I have something of a sweet tooth. I have no problem finding a sweet treat no matter what city I’m in. I definitely have some favorites, though.
- 1. Gelato in Italy: I can’t find its equal in the U.S., and believe me, I’ve tried. And don’t go saying “it’s just ice cream.” Oh, no, it is so much more than ice cream. It’s much more flavorful and much creamier – due to the process from which it’s made. When I went to Italy with my BFF, we actually scheduled gelato breaks into our day. Thanks to our Rick Steeves guidebook, we knew where the best gelaterias were in each of the cities we visited. I had chocolate gelato in Venice, lemon gelato in Florence and – my favorite – one scoop of raspberry and one scoop of white chocolate in Rome.
- Chocolate in Brussels: O.M.G! Fresh Belgian chocolate is some of the most melt-in-your-mouth chocolate I’ve ever eaten. The main square in Brussels, the Grand Place, is lined with the likes of Godiva, Neuhaus and more. Once again, Rick Steeves was right on with what to try, and I can assure you that the box of goodies didn’t last very long.
- Belgian waffles in Brussels: If you leave Brussels without a stomach ache from eating too much, you didn’t see it properly. You can’t turn a corner without the smell of Belgian waffles wafting into your nostrils. It’s like a cartoon, where a smell picks up the character by the nose and floats him to the source. You can select your toppings, and I went with the standard chocolate and powdered sugar. It was like eating a warm sugar cookie and getting the best hug ever at the same time. Yes, it was that good.
- New Orleans beignet: New Orleans has a delightful little donut-like treat called a beignet, which are usually served with powdered sugar. The best place to get one? Café Du Monde. Grab yourself a cup of chickory coffee (or in my case, milk) and a couple of beingets and grab a table – if you can find one. Oh, and get lots of napkins, and try not to wear black, due to the fact that you’re likely to be covered with more powdered sugar than actually made it into your mouth.
- Vegas crepes: Anyone taking a trip to Vegas always gets the same advice from me: Head to the Paris breakfast buffet (called Le Village Buffet) and get yourself some crepes. They’re made as you wait, and you can choose the filling. I know what I like, and I like raspberry filling, drizzled with chocolate sauce on top. Mmmm, mmmm, good.
Hungry yet? What’s your favorite regional treat?
(If you’re planning a trip to Europe, I highly recommend that you arm yourself with the Rick Steeves guidebook for wherever it is you’re going. He really does have the insider tips on the best noms!)