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Heading to Europe for a great food adventure and learning experience!

Heading to Europe for a great food adventure and learning experience!

Jul 2nd, 2014, 12:56 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
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If you want good food, and local specialities you need to get out of the cities and into the towns and villages in the provinces. Especially in the Netherlands, but true of most countries.

Note that 90 days is not three months, and it includes your arrival and departure days.
hetismij2 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 12:58 AM
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If you want good food, and local specialities you need to get out of the cities and into the towns and villages in the provinces.

So very true.
sparkchaser is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 02:13 AM
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From what I have seen of Denmark, the best bakeries are in Copenhagen, not in the provinces or villages. Some bakeries in small towns supply their goods to upmarket supermarkets in the capital anyway. There are some excellent bakeries in the suburbs and islands of Copenhagen & the most famous ones are in the city centre. In Sweden for instance, you will be hard pushed to find any type of decent food outside the main cities, never mind local specialities.
Odin is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 03:43 AM
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What's the expression again? Oh, yes "don't feed the trolls". ;-)
Josser is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 04:03 AM
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We are very lucky to have 4 good patisseries/boulangeries within 10 minutes' drive and another one which is average at best (all 5 in a small village about 45 mins SW of Toulouse). The owners and staff are rushed off their feet, none speak more than a smattering of English.

I know one owner well and know she would be happy to be interviewed. But, this would take advance work, scheduling and some knowledge of French.

My point being I think you need to do some homework. It will make for a much more worthwhile trip. Research baking schools and baking demonstrations, many can accommodate people who need to sit.

And, add Austria, home of the croissant! BTW, best croissant I have ever had was in San Sebastiàn, Spain.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 04:05 AM
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Somebody mentioned curd tarts. The last really good one I had was in a little cafe in Sandsend near Whitby. It's now closed, sadly but the owner bore out the saying that the heavier the woman, the lighter the pastry.
I see that Betty's sell them. They also sell fondant fancies. I haven't had one of those since I was a child.
I also agree about Selkrk bannock. We get them from a small Scottish bakery
I also like Chester cake. I think there's an Irish version of that one.
Another confectionary that is pretty widespread is tea bread. It's called brack in Yorkshire but I've had it I in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Why did this topic pop to the top? Sponsored by Betty's?
MissPrism is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 06:20 AM
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If in London visit Harrod's Foods Hall for all kinds of savory sweet delights.

PalenQ is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 06:45 AM
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If you haven't started planning yet, maybe see if you can fit this in;
Demonstrations by Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.

Other places to visit in London: of course Borough Market. I saw a bread shop that does workshops, but can't remember the name.

Leith's cookery school do one-day classes.

And don't miss Book's for Cooks on Blenheim Crescent (off Portobello Road - also a food market). There's also a shop around the corner from there, on Kensington Park Road, that does icing workshops.
Tulips is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 03:21 PM
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I love Books for Cooks!

In Vienna there is a Konditorei (a patisserie) near the Hofburg / Austrian National Library called Oberlaa. It is a small chain in Vienna, so there are a few addresses, if that is not near you. It is set up like a café / restaurant, so you can select your cake from the window and sit down and eat. There is a very good selection of traditional cakes there. I would probably bone up a bit on Austrian delights before going.

Here is the link. It's all in German, sorry, but you can still look at the pictures and names:

lavandula is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 03:36 PM
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When we were in Vienna we went to the cafe frequented by Freud and then to be fair the one frequented by Adler.
IMDonehere is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 03:49 PM
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Actually, might also add the names of some of the big bakery chains in Germany; these are not patisseries, although you can get some sweet treats there (mostly slices (Blechkuchen)).

Wiener Feinbäckerei Heberer
Ditsch (particularly for big doughy pretzels, Bretzeln)
Le Crobag

Bakeries are located every few blocks or so - bread rolls are a staple of the diet, especially for breakfast. All stations have a bakery, with filled rolls and sweet things for sale. You can usually have a cup of coffee there too, often at a Stehcafé (a stand-up café). Most supermarkets (e.g. EDEKA) have a bakery just inside the entrance.

lavandula is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 08:42 PM
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Sorry guys, for confusing the UK region with England and Ireland. I will now remember to refer northern Ireland as UK and England and Ireland as the British Isles.

I live in the US region now as well! I live in Southern California (Los Angeles area).

Hi Pegontheroad,
Thank you for confirming that most of Europe are all safe, now I feel better. I didn't think it would be any dangerous but a friend of mine just told me that there are some places I shouldn't go alone. I think I will be planning Spain for October. I do have have big book about all the cities I must go, but it's more for a general idea of sights, not really specific of what I'm really looking for. Though, I did put like a million post-its in there already!

Hi Janisj,
I haven't had too much time! I've been super busy with work and my catering business but I am buckling down and planning now. I have already researched on several places I need to go but I just wanted to get other people's opinions as well, to see if there's anything I missed.
TheObessiveBaker is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 08:50 PM
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Hey Guys,
I am going to be flying into Denmark first on July 31st.
But it will be a one-way ticket for me since I don't know yet where is the last country I am ending up. Do you guys know if there will be any complications with going in on an US passport with only the 3 month period visa ?
TheObessiveBaker is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 09:24 PM
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Hi Sandralist, I am now including Austria now on my list. Hungary, I am not so sure I really will have the time. 3 months is really very short for so many countries to explore. I wish I can have a longer visa here but it's tough since I am not going to be working for any companies in Europe or getting married there.
As for the catering, when I return to the United States, I am planning on renting out a commercial kitchen for when I have larger orders and more clients. At this point, I'm making macarons as my star. Unless I will have found out other better pastries that everyone will love and I will be able to perfect on my trip, then I will be sticking to macarons for now.
Macarons will be in France, Paris mostly. I will be spending a little more time there than any other cities.
I will be going to Italy, it's just that there are sooo many cities to visit there as well, I don't know which cities to eliminate for this short trip!

Hi nytraveler,
I will hit up all the places you've included. I'm trying to squeeze all that I can for these countries, but it's tough. I want more time to really submerge and experience with the culture in every country and the food!

I am not signing up for major classes on this trip. Since I injured my back, I can't be on my feet for longer than 3 hours at a time and not sitting or laying down. It will be for the next trip when I have saved up more money and to stay in France for a longer time.
TheObessiveBaker is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 09:44 PM
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Do you guys know if there will be any complications with going in on an US passport with only the 3 month period visa ?

You're American. They won't ask for proof of a return ticket. Just don't stay in the Schengen Zone more than 90 days (day One begins as soon as you land in Denmark) or overstay your allowed time in Ireland (90 days) and the UK (180 days).
sparkchaser is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 10:52 PM
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IMD, you are older than you look
bilboburgler is online now  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 11:01 PM
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Hi Josser,
All your talks about pies and cakes are making me hungry! I was always given the impression that England didn't have as many of a dessert variety as France but you're changing my mind. I am putting those desserts on my list for when I got to England! The Selkirk bannock sounds interesting, just the name itself. I'll have to check it out. Do you have a preferred bakery in London, maybe, that make these very well ?

Hi Rostra,
I am definitely very interested in visiting the ancient sights in Rome.
And when I do go to Rome, I will make sure to visit Ostia Antica (and the bakeries there)!

Hi Lincasanova,
Thank you for the suggestions for Spain. I have noted them on my list. Flan is very widely known in the US as well. If there's any place in Barcelona or Madrid that have your favorite bakeries or cafes that sell them, please let me know and I will put them on my list to visit when I get there!
TheObessiveBaker is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 11:34 PM
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Hi Biboburgler,
I actually do have some very good scone recipes here, but I will try out the scones in UK to see if they give me any inspiration as well. Thank you very much for the bakery sites! They are making me hungry.

Hi PalenQ,
I will be going by train when crossing into different countries. Thank you for letting me know about Eurailpass! I was reading the FAQs for it and it looks like basically I can just use this pass to go to any countries without purchasing the train ticket?
I think it's best for me to get the pass for all 24 countries in the EU, but not sure if that's the more economical way to go since everything together will cost about $1500 USD. I'll have to look at the other IMO sites you provided. They are very helpful, thank you very much!
TheObessiveBaker is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 11:51 PM
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Hi PalenQ,
Thanks for the suggestion. I will check out the Tusnisian pastries, though if they are super sweet, I'm not sure if I would like it. I love pastries but only if it's not overly drowned in sugar. I have never heard of that region to be honest, but I will check it out, maybe there will be something I fall in love with!

Hi Nytraveler,
So you never had a good experience in the UK with pastries ? Let's see if I can find any hidden gems there and I'll let you know for sure! Yuk to cream being poured on anything (maybe except in my coffee and only a little)! I will also avoid those waxy and bland desserts, eewww!
TheObessiveBaker is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2014, 11:57 PM
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Hi Sparkchaser,
Thank you for the super speedy response!!
Basically in all EU countries, they wouldn't really question if I have a one way ticket then ?
My first stop will be Copenhegen, Denmark. From there I'll work my way down to Germany, then either Austria or Switzerland (or both if I have enough time), France, Spain, then probably back track to Italy, Amsterdam after that it would be to England and Ireland. That would be the general schedule for now.
TheObessiveBaker is offline  

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