By: Austin Davis
It was my first trip to Conad living in Italy. (Newbie mistake number one – I didn’t even bring my own bag). I wandered into the vegetable section and scanned the colorful bins in search of the one food I ate on a daily basis back in the States: sweet potatoes. Not a single orange potato was found amongst the rows of various varieties of white ones. In a panic, I ran to Carrefour… Still nothing. I found a few at a small vegetable stand a few weeks later, but in the meantime, I made peace with the fact that I would have to settle for the sweet potato’s bland relative, the potato. Since my grocery store panic, I’m beginning to understand why the potato is such a staple in Europe. In my travels, I’ve encountered tons of unique uses for the fiber-packed wonder food. If you’re a picky eater, chances are you can find a potato dish in any city you visit that you will enjoy. Here are 7 ways to eat potatoes in 7 of Europe’s most popular cities!
- Brussels: French Fries
Contrary to popular belief, French fries are neither French nor American. The original and tastiest fries can be found in the beautiful country of Belgium! Served in a paper cone and slathered with the sauce of your choice, fries make a great snack at any point of the day or night. Try them with mayo instead of ketchup for a more authentic experience!
- Amsterdam: Stamppot
Stamppot is a traditional Dutch meal consisting of mashed potatoes, kale, and sausage. You can find it at traditional dutch restaurants like Moeder’s, or pre-made at the Albert Heijn to grab and go.
- Florence: Potato Gnocchi
So maybe Italy isn’t known for potatoes, but make no mistake, you can find them here too! The best way to enjoy potatoes in Italy is baked inside another Italian delicacy: pasta. Potato gnocchi is heavenly, particularly when drowned in cheese. You can find some delicious cheesy potato gnocchi at Osteria Gatto e la Volpe in Via Ghibellina
- Barcelona: Patatas Bravas
You can’t go to Barcelona without eating tapas, and no tapas meal is complete without a plate of patatas bravas. These roasted potatoes are covered with mayonnaise or aioli and a smoky hot tomato sauce. Try them at any tapas bar in Barcelona, you can’t go wrong.
- Interlaken: Potato Rösti
Every time I order rösti, I tell myself there is no way I can possibly finish it. Twenty minutes later, there I am again, staring at an empty plate within my ski pants had an elastic waistband. I never fail to instantly forget that regret and do it again the next day because it’s that good (it’s worth the calories every time). During a long day on the mountain, a mound of hash browns with cheese and meat just feels – and tastes – so right.
- Krakow: Perogies
Perogies are like dumplings, except they’re commonly filled with potato and pan fried. Sign me up.
Not only do the British drive on the opposite side of the road – they also like to confuse us with the naming of their potato dishes. In Britain, potato “chips” are called crisps. In Britain, to order french fries, you’ll really be asking for chips (a little weird to get used to, right?). Remember that the next time you order a plate of fish and chips.
- Paris: Whipped and Mashed
No one knows how to cook with cream and butter quite like the French. Which helps to explain why the mashed potatoes that come out of Parisian kitchens are some of the lightest, silkiest, and richest you’ll find.
The next time you are wandering around a new city, unsure of what to eat and struggling with all the choices, remember that your friend “the potato” will have your back no matter what part of Europe you’re exploring.