Germany’s sweet side

Germanys sweet bakery products, as well as delicious desserts, are famous worldwide. And that for good reasons: the German bakery and confectionary craftmanship is organised since the 12th century, and the guilds set the level high ever since in serious artisan craftwork. Also there is still much pride in home-made cakes and desserts, as well as a vibrant community of passionate leisuretime pastry chefs, reinventing traditional recipes and sharing on social media.

There is an endless variety of cakes, pies, sweet breads and small pastries, often with fruits like apple, plums or berries, with or without different cream toppings. Cheese cake, baked with unique german dairy products like ‘Quark‘ or ‘Schichtkäse‘, is also a favourite. The doughs vary from yeast dough, shortcrust, sponge cake to puff pastry, with creative fillings and forms. During the christmas season, home-made cookies are a must in many families. As it comes to desserts, other than pastries, fresh seasonal fruits, fruit compots, custard or groats puddings are the most popular traditional options. German chocolate, bonbons and jelly gums are a further huge area of highly elaborated pleasures.

Every region in Germany has their own favourite sweet treats – so we can only state a very small fraction of food favourites, from northern to southern Germany. On our Food Hopping food tours Germany, we can guarantee to satisfy your sweet tooth with authentic local tastes…

In the north of Germany, a popular dessert is the ‘Rote Grütze‘, made of red berries cooked with wine and thickened with starch, often served with ice-cream or custard. The town of Lübeck is famous for their marzipan. As the northern cities were big in sea trade from medieval times on, precious goods like almonds, cane sugar, cocoa and exotic spices were always fresh and available for confectioners.

The western regions of Germany, ‘Pfannkuchen’ sweet egg pancakes, often filled with jelly, fresh fruits or chocolate cream, are a shared speciality with the French, Belgian and Dutch neighbours. One of the most famous german cakes, however, is the ‘Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte‘ the black-forrest cake, named from the south-western mountain area of Schwarzwald. It is an impressive cacao-sponge cake, soaked with cherry spirit, filled and topped with cooked red sour cherries, sweetened whipped cream and chocolate flakes.

Eastern Germany is particularly reknown for baked pastries. To pick some in particular, the ‘Dresdner Stollen‘ is a durable sweet bread, made with yeast, dry fruits, a marzipan filling and spread with butter and confectioners sugar after baking. It is a typical christmas cake, that should rest for 2-3 weeks after baking, to be tender to eat at the holidays. The deep-fried ‘Krapfen‘ or ‘Berliner‘ are similar to doughnuts, but instead of having a hole in the middle, they are ball-like and filled with sweet fruit paste or cream. Throughout Germany, they are a favourite carnival pastry.

in the centre of Germany, fruit-bearing trees provide a rich harvest for diverse fruit desserts. From apple-cheesecake, plum griddle cake with crumbles, bread pudding with cherries, to more peculiar ingredients like rhuabarb, rosehip or goose berries, all make delicious cakes and desserts. Unique German dairy products, like ‘Dickmilch‘ or ‘Schmand‘, add fresh tangy flavours to balance the sweetness. A full meal itself are ‘Kartoffelpuffer‘, potato fritters with apple sauce.

The south of Germany share a preference for cooked pastry with the Austrian neighbours. ‘Dampfnudeln‘ and ‘Germknödel‘ are sweet white dumplings, made with yeast dough, sometimes filled with fruit puree and steamed, not baked. They are served with butter, sugar and crushed poppy seeds, or with fruit sauces or custard. Typical is also the famous ‘Bayerischcreme‘ or Bavarian cream, a white cream made with eggs, milk, gelatine and heavy cream, aromated with vanilla bean and topped with fruit sauce.

To conclude our little insight into Germanys sweet side, the afternoon coffee or tea, together with a piece of cake or pastry, is a beloved tradition, especially at the weekends. No wonder – with such a variety of mouthwatering sweet foods at sight!
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Food-related proverbs to spice up any conversation

When it comes to food, there are countless sayings, often with a literal and a implicit meaning. Our Food Hopping guides love to tell the little tales from the origin of those food-related proverbs.

Here are our 10 personal favourites – did you know them all already before?

10. “In wine, there is truth” – Latin – “In vino veritas” – this ancient term is translated and used in almost every european language, meaning that alcohol reduces personal and social boundaries and brings up true beliefs and reactions. It is often used to emphasize on the beneficial side of drinking wine – and with every Food Hopping tour, we taste true regional wines…

09. “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” – English – an often cited and widely known proverb, to encourage a positive and active view to lifes up and downs. So life can be sweet with good lemon recipies – like at our Food Hopping tour Sorrento!

08. “Nothing is eaten as hot as it was cooked” – German – “Nichts wird so heiss gegessen wie es gekocht wurde” The german suggestion to calm down and let the things sit a little bit before reacting – often things aren´t that severe at a second look. Served at the right temperature, our german tastings are directly ready to eat.

07. “A lot of smoke and little roast” – Italian – “Tutto fumo senz’arrosto” – when there is a lot of hot air but little (tangible) outcome, the italians see it esentially as much ado about nothing…for our italian tours, we promise a lot of delicious tastings without any smoke!

06. “Spill the beans” – English – To reveal the truth, often in a slightly negative meaning as not everyone like to have it brought to light. Literally, who would prefer to have a pot of beans spilled when they are delicious to eat?

05. “For a big hunger there is no hard bread” – Spanish – “A buen hambre no hay pan duro.” …also in Spain, beggers can´t be choosers. Taking chances and making the best of an opportunity – as taking the opportunity to get to know the culinaric secrets at our spanish Food Hopping tours, where we serve savoury specialities instead of hard bread…

04. “Food is the intermediary of friendship” – French – “Le repas est l’entremetteuse de l’amitié” Well spoken, a good shared meal can build a connection, and the french cooking is famous for activating all senses.

03. “In an old pot you can also make good soup” – Portugese – “No velho pote também faz boa sopa” This saying is on the one hand about the benefits of experience, but also about that it doesn´t always require the latest knicknack to archieve a satisfactory output. Our Food Hopping guide in Portugal counts with a lot of experience – and also knows the latest hot-spots of Lisboa!

02. “Rice is born in water and should die in wine” – Italian – “Il riso nasce nell’acqua e deve morire nel vino” Especially in the Veneto region, rice is grown in water patches, and the most common preparation is the risotto, with wine in the stew and wine to drink with it. It also emphasizes the hopes that a humble beginning can lead to a glamourous ending. Join our Food Hopping tour in Venezia to experience it for yourself…

01. “Everything has an end, only the sausage has two” – German proverb – “Alles hat ein Ende nur die Wurst hat zwei”  This means that all good things come to an end, as our list of proverbs. With Food Hopping, we serve a wide sample of local food and drinks to satisfy your appetite, so you’ll get much more between two ends…

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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! Do you want to try some true authentic specialities just where they come from? Join our

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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 your Food Tour 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 Sorrento Food Tour!

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! See you soon with

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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 scene and to enjoy new experiences on your palate without worries.

Do you ask yourself, what are the advantages of a guided Food Hopping Walking Food Tour during your vacation?

Hhere’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!

Hungry for more? See you soon ao a Food Tour in Germany, Italy, Spain or selected European cities:

Food Hopping Food Tours!

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 Food Tours wishes you a happy Saint Nicholas day, and hope you all found some nice treats!

Food Tour 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 Tour guide is happy to tell you anecdotes about the food you’ll taste and the neighbourhood you’ll visit.
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Food Hopping Venezia Food Tours!

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 ‘Xocolate’, the regional version of a chocolate drink, 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 Spain Food Tours!

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 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 Italy Food Tours!

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 3-4 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.

And no meal should end without a “Caffè”, a small very strong black coffee, usually served together with a glass of water.

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Food Hopping Italy Food Tours!