Where to Celebrate World Food Day

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With World Food Day taking place this month, we’ve been inspired to take a look at where’s best in Europe for a foodie-inspired holiday. From Umbrian truffles through to Spanish candied almonds, the luxury travel experts at CV Villas have put together a round-up of the best towns to visit to tantalise your taste buds, with restaurant and dish recommendations.

Gaucin, Spain Gaucin, in the Spanish region of Andalucía, is the perfect town to sample some of the country’s finest cuisine. The region is famous for producing almonds, and the nuts feature heavily in traditional recipes; look out for meatballs in a saffron and almond sauce, or at Christmas time try White Almond Turrón, candied almonds cooked in honey, sugar and lemon. Gazpachuleo is a very traditional dish to look out for in Andalucía, made from fish stock, egg yolk, garlic and olive oil.

  • Top Restaurant: Rooted in tradition, some of the best Andalucían food can be sampled at Restaurant “La Fructuosa” in Gaucin (for a reservation call +34 617 692 784). Head chef Victor Corchado’s experience of Spanish cuisine, working in Michelin restaurants in Carceses and highly acclaimed restaurants in Salamanca and Seville, has helped him build an original menu filled with the best of Andalucía’s produce. Enjoy dishes such as chamomile roasted sea bass with pine nuts or suckling pig confit with garlic cream.

Almonds (Andalucia)

Galé, Portugal Galé is one of the Algarve’s hidden gems, a small town on the south coast of Portugal which offers sandy beaches and delicious fish restaurants. Bordering the Atlantic coast, seafood and fish really are the order of the day in this part of the world. Portugal’s most famous dish is salted cod, bacalhau, a dish that is rumoured to have over 365 different ways of preparation. Each region has its own take on salted cod but one of the most traditional ways to try bacalhau is with potatoes and onions, topped with scrambled eggs. Other fish favourites from the Algarve include grilled sardines, stuffed squid and caldeirada – a fish soup made with tomatoes, onions and garlic. If you do want to explore the Algarve’s other traditional foods, don’t miss trying queijo da serra – a ewe’s milk goats cheese or, if you have a sweet tooth, pão de Ló – a rich sponge cake flavoured with lemon, Madeira, port wine, cinnamon or orange juice.

  • Top Restaurant: The highlight of Galé’s restaurant scene is Vila Joya, Portugal’s only two star Michelin restaurant. Vila Joya specialises in the freshest and finest of Portugese seafood, calling its style ‘modern European’ and offering guests exciting dishes like confit bacalhau with beetroot coulis and yoghurt.

Gale, grilled Sardines

Aix-en-Provence, France  With its South coast location, you’ll find excellent fish dishes on the menu in France’s charming town of Aix-en-Provence. The traditional fish specialities of this region include bourride (a white fish stew), and brandade de morue (a salted cod puree). With the Greeks planting olive trees in Provence centuries ago, olives continue to feature heavily on local menus, so do ensure you take the opportunity to enjoy the authentic black or green olive tapenade. Aix-en-Provence is in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, which has made a profound mark on the food we eat today, being the spiritual home of dishes including Ratatouille, Nicoise salad and Bouillabaisse.

  • Top Restaurant:L’Esprit de la Violette is one of Aix-en-Provence’s best fine dining restaurants, presenting the area’s beautiful local produce in exquisite dishes. Adored by locals and visitors alike, this restaurant offers up an elegant menu which currently includes dishes like roasted langoustine on grilled orange powder, cucumber juice jelly, cornet potatoes and Aquitaine caviar.

Provencal Olives

Citta di Castello, Italy  The town of Citta di Castello is located in the northern part of Perugia, in Italy’s famous Umbria region.Modest family farming has meant that pork is the staple meat of Umbria. A favourite is roast suckling pig stuffed with garlic, rosemary, fennel, and a variety of other wild herbs cooked on a spit over a wood fire. The porchetta sandwich which can be bought from one of the many porchettai found in piazzas across Umbria is not to be missed. Try a Torta al Testo, a flatbread (torta) cooked on a round metal or stone griddle traditionally set over coals, and usually served stuffed with grilled sausages, cooked greens or soft cheese and rocket. The black earthy truffle is a prominent ingredient that reoccurs across Umbrian cuisine, and black and white truffles are used within many risotto and pasta dishes, or grated on top. The season for truffles is October through February and at this time you’ll experience them used generously at their freshest – a must-do experience for foodies!

  • Top Restaurant: Rated the #1 restaurant on Tripadvisor, Pappa e Ciccia in Citta di Castello is an intimate ‘hole-in-the-wall’ which serves up some of the finest Umbrian meats and pasta dishes.


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