Bruschetta – recipes for the perfect Italian antipasti

A glass of wine, a perfectly balanced crunchy piece of bread with fresh tomato – what else do you need to feel like in Italian holidays?
We have collected some of the best Bruschetta recipes for a quick fresh light snack or a perfect starter selection for your next dinner invitation, bringing the flavour of Italy to your home.

During our Food Tours in Italy, for instance on the Food Tour Rome or Food Tour Taormina, we will sample this all-time-favourite like the locals adore it.

The term ‘bruschetta’ originally comes from Italian ‘pane bruscato’, meaning simply toasted bread. It was first a poor-mans-dish, using leftover hard bread, leftover vegetables and herbs. In sevveral regions of Italy, it has several names and different toppings, always with toasted bread as the main ingredient.

Today it is widely known as a welcomed starter or antipasti, a snack before the main course or to accompany a glass of wine.

The classic version of Buschetta is toasted bread with some garlic rubbed on the still warm slice, a dash of olive oil and salt. Most important is the quality of the olive oil. For the bread, best is a plain wheat baguette or a traditional farmers bread with crust, it may already be 2-3 days old and a little dry, so it roastes even better. A whole wold of taste sensations, the crunchieness, the aroma of the olive oil, the tickling of the garlic and the subtle pinch of salt…

The recipe of Bruschetta with Tomato adds freshly chopped, ripe tomatoes and some minced green basil leaves, that bring additional freshness and flavour.

Bruschetta with Tapenade is another fantastic recipe. Green or black olives, olive oil, a bit of anchovi paste and salt are blended to a thick puree, to top the roasted bread, adding some chopped onions as a garnish.

Bruschetta Caprese combines the freshness of white milky mozzarella cheese, chopped tomatos, some black olives and a dash of oregano. Served on toasted bread with the fresh mixture, or baked in the oven just till the cheese starts to melt.

Bruschetta Pastorale is a real gourmet version, crisp bread with creamy goats cream cheese, thin sweet pear slices, crunchy walnut bits and some rosemary honey.

Bruschetta Vegetale tops the toasted garlic bread with fresh grilled vegetables like colourful capsicum, eggplant, zucchini, again with a dash of good olive oil, rosemary and fresh pepper from the grinder.

For meat lovers, a Bruschetta also combines perfectly with a good liver pate or thin cut bresaola ham and rocket leaves.

Do you want to try the real Bruschetta in Italy? So come and taste it at our

Food Hopping Roma Food Tour!

Food Traditions of the Easter holidays

In the northern hemisphere, the Easter holidays, apart from the important religious meaning, mark the arrival of spring and the begining of the warm and fertile season. Therefore, ancient heritage, christian rites and cultural traditions play still a strong role in todays Easter celebrations. The holiday of Easter is connected to several food customs, preparing special food and sharing with family and friends.

Buona pascua! In Italy, in particular in the southern parts, impressive church parades mark the holy week. As Good Friday isn’t a bank holiday, celebrations in the family start Friday evening and go till Easter Monday. On Good Friday’s dinner, fish and light dishes are preferred. In Sicily, colourful candied almonds are a typical easter snack during the processions. At our Food Tour Palermo, your Food Hopping guide is happy to show you some of the places where the Easter parades take place.
Children in Italy love their chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday – usually a big, egg shaped chocolate, brightly wrapped in foil and filled with small toys. The big Easter Sunday lunch is often a veritable family feast, for hours and with multiple food courses. Lamb is a favourite, and as the dessert, there is a typical Easter cake called Colomba – Dove. On Easter Monday, called Pasquetta – little Easter – a must-try is the Torta di Pasquetta, a hearty pastry filled with ricotta, spinach and eggs.

Felices pascuas! Spain has a rich tradition of celebrating the Easter week with colourfull religous parades. Especially in Madrid and in Andalucia, traditional Penitence brotherhoods pursue the century-old traditions. At our Food Tour Malaga, we actually visit a special place related to the Easter celebrations all year long!
On Good Friday, according to the catholic rite, no meat is served – so chickpea stew or dishes made of salt cod are very common food. A famous Easter dish are the torrijas, made of white bread, soaked in milk and sugar, than fried. It is similar to French toast. La Mona de Pascua is a sweet bread-like pastry with an egg put in the middle – in the past it was a plain hard-boiled egg, today the Easter bread is often adorned with chocolate eggs and fondant or marzipan. Also in Spain, family and friends love to gather to watch the processions – live or at the television – and feast afterwards to end the lent period and welcome spring.

“Frohe Ostern!” Church processions are still existing in mainly catholic regions of Germany, and are no part of the protestant rite – but all Germans love to decorate their homes for spring and eat colourfull chocolates in Easter-related forms. It is very common to gift chocolate bunnys, creme-filled eggs or chocolate ladybugs to your family, friends and even working collegues. Hard boiled eggs, coloured by the children, are typical Easter food. Our Food Tour Frankfurt samples a particular dish from the Hesse region, typical to eat on Gründonnerstag – green thursday – as the beginning of the long Easter weekend, with bank holiday on Friday and Monday: Grüne Soße, a deliciously fresh, cold herb-dairy-cream. It is quite common to eat fish and no sweets on Good Friday, then to have on Easter Sunday an extensive lunch, or a combined breakfast/lunch in the family called “brunch“. German children love to search for Easter sweets and hard boiled coloured eggs, hidden for them by the Osterhase – Easter rabbit. Easter cakes are typically either of yeast dough shaped as rabbits or in form of a knot with a hole in the middle to fit a hard boiled egg, or a sweet sponge cake, baked in a special lamb-shaped form.

Our Food Hopping Frankfurt, Malaga or Palermo, as well as our other Food Tours, invite you to learn more about the local food-related traditions on a leisurly walk through the heart of the city – during the festive season, or for your holidays. Hungry for more?

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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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Italy’s sweet side

Dolce vita, the sweet life, that´s one of the most known italian frases… looking at the dessert culture of Italy, it sounds quite reasonable. Italys long and agitated cultural history brought out a indefinite number of delicious dessert recipes, varying from region to region.
Using prime ingredients like fresh cream, sugar, fruits and/or spirits as well as flaky bakery goods, Italian desserts are elegant and light in taste – it´s almost impossible to resist, even after a good multi-course meal…we asked our Food Hopping guides about their favourite dessert, and here is their shortlist:

Gelato: the all-italian soul food. Already the roman emperors enjoyed glacier ice mixed with fruit sirup, brought by runners from the alps. From the 17th centrury on, recipes of ice-cream with milk or cream exist. The secret of smooth ice-cream lies in continouus whisking while the ice cristalizes.
Napoli is the traditional stronghold of italian artisanal ice-cream. From the most classic tastes like vanilla, chocolata or strawberry to modern inovations like green tea, bacon-honey, or even salty variations – ice-cream is a must in Italy, for instance at our Food Hopping tour in Rome!

Panna Cotta: a typical dessert of northern Italy, made of sweetened cream thickened with gelatine. The cream may be aromatized with coffee, vanilla, or other flavorings. It is often served with a fruit sauce, caramel or chocolate, or covered with fruits or liqueurs.

Tiramisu: this italian dessert has a legendary status. The italian “Tirami sù“ means “pick me up” in english. This might be because of it`s rich ingredients – eggs, sugar, coffee and mascarpone cream cheese – that may lift spirits and are very nutritive.
A legend tells, that a version of this dessert existed already in the Renaissance times, when venetian ladies served them to their lovers as a aphrodisiakum, to help them gain energy for the night.
Several regions in Italy fight over the written proof who had the first Tiramisu on the menu. We stay with the legends and have a delicious Tiramisu at our tour in Venice.

Cannolo: Up for a sweet treat of creamy ricotta in a crispy dough shell? Cannoli, “little tubes”, are the best known sicilan pastries. It is uncertain if the greeks or the arabs brought the original recipe – without any doubt they are worth to taste here, hand-crafted at a traditional sicilan bakery!

Granita: When it´s hot in summer, we all love a refreshing drink, cooled down with ice. The italian answer is the other way around: granita, crushed ice with fruit juice. Small booth open in summer on every spot where thirsty people gather – at town squares, parks, playgrounds and at the beach. Most pintoresque are the Granita bycicles – ambulant vendors with all the ingredients on their bike. They stop where a good granita is needed. for example, right during our Food Tour in Sorrento!

Baba cake: The volcano is omnipresent in Napoli, even in the shape of the traditional „Babà“ cake. A delicious sweet dough, baked and soaked with Rum. We try this original sweet treat during our tour in Naples.

Cassata: a traditional sweet from Sicily, especially Palermo. Cassata consists of round sponge cake moistened with fruit juices or liqueur and layered with ricotta cheese and candied fruits. It is covered with a shell of marzipan, pink and green pastel colored icing, and decorative designs. The cassata is topped with candied fruit depicting cherries and slices of citrus fruit characteristic of Sicily. You won´t miss that delicacy during our Food Hopping in Palermo!

Zabaione: ending our short list with a Z, the Zabaione o Zabaglione is a popular northern italian dessert, made with egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala wine. It is whisked up in bain-marie to an airy foam, and often served with hard biscuits to dip in.

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Spain’s sweet side

The Spaniards love to be on the sweet side of live! When it comes to sweet treats, they don´t spare with milk, sugar, nuts and eggs. Spices like cinnamon, cloves and a tangy hint of citrus fruits often add a slightly exotic flavour that brings back memories of spanisch summer days.

Any spanish pastry shop is filled with glazed or powdered small treats, beautifully decorated and irresistably sweet in taste. It is quite common to bring a selection of bite-sized cakes when invited at a friends home for lunch or dinner.

A famous cake throughout Spain is the “Tarta de Santiago” or almond cake. It is made of butter, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and ground white almond – no flour added. This cake is a tradition from the northern Galicia region, powdered with confectioners sugar with a sign of the cross of Santiago spared out. With or without the sugared cross, almond cake is a favourite around Spain.

Another very popular sweet treat are the “Churros”. Its possible to eat those deep-fried dough pastries anytime of the day -they are offered in bars, bakeries and special Churro posts, where they are fried in the moment. Often they are acommpanied with a thick, creamy sweet hot chocolate to dip in. This uplifting delicacy is popular to enjoy even late at night or in the early moning of a night out, and also at new years eve.

Described already in medieval cooking books, the “Crema Catalana” is a delicious egg and cream custard with a slight orange aroma and crunchy burned caramel on top. Originated in the Catalunia region, it is served everywhere in Spain today, there is even an ice-cream and cake fillings with the same taste.

Popular family-meal desserts are “Arroz con Leche” and “Flan” – the first, a thick rice pudding spiced with cinnamon and orange zest, the latter an egg and caramel pudding.
Originating from the moorish times of Spain, creative sorbets and frozen desserts also have a long tradition. Remarkable are the Almond Sorbet from the Balearic Islands, or Orange Sorbet made of the juicy oranges from Valencia.

A seasonal speciality for Easter time are the “Torríjas”. Loafs of white bread, soaked with a mix of egg, milk and sugar, deep-fried and covered with cinnamon sugar – doesn´t that sound like a proper lent-time dish?

“Turrón” and “Polvorones” are two sweets mainly eaten during the christmas season. Turrón is made of candied sugar/honey and nuts, in different combinations, sometimes adding dried fruits or chocolate. It is originated from the moorish times – in English, there is a similar sweet called “Turkish Delight”. Polvorones are small, very crumbly cookies made of flour, sugar, almonds and pork lard. Sounds strange, but the taste is surprisingly mellow.

To close a meal, a fortified wine from Jerez “Sherry” or Malaga, often with some dry fruits and/or cheese, is another delicious addon to this mouthwatering list of spanish sweet treats.

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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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Frankfurt am Main in Trade and Taste

The city of Frankfurt am Main in Germany is often compared to Manhattan, New York. First, because of its economic relevance: Frankfurt headquarters the European Central Bank, the German Bundesbank as well as the Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse with the German stock exchange, countless important banks and finance cooperations, internationally important fairs and exhibitions like the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung, the Frankfurter Buchmesse and  the Musikmesse, and it also counts with one of the worlds largest airport, the Flughafen Frankfurt (FRA).

The skyline with some of the highest buildings in Europe adds to the comparision. Historic landmarks are the idyllic Römerberg, the Kaiserdom or the Eiserner Steg. Frankfurt is also a green city with almost 40% of protected green areas. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born here, and the cultural live of Frankfurt today is on a high level with the Frankfurt Opera house, the Schauspielhaus, countless museums, the Frankfurter Zoo and the Palmengarten botanical park.  In addition, Frankfurt am Main is a multicultural melting pot with people coming from all over the world to live and work.

The gastronomic landscape of Frankfurt also counts with superlatives –  from traditional local food to modern world kitchen – in Frankfurt you´ll find almost everything for every gusto!

One of the oldest local delicacies, already known from medieval times,  is the Frankfurter Würstchen sausage, a pure-pork smoked and cooked sausage, originally always served in pairs.  Another pork dish is the rustic Rippchen mit Kraut, a hearty portion of cured pork cooked in sauerkraut.  Rustic stews and potato dishes are also popular. An extraordinary speciality is the Frankfurter Grüne Sosse, a cold sauce made of 7 chopped fresh herbs and sourcream – delicious with hardboiled eggs and cooked portatoes!
For the adventurous visitor, there is also a speciality called Handkäs mit Musik. It is a fresh sour-milk cheese in a dressing with oil, vingar, caraway and chopped raw onions. With fresh bread, it is a common tasty snack in traditional taverns.

Famous sweet bakery goods from Frankfurt are the Frankfurter Kranz, a rich buttercream-filled cake with roasted nut-topping, the Bethmännchen shaped from marzipan and almonds or vrious apple-filled pastries.

The apple plays an important role in Frankfurt – as a popular ingredient for savoury and sweet dishes, but most important for the Frankfurter Apfelwein, a dry cider. There are countless cosy taverns where Apfelwein and pairing dishes are served. Very dry and refreshing, often mixed with sparkling water, the locals love to drink their Apfelwein in summer, or also mulled with some cinnamon, lemon zest and sugar in the wintertime.

Of course, in Frankfurt you can also taste very good local beers or the wines of the closeby Rhine region, especially the famous Riesling, as white wine or sparkling Rieslingsekt.

Young chefs and restaurant owners are proud to find a modern twist to the traditional Frankfurt kitchen, and a varied scene awaits to be explored in different areas of the city.
So come and follow your Food Hopping guide to the best traditional taverns and insiders’ places of Frankfurt on a

Food Hopping Frankfurt Food Tour!

Germany’s Culinary Landscape

Germany is a parade example in terms of impressive cultural achievements, famous historical sights and beautiful landscapes, as well as one of the most advanced economies in Europe.  Great musicians like Beethoven, Bach or Wagner, famous poets and writers like Goethe, the Grimm brothers, Brecht, style-forming painters like Duerer, Rubens, Klee – all were Germans. And who does not know the emblematic Schloss Neuschwanstein, the Kölner Dom or the Berliner Brandenburger Tor?

From the Baltic sea coastline in the north to the valleys of the Alps in the south, you`ll pass rivers like the Rhine and the Donau, extended woods, rich agricultural lands as well as numerous city areas. Hosting all kinds of industry from production over high-tech to services and banking. With the European Central Bank located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany is a motor of the European progress.

When it comes to food, Germany has the fame to prefer rustic, filling meals with sausages, stews, sauerkraut and pretzel being the emblematic components.

Sweet bakery goods like Schwarzwaelder Kirschtorte, Obstkuchen or Windbeutel, the rich varieties of bread and cold cuts are admired worldwide. This is all traditionally true and still a good portion of the German diet in general.

However, every region of Germany has its own specialities that they are proud of. Fresh vegetables, creative soups, colourful salads and a growing offer of vegetarian and healthy food styles add to the culinary landscape. Not to forget that Germany is an immigration country – even in the smallest town you find usually at least an Italian, Near Eastern and an Asian restaurant. Germans are curious and love to travel the world – on their vacation and on their plates at home.

The German “Reinheitsgebot“ limits the allowed ingredients of beer to hops, malt, yeast and water – in order to ensure a superior quality of product. There are more than 1400 breweries in Germany, and beer tasting is a serious social activity. The wines from the Rhine and the Mosel valleys are in millennial tradition from times of the Roman Empire, and young winemakers experiment with new grapes and maturation methods, to create a growing community of German wine fans. Remarkable is also the Apfelwein, a dry apple cider from the Hesse region.

With our Food Hopping Walking Food Tours in Germany, you will not only taste the regional traditional food and drinks as well as modern interpretations, but also discover the diverting tales around the food, the drinks and the region you are visiting. See you soon with

Food Hopping Germany Food Tours!

European Wine Culture

What makes a tasty meal even better? Pairing it with a good wine! The fermented grape juice is almost as ancient as the human civilization, and plays his role in unnumbered myths, various cultural traditions, as well as a vast medical and important religous use. It has inspired Artists of all kind and its abuse has led to tragedies.

In general, wine is cultivated in white, rosé and red variations. Depending on the grape, the soil, the weather, the fermentation process and the secrets of the cellar master, wines vary from very dry to sweet. There are famous wine regions in the world who are reknown for their signature wines. Although wines from the Americas, Southern Africa and Australia hold a potent share of the market, we’d like to concentrate on the casual wines of some european major producing areas – wines that pair with the typical local food we discover during our Food Hopping tours:

Austria: ‘Grüner Veltliner’ and ‘Blauer Zweigelt’ are the most comon local wine grapes, and are mostly cultivated as crisp, dry wines. In popular wine-garden taverns called “Heurige” it is common to order a “Spritzer”, mixing the young wine with sparkling water.

Germany: internationally famous are the wines from the Rhine Valley, as well as from the Mosel. Traditionally, Germany is a land of white wines, from very dry, mineral Rieslings to sweet Eiswein. In the last decades and with modern cultivation methods, red wines gain ground and there is a growing community of german wine fans.

Italy: as one of the most important european wine producers, Italy counts with big names in white and red wines , like Barolo, Chianti, Frascati – only to name a few – sparkling Asti and sweet Vin Santo or Marsala.

Portugal: a land of contrastes, also in wines. From full-bodied red wines in the center, aged Port- and Madeira specialties to light Vinho Verde growing in the cool atlantic climate of the northern regions.

Spain: counting with the biggest wine cultivation area worldwide, spread into numerous denominaciones de origen, with the Rioja as the most famous. Every spanish region has regional cultivation areas and favourite grapes. Sparkling Cava is produced in Cataluña, spirited wines like Sherry and Malaga come from Andalucía.

With every Food Hopping tour, you´ll get to taste some of the regional wines and learn more about how they pair with authentic local food. So see you soon on a

Food Hopping 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

Food Hopping Food Tours!