Discovering sweet treats around the world

3 November 2016

Did you know that French macaroons are made with almonds? Or that one of the most typical Turkish sweets is made with pistachios? Today we’re taking a trip around the world through a storm of walnuts, hazelnuts and pine nuts, crossing oceans and wallowing in sweet treats as we discover the most famous pastry dishes made with nuts from all over the world.

You’ll find lots of nuts in Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. From Syria, there’s chamiat, made with many layers of filo pastry with almonds inside and covered with honey and pistachios. It’s very similar to the legendary Persian baklava, popular in Turkish and Balkan cooking, made with nuts wrapped in filo pastry and bathed in syrup or honey.

From India comes the sweet version of its popular samosas, filled here with nuts instead of meat or vegetables, and gajar barfi, a juicy carrot cake with sliced almonds or other chopped nuts such as pistachios on top. Somewhat denser are ghribat cracked biscuits, made with nuts such as almonds or peanuts, from Algeria or Morocco, like faqqas, which goes perfectly with tea all across North Africa.

Crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, in Spain, we recover one of the most representative pastries from its north side: Santiago’s cake, also called compostelana cake. The original recipe has just almonds, sugar and eggs. Like the panellets, more typical of the east, which are prepared with ground almonds and covered with pine nuts.

Named as a race, Paris-Brest is the world’s oldest bicycle route but also a classic French pastry; a ring of choux dough filled with praline and covered with hazelnuts. From the German cuisine another mythical sweet arrives, the Apfelstrudel, a puff pastry stuffed with apple that usually also includes raisins and nuts.

The Italian panforte is a dessert with Tuscany origins and prepared with honey, sugar, chocolate, flour, spices and a mix of nuts inside. However, the English spotted dick is juicier; a pudding stuffed with raisins and fruit often served with custard. We also found the mazurek, a sweet polish pastry with jam, filled with cashew nuts, almonds or walnuts and sugary fruits as a topping.

Tasty, isn’t it? To finish, just a last sweet, the well-known and much-loved around the world: the American brownie, a delicious chocolate cake whose nuts give us an irresistible crunch in every bite. Yummy!

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