My Travel Bucket List: The Nordic Countries

My Travel Bucket List: The Nordic Countries [petiteadventures.org]

As mentioned last week in my Travel Bucket List Sweden, one of the things I’m looking forward to now that we call Stockholm home is exploring more of the country, as well as its Nordic neighbours.

The Nordic countries generally refer to Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and their territories including the Faroe and Åland Islands. This is an area of the world I’ve long been fascinated with, and have had the opportunity to explore a little bit.

But a little bit is never enough! Over the next few months, I’ll hopefully be getting up and out, and exploring and experiencing as much of the Nordic countries as possible.

Here are the top five things I want to see, do and eat in Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway:

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Everything You Need to Know About Eating Herring in Europe

Everything you need to know about eating herring in Europe: An Interview with our resident herring expert [PetiteAdventures.org]

When you think of a European fish delicacy, I can pretty much guarantee the last fish that you’ll think of is herring. Despite being an awesome source of vitamins and minerals, this small, oily fish is often overlooked in favour of its more famous, sexier fish cousins, like tuna or salmon. But, that hadn’t always been the case. For centuries, herring was one of the most important fish foods and even played a pivotal role in the history of marine fisheries in Europe. Since at least 3000 B.C. herring was a staple food source for many European cultures.

Who knew, right?!

Even today, herring plays an important, but understated role in many European cuisines. Whether eaten raw in the Netherlands, fermented or fried in Sweden or pickled throughout much of Scandinavia, Germany, and Central and Eastern Europe, herring is still enjoyed all across Europe.

Somewhere throughout our travels, my travel partner and boyfriend Dave developed a taste for herring. It started as a curiosity which only grew with each city we visited. Very quickly it became a tradition for us to seek out the best herring stand in each city so Dave could sample the local fares and provide me with his review. After having eaten the fish in its various forms in six cities across five countries, I’ve decided that Dave is pretty much an expert in herring. That’s a thing, right?

While we were on holidays in Canada, and his workload was minimal, I politely requested (aka begged, pleaded and hounded him) that he share his experiences of eating herring throughout Europe with the world. Thankfully my charms (and unrelenting nagging) won him over.

So here you have it: Petite Adventures’ resident herring expert, Dave, tells you everything you need to know about eating herring in Europe. Continue reading

National Dishes From My Travels: Thoughts, Feelings and Reactions

Title Card - National Dishes From My Travels: Thoughts, Feelings and Reactions [PetiteAdventures.org]

As they do with birds, animals and flowers, most countries have a national dish, which in most cases, is a food that’s been prepared for generations; it’s a food that shares history, legends and traditions with each and every forkful. Experiencing a country through food is one of my favourite ways to get to know a new place; it’s really quite astonishing how much you can learn simply by sitting down, digging in and sampling its national fares.

Throughout our travels, I was lucky enough to try the national dish in nine of the 15 countries we’ve visited. As with anything, there were hits and misses. Most of the time my curiosity was rewarded with amazing and surprising flavours, but there were a few odd times where my curiosity got the better of me and I was left with a meal I probably wouldn’t order again.

For the purpose of this post, I’ve only decided to feature national dishes that I ate in that country, for example, I enjoyed a ham hock in Vienna, and although it was delicious and it’s a food the city is famous for, it’s not a national dish. It is, however, a national dish of Germany, but I was too focused on Christmas market beverages to get into the ham hock during our visit to Hamburg, so unfortunately, ham hocks just don’t make the list. I also omitted a couple of foods like Bratwurst (Germany) and Pasta (Italy) because really, what can I say about those delicious meals that hasn’t already been said. And, chances are you’ve probably sampled them somewhere along the way yourself!

So, let’s take a look at my thoughts, feelings and impressions of the national dishes I sampled in 2016: Continue reading