Save on Pinterest

41 Old-World Foods We Still Eat Today

Travel back to a much simpler time with these authentic old-world recipes. While we may enjoy these classic dishes today, their rich flavors remain steeped in history!

1 / 41

Classic French Onion Soup

Enjoy my signature French onion soup the way my granddaughter Becky does. I make onion soup for her in a crock bowl, complete with garlic croutons and gobs of melted Swiss cheese on top. —Lou Sansevero, Ferron, Utah

Get Recipe

2 / 41
Chocolate Almond Pizzelles Exps Hca18 49917 C04 26 6b 3

Chocolate Almond Pizzelles

If you love fun baking gadgets, you'll enjoy making these crispy, almond-flavored cookies, which get their unique waffle design from a pizzelle maker. They bake up golden brown in only a few minutes. Feel free to double the chocolate drizzle if you'd like to cover the cookies more generously. —Hannah Riley, Norwalk, Ohio
3 / 41
Exps41527 Cs143613b11 11 8b 4

Homemade Ravioli

I love to bake and cook, especially Italian dishes like this homemade ravioli recipe. In fact, my idea of a perfect day consists of cooking my family's favorite foods then watching them dig in!—Lori Daniels, Hartland, Michigan
4 / 41

Old-World Rye Bread

Rye and caraway lend to this bread’s wonderful flavor, while the surprise ingredient of baking cocoa gives it a rich, dark color. I sometimes stir in a cup each of raisins and walnuts. —Perlene Hoekema, Lynden, Washington
5 / 41
Colcannon Potatoes Exps Sdfm18 29291 D10 03 1b 5

Colcannon Potatoes

Every Irish family has its own colcannon recipe, since it's a classic dish. My recipe comes from my father's family in Ireland. It's part of my St. Pat's menu, along with lamb chops, carrots and soda bread. —Marilou Robinson, Portland, Oregon
6 / 41
Exps108813 Sd163615d04 08 3b 2

Slow-Cooked Ratatouille

I get my son to eat eggplant by cooking low and slow on this classic French veggie dish. A side of rice and garlic cheese bread also help. —Diane Goedde, Red Lodge, Montana
7 / 41
Grandma S Swedish Meatballs Exps Sdon16 76175 D06 03 3b 8

Grandma's Swedish Meatballs

My mother made these hearty meatballs when we were growing up, and now my kids love them, too. My daughter likes to help shake the meatballs in flour. —Karin Ness, Big Lake, Minnesota
8 / 41
Palmiers Exps Mcsmz17 30144 C01 05 5b 2

Palmiers

It takes just two ingredients to make these impressive but easy-to-do French pastries, which are often called palm leaves. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
9 / 41

Nana's Italian Roulade

My great-aunt from Sicily taught my mother how to stuff and bake a steak in a jelly-roll style. It’s unique and really special in our family. —Roseanne McDonald, Days Creek, Oregon
10 / 41
Exps189649 Cw153050b06 24 8b 3

Homemade Polish Pierogi

My mother made many dozens of these and measured ingredients using the palm of her hand. We've passed the recipe down over the years as the family has grown. —Veronica Weinkauf, South Bend, Indiana
11 / 41
Rustic Caramel Apple Tart Exps Tgcbbz17 38374 B04 28 3b 7

Rustic Caramel Apple Tart

Like an apple pie without the pan, this scrumptious tart has a crispy crust that cuts nicely and a yummy caramel topping. —Betty Fulks, Onia, Arkansas
12 / 41
Slow Cooked Sauerkraut Soup Exps Hscbz18 7866 D08 16 5b 4

Slow-Cooked Sauerkraut Soup

We live in Lancaster County, which has a rich heritage of German culture. Our dishes often include sauerkraut, potatoes and sausage. We enjoy this recipe on cold winter evenings, along with muffins and fruit. —Linda Lohr, Lititz, Pennsylvania
13 / 41
Exps91193 Sd153208d08 12 5b 4

Croque-Madame

My son and I love having a croque-madame (a fried egg atop our grilled ham and cheese) for lunch. If eggs aren't your favorite, you can make the sandwich without it (which makes it a croque-monsieur). —Carolyn Turner, Reno, Nevada
14 / 41
Exps166718 Sd153208b08 12 4b 3

Kielbasa Hot Potato Slaw

I like the challenge of cooking lighter meals that pack big flavor. This one, which came from a dear friend, fits the bill. My son rated it a 10 out of 10! —Beverly Batty, Forest Lake, Minnesota
15 / 41
True Belgian Waffles Exps Ghbz18 4869 C08 09 2b 12

True Belgian Waffles

It was on a visit to my husband's relatives in Europe that I was given this Belgian waffle recipe. These homemade waffles are great with any kind of topping: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, fried apples, powdered sugar or whipped topping. —Rose Delemeester, St. Charles, Michigan
16 / 41
Exps121600 Th163619b09 24 8b 8

Great-Grandma's Italian Meatballs

My great-grandmother started this easy meatball recipe with our family. We use ground beef and turkey for these meatballs, and the flavor’s so good, you won’t miss the extra calories. —Audrey Colantino, Winchester, Massachusetts
17 / 41
Ice Cream Kolachkes Exps Wrsm17 43014 B03 29 1b 10

Ice Cream Kolachkes

These sweet pastries have Polish and Czech roots and can also be spelled "kolaches." They are usually filled with poppy seeds, nuts, jam or a mashed fruit mixture. The ice cream is a unique twist on traditional kolachkes, and it's simplest to use a square cookie cutter to cut the dough. —Diane Turner, Brunswick, Ohio
18 / 41
Sour Cream Cucumbers Exps Fttmz18 26502 B11 16 6b 4

Sour Cream Cucumbers

We have a tradition at our house to serve this creamy cucumber salad with the other Hungarian specialties my mom learned to make from the women at church. It’s especially good during the summer when the cucumbers are freshly picked from the garden. —Pamela Eaton, Monclova, Ohio
19 / 41
Bavarian Pot Roast

Bavarian Pot Roast

Since all my grandparents were German, it's no wonder that so many Bavarian recipes have been handed down to me. Because the Midwest has such a large German population, I feel this recipe represents the area well. —Susan Robertson, Hamilton, Ohio
20 / 41
Pasta Fagioli Soup Exps Sddj19 38088 E07 13 1b 9

Pasta Fagioli Soup

My husband enjoys my version of this dish so much that he doesn’t order it at restaurants anymore. With fresh spinach, pasta and seasoned sausage, this fast-to-fix soup is a meal on its own. —Brenda Thomas, Springfield, Missouri
21 / 41
Finnish Pinwheels Exps Hccbz18 2530 B05 21 2b 6

Finnish Pinwheels

When my sister was hosting an exchange student from Finland, she served these cookies I'd made to her guest. The young lady instantly recognized what they were. So I know they're still being made in our ancestors' country. —Ilona Barron, Ontonagon, Michigan
22 / 41
Spanish Style Paella Exps Ft20 39254 F 0311 1 13

Spanish-Style Paella

If you enjoy cooking ethnic foods, this Spanish paella recipe will be a favorite. It's brimming with generous chunks of sausage, shrimp and veggies.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
23 / 41

Old-Fashioned Cabbage Rolls

It was an abundance of dill in my garden that led me to try this. My family liked the taste so much that, from then on, I made my old-fashioned cabbage rolls recipe with dill. This is how to make easy cabbage rolls. – Florence Krantz, Bismarck, North Dakota
24 / 41
Best Lasagna Exps36333  Th133086d07 23 6b Rms 6

Best Lasagna

Want to know how to make lasagna for a casual holiday meal? You can't go wrong with this deliciously rich meat lasagna recipe. My grown sons and daughter-in-law request it for their birthdays, too. —Pam Thompson, Girard, Illinois
25 / 41
Lemon Creme Brulee Exps Hbmz19 83188 B06 26 12b 6

Lemon Creme Brulee

Here’s a refreshing, tangy twist on a classic. Don’t have the kitchen torch traditionally used for creme brulee? Simply pop the ramekins under the broiler.—Sara Scheler, Helenville, Wisconsin
26 / 41
Hungarian Goulash Exps Sscbz18 134926 D09 26 3b 6

Hungarian Goulash

Talk about your heirloom recipes! My grandmother made this Hungarian goulash recipe for my mother when she was a child, and Mom made it for us to enjoy. Paprika and caraway add wonderful flavor and sour cream gives it a creamy richness. It’s simply scrumptious! —Marcia Doyle, Pompano, Florida
27 / 41

Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding

This comforting dessert is a wonderful way to end any meal. As a girl, I always waited eagerly for the first heavenly bite. Today, my husband likes to top his with a scoop of ice cream. —Sandra Melnychenko, Grandview, Manitoba
28 / 41

Kielbasa Cabbage Skillet

Spicy kielbasa sausage and plentiful cabbage and potatoes give this dish a pleasing Old World flair. My husband never liked cabbage before I made this, but now he does! —Romaine Wetzel, Ronks, Pennsylvania
29 / 41
Old World Ricotta Cheesecake Exps Thca17 6206 D12 15 2b 2

Old-World Ricotta Cheesecake

I reconstructed this dessert based on an old recipe that had been in the family for years but was never written down. The subtle cinnamon flavor of the zwieback crust reminds me of the cheesecake I enjoyed as a child, but substitute other crumbs if you like. —Mary Beth Jung, Hendersonville, North Carolina
30 / 41
Slow Cooker German Potato Salad Exps Sdjj17 141691 D02 16 8b 3

Slow-Cooker German Potato Salad

Here's the dish everyone looks for at our parties, so we always double the recipe. It was handed down from my mother-in-law and has been a family favorite for years. —Stacy Novak, Stafford, Virginia
31 / 41
Old-World Puff Pancake

Old-World Puff Pancake

My mom told me her mother-in-law showed her how to make this dish, which became popular during the Depression, on their "get acquainted" visit in 1927. At that time, cooks measured ingredients in pinches, dashes and dibs. But through the years, accurate amounts were noted. My wife and I continue to enjoy this dish today, particularly for brunch. —Auton Miller, Piney Flats, Tennessee
32 / 41

Mom's Potato Pancakes

These old-fashioned pancakes are fluffy inside and crispy outside. Onion adds nice flavor. Mom got this recipe from Grandma, so we've enjoyed it for years. —Dianne Esposite, New Middletown, Ohio
33 / 41
Make-Ahead Spinach Manicotti

Make-Ahead Spinach Manicotti

When I invite people to dinner, many have started requesting this pasta bake ahead of time because it's that good. Plus, the manicotti is stuffed before it's cooked, making it even more convenient. —Christy Freeman, Central Point, Oregon
34 / 41

Easy Homemade Chunky Applesauce

Here's a comforting, home-style treat that never loses its appeal. Dish up big bowlfuls and wait for the smiles! —Marilee Cardinal, Burlington, New Jersey
35 / 41

Irish Spiced Beef

The story goes that my Irish ancestors brought this recipe along when they immigrated to the U.S. Start it at least five days ahead to spice and tenderize the meat; the flavors are worth it. —Mary Shenk, Dekalb, Illinois
36 / 41
German Potato Dumplings Exps39380 Th143193c04 22 4b Rms 4

German Potato Dumplings

Potato dumplings (called Kartoffel Kloesse in Germany) are a delightful addition to any German feast. The browned butter sauce is delectable.—Arline Hofland, Deer Lodge, Montana
37 / 41
Traditional Italian Wedding Soup Exps Ssbz18 115360 C03 09 2b 2

Traditional Italian Wedding Soup

You don’t have to be Italian to love this easy-to-make soup with tiny round pasta! Add homemade meatballs but use ready-made stock and rotisserie chicken.—Mary Sheetz, Carmel, Indiana
38 / 41
Scottish Shortbread Exps Diyd20 1889 B09 17 3b 2

Scottish Shortbread

Scottish settlers first came to this area over 150 years ago. My mother herself was Scottish, and—as with most of my favorite recipes—she passed this shortbread recipe on to me. I make a triple batch of it each year at Christmas, to enjoy and as gifts. —Rose Mabee, Selkirk, Manitoba
39 / 41
Exps109626 Sd153321d01 29 4b 4

Quick Nicoise Salad

Like the French, I pack my classic Nicoise salad with veggies, potatoes, tuna and eggs. Cooking the potatoes and beans together helps the dish come together fast. —Valerie Belley, St. Louis, Missouri
40 / 41
Baki S Old World Cookies Exps Thca18 6093 D06 22 2b 1

Baki's Old-World Cookies

My uncles have always called these "cupcake cookies" because of the unique and pretty way they're baked. My maternal grandmother mixed up many a batch. —Marilyn Louise Riggenbach, Ravenna, Ohio
41 / 41
Beef Barley Soup with Roasted Vegetables

Beef Barley Soup with Roasted Vegetables

The beauty of this soup is that you can roast the vegetables separately in the oven while it's simmering away. Then simply add them in during the last minutes on the stovetop. I love that the roasted vegetables keep their own bright flavors that add to this earthy bowl of warmth. —Gayla Scott, West Jefferson, North Carolina

Christina Herbst
Christina is an Assistant Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in content creation and SEO optimization. She enjoys trying out local foodie restaurants and coffeehouses and adding copious amounts of garlic and cheese to any recipe she can get her hands on.
cover
Subscribe & SAVE Save Up To 80%!