One of the most interesting and exciting things about traveling the world is getting to experience new cultures, traditions, and food! Let’s take a short trip through Europe as we discover seven classic holiday sweets from different European countries.
Let’s begin our tasty tour in Sweden with a traditional sweet bread, Lussekatt or saffron bun. This delicious holiday treat is flavored with saffron, cinnamon, and currents and shaped into an “S.” This yeast-leavened sweet cake is delicious with hot tea!
Next, we head west to Norway, to partake in some pepperkake, which you may recognize as traditional gingerbread men. However, the Norwegian version will taste a little different than you’re probably used to. The locals make their gingerbread men with freshly cracked pepper, resulting in a surprisingly spicy kick.
Southward now, to a small country called the Netherlands for some traditional banketstaff. This delicious pastry is formed by rolling dough around almond paste. The pastry is then formed into a stick or sometimes formed into letters (and called banketletter). The letters are used to spell out holiday wishes.
From the Netherlands, we head east to Germany, to try a traditional Christmas cookie. Zimtsterne is a bite-sized, star-shaped cinnamon treat that locals and tourists alike can enjoy! Cinnamon and almond are the predominant flavors and it is topped with a sweet, hard white icing.
Continuing east, we head to Poland for a traditional sweet grain pudding. Kutia is popular as a dessert in many countries but in Poland, it is made with chocolate, honey, figs, raisins, walnuts, and almonds.
Next, we travel southeast to Romania for some Cozonac, another sweet bread variety that is popular both this time of year and for Easter. The bread is made with flour, eggs, milk, butter, sugar, and salt and then filled with regional favorites. Two popular filling favorites are rum raisins or cocoa powder, and the bread is often rolled into a pinwheel pattern.
Let’s finish our journey westward! Turron is a delicious specialty and a holiday favorite from our last food tour stop, Spain! Turron is a light, sweet treat made from egg whites, almonds, and honey. It can be either “turron blando,” which is soft, like nougat, or “turron duro,” which is hard, like brittle.
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