What is food without spices and herbs? Herbs are the easiest flavour boosters for dishes like fried rice, roasted chicken, and even dips and sauces are made from them. Also to make your continental food more lip-smacking, you can grate some cheeses in your pasta, salads, sautéed vegetables and what not.
Chef Kuldeep Singh from ITC hotel said, "Continental food is prepared in the continent of Europe. You won't see any chinese and indian cuisines in continental dishes, just french food & mediterranean food." Continental food refers to the delicacies consumed in European countries. This cuisine focuses more on olive oil, wine, garlic and several herbs and spices.
Here is a few most used herbs, spices, and cheese used in continental cuisine-
This fragrant georgian spice is mixed with fenugreek, marigold petals, coriander, black pepper, dill, mint, and bay leaf. This spice blend is characterized by its combination of warm, bitter, nutty, and grassy flavours.
It is used in various stews and meat dishes and can add flavour to roasted vegetables and bean soups.
Parsley is a great herb for adding flavour to tomato dishes, baked potatoes, fish dishes, vegetable dishes, and egg dishes. This herb works especially well with cucumbers, dried beans, beef, chicken, lemon, garlic, mushrooms, and peppers.
This aromatic herb is used in pulses and pork. Try sprinkling finely chopped sage over roast pumpkin or stir it through pumpkin mash for a delicious flavour hit.
This herb works great with baked fish, such as sea bass. It also goes perfect with tomatoes. You can try tearing fresh basil over a simple tomato salad, made using the tomatoes for maximum sweetness, or use basil to garnish.
Piri Piri is a spice used as a seasoning in chicken recipes, rice recipes, and mutton recipes. You can use Piri Piri sauces and spices for your fries. It has a lip smacking flavour and can take any boring dish a notch above.
It is one of the most popular Bulgarian spice mixes and has been used in Bulgarian cuisine for centuries. It has a pleasant, mild, and aromatic flavour that enhances the taste of Bulgarian cuisine. The key ingredients used in sharena sol are paprika, salt, thyme, cumin, basil, dried fenugreek leaves.
It’s fresh leaves are usually cooked, the dried leaves are used in teas, while the small flowers with a sweetened flavour are often used in salads for garnishing. It's mostly used with shrimp, omelettes, white bean soups, lamb roasts, wild mushrooms, and risottos.
Pimentón de la Vera
This smoked paprika is produced exclusively in the La Vera valley. This vibrant red spice is made by crushing dried peppers into a fragrant and smoky powder.
It is a fresh, soft, stretched curd type cheese made with cow’s milk. It has an aroma fragrant with fresh milk and a creamy flavour and can be paired with light white wines. This Italian cheese originates from the region of Campania but nowadays it is produced all across the globe.
Ricotta is white, creamy and very fresh with a slight sweet taste. You can eat it by itself or try it with other cheeses. It’s subtle aroma also makes it an excellent ingredient in many recipes.
The word Parmesan will also refer to other cheeses that normally resemble the original Parmigiano Reggiano. It is a hard, dry, fruity & nutty-flavoured cheese made from raw skimmed milk of cows.
Feta is produced with unpasteurized milk, however, the use of pasteurized milk is also allowed. It is a triangle-shaped mould and is preserved in wooden barrels to keep it fresh.
There is much more to continental food like its bread, fruits and vegetables and the whole world has welcomed and accepted this cuisine with open arms and hungry tummies.