany: Meet the eye when toasting. Before taking the first sip, it is quite important to toast with every person in the party by clicking the glas, looking in each others eye and say a casual ‘Prost!’ – or ‘Zum Wohl!’ in a more formal occasion. Not doing so is said to bring bad luck – or just considered impolite.

Italy: Enjoy a black ‘caffè’ to finish the meal. A small strong espresso is the favored coffee during the day. Cappuchinos or Caffe Lattes are seen as a filling part of breakfast – if you order it after eating, it gives the impression you are not satisfied yet.

Portugal: Fold up your lettuce. Bigger leaves should be arranged with the help of your knife and fork into a little bundle that can be picked up with the fork. The salad keeps a nicer look than all cut down and mixed up.

Spain: Respect the ‘sobremesa’. After a good meal, it is custom to remain sitting, to rest and chat on a little while. So don´t rush to leave the table.

Do you want to add a table manner or an oddity you experienced when eating abroad? We are curious to read your anecdotes!

10 good reasons for a Food Hopping tour

Who else likes to discover new taste sensations when travelling?
How about doing a Food Hopping Tour on your next vacation?
Every city and region has its own food specialities and traditions.
As a traveller, it isn’t always easy to find the best places in a new town to try and discover the best food like the locals do.
With Food Hopping, it is easy to jump into the local culinaric szene and to enjoy new experiences on your palate without worries.
If you ask yourself, what are the advantages of a guided walking Food Hopping tour during your vacation, here’s our top 10 of good reasons:

10 – Discover hidden places like cozy restaurants, rustic taverns , insider-tipps and family-run shops apart of the beaten tracks.
09 – Savour food like a multi-course meal, ranging from from appetizer to dessert.
08 – Taste authentic cuisine, famous dishes and surprising flavours the locals adore.
07 – Explore a new location with every tasting, discovering the regional culinaric landscape.
06 – Meet the locals, learn from food and drink specialists about their regional traditions and interact with the people of the neighbourhood.
05 – Get to know the city without getting lost, as every tour is designed as a convenient round-trip.
04 – Enjoy amusing anecdotes around the food you try, the city and their people.
03 – Let yourself be treated with surprising extras and local ‘secrets’.
02 – Follow the confident lead of your enthusiastic local Food Hopping guide, who knows the city inside out.
01 – Have a great time during an entertaining walk with pleasant memories and interesting stories to tell your friends at home!
See you soon with Food Hopping in Germany, Italy, Spain or selected european cities!

Celebrating Saint Nicholas

Just before christmas, we’re celebrating Saint Nicholas Day in many countries to honour the christian bishop from the 4th century, who used his inheritance to help the sick, the suffering and the needy. However, there are different customs to celebrate this day in various countries, like Germany, Italy or Spain.
In Germany, St. Nikolaus is an important part of the christmas season. The evening before the 6th of december, children put their boots in front of the door and hope that Saint Nicholas comes and fills it up with nuts, oranges and sweets. In many families, Saint Nicholas even appears in person to ask the children if they were nice or naughty during the year. There are traditional songs, that the children sing to Saint Nicholas in order to prove their goodness. It is also a widespread custom to gift Saint Nicholas figures, made of chocolate, to friends and family.
In Italy, Santa Nicholas is known as gift-giver and protector of the children – today, his tradition is also refered to the more secular Babbo Natale. Children leave a plate with a letter on the table, where they ask for gifts and promise to be good next year. The next day, they find sweets and fruits – a naughty child could also get a peace of coal, made of coloured sugar.
In Spain, december 6th is even a bank holiday – but not for Santa Nicholas, but to remember the day of the constitution in Spain! The main christmas period in Spain starts with the famous ‘Sorteo extraordinario de Navidad’, the christmas lottery, on december 22nd, and lasts till January 6th, Holy Three Kings.
Wherever you are, the team of Food Hopping Europe wishes you a happy Saint Nicholas day, and hope you all found some nice treats!

Venice and its cicchetti culture

Venezia – the emblematic ‘La Serenissima’ – is one of the best-known cities in Italy and fills all senses to the fullest, especially the taste. This wonderful city with its maze of small streets and waterways celebrates the italian ‘Aperitivo’ in a perfect way. Everywhere in small neighbourhood ‘Bacari’ – popular bars, where people gather after or inbetween work to taste delicious snacks and gossip.
In Venice, these snacks are called ‘cicchetti’ and are served with a glas of wine, the ‘ombra’ – shadow. Chicchetti usualy consist of toasted bread slices with various toppings: from ham, sausage, small fried or marinated fishes, different pates and spreads, to roasted vegetables or cheese. not to forget the famous battered cod ‘bacala mantecato’ or local sardines. So there is a cicchetto for almost every taste. The variations are usually displayed at the counter, so there is something for everone – its only difficult sometimes to make the choice with all those tasty options…
With Food Hopping, we’ll offer a great walking food tour in 2018, where yo get to know Venice at its unknown corners. Our local Food Hopping guide is happy to tell you anecdotes about the food you’ll taste and the neighbourhood you’ll visit.
See you soon with Food Hopping in Venezia!

Food Tour and vacation in Spain

Which region of Spain is your favourite vacation spot? Spain is one of the most visited countries of Europe for leisure trips. And there is no wonder why: from the sunkissed beaches and impressive history of Andalucia, the beautiful Balearic islands, the cultural heritage and bustling city life of Madrid, to the rich traditions and colorful landscapes of Catalunya – these are only four of many spots in Spain that promise to bring awsome holiday memories.
We picked this regions also because of the diverse and rich culinaric traditions, which are easily to discover on a Food Tour: don’t miss the ultimate specialities like perfectly cooked andalusian ‘Albondigas’ meatballs in Malaga, soft and tasty mallorquin ‘sobrasada’ sausage in Palma de Mallorca, dry aged special ‘jamon’ ham, cut directly from the bone, in Madrid, or ‘horchata’, a tipical catalan refreshment, in Barcelona .
Our passionate local Food Hopping Guide knows the best spots to try those traditional and modern food specialities and entertain you with amusing stories about the food, the people and the regional pecularities of the Spanish cuisine today and in history. Join the Food Tour on a leisurly walk, eat and drink like the locals – so there are even more memories to bring from your perfect holiday in Spain. See you soon with Food Hopping in Spain!

Halloween the italian way

In Italy, especially in Sicily, there is a long tradition that children receive small gifts and sweets, supposedly from their ancestors, on the morning of All Saints. Despite of All Saints being a national holiday, and All Souls a local Sicilian holiday, these days have been a more religious than popular celebration.
During the last years, however, Halloween is getting more and more popular, especially among young people. It is not very common to go from house to house to ask for trick or treat, but there are costume parties for children and for young adults, disguising and enjoying the celebration like for the carneval season.
In fact, not the holiday itself is changing, but the way to celebrate it. New influences are embraced and added to the existing rites. Sicilian feasts are often related to special foods: San Guiseppe Day with stuffed cream sweets, San Martin Day to cantuccini biscuits and sweet vino santo, Santa Lucia Day with hard grain pudding, or days of local saints, like Santa Rosalia in Palermo or Santa Agatha in Catania with various culinaric posts throughout the city.
With our Food Hopping Tours, we integrate local culinaric traditions with top contemporary food stops where the locals come to enjoy their favorite treats – see you soon with Food Hopping in Italy!

Dolce vita in Italy!

When you think about Italy, what are the first things that come into your mind? Let’s start for instance with an immense quality of living, fantastic weather, beautiful nature with wide beaches, mellow hillsides and impressive mountains, tons of history, art and culture…not to forget century-old traditions in wine- and cheesemaking as well as an unique famous food culture. Italian food is popular all over the world, brought by italian chefs from major cities to the most remote places. Every region in Italy has its ow very special food traditions, adding to italian food classics that are renown everywhere.
Did you know that a traditional italian menu has at least 4 courses, often devided in more variations during one course? Starting with italian antipasti, the famous starters, often a variety of cured meat, sausages, cheeses, olives, lightly roasted vegetables, olive oil and bread. Then the pasta, italian first course, an endless choice of noodle dishes, topped with creamy pesto, tasty vegetarian sauces or delicious meat stew and often accompanied with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Also wellknown is the risotto, slow-cooked rice with broth and wine in several variations.
The second, or main dish, often is meat or fish depending on the region, accompanied by light sauces and a small side dish or a salad.
Italian desserts vary from a simple espresso to delicacies like venetian tiramisu, casatta frozen cake to sicilan cannoli, not to forget ‘il gelato’, the italian ice-cream.
Getting hungry for more? See you soon with Food Hopping tours in Italy!