Monday, December 26, 2011

My Favorite Things: European Junk Food

Welcome back from the festivities, folks!  I hope your holiday weekend was full of nestling, snuggling, and visions of dancing sugar plums.  Or spiked egg nog.  Whatever. 

Since there are five more days of this calendar year, I'd like to spend this week reflecting on My Favorite Things of 2011.  I'm feeling a whole lot of gratitude + a little levity is in order.  ;] 

Today's topic?  Well, you may or may not have noticed that I nonchalantly alluded to the fact that I was in Europe this autumn.  It's true.  I was there.  And, yes, I saw priceless works of art, wandered about in many a picturesque park, and heard some world-class musicians do their thing.  I also took advantage of the opportunity to taste regional gourmet cuisines.  But, today—today, I'd like to focus on the wonderful gift of the not-particularly-nutritious foods Europe bestowed upon me.  Therefore, I present to you:

Sarah's Top Six Sweet Snacks To Nosh On 
Whilst Frolicking Around Europe 
6. Grom ice cream in Paris.  Heaven in a cone.  The best ice cream of my life.  I savored every lick of pistachio + salted caramel that my tongue had the honor of tasting.  In fact, I was so engrossed in the experience, I failed to take a photo of the gorgeous confection.  Instead, I give you a shot of soft serve enjoyed outside the Centre Pompidou, my favorite people-watching locale in Paris (but that's for another post!).
NOT Grom. Rather some soft serve outside the Centre Pompidou.

5. Galler chocolate.  Our CouchSurfing host (again—a story for another post!) in Brussels gave us a brilliant tip regarding Belgian chocolate.  The chocolate available in local markets is just as delicious and not nearly the cost of the schmancy stuff in the tourist shops.  I can vouch for the truth of this fact.  Sorry I don't have photographic evidence; even sorrier that I haven't been able to locate Galler in the States yet . . .  

4. This Alnatura Mandel thing, found in the dm (drugstore chain) in Austria.  Each package contained about ten soft, chewy rectangular pieces
made of almonds.  Kind of like marzipan, but even dreamier.

must locate U.S. retailer . . .

3.  Ladurée macarons.  I don't even know what to say.
The first bite brought a tear to my eye.

2. Stroopwafels in the Netherlands!  When we were at a farmer's market in Delft, I tried my first stroopwafel—two warm waffle rounds sealed together with fresh caramel!  Henceforth, I hunted them down on a daily basis.  Almost every corner store sold the pre-packaged ones, which were pretty darn tasty.  Before leaving Amsterdam, I may or may not have purchased a substantial stash to bring to Germany in case they didn't exist there.*
*smuggling stroopwafels into Germany

1. Toffifee!  Yet another treasure hidden on the shelves of the local grocery markets in Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic.  Hazelnut, caramel, nougat, and chocolate all in one bite.  So much awesome packed into one bite.  Toffifee is the overachiever of the bunch, but Oh! does she succeed!

as if the taste weren't enough, toffifees are shaped like lil' nuts. TOO cute.

Ok, your turn!  Do you have any favorite snacks from elsewhere in the world?  I gotta know what to look for when I travel the rest of the globe!  ;] 

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