European food has a distinct flavor and rich history. The food in Europe can be characterized by four categories: meats, sugar, cereals, and fats. Meats include tripe, fish, blood sausages, and wild game. Brought from India and the New World, cane sugar became a necessary ingredient in European recipes and foods. Europeans loved the sweet taste and the demand for sugar cane grew at the end of the 17th century. Cereals are the most important ingredients in European cuisine.
Flour, bread, wheat, oats, and other grains provide people with the most nutritious and healthy meals. During the 18th century, though, new crops rose to popularity. Maize and potatoes were brought from the New World and became favorite foods in Northern Europe. Rice and pasta especially grew famous in Spain and Italy.
Peas and beans are still a staple food in Europe. However, their popularity diminished over time as potatoes and cereals took their place as the main foods. The most used fats in Europe are olive oil, lard, and butter. Today, fats are indispensable as they are almost always used when cooking. Coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages, and chocolate are the most well-known drinks in Europe. Since water was not being purified until recently and was not safe to drink, it was not considered a beverage for a long time. Instead, wine, beer, ale, gin, and whiskey were the most popular drinks in Europe. Coffee, chocolate, and tea were brought from Africa, America, and Asia. Today, all of these drinks are popular, but pure water is consumed a lot more than it was a few centuries ago.