Christmas and New year’s Eve are approaching quickly and everywhere special delicacies are being prepared to be shared with families and friends. Discover the 5 must-taste specialties of your next holiday.
Belgium and The Netherlands
In Belgium, one of the main Christmas specialties is the cougnou. This sweet brioche comes more precisely from Wallonia, the Southern region of Belgium, and on top there is a little sugar Jesus. The neighbours of the Belgians are also big on sweets at Christmas (and not only). Like in Belgium, the Dutch have speculoos, spiced biscuits in various shapes which they call speculaas. Speculaas in pieces, speculaas in the shape of mills, speculaas stuffed or with spiced nuts … There is something for everyone and at this time of the year, the stores are full.
Going on to Germany, as soon as you go over the border you’ll find the Christstollen decorating the Christmas tables. This traditional cake originated in Dresden during the Middle Ages and is made of dried raisins, candied fruit, spices, rum, almond paste and is covered in glazed sugar.
Discover Cologne and it’s many other Christmas recipes with our accessible travel guide!
Further down South, in Italy, the famous panettone is the boss. This typical Christmas sweet bread loaf was created in Milan and is made with dried raisins and candied fruits (but contemporary versions include chocolate, pistachios and many many more ingredients). Whether it was the present of a young nobleman, to the daughter of a baker whose heart he wanted to conquer, or the improvised recipe of a servant in the court of the Duke of Milan, to replaced a burned dessert, the popularity of Panettone is now a worldwide fact.
We end our tour in Spain, where the turrón is the most popular sweet of the Christmas period. It is a type of nougat of arabic origins made with almond, honey and sugar. The quantity of almonds defines the quality of the turron, and there are various types : with nuts, with chocolate, with dried fruits, pralines.
What is the typical Christmas cake/biscuit/sweet in your country or city? Let us know in the comments below. Happy holidays and bon appetit!
This article was researched and written by our Destination Scout Thomas Ardui. Have a question or a comment? Use the form below to let us know!