One of the most charming aspects of a trip across the pond is channeling a more European way of life. That means coffee at a cafe (not in a to-go cup), visiting local museums, and enjoying daily trips to the market. With that last activity in mind, here are five seasonal specialties to pick up this spring.
While fresh-baked baguettes and artisan cheeses may come to mind when thinking of French markets (and rightfully so), there are also loads of fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables available as well. Besides radishes, look for other spring favorites in France like white and green asparagus, carrots and blackberries.
Artichokes are a staple in many regions of Italy and the Mediterranean and can be found at the markets in spring and fall. If you’re more interested in eating expertly prepared artichokes than picking them up for yourself, you’ve got plenty of options—some of the best artichoke dishes in the world can be found in the small restaurants of Rome’s Jewish quarter.
Spain’s climate is great for spring produce. Along with strawberries, look for fresh seasonal fare like oranges, avocados, apricots and peas. When in Barcelona, la Boqueria is the place for colorful fruits and vegetables as far as the eye can see, as well as candy and other eats.
The tulip is practically synonymous with the Netherlands in the springtime—just think of the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens. And if you’re curious about bringing a piece of Dutch heritage home, consider picking up tulip bulbs. You have to find bulbs that feature a stamp certifying they are pre-approved for import into the U.S. The stamp will be dated with an expiration date, so check that they are still eligible. As with any imported agricultural products, there will be strict regulations; check with U.S. Border and Customs Protection for the most up-to-date information.
Greece’s warm, coastal climate produces an abundance of seasonal produce (as well as amazing honey, feta and olive oil). In the springtime, you can find everything from broccoli, beets and zucchini to tangerines and lemons.
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