European way of life

Category: TRADITIONS

Cuisson d'un Kürtőskalács hongrois à la broche, au feu de bois, photo de Zlerman  (CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

The chimney-cake: kürtőskalács or trdelník

Winter is the best season to taste this typical Central European pastry. A lot of ephemeral food stands will sell you these cakes in the streets of Czech or Hungarian cities. You can warm up near the wood-fire, above which they are slowly glazed, you can divide them and share them with friends. And if you don’t know any better,…

Sachertorte du Café Sacher, Vienne, Autriche © Eurofluence

The Sachertorte: a sweet story about a Viennese legend

« Don’t make me feel ashamed, it’s the only thing I ask you… ». The story of the most emblematic Viennese pastry begins with these words. And it’s often the same story. Exactly like the Madeleine of Commercy in France or the Trdelník of Skalika in Slovakia: one day, an earl, a duke or a prince orders to his pâtissier a special…

Café Central by night, Vienne, Autriche © Eurofluence

Impressions: the Café Central, a Viennese institution

I said so: Vienna has more than a thousand coffeehouses. But this one is like no other. The Café Central is a living museum, a swarming institution that makes us familiar with an old way of life. « To understand this, we must understand that the Viennese coffeehouses are an institution with no equivalent anywhere else in the world. It is actually…

Apfelstrudel traditionnel, photo de Justine Duppong (http://justineduppong.com/2012/09/12/wiaw-europe-tour-vienna-and-a-visit-with-the-dalai-lama/)

The Apfelstrudel, a traditional Austrian pastry

From Austria to the United States, through Israel or Argentina, its reputation is worldwide. The Apfelstrudel is emblematic of Central European cuisine and has traveled along historic migrations, specifically of Jewish Ashkenazi communities. Austria, Germany, Switzerland, North-Eastern Italy, Hungary, Alsace, Slovakia, Czech Republic, even the Balkans, every country has its recipe and keeps it as a memory of the Habsburg…

Einspänner, photo de Kaffee Magazin (http://www.kaffeemagazin.com/rezepte/der-einspanner)

Impressions: Viennese cafés

On November 10th, 2011 the UNESCO classified Viennese cafés as masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. These Wiener Kaffeehäuser, the true temple of delightfully outdated lifestyle, have been described as places “where time and space are consumed, but where the only item on the check is the coffee”. A spacio-temporal rift there lets us contemplate the ordinary and…

Affichage en gaélique irlandais, quartier de Temple Bar, Dublin, Irlande © Eurofluence

10 things that may surprise a traveler in Dublin

« (…), travel is in my opinion a very profitable exercise; the soul is there continually employed in observing new and unknown things, and I do not know, as I have often said, a better school wherein to model life than by incessantly exposing to it the diversity of so many other lives, fancies, and usances… ». These are Montaigne’s words in…

Mirabelles de Nancy sur l'arbre, photo de Stanislas Perrin  (CC BY-SA 2.5, 2.0, 1.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

The Lorraine mirabelle

It’s been three days of intense media coverage. Everyone is talking about it, even in the national press: war? the financial crisis? No (at least, not only): it’s the Lorraine mirabelle! Let’s zoom in on this little fruit, rich in vitamin C and fiber that exists almost nowhere else. A species of plum This delicate fruit is found almost only…

Saucisse - purée © Eurofluence

Is France still the country of good food?

I asked myself the question, one winter night in 2013, when I walked by a small joint in the old city center in Nancy. The oldest “brasserie” in town had just taken its trash out. Its contents, and the fraud they gave out, were neatly displayed on the pavement. I didn’t even have to bend over to familiarize myself with…

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An unusual Bastille Day: in Liège, Belgium

This 14th of July, the Walloon city of Liège will have been fervently celebrating the French national holiday for more than seventy years. Yet, until now, nothing had changed since your last history lesson. Some primary-school geography reminders: Liège is a city in Belgium. And Belgium, until proven otherwise, is not France. Why then, every 14th of July, do 35.000 people…

Crise du CPE, Nancy, France, 2005 © Eurofluence

Why are French people always on strike?

A mystery for Americans foreigners watching us, a blessing for newspapers and an endless supply of topics for social scientists. On April 16th, 2009, the prestigious Time magazine asked again: why do French people like going on strike so much? After a more than two-week long strike at the SNCF, during the “baccalauréat” period and at the peak of the…

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