Top Ten Magnificent European Desserts
Dessert is the most interesting and intriguing part of any traditional and not so traditional meal, because who doesn’t love dessert?! Europeans have many traditions, linked to sweets and desserts. They cherish them! In many homes, people keep some traditional cake, pie, biscuits, pastries, tarts, puddings just in case someone comes to visit. It goes perfectly with some coffee or tea. That’s one of the main charms when you visit a new place – the kitchen, the dishes they traditionally make. Especially the sweets. That’s one of the main ways to feel the vibe, the culture in these places. Many people are going to a specific country just to taste their desserts because there is a romantic note in this adventure. Many couples do it. Trust me, you so don’t want to miss what is hiding in Europe’s sweet kitchen. Maybe you’ve heard for some of them, or maybe not, but you will be definitely surprised which ones are on the list.
This dessert is popular in many countries in Europe, but it comes from a beautiful Turkey, Istanbul and there you can find the most delicious one. The Greeks and the Turks still argue about the origin of this sweet dessert. There are many ways to make it, but the classic one is with almonds, walnuts, pistachios and honey phyllo dough, which in Greek means “leaf”. These thin layers of pastry with syrup (sugar, cooked with water) are real magic for your taste. The perfect serving temperature is room temperature. You can try it when it’s cold too. It is more known in the Balkans and also in Central and West Asia. When you eat it it’s like going back in different time.
2. Sacher Torte
It comes from Austria, but I guess it is well-known everywhere. Vienna is known as the ‘’coffee house capital of the world”, where there is a tradition people to meet for coffee and cake, share their ideas and spend nice quality time together. If you go to the streets of Vienna you will see that all of this is true. People meet for some great coffee and the original Sacher torte. It is covered in dark chocolate icing, apricot jam, and unsweetened whipped cream. There are so many variations of this one, but if you want the original Sacher Torte go to the amazing Austria and taste it. It has an intriguing story. An old one. It’s made in 1832 in Hotel Sacher in Vienna. Prince Wenzel von Metternich wanted to invent a special kind of cake for his special guests. He gave his master chef this task, but he got ill and the task was transferred to the sixteen-year-old apprentice Franz Sacher. Although the guests were delighted, the cake became famous many years after that, when Franz Sacher opened his own delicatessen and wine shop. Years after this event his son developed the cake to its present form and made it one of the best sweet desserts in Europe.
If you like dried fruit and marzipan – that’s your dream dessert. Although marzipan wasn’t one of the original ingredients in the beginning. Just go to Germany and eat as much as you can. The locals love to eat it, especially in Christmas. Stollen is their Christmas bread, called Weichnachtsstollen. And it goes very good with some of their mulled wine. What a spirit! And with this amazing taste! This sweet thing is cake-like fruit bread. It has so many ingredients in it just to be perfect for any taste – orange peel, citrus peel, raisins, cinnamon, cardamom and different spices, rum, eggs, vanilla, milk, sugar, dried fruits and etc. It is often covered with powdered sugar. Or icing sugar. The early Stollen was quite different from the one we can taste now. It is first made in 1545. Over the years this simple bread became sweeter and with many ingredients. You will be surprised how many variations it has and how tasty it is.
When you think of the mesmerizing Rome, think of mascarpone, cocoa, rum, ladyfingers and of course – espresso. Do you know what the name means in Italian – “pick me up”. This Italian sensation is one of the best desserts you can try in Italy. This specific dessert has a strange taste and maybe it’s not for anyone, but you should definitely give it a try. It is first made in the 1960s in Treviso, Italy. You can eat it cold, it’s better that way. It goes very well with their perfect espresso or cappuccino. Just imagine – the smell of high-quality Italian coffee and tiramisu – heaven!
Another amazing taste from Italy. This one is a must! You can also find it everywhere, in the corner of every street. It has an intense flavor, also there is a lower fat content and natural ingredients. You need only one taste and you are in Heaven! The interesting thing about their ice-cream is that there is a law in Italy, which obliges that gelato must contain the minimum of 3.5% butterfat. It can be served in any way you can imagine – in a plastic cup, in a cone, like a sandwich or on a stick. There are many myths and almost no evidence about the origin of gelato. Most of them say that it comes from Ancient Rome and its made from snow and ice. No matter what history says about it, gelato is a must for anyone who visits Italy.
6. Apple Tart
When you go to Amsterdam you should definitely try this one. Although it comes from England, it’s actually what most people say for this amazing sweet pastry. No one knows, but who cares?! The truth is Americans have a variation of this – the famous apple pie. Apple Tart lovers prefer to eat it with ice-cream. It could be made not only with apples, but with other fruits, but then, of course, it won’t be an apple tart. The Dutch style Apple Tart ingredients are different. They put lemon juice and cinnamon to make it tastes better. And because of this good variation, it became one of the most delicious desserts in Europe. Of course, almost any country has its own variation and I’m sure they are all very tasty, this one became popular for a reason. Just go and see for yourself!
7. Crème Brulee
Ah, Paris! Ah, romantic! Ah, simplicity! You just need this soft egg and vanilla custard with a sweet thin layer of caramelized sugar. It’s like you’ve never been in Paris if you haven’t tried it. It is normally served at room temperature. This dessert became quite famous in the 1980s. It is also known as “burnt cream”. There is even a National Crème Brulee Day and it is on 21st of June. There are many French desserts, who deserve to be a part of this list, but this one is a classic one, because of its spectacular taste.
8. Turkish delight
Maybe you’ve already tried it, but Turkish delight is in so many forms and flavors you can never have enough of it. These gel cubes in many colors are ah-so-amazing. It could be with orange, lemon, rosewater or whatever you think of. These bite-sized cubes are such a delight for any taste. It is also called “Lokum”, which translated means “mouthful”. In the Arabic world, Turkish delights are called in translation “Throat Comfort”, that is exactly what it is. You can find it all around the world – North America, Brasil, Canada, New Zeland, but the most popular and delicious are made and found in Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Albania and of course – Turkey. It is favorite for so many people and if you’ve ever tried it you will know why it is like that. Such a delight for your mind and mouth!
It’s almost like crepes or pancakes, but it’s even better. Belgian waffles are really a THING! They are much more than the American waffles. They are made originally with yeast, but not with baking powder. In Belgium can be found many variations, but there are specifically two famous kinds of waffles – Brussels and Liege’s waffles. There are two National Waffles Days – the first one in on August 24th and the second one is on March 25th . God, these people really love waffles! The first waffle recipe appeared in 14th century. In June 2013 is created the biggest waffle with weight 110lb. and 3.68oz. The truth is you can find a perfect ready mix for them in the most of the stores, but it is always better to make them by yourself. You can try it with chocolate, jam or even salty with cheese. Sweet or salty – you decide it. Add some ice-cream, fresh fruits or whipped cream and you will be totally satisfied with these Belgium waffles.
This one comes from the little and beautiful Bulgaria and I am almost sure you’ve never heard of it. That’s okay because now you know about it and you can go and try it.It’s like doughnuts, but it’s better. It is made of kneaded dough with yogurt, which is deep fried. Put some flour, eggs, water, salt, a leavening agent and some oil and ta-da! It is the perfect breakfast dish in Bulgaria. The tradition says that long time ago grandmothers woke up at 5 o’clock in the morning to make these perfections for their grandchildren. This tradition is still here and today, especially in many small and amazingly beautiful villages in the country. In some recipes, they put bread soda, milk, yogurt, but that depends on the tradition and the personal taste. Just like waffles you can eat them salty or sweet – it’s perfect in any form. Put a sugar, chocolate, jam (Bulgarians have a tradition to make their own jam too) or whipped cream and it’s perfect for morning breakfast. Put a cheese on it and your afternoon snack is ready to go. The traditional mekica is one with powdered sugar or icing sugar, but if you don’t like these options you can always try it with something different because the choice is rich. Sensation!
All of these desserts deserve a fair trial. All of them are a “must try before you die”. I must confess that I am in love with most of them. For people out of Europe they may sound strange and of course taste strange, but many of the visitors are charmed by Europe’s sweet dessert kitchen. I’m sure you will fall in love with most of them, depends on your personal taste for sweets. Of course, there are also many other great desserts you can taste in Europe. There’s something for anyone, I’m sure. Like some people say:” Take the trip! Eat the cake!”. Just go. What are you waiting for?