Oh christmas markets - probably the best things while travelling in Europe in winter. Christmas markets are aplenty. As long as there some sort of a square, there will be a christmas market. What makes a good christmas market to me? Other than food choices, its also about the little trinkets, decorations, and not forgetting the cherrie on top of the pie, the christmas tree that sets the whole ambience in place!
Let's take a moment to enjoy this beauty of all carbohydrates.........
........... lovingly made by this chef guy here on an open charcoal stove.
This is our favourite christmas market snack - Trdelník! I know, once again it one of those hard words to pronounce as an english speaker. Pronounced as Treh-del-nik, this bread/ bun/ pastry fusion-esque snack is one of the best things we've had in all christmas markets that we'll NEVER forget!
Why is so awesome?
It tastes good, smells good, it warms your face on a cold winter's day, and acts as both a main and dessert and keeps you full and comes with a small price tag. That fluffy, crunchy, sweet taste is irresistible, interestingly looking like a chimney, it is roasted over an open fire and is intringing to look at how its made.
Traditionally a Slovak cake pastry, Trdelník's true origins was from a Hungarian speaking area in Transylvania, Romania. It's production is quite common amongst neighbouring countries like Poland, Hungary, Austria, Romania, Slovakia and more, fashioning different names (chimney cake, hungarian twister, Prügelkrapfen, Baumkuchen, Sękacz, Kürtőskalács, Cozonac secuiesc, Šakotis, Spettekaka, Skalický trdelník, Makara) and slight variations in which they are made. One thing kept in common however, is the way the dough is wrapped around a cylindrical rod, roasted over fire. What a complicated history it had.
The Slovak version, Skalický trdelník, is registered under the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) by the European Union. This scheme is like the food version of UNESCO World heritage, and helps to protect and promote the names of quality agricultural products and foodstuffs. I hope the traditional way of making this cake pastry lives on for a long time.
Another must-eat we recommend is actually of Spanish origins - Churros! Churros had definitely infiltrated many dessert shops, selling this deep friend sticks of dough with chocolate dip.
What makes this version sold at the Christmas Market in Brno so special is that there are sweet and savoury options. The savoury one caught our eyes because churros are usually coated with cinnamon sugar or served with a chocolate dip. The savoury one, however, is coated with what seemed like garlic salt and tasted just like chips. It was a refreshing twist to the usual flavour and was also made to order. Extremely freshly made and piping hot when served, hence crispy and flavourful. Pair it with a cup of your favourite mulled wine and it would be perfecto... We could not get enough!
What other snacks would you recommend us to try when visiting a Christmas Market?