In Europe, I tried new food nearly every day. Coming from the U.S., where I'd have to travel days to try a new regional cuisine, I was really impressed that a quick train ride in Europe could take me to a vastly different culture. Some of the best food that I ate in the twelve European countries we visited happened to be dessert.
Vafler med Brunost (Waffle with Brown Cheese), Oslo, Norway
Brunost (literally translated to brown cheese) is a Norwegian cheese with a naturally high sugar content. It tastes somewhat like a combination of caramel and cheese. Paired with a waffle, it's a delicious sweet treat. We had this combination a few times in Norway, but Oslo International Airport was the first place we tried it.
Jordgubb Rabarber Paj (Strawberry Rhubarb Pie), Gothenburg Sweden
In Sweden and Denmark, we frequently encountered pies like this one that were thin and tasted more like what I would call a "crumble" and featured custard on the side. This was probably one of the best fruit pies we had in Scandinavia. We ate it at Cafe Husaren in Gothenburg, a wonderful bakery in the city known for it's giant cinnamon buns.
Bulk Candy, Everywhere, Sweden
Every city in Sweden seemed to have at least one or two massive bulk candy shops. Emmett is somewhat of a candy fiend (as you may be able to tell from this picture) and felt like he was in heaven. Gummies, hard candies, marshmallows, chocolates, sour lollies... Almost any candy you can imagine could be found in one of these shops.
Poffertjes, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Poffertjes are puffy mini pancakes topped with powdered sugar. At the stand in Albert Cuyp Market where we ate ours, there were also sauces to drizzle on top. As you can see, we picked chocolate.
Strawberry and Cream Cake, Fussen, Germany
In Fussen, Emmett and I ducked in for dessert at the Hotel Schlosskrone cafe when the weather turned rainy. After just a few bites of this delectable cake, we weren't surprised that the bakery had won all sorts of awards for best desserts in Bavaria.
Schneeball (Snow Ball), Fussen, Germany
Schneeballs are made of pieces of cookie dough wrapped around a marzipan center with or without a chocolate dip. They are very sweet, and would be super hard to eat all in one sitting without the help of another person.
Salzburger Nockerl, Salzburg, Austria
This odd-looking dessert is a Salzburg specialty. It's a souffle with vanilla like flavoring with raspberry sauce underneath. It was quite good, but quite pricey. We grabbed this one at Cafe Mozart.
Sachertorte, Salzburg, Austria
This is probably one of the most famous Austrian desserts. Like the Nockerl, the Sachertorte is a somewhat expensive treat. It's a chocolate sponge cake with apricot jam underneath the chocolate-iced top. Originally created at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, we tried it at Hotel Sacher's Salzburg location. Our single slice came in it's own little carrying box, which made it seem somehow even more fancy.
Kürtőskalács, Budapest, Hungary
We first tried these hollow pastries in Prague where they're called "trdelnik." Czech trdelnik generally seemed to be coated in a cinnamon-sugar mix. The Hungarian Kürtőskalács we tried in Budapest outside Buda Castle were coated in chocolate flakes.
Kadaif, Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Kadaif is the Bosnian version of a Turkish pastry called Kanafeh. Basically it's small wiry bits of pastry like noodles, layered with chopped nuts and coated in honey. It's really good and somewhat reminiscent of baklava. Sarajevo bakeries got me excited about Turkish cuisine; unfortunately we didn't get a chance to visit Turkey while we were in Europe.