While there are many, many pastries eaten all over the world, when it comes to the perfect pastry for the holidays, the field narrows. It narrows even further when you think about specific countries and their favorite holiday pastries. All popular savory and sweet pastries have to be taken into account. Then you have to consider which holidays you are assessing. Not everyone celebrates the same holidays. However, it can be fairly simple to deduce which pastry is near and dear to the heart of its people. Here are six countries and their holiday pastry of choice.
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Britain and the Mince Pie
Second, only to the Christmas cake, mince pie is the next most popular Christmas holiday treat in Britain. Mince pies are filled with fruits and spices and held together with suet then wrapped in a light, melting pastry. Although historically, mince pie was initially made with meat, it’s now considered to be a sweet dish and a great addition to a British holiday meal.
The United States of America and the Apple Pie
A tart filled with sweet apples and alluring spices, the apple pie is an iconic American tradition. Although not created by Americans, the apple pie is now among one of the most, if not the most, popular pastries gracing the tables of American holiday parties. While it varies in style, region to region (covered, uncovered, served with whipped cream, or ice cream, or cheddar cheese) apple pie is indeed the supreme comfort food of the United States.
Germany and the Bethmannchen
Bethmannchen, a traditional cookie pastry made for Christmas Day, is widely available in the markets across Frankfurt. Bethmannchen is composed of flour, egg, rosewater, and marzipan with almond. The recipe for this traditional German holiday pastry has not changed for one and a half centuries!
France and the Croquembouche
While traditionally croquembouche is served at weddings, baptisms, and first communions, they are also created and served at the holidays in France. Croquembouche consist of choux pastry piled high in a cone shape and wrapped with caramel threads. Toppings such as sugared almonds, edible flowers, and chocolate can be added. Sometimes even macaroons and ganache are used!
Canada and the French CanadianTourtière
Conceived as early as the 1600s, this classic French-Canadian meat pie is traditionally made with pork and potatoes. No filling is “correct” and that is what makes this pastry so wonderful for the holidays. It can even be filled with fish!
The Netherlands and the Banketstaaf
The banketstaaf, served during the Christmas holidays in the Netherlands, is a traditional Dutch pastry. Banketstaaf are flaky puff pastry coated with apricot jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar. This encases a soft, flavorful almond paste center. They are not time-consuming to make and pair well with a cup of coffee. They are served either hot or cold.
So as we can see, the best holiday pastry means something different depending on where you live. Since pastries vary so wildly, there will always be one to fit your particular taste or style and create a delicious and happy holiday table.