Some people travel for the sights — the whimsical architecture of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the history-soaked formations at Stonehenge. Some go away for art, like Monet’s water lilies at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris or Michelangelo’s massive David in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence. Some would even drop everything to catch the latest art film at the MoMA in NYC.
And then there are those who travel for food. They chase gastronomic trends across continents or state-hop their way across the country for authentic regional fare. Then there are some who will fly across the globe to Michelin-starred eateries in little towns in the Spanish countryside or tucked in corners of big cities.
It’s safe (and delicious) to say desserts are a sweet reward for any traveler on the hunt for great cuisine.
Many of us know that terrible feeling that comes after a rich and filling meal. There’s an emptiness that pangs, telling us something is missing. What is lacking is that delectable dessert. Just as countries and cities around the world have their art and architectural gems, they also have their own sweet culinary masterpieces and tasty traditions.
So travelers, indulge in that sweet tooth, satisfy those sugar cravings. Give in to fried dough, pastry, and puddings. Put those AMEX reward points and Continental miles toward something useful like a big mouthful of flaky warm apple strudel in Germany, or creamy textured arroz con leche in Peru, or even sweet chewy mochi desserts in Japan.
There’s more to Rome than the Colosseum, and there are as many flavors of gelato as colors in the rainbow to taste. Sure, the London Eye is beautiful all lit up at night, but that sticky toffee pudding can be just as memorable. Desserts are most definitely worth leaving the house for, and there’s a world of unexplored sweets out there to prove it.
Alfajores: South America
These small, round cookies are ubiquitous in Peru and Argentina as well as other Latin American countries. They are similar to buttery sugar or shortbread cookies but also include honey, almonds, and spices. These cookies are most often eaten as a sandwich with a dulce de leche cream in the center, and sometimes are even topped with coconut or powdered sugar. The word "alfajor" is rooted in the Arabic word for "honeycomb." The cookies are often served with coffee and traditionally dipped in chocolate, though "snow alfajores" are dipped in powdered sugar and coconut.
Where to try Alfajores: Cachafaz Alfajores, Buenos Aires
Apple Strudel: Germany
Apple strudel is a flaky pastry covered in caramelized or powdered sugar and filled with sliced apples, cinnamon, raisins, and roasted breadcrumbs. Apple strudel is served warm, often with whipped cream, vanilla sauce, or vanilla ice cream.
Where to try apple strudel: Theodore Tucher, Berlin.
Randi Roberts is a special contributor to The Daily Meal. You can follow Randi on Facebook.