A Taste of Europe

Jasmin Rossi, News Reporter

Have you ever wondered what is going on in places past Miami? What’s happening a thousand, maybe even five thousand miles away? Well, it turns out that there are really a lot of differences in countries all around the world. From the food to the traditions and so much more, here’s a taste of Europe for all of you to look for!

We’re only going to be looking at six of my favorite European countries, and these will include the countries I have had some experiences with. However, if you think of a country that was not mentioned which you would like an article on, leave a comment down below!

So, without further ado, all aboard the Europe express?

Let’s find out what some of the craziest Europeans are doing a world away!

We are starting our tour in Spain! The beloved country full of music and festivity has some of the most interesting traditions to explore. “La Tomatina” is an annual festival and the craziest tradition I could find! It takes place on the last Wednesday of August each year in a little village near Valencia. Adults 18 and over have a food fight with over 100 tons of tomatoes, according to the Tomato Festivals’ website! Pretty cool, right? Now, as for food, you cannot visit Spain without trying their world-renowned “tapas” first! Tapas are small portions of any kind of Spanish cuisine and these are the sorts of little meals Spaniards eat day and night!

Now, for Italy, crazy customs seem to be a gene in the country’s blood (as half Italian, I can say this)! However, the Italians decided to go so far as to make a crazy new sport! Calcio Fiorentino, making its debut during the Renaissance in Florence, is a mix of soccer, rugby, and hockey all mixed up. Now, I have not ever seen this sport in action, but fellow cougar Sebastian Lotini, who has seen it in action quoted “My favorite thing about it is that it’s original.” How great is that?

In terms of food, Italy for me is, if you will, the capital destination for food in the world. Because there is just ever so much to try in Italy, I will recommend not one, not two, but three things! Classic Italian pasta and pizza, is of course something you need to try, however try to explore some more foods. I personally love a fresh Burrata with some tomatoes on the side for a scrumptious lunch, or a Milanese with some lemon for dinner. For dessert, you cannot travel to Italy without trying some homemade gelato… Honestly, it is so hard to write about all this delicious food without already feeling my mouth watering!

Oh! Look over there! “La Tour Eiffel”! Which, as you may have already figured out, is French for the Eiffel Tower! We’re in the capital of croissant land! However, there is really so much more to France than baguettes, croissants, and the stereotypical “oui, oui”! Now this is truly from my personal experience, because I am French, but one of the weirdest (yet coolest) traditions of France for me, is something that happens shortly after a marriage. In fact, some newly wedded couples drive away in their wedding car right after their marriage to hear the whole town (or so it seems) start screeching their car horns. Don’t tell me this is odd, because I know it is! Though, at the same time, I have to say that this is pretty sweet and ever so romantic! Another thing that is pretty sweet is the food! I love the Mediterranean food that you can find in France. And you know what the best thing about this is? Pretty much everything in the food you find is fresh! My favorite French food is Ratatouille (believe it, or not, I love vegetables), and I would always recommend this dish, any day, any time!

Toot! Toot! We are moving on! We’re now in Germany! Not many have traveled to this cool country, but it certainly is one to visit! This country, if I had to choose, has the best traditions in Europe, and you’ll soon find out why I think this! The first awesome German custom is one that happens on the first day of first grade. On this day, German children get a giant cone filled with toys and candy! They do this to celebrate the “seriousness of life”. Although this is kind of ironic, it is a wonderful way to start a fun scholastic journey! The second great fun fact about Germany is that college is free for everyone (even for people who aren’t German)! Everyone has access to higher education! Isn’t that wonderful? Now, about the food, if you ever travel to Germany, you have got to try some German bread. It’s the best and freshest bread you can find in Europe (or at least, to me), and you can find it in practically any German bakery. There are a lot of yummy German foods, and for this specific country, I couldn’t choose a “favorite”. So, here is a link to some of the best German foods you should try! https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/german-food/index.html

Now, we are going in a tad bit of an interesting circle here, but we have arrived at our final destination! Romania! Romania is a country that is very close to my heart, mainly because I have traveled there so many times, and partly because of the super great customs and traditions the country holds… In search of cool customs, and with the thought of Valentines at the back of my head, I found that Romanians celebrate their sort of Valentines Day, “Dragobete”, on February 24th! This day represents mainly the end of winter and the start of spring, and it is believed that birds find their mates around this day and make their nests together! That is some cute stuff! In terms of food, I personally love Sarmale (which are basically cabbage rolls). They are considered to be Romania’s National Dish and are super tasty!

To me, writing this was wonderful because I am a foreign student. I am European, there’s no doubt about that, even if my heart is set in the United States and I love it more than anything here. I feel so lucky to have experienced European cultures and traditions among familiarizing myself with those in the United States. That is why I wrote this article. To me, everyone should be educated about things going on in the world, however sometimes we’re so focused on things like the “breaking news” in our own countries that we forget about the importance of learning about other countries. Especially in the United States, where we are separated from the rest of the world, it’s hard to always keep in touch. Europe, if you’ve ever visited, is very different from the United States. Good, bad or different? Well, that’s not up to me to decide. All I will say, though, is that if you can go one day, don’t miss out on the opportunity…Until then, however, I hope this article served as a fun guide of Europe for you to prepare for the future! And even though not all countries were talked about in this article, it hopefully still gives you a “taste” of Europe!

Thank you for choosing The Chronicle Europe Express! We hope you enjoyed your stay on board with us today!