First of all, I’d like to say how happy I am to be this month’s co-host of travel link up with Emma, Angie and Jessi!
I love food but I’m no foodie or a gourmand. I prefer simple but delicious meals. Not being very adventurous when it comes to trying out local delicacies means that I probably have missed out on a few great experiences but as I grew old(er) I began to taste more different foods. Living & working in England eight years ago has actually helped me to be more open towards new & unusual foods. I became a big fan of afternoon tea tradition and English breakfast while I was in England. I also tried curry for the first time and many other traditional English dishes such as Yorkshire pudding (and my favourite revelation of them all: salt &vinegar crisps). However, I have a sweet tooth and I do try out all possible desserts wherever I go! After all, I am a big chocoholic!
So, what would be my most interesting/meaningful food experience?
I have tried a few meals that are not to everyone’s taste (even if it was just a mouthful). For example, I ate a snail in Brussels and I had haggis in Scotland 🙂 But I’ve pretty much tried all the national desserts wherever I travelled. So my most interesting food experiences have to be dessert related.
So, let’s just name my favourite desserts around Europe (in no particular order):
Sacher cake (or any cake as a matter of fact ) in Austria
I do love French desserts but if you want a delicious cake that will satisfy your hunger go to Austria! I love all sorts of Austrian cakes from apfel strudel to Esterházytorte to original Sacher cake. Last December I finally had the one and only Sacher cake at Hotel Sacher in Vienna. It was a wonderful experience worth the wait of around half an hour in the cold!
Afternoon tea in England
I love everything about this old tradition: the food, the atmosphere of tea rooms, the exquisite porcelain mugs. Tasty finger sandwiches, delectable scones, a delicious cake and of course tea make up this wonderful afternoon affair! I had proper afternoon tea in London just once but it was such a gorgeous experience! I also had a very lovely but unpretentious afternoon tea in Jane Austen’s center in Bath and in Harriet’s in Bury St Edmunds.
Gelato in Italy
I never understood people who had ice-cream all year round. It’s a summer thing here in Croatia. I do eat lots of ice-cream during summer. Hands down, the best ice-cream is made by Italians. I ate ice-cream all over Italy including a small shop in San Gimignano that won several awards for its gelato.
Waffles and pralines in Belgium
I love waffles. It’s a fairly new discovery to me. I’ve had them in other places but on my last year’s trip to Belgium I finally had proper Belgian waffles. I had Brussels waffles in Brussels and I had Liège waffle in Bruges. The second type is that usual type of waffles that can be seen in a lot of places. I only wish they had been cheaper because then I would have eaten my weight in them. 🙂 And chocolate shops in Belgium. What to say about them? A heaven on Earth for chocoholics:) Though, an expensive heaven;)
Trdelnik in Prague, Czech Republic
This is a rather strange looking sweet pastry that I tried for the first time near Karlštejn castle and then later in Prague. I saw it also in Budapest but I was told that it is a Czech specialty. I’m sorry but I don’t have a photo of this wonderful pastry goodness. However, I do have one photo from my visit to a chocolate museum in Prague .
Bled Cream Cake in Slovenia
Cream cake or cremeschnitte (kremšnita) is a fairly common cake in former Austro-Hungarian empire (in countries such as Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia.) But the most creamiest, tastiest (biggest!) cream cake I had was the Bled Cream Cake. Mmm…Have you visited the fairy tale like Bled Lake?
Pasteis de Belem (pasteis de nata) in Portugal
I had read about an ancient pastry shop in Lisbon when I did my pre-trip research and I knew I had to go there. So when my husband and I visited Belém area famous for Belem tower, the Monument to Discoveries and Jeronimos monastery we just had to have pasteis de belem. It’s perfection! Later, I discovered that we had them too at our hotel for breakfast so I gorged on them every morning. But they weren’t quite as good as the ones we had in Pastéis de Belém cake shop.
Churros in Spain
Doughnut like pastry dipped in hot chocolate sounds as good as it tastes! My best friend and I had them in Madrid on our crazy New Year’s trip! So fulfilling! I had them later in Nice, France too!
Macarons, crepes, any pattisserie really in France
What to say really? If you want exquisite dessert that looks and tastes awesome but is difficult to make try one of French specialties such as Tarte Tatin, Crème brûlée, Profiterole, Soufflé and many more. Macarons from Laduree are small pieces of French luxury in a biscuit! I need to go back to Paris🙂
Turkish delight in Turkey
All Narnia fans out there are familiar with this heavy dessert. I’ve had a different type of Turkish delight in Croatia since it’s also a Bosnian specialty and you can eat a lot of Bosnian food here in Croatia. But in 2005 I travelled to Turkey and bought a box of Turkish delight. It’s lighter than the Bosnian version and it comes in many more flavours.
Gingerbread cookies in Hungary
To me Christmas smells like gingerbread cookies. Actually there’s no ginger in Hungarian gingerbread cookies. They’re honey biscuits with cinnamon and cloves. You can have ornate ones that you can hang on your Christmas tree or ordinary ones for eating 🙂 I must add that actually Croatia is very famous for a similar type of gingerbread cookies (Licitars). Gingerbread craft from Northern Croatia has been added to the “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage” of UNESCO.
I will write about Croatian sweets and desserts one day…
So those are my favourite desserts/cakes around Europe. I’m sure there are many other delicious treats that I need to try. 🙂
What are your favourite desserts from your travels?
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