Europe is a cultural tapestry rich in traditions and pastimes. Each country provides its own unique spin on various dishes – from British fish & chips, Spanish paella and Italian pizza – and has also created a great deal of dishes that are eaten all over the world. Such a rich and diverse culinary mileage is what makes getting married in Europe such an exciting prospect.
Steeped in deep historical past-times, many of the present-day European traditions were developed by royal families and aristocracies hundreds of years ago. The use of cutlery, in particular soup spoons, steak knives and forks were invented by European nobility. Tradition is what binds Europe together, yet also preserves each unique set of culinary traditions.
Traditionally Europeans serve their formal meals sequentially, and the dishes range from appetizer, main course and dessert. Often, soup is served for the appetizer, which is common in many European countries such as France, the UK, Italy, and Slovakia, and is often served with a crusty slice of bread or a baguette.
When it comes to creating dishes the Europeans have invented some of the most well-loved and popular cuisines out there. Wiener Schnitzel was invented by the Austrians, Belgian chocolates and beer by the Belgians, smoked salmon from the Norwegians and gourmet cheeses from the French.
Italians, in particular, are very careful about when they order their coffee. A caffelatte or a cappuccino is usually ordered in the mornings, to accompany breakfast, and an espresso is usually drunk after a filling meal. British people have a cup of strong black tea and a few slices of toast to start their day, whereas the Czech’s prefer a selection of cold cuts, fruits and raw vegetables. In France it’s frowned upon to snack during the day, and they very rarely eat more than a petit de’jeuner (little breakfast) to see them through to lunch, which is usually substantial.
Europeans certainly have an affinity for hot drinks, especially the concept of dipping or ‘dunking’ (a term favoured in Britain) of sweet treats into a hot drink. The French will dip a croissant into coffee, whereas the Brits enjoy ‘dunking’ biscuits into tea.
Meals in Europe are not rushed. Long lunches and social dinnertimes are very common. Food festivals and markets are also very traditional and can be found in town squares all over the continent. German Christmas markets are also very popular, and will often visit other parts of Europe to sell plenty of German specialties.
With such a wide variety of cuisines it makes hosting your wedding in Europe all the more exciting.