One of the best things about traveling is experiencing new and different languages, traditions, values, and of course, food. Yes, food plays an irreplaceable role in cultural discovery. What better way is there for travelers to learn about a country intimately than to taste its flavors?
Our differences in taste, though, aren’t always so extreme. The simple joy that comes from a cookie is something that is undoubtedly universal, whether you are taking it with your afternoon tea or having it as a treat before bedtime.
Indeed, cookies (or biscuits, to some) are loved the world over. And though tourists may head to the most famous pastry shop or bakery to try whichever cookie a country may be known for, the locals fill their cupboards and cabinets with much-loved brands that line aisle in the supermarkets.
In the States we may find pantries filled with Chips Ahoy!, an American favorite that is sold around the world, but head to Spain and you are likely to find Lu Principe cookies, a childhood favorite that is a staple sweet treat across the country and eaten with a glass of milk.
What’s interesting about cookies, like many snacks the world over, is that the form and tastes they take can vary from country to country. Some might be circular biscuit cookies taken with a glass of milk, others may look like a waffle that is as big as your head. Many countries like their cookies covered in layers of chocolate, others get giddy over a creamy middle filling. No matter which way the cookie crumbles, these bite-size sweets provide a delicious reflection of childhood around the world.
We’ve rounded up some iconic cookie brands from different countries to give you a taste of what snack time looks like around the world.
1. McVitie’s Digestives — England
McVitie’s Digestives biscuits are as iconic of England as the Queen (though they may be just a little bit sweeter). They come in a variety of flavors, from chocolate to whole wheat to the original flavor. McVitie’s Hobnobs were another contender for England’s quintessential biscuit.
2. Goteborgs Ballerina Cookies — Sweden
Ballerina cookies have been considered Sweden’s favorite cookie since 1963. These delicious treats are circular in shape, are made from a shortbread cookie and have a chocolate hazelnut cream filling.
3. Lotte Pepero Cookie — South Korea
Pepero is a Korean cookie stick made from a biscuit that is dipped in chocolate. Pepero come in a variety of flavors, including chocolate, almond, and strawberry, among others. November 11, otherwise written as 11/11 (which resembles the shape of the Pepero stick), is known as Pepero day, a day when Koreans give one another Pepero as gifts to show their love and affection.
4. Slai O’lai Pineapple Cookie — Indonesia
It seems that pineapple-flavored cookies are a favorite in Indonesia, and this Slai O’lai brand is the reigning champion. This cookie is a milk cookie filled with a creamy, pineapple jam.
5. Havanna Alfajores — Argentina
Havanna Alfajores are legendary brand of cookies in Argentina. An alfajor is popular in South America, and the Havanna Alfajores are made from two round, buttery biscuits with a sweet dulce de leche filling in between. Alfajores can come in mixed flavors, including white alfajores, which are coated in a meringue, or a chocolate alfajores, which are covered in a dark chocolate.
Check out more global cookie brands.
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