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Heading to Europe for a great food adventure and learning experience!

Heading to Europe for a great food adventure and learning experience!

Jul 1st, 2014, 11:36 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 248
Perhaps these ancient sites will interest you in Rome?

[In Rome]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of...aces_the_Baker

[In Ostia Antica, a very easy daytrip just outside of Rome. Also 'google image' Ostia Antica bakery for photos]
http://www.ostia-antica.org/dict/top...ies/bakart.htm http://www.ostia-antica.org/dict/top...s/bakeries.htm
Rostra is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 11:59 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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I would just find some recipes for almond cakes ( tarta de Santiago) different types of FLAN, Tocino de Cielo ( egg yolk dessert ) and Torrijas made with wine or flavored milk ( type of fried french toast) and Leche Frita ( fried milk.. a type of breaded fried, panecotta).

These dishes are typical in Spain and I would call them the GOOD Spanish desserts most people rave about . . However I imagine there are reasonable facsimiles of them all over.
lincasanova is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 12:22 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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"
Not sure about the UK unless you need to learn to make scones"

LOL, the UK has puddings, tarts and a wide range of pastries. For instance; http://www.bondgatebakery.com/ is an award winning bakery, while http://www.cornishpastyassociation.co.uk/about-pgi/ is important. just as examples.

My view is French bread is so-so but getting better as it moves away from sugar and butter and towards wholemeal and seeds.
bilboburgler is online now  
Jul 1st, 2014, 12:34 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,085
Are you going by train as I presume? If so seriously look into some kind of Eurailpass - especially since your trip is so soon that the discounted tickets that people now often book are often sold out before now - so if traveling by train with full-fare tickets then the pass, for your wide-ranging plans, should be a boon

In most countries (except Italy, Spain and France) you can still hop on just about any train anytime with a pass - such fully flexible tickets often cost a ton - anyway for a great fix on European trains and passes, etc I always spotlight these IMo superb sites: www.budgeteuropetravel.com (download their free and superb IMO online European Planning & Rail Guide for loads of great sample rail itineraries; www.seat61.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Consider taking overnight trains to cover lots of ground and save on the cost of a hotel - zillions still running all over Europe and safe for a sol gal as is travel in Europe in general - except for juvenile whistling at young women in places like Italy there is no exceptional threat for anyone with an ounce of common sense.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 12:35 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
IMDonehere,

You really have an eyeglass or reading comprehension problem! Or a need to create straw men to knock down. I never wrote that italians don't bake.

I don't consider your list of Italian baked goods much of a list in comparison to what you find elsewhere in Europe, and even more so, I wouldn't travel to Italy learn to bake any of those things, and many of them are done better elsewhere. (Cookies?) I did mention sfogliatelle and baba au rhum as worth traveling to sample, I think. It really is silly you don't you read things before you react.
sandralist is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 12:53 PM
  #26  
 
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Sandra taken from your text:

Very generally speaking, Italy has very few outstanding baked sweets
IMDonehere is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 01:01 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Perhaps I am assuming too much, but when someone who styles themself "the obsessive baker" and talks about pastries, I am guessing they are talking about food items made with a flour paste and baked. A great many desserts being cited here, even if they are baked and not merely cooked, have no flour (or next to none). They are not pastries.

pas·try [pey-stree]
noun, plural pas·tries.
1.
a sweet baked food made of dough, especially the shortened paste used for pie crust and the like.
2.
any item of food of which such dough forms an essential part, as a pie, tart, or napoleon.

It is hard to imagine anyone serious about pastries recommending to someone equally serious about pastries that go to Italy. Pastry-making excels in other countries (including the US a).
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Jul 1st, 2014, 01:10 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
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IMDonehere,

Thanks for identifying it is a reading comprehension problem.

Italians bake a lot of sweet stuff. Very little of it is outstanding. Most Italian baked sweets are dry, have no fine texture, and are often too sugary. Baking sweets is not an interesting aspect of most Italian regional cuisine. There are lots of reasons for that. Even Italians can't be great at everything.
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Jul 1st, 2014, 03:01 PM
  #29  
 
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We had wonderful pastries in Hungary and Poland.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 03:02 PM
  #30  
 
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Sandralist

I did include Zeppole on the list.
IMDonehere is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 05:17 PM
  #31  
 
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NYTraveler has obviously never tried two of my favorite sweets of all time: Tarta de Santiago and Pastel Vasco. Just two of the Spanish baked goods that are my downfall when I visit the north of the country. Let's not mention mazapan just now..



I am wondering about the plan of the OP...is it to meander through many countries eating here and there?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 05:41 PM
  #32  
 
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Check out the Tunisian pastries all over France - like those in the Latin Quarter - straight out of Tunisia they seem - brightly hued and super SUPER sweet - often soaked in honey like baklava.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 05:50 PM
  #33  
 
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Sorry I have been to the UK at least a dozen times and have yet to come across a dessert I would care to repeat. I could;t believe it when they poured cream - liquid cream, not ice cream - on top of an apple tart. Just ick! Talk about soggy and messy!!!

I'm sure there must be some individual patisseries that do great pastry - but even in upscale restaurants they were so-so. Pastry doesn't seem to be super light, ice cream seems more like ice milk with bland flavors (neither super rich traditional or super tasty gelato), chocolate is no better than american hershey's (dreadful waxy stuff) and IMHO puddings are not for adults.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 06:01 PM
  #34  
 
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ObsessiveBaker, I like your idea of going to learn as much as you can. What is your plan - are you just going on a food hunt, or do you have classes in mind? Do you have an itinerary? Are you looking for suggestions of specific baked goods, or businesses? Or countries where you will get some good ideas? Please focus the comments a little, I think it will help you a lot.

Lavandula
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Jul 1st, 2014, 09:46 PM
  #35  
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Hi Mamcalice / Sparkchaser,
I do agree with what you have suggested. Sorry about my comment of Spain. I was only guessing since I was told by a friend of mine that there is a time period to avoid Spain,I think it's because of the weather. If it's best in Oct and Nov., that's great news! I would be around there that time.

I will also put Austria on my list.
Well, my only goal is not to just eat, it's also to experience the culture of different countries in Europe.

My initial idea was to go to Paris to intern or take some classes there, but I've suffered from a serious injury last year and it's effecting me permanently. I broke my back and now I have a hard time being on my feet for more than 3 hours. I haven't been able to wear pants for the last year because the nerves in my legs are always acting up and extremely sensitive.
I still bake at home now everyday, I just have to rest my legs and back every so often.

Germany is right up on the list! I did hear that there are a lot more people who speak English in Germany than other EU countries.
TheObessiveBaker is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 09:53 PM
  #36  
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Hi IMDonehere,
Thank you for reminding me about the Schengen Agreement. I did do research on that. So my plan is to be in the Schengen countries total, for 3 months then in UK for about a month or longer.

I actually have also thought about going to Portugal to learn more about bread, but the injury stopped me from doing that at the moment.
Thank you very much for your suggestions about the different regions of food, they are all on my list

Hi Odin,
I actually am including Denmark but accidentally left it out when I was typing everything (I think I got too excited!) I really want to go to Sweden as well but I'm not confident that there is enough time to see all that I want.
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Jul 1st, 2014, 10:12 PM
  #37  
 
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I was only guessing since I was told by a friend of mine that there is a time period to avoid Spain,I think it's because of the weather. If it's best in Oct and Nov., that's great news! I would be around there that time.

The only time I would avoid Spain would be if there was some sort of political unrest where foreigners were being attacked.


I hope your training is good enough that you can deconstruct a recipe for a baked good by sight and taste as I don't see many German bakers being very fluent in English (a sad fact is that the traditional single proprietorship mom & pop bakery is dying out and being replaced by chains and factories). The baker at my favorite local bakery appears to be the exception rather than the rule -- he worked for a few years at a restaurant in North Carolina and his English is as good as my German (read as not that great) and his father who is also a baker speaks no English.

Germany is right up on the list! I did hear that there are a lot more people who speak English in Germany than other EU countries.

That might be because there are more people in Germany than other countries.
sparkchaser is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 11:20 PM
  #38  
 
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Eton Mess. NYT
bilboburgler is online now  
Jul 1st, 2014, 11:32 PM
  #39  
 
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That looks tasty.
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Jul 1st, 2014, 11:35 PM
  #40  
 
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Spain:
OP wrote -- Also parts of the continent that are just not good after a certain time of year. I think Spain is best to be avoided after September ?

That comment needs some explanation.
Spain does not "do" breads and cake. Yes I understand the sentiment behind this, but there area few things that should not be ignored.
Galician bread made in a wood fired oven. The most famous, but not my personal favourite is Pan de Cea.
http://www.concellodecea.com/web/es
Empanada
http://www.recetasderechupete.com/re...a-gallega/257/
Roscón de Reyes
http://javirecetas.hola.com/roscon-de-reyes-receta/
The famous Chocolate con churros
http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/...chocolate-4819
Tarta de Santiago
http://javirecetas.hola.com/tarta-de-santiago/
Filloas
http://cocina.parcero.com/receta-de/filloas
Orejas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9RUpCAA2K4
Miel sobre hojuelas
http://www.recetasdiarias.com/receta...obre-hojuelas/
Mazapán
Hojaldres de Astorga
http://www.isasaweis.com/cocina-y-di...res-de-astorga
Brazo de gitano (of which my wife makes a great one)
http://www.lasrecetasdemj.com/2013/1...o-de-nata.html
I just sometimes wish we could find some really nice and sweet Danish pastry. The Spanish kitchen does not seem to use much butter.
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