The Via Francigena walking route allows you to sample famous foods all the way from Canterbury to Rome. When you embark on any journey the food you eat is a big part of the experience that you take away with you. All of the sections of the Via Francigena offer unique food treats. You can sample traditional English dishes, try out some European delicacies and sip on the best French and Italian wines during your journey. From the hearty Beef Wellington of the UK to the flavoursome gelatos of Italy, there is something for everyone’s taste buds. We have decided to pick out the most popular cuisine for some of the most admired walking trails. We hope that you try out these dishes when walking the Via Francigena Way.
Beef Wellington, Canterbury
Let’s start at the beginning in Canterbury. The Beef Wellington is a well known British dish, often served as a main course. It will feature on menus in restaurants throughout the UK so it is worth sampling if you are in the area.
The Baguette, along with many other famous pastries, originated in France. This style of bread is one of the most famous breads of the world and commonly noted as a symbol of the culture in France. There is no escaping the smell of fresh bread if you are walking down the village streets in smaller french towns and why would you want to escape this tasty delight. Drop into La Femme du Boulanger in Besancon to taste the french baguette filled with a choice of your favourite French cheeses.
No walk through the east of France would be complete without sampling the best of this white sparkling wine. The city of Reims is at the heart of the Champagne region making it an ideal location for touring one of the nearby wineries. The Champagne houses in this region get their distinct style of wine from a blend of the different grapes of the five wine districts in the surrounding areas. EU Law has made the term Champagne exclusive for wines coming from the region. When you are in the area take advantage of this luxurious treat.
Cheese Fondue, Switzerland
The pungent smell of Cheese Fondue is not for everyone’s taste but this classic Swiss dish is worth a try if you are travelling in any part of Switzerland. The traditional dish involves dipping long stems of bread into a melted pot of Swiss cheese. This dish is great for sharing and can be found in restaurants throughout Lausanne.
If you need a little pick-me-up on your walking route than you can’t go wrong with a little or a lot of smooth, Swiss chocolate. Lucky pilgrim walkers on the Via Francigena from Lausanne to Aosta will pass through the town of Vevey which was where Daniel Peter first founded Milk Chocolate in 1875. Vevey is also home to first Swiss chocolate factory and world headquarters for today’s well known Nestle chocolate brand. From our experience Swiss chocolate is best eaten with a cup of the freshest coffee. Yummy!
Truffle Hunting Tuscany
These fungi treats are associated with Haute cuisine worldwide but you will find them to be plentiful in the region of Tuscany. October to December is the harvesting season for Tuscan Truffles so these would be the best months to taste fresh truffles from the land. White truffles are most often served raw. They are commonly grated over pasta and salads. White truffles have a much sharper smell and taste than Black truffles. Black truffles are commonly inserted into meats or used in various kinds of pates. As it is a valuable commodity, it is used sparingly by chefs outside of Tuscany but you will find Truffles on menus throughout your walking routes. The Festival of San Miniato celebrates this edible delight every November or you can sample the valuable white truffles in San Giovanni d’Asso in Siena.
“Just one cornetto, give it to me. Delicious ice cream, from Italy”. We know you will be singing along to this song while preparing to walk into Rome. The Italians offer a wide choice of desserts but they are most famous for their wide selection of Gelato. Traditionally gelato has a lower fat content than ice cream due to the fact it is made with milk rather than cream. It is a frozen dessert that comes in an endless amount of flavours. Gelato became popular around the 1920’s in northern Italy when the first Gelato Cart was developed. You will find these carts and Ice-cream parlours throughout Italy. Sitting at the side of a Gelato Parlour, eating homemade Italian ice-cream has to be a bucket list experience for any food lover.
We have chosen seven famous foods to try on the Via Francigena but there are many more. If you have any favourite food choices along the route we would love to hear about them. To give us some suggestions or to book your next Via Francigena tour please contact our Travel Specialists.