After driving across the USA for Jamie's American Road Trip, Jamie Oliver is hitting the road again for a culinary expedition to six great food destinations a little closer to home. Travelling across Europe and into North Africa, Jamie heads off the tourist track to experience local cultures through their food. In the first programme, Jamie visits Marrakesh in Morocco. He dodges snake charmers to try out the street food of the city, slow-roasted lamb in cumin; prune and beef tagine; and almond and rose water cakes. Visiting a communal bread oven, he makes a tangia: a nomad's stew, slow roasting it around the fires heating the hammam baths. Jamie tries ras el hanout, the king of Moroccan spices, and buys potions from a medicine man who promises eternal obedience from his wife Jools.
This time he's in Andalucia, looking for the authentic tastes of Spain. He starts his journey in the historic town of Ronda, the birthplace of modern bullfighting, where Jamie joins young bullfighters training in Spain's oldest bull ring. He makes paella with a difference for a whole village, in the biggest pan he's ever seen. Cooks rabbit stew with hunters. Is taught how to cut Serrano ham by a world-champion father and son team. And he joins in the festivities, as a giant statue of the Virgin is carried from a church to the sea by a hundred men. Along the way he prepares authentic gazpacho; pork chops with Spanish beans; salt-roasted fish; an amazing tomato salad with chorizo; and a quail's egg breakfast with black pudding.
This time he's Stockholm in search of the authentic tastes of Sweden. "Swedish cooking I truly believe is one of the unsung heroes of the cooking world," says Jamie. He tries reindeer heart in an old indoor market in Stockholm, before catching a boat out to one of the thousands islands that surround the city to pick wild mushrooms and blueberries. He also samples surstromming, a fermented herring that smells like a stink bomb. Next he heads to the royal palace to see what's on the guards' lunch menu, before ending his trip at a friend's crayfish party, where although he joins in the drinking songs, Jamie manages to avoid the skinny-dipping. Along the way, Jamie makes gravadlax, blueberry buns, creamy mushrooms, pike perch, and roasted beetroot salad.
This time he's in Venice, getting away from the tourist traps to experience the delicious authentic tastes the real Venice has to offer. Jamie tries his hand at fishing and cooks up spaghetti vongole for the most demanding critics possible: local fishermen. He learns the secret of how to make the best risotto in the world from 'risotto king', Ruggero Bovo; samples prosecco; and makes a classic bellini with beef carpaccio. Jamie also cooks minestrone with vegetables; and his old friend Gennaro Contaldo joins him to prepare a perfect Venetian tiramisu.
This time he's in the French Pyrenees, in villages surrounding Toulouse: an area steeped in traditional artisan food. 'The food here is so rich,' says Jamie. 'Truffles, confit of duck, Armagnac, incredible vegetables, kick-ass cheeses and amazing red wines.' It's a diet high in fatty foods and yet the region has one of the highest life-expectancies in France. Jamie goes truffle-hunting with a greedy pig and cooks a delicious omelette with the results. He is inducted into a brotherhood of serious bread makers and learns the secrets of their ancient loaves. He also joins locals on a wild boar hunt and cooks at the subsequent feast; and makes sausages with an expert. Along the way he prepares a classic tarte tatin, Roquefort salad, old school confit of duck, and a country-style terrine.
This time he's in Athens and nearby islands to find the authentic taste of Greece. He heads straight to the Athens markets and tries his hand at Greek-style fast food, souvlaki; before cooking his own kebabs in the shadow of the Acropolis. Next it's a short ferry journey to the beautiful island of Aegina, where he learns about how bees get it on and make beautiful honey. Jamie joins friends for meze and Greek dancing; milks a goat with a priest who makes cheese the traditional way; and goes spear-fishing off a Mamma Mia-style island, making fisherman's stew with the catch. Along the way Jamie also prepares a perfect Greek salad, pistachio and honey cake, and tuna straight from the sea on the beach. Last in the series.