Europe's Sweetest Surprises
Posted on 11/02/2017
If you consider yourself even the least bit a foodie, then there is no doubt that sampling sweet treats is near the top of your list of epicurean things to do in Europe.
Delights like French macarons, German strudel, Portuguese pastel de nata and Danish, (erm, danishes) are definitely the things that decadent travel dreams are made of.
In addition to these well-known goodies, Europe is home to lots of other lesser known sugary dalliances. A fun interactive tool called “Secret Sweets from Europe” that lists many of them was recently put together.
The following are a few of the tooth-achingly terrific treats they mention that you should definitely try on your next trip to the Old Continent:
Berliner Pfannkuchen (Germany)
This treat is Deutschland’s take on the jelly donut. Berliner Pfannkuchen are made of sweet and yeasty dough that is fried and then filled with tart marmalade or fruity jam.
Speculoos (Low Countries)
These crunchy cookies are beloved in parts of Belgium and the Netherlands. Made with sprinkles of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and clove, they will often come with a picture imprinted on them—windmills are, obviously, very common in the Netherlands.
At Christmas, small round cookies called kruidnoten—which are made with a very similar recipe—delight children and adults alike, usually heralding the arrival of Santa Claus.
Salzburger Nockerl (Austria)
This sweet souffle from Salzburg is creamy and milky with hints of vanilla. The best part? Its fluffy sugar-dusted peaks resemble the mountainous backdrop of the Alpine city.
Tarta de Santiago (Spain)
A fantastic reward for hikers who complete the Camino de Santiago trail, this almond-flavored cake can be found in and around the city of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain.
Made with ground almonds and a touch of sweet wine and lemon zest, tarta de Santiago is always finished off with a dusting of powdered sugar that features the outline of the cross of St. James—the man that inspired the trail.
This soft gingerbread cookie is one of the official flavors of the holidays in Germany. You will find it being sold all over the country’s famous Christmas markets, often in fun shapes like hearts and stars.
This creamy patisserie is the pride and joy of lovely Lake Bled, Slovenia. The cake consists of a layer of buttery dough topped with vanilla cream, whipped cream and then another layer of dough. It’s then topped with a generous sprinkle of powdered sugar.
While this Italian dessert may be served all around the world, it always tastes better in Italy.
Ladyfingers are soaked in coffee, then stacked with layers of creamy whipped mascarpone cheese in between. Due to the coffee content, tiramisu is the perfect “pick me up”, and that’s precisely what the name means in Italian.
As you may have guessed by the name, Rijsttaart is a rice tart. Not just any tart though, as this filling custard flan found in Belgium is stuffed with rice, milk and eggs, with a touch of vanilla and both sweet and savory notes.
Torrijas are a Spanish version of French toast featuring bread-soaked milk that is then fried and dusted with cinnamon and sugar. They date back to 1496, and while they are so delicious you may want to enjoy them every day of the year, Torrijas are typically only served around Easter.
PHOTO: The almond-flavored Tarta de Santiago cake is the perfect reward
for hiking the Camino de Santiago. (photo via Wikimedia Commons/Manel