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(Last Updated On: 24/02/2020)

When it comes to a continent as culturally varied as Europe, you can bet the gastronomic traditions are just as varied! If you’re willing to challenge your ability to down all kinds of interesting (we’re using that adjective euphemistically here) fare, then have a look at our list of The most interesting local food to try in Europe and where to find it – and perhaps dig into if you’re feeling curious or brave.


The most interesting local food to try in Europe: Schwarzsauer

WHERE: Germany

Schwarzsauer is on the list of The most interesting local food to try in Europe


The concept of food made of blood makes us immediately think of the Scottish traditional meal of Haggis. A savory pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver, and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and cooked while traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach. So, the concept of blood soup isn’t unique to Germany, but Schwarzsauer, with its savory flavor, is.

Made with lots of pig’s blood (or black pudding), goose giblets, and vinegar, as well as cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, and other spices, this specialty from northern Germany is the stuff of vegan nightmares.

The good news is that one hearty bowl of Schwarzsauer will take care of your protein needs for the rest of the day. The bad news is that the strong flavor (and aroma) isn’t something that appeals to everybody.

This is a dish you’ll find at local food markets or traditional restaurants. Here’s one cafe we found that serves it, Cafe Schwarz Sauer so check it out!

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The most interesting local food to try in Europe: Filmjolk

WHERE: Sweden

Filmjolk food in Sweden


Filmjolk also known as fil, is a traditional fermented milk product from Sweden, and a common dairy product within the Nordic countries. It is made by fermenting cow’s milk with a variety of bacteria from the species Lactococcus lactis and Leuconostoc mesenteroides. The bacteria metabolize lactose, the sugar naturally found in milk, into lactic acid which means people who are lactose intolerant can tolerate it better than other dairy products. The acid gives filmjolk a sour taste and causes proteins in the milk, mainly casein, to coagulate, thus thickening the final product. The bacteria also produce a limited amount of diacetyl, a compound with a buttery flavor, which gives filmjolk its characteristic taste.

We’re not completely sold on this, but you asked for The most interesting local food to try in Europe, not the tastiest 😆


The most interesting local food to try in Europe: Smalahove

WHERE: Norway

When you think of a Scandinavian Christmas, scrumptious cinnamon cookies and gravdlax might spring to mind. What you might not think of is smalahove. (Brace yourselves) A torched and boiled lamb’s head that takes pride of place at the Christmas dinner table. Accompanied by potatoes, fat and mashed swede. Whoever is lucky enough to try this dish, has the pleasure of chowing down on the fattiest bits first – the eyes, ears, and tongue if it’s included – before scooping the rest of the head out with a spoon. Ho ho ho – Merry Christmas!


The most interesting local food to try in Europe: Herring

WHERE: Denmark

Herring is one of The most interesting local food to try in Europe


Let’s end this off on a tastier note, shall we? Most people know about Danish butter cookies (smakager), and liquorice (lakrids), but what about other meals and goodies?

Herring is very popular is Denmark! It is sold smoked, curried, marinated, or as Sol Over Gudhjem. It is a favorite especially on the Danish island of Bornholm.  ‘Sol over Gudhjem’. Translated as ‘sun over Gudhjem’ – a town on Bornholm. Is a buttered piece of rye bread. Topped with herring, red onions, and egg yolk.  Other fish such as salmon, plaice, and cod are eaten with dressings such as parsley sauce and potatoes.

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