When they crafted the saying “there can’t be too much of a good thing,” they really didn’t have access to sugary desserts at all times of the day. Luckily for you, traveling in foreign countries is all the excuse you need to eat sweets. That’s why we want to commemorate this The Sweetest Day with a list of desserts that you should try out in Europe!
6. Banoffee Pie – United Kingdom
Let us start with an unusual dessert from the United Kingdom, the land that brought us “spotted dick”. Unlike the more traditional desserts that have been around for ages, Banofee Pie – a portmanteau of “banana” and “toffee” – was invented in 1971.
As the name implies, banoffee pie is made out of bananas, cream, and toffee. Those are slapped onto a buttery biscuit base or a base made from crumbled biscuits and butter. Since the toffee is often made from boiling condensed milk, the recipe can be often found on Nestle’s can of the stuff.
5. Churros – Spain
Churros is what Spain has instead of doughnuts, I think. The history of this fried-dough pastry is mysterious. Some say that Portuguese traders brought the recipe to Europe back from China. Others claim that churros were something shepherds could have made over a fire in the mountains.
It doesn’t matter, as churros are easily available in any spot of the world that was influenced by Iberian culture. Spain, of course, is the ground zero for it, so if you visit it, you should treat yourself to this snack. Then go to Andalus to try out their own local version!
4. Makowiec – Poland
Now that we’ve visited Western Europe, let’s head east. Makowiec (pronounced: Mak-ov-yetz) is probably the most famous cake to come out of Poland. It’s a Polish cake – rolled or flat – layered with filling made of finely-ground poppy seeds, honey, butter, raisins, and walnuts.
Apparently, there’s so much poppy in this baby that you can get tested morphine-positive just from eating. So if you’re going to be facing any drug tests any time soon, you might want to stay away from Makowiec Lubartowski, which is a variety made almost entirely of the poppy filling surrounded by a thin excuse of a dough layer.
3. Strudel – Austria
Continuing to layered pastries and Austrian exports you might have heard of: strudel! The first recipe for strudel dates back to 1696, while the name itself is a loanword from German that means “whirlpool.” With 300 years of history behind it, the cake has spread to some of the other European countries, too.
There are three best-known strains of strudel. Apfelstrudel is a Viennese traditional cake and you’re constitutionally obligated to have some if you visit Vienna. Topfenstrudel uses quark cheese, so you know that not only the name but also the ingredients sound funny. Meanwhile, Millirahmstrudel is made with milk-cream. Gotta taste ‘em all!
2. Runeberg Torttu – Finland
Finland is a rare visitor in blog posts about confectionaries – but it doesn’t mean that you can’t find sweets in the country! Runebergintorttu – or Runeberg torte – is probably the most famous pastry that they make.
It gets the name from the poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg, who is said to have eaten it every day for lunch. His wife might be the actual inventor of the recipe. The tarte itself is flavored with almonds, weighs about 100 grams and is often topped with raspberry jam surrounded by a ring of sugary glaze.
1. Stollen Cake – Germany
The stolen cake is no joke. However, stollen cake is a real treat! This very German fruit bread contains nuts, spices, dried or candied fruit. It’s also usually covered in powdered sugar. In Germany, it’s a popular treat to have around Christmas time.
Early Stollen was bland and tasteless, to comply with the requirement to fast during Advent. Over time, it developed to be something more palatable, albeit retaining the traditional connection to Christmas. And what do you know – Christmas is only months away while Germany is basically within a plane reach!
So while you’re highly unlikely to miss any of these treats due to flight disruption, cancellations, delays, and overbooking can really start your culinary holiday on a sour note. Why not get some respite by submitting a claim to Skycop? With flight compensation that can be as high €600, you could afford a lot of cake!