Pfannkuchen pilgrimage through Europe
Intrepid’s Christian Schoberl is a self-confessed sugar addict and chocoholic. He’s the one to ask about all sorts of sweet treats in Europe, so it was no surprise to find him on a pfannkuchen pilgrimage from Berlin to Venice…
“It was day-one of our trip and already I was eager to try some of the local treats. I went into a bakery and ordered a krapfen. The helpful salesgirl explained that in Berlin they are called pfannkuchen – a pancake. It looks like a donut without a hole and is stuffed with chocolate, vanilla custard or jam. Except beware around carnival time, when some cheeky clowns fill them with mustard or horseradish!
My pfannkuchen was pure bliss, so from that moment I was on the pfannkuchen trail around Central Europe.
We arrived in Cesky Krumlov, where some German is spoken as well as Czech, because it’s close to the Bavarian border. To my delight pfannkuchen was on the menu, but what was served was a very different omelette-style pancake – still sweet and delicious, although not what I expected.
A few days later I was in Vienna and was looking on the menu for a pfannkuchen pancake but with no luck. I was disappointed until exactly what I wanted was served to the neighbouring table. Asking the waitress what she just served she told me this was a palatschinke. So I quickly ordered and enjoyed every mouthful of the chocolate and walnut filling.
I held no hope of finding palatschinke in Hungary, as their language is so different to German – but what do I find on the menu? A palatschinke! Yet something was lost in translation, as this time it was a pancake stuffed with cheese and meat.
It was obviously time to give up my pfannkuchen pilgrimage, but no need to despair, on arrival in Slovenia I discovered the local specialty is ‘Bled Cake’ and this wicked cream-filled cake comes with all the trimmings. The next stop was Venice and what more can I say. No matter what you call them – the cakes, desserts and dishes of Europe are all delicious!”
If you’re a traveller with a sweet tooth, what’s the most delicious dish that you’ve tried in Europe?
Photo of Bakery in Europe by Sheila Pham.