Food Tour Discoveries in Barcelona

Food tour Barcelona Columbus StatueThe culinary scene of a modern city is always in movement – so we are reviewing all our food tours constantly. Just now, we are back from a first-hand visit to Barcelona.
It is always a pleasure to come to this Catalan metropolis. Now in spring, the breeze is already warm, but the winding narrow streets of the Barri Gotic  are still ventilated and fresh. On our tour, we discover some of the most traditional neighborhouds of central Barcelona on a enjoyable walk.

Cava, the catalan sparkling wine, is a beloved all-time-favourite. Mid-morning at a humble bar hidden in second row, we mingle with workers, office clerks, retired people and visitors to enjoy the bubbly drink that unites across classes. On every corner of the city, there is this beautiful melange between century-old history and bohemian lifestyle.
Some shops and taverns are like time-machines: transferring their original interieur and their food specialities, delicatly restaurated, from the 19th century till today.
Traditional food and drinks have a renaissance with a modern twist – we visit places, that combine favourite tastes with contemporary design and comfort.

Turning the view from the bustling alleys up to the blue sky, towering gargoyles adorne the old palaces and churchs. Many in very peculiar forms – we spot an unicorn, an elefant as well as a crocodile! Entering the hidden courtyard of an ancient baroque palace, we hear about contemporary spanish music and dance. Just a short walk further, we stand with awe at an impressive modernist faccade, that hosts another cultural highlight of Barcelona.

To add a taste sensation, we explore a traditional food market hall off the emblematic Ramblas – here we still find the locals shopping for groceries and chatting with their neighbours at one of the small bar stalls inside the market. Even this building is another stunning example for the integration of traditional and modern architecture in Barcelona.

Our round-tour this day ends with delicious sweet treats and a typical small spanish coffee, roasted and ground daily at the very spot, downtown Barcelona.
We hope that you’ll enjoy this tour as much as we do, so come and discover our

Food Hopping Barcelona Food Tour!

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.

Hungry for more? Join now our

Food Hopping Spain Food Tours!

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

Food Hopping Food Tours!

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!

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!

Tasty New Year 2018

In everything that ends also lies a new beginning…
We are very happy for the new year 2018 to start with our shiny new Food Hopping tours in several european cities – like Barcelona, Madrid, Frankfurt, Berlin and many more!
We wish all of you a wonderful New Years Eve and a Happy New Year 2018. May all your wishes come true!

Merry Christmas!

An exciting year full of tasty experiences comes to an end…
The whole team of Food Hopping Food Tours wants to thank you for your passion and trust in us – we wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas!
Frohe Weihnachten aus Deutschland!
Feliz Navidad a España!
Buon Natale a Italia!
Happy Holidays to the world!

 

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!

Christmas Markets – A Delicious German Tradition

As Christmas is coming close, Christmas Markets are bustling everywhere in Germany and beyond.

Did you already taste those delicious treats like ‘Stollen’, ‘Lebkuchen’ or ‘gebrannte Mandeln’ that are so typical for those open-air-markets? Not to forget the mulled wine and grilled sausages to stay warm inside! With festive decorations and seasonal music, a Christmas Market is an ideal place to get into the holiday mode.

This tradition originates from mediaveal times, where trade fairs allowed the population to stockpile food and supplies before the hardest winter. Quickly the trade expanded to small artisanals, toys, sweets and nuts as christmas gifts for the children.

Today, almost every town and village in Germany has ists own Christmas Market. From small weekend gatherings, run by the local parish in smaller villages, up to world-famous markets like the “Christkindelmarkt” in Nurenberg or the “Striezelmarkt” in Dresden, that start End of November and end the day before Christmas.

Usualy a Christmas Market is an open air market, decorated with festive lights, where wooden stalls sell Christmas tree adornments, small gifts for children and adults as well as spices and sweets. Famous is the ‘Christstollen’, a sweet and filling bread with fruit and nuts, ‘Lebkuchen’ gingerbread and an almost infinite variety of ‘Weihnachts-Plätzchen’ cookies and biscuits.

In our times, Christmas Markets are a very popular gathering place to meet friends, drink mulled wine and eat warm delicacies such as grilled sausages, potato pancakes, hot soup or roast chestnuts.

And the allurement of Christmas Markets has spread even to Canada, tthe United States of America and even to Japan. In England, Birmingham, as the Partner City of our Home Base town Frankfurt, hosts a “Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt”.

Some of the delicatessen at a Christmas Market are special to this ocasion, but many delicious nibbles are also available during the year. So come and try authentic local specialities in Germany wit our Food Hopping Food Tours – our new tours in Frankfurt/Main and more! See you soon with

Food Hopping Germany Food Tours!