Winter Taste: 10 of the best winter dining experiences around the world

Winter Taste: 10 of the best winter dining experiences around the world

6. Marzipan in Lübeck, Germany
For marzipan lovers, there is only one real Christmas destination: the city of Lübeck on Germany’s Baltic coast. It has been produced here for hundreds of years, and in 1996, the city’s almond confectionery was granted the status of protected geographical indication. Head to Café Niederegger, in the atmospheric old town, to get some of Lübeck’s best – a slice of marzipan and hazelnut cream is highly recommended.

7. Saffron pancake, Gotland, Sweden
A specialty from the Swedish island of Gotland, saffron pancake, is an oven-baked rice porridge made with almonds, cream, eggs and a generous pinch of saffron and served with whipped cream and strawberry jam. Today it is eaten all year round, but as a comforting dish once made with remnants of Swedish Christmas rice porridge, it has distinctly festive associations. On selected weekends in December, Majstregården restaurant and cafe – located on the beach in southwestern Gotland – offers a Christmas buffet with saffron pancakes. Enjoy it for dessert after a plate full of tasty Swedish specialties, including herring and Jansson’s temptation (a traditional Swedish stew made with potatoes, onions, pickled sprats, breadcrumbs and cream).

8. Make traditional Sami food in Lapland
The Sami live in the cultural region Sápmi, which stretches across the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. They are famous for their reindeer herding and fishing skills. Spend a day with a shepherd family in the village of Inari and learn how to prepare traditional dishes with reindeer and sea fish as well as local desserts. It’s a great way to learn about Sami home life, culture and their connection to nature – and you will also meet the family’s reindeer herd.

9. Fonduevognstur in Switzerland
The Swiss village of Maienfeld is famous for its wine and the alpine pastures that inspired Johanna Spyri’s children’s book Heidi. Both can be enjoyed in the winter from the back of a heated horse-drawn carriage. Inside, there are cozy, fur-clad seats and a shared wooden table complete with a steaming pot of fondue. The cheese comes from the neighboring municipality of Bad Ragaz; also on offer are soft drinks, beer and schnapps. Just remember that according to Swiss tradition, if you lose a chunk of bread in the melted cheese, your hauliers will have to award you a penalty.

10. Christmas beer in Iceland
Since Iceland’s 74-year ban on full-strength beer was lifted in 1989, there has been an explosion in breweries and pubs with specialty beers. Inspired by the long history of Christmas beer in the Nordic countries, the release of seasonal beers in limited editions has become an annual tradition, with breweries producing beers with festive flavors such as figs, plums, ginger and cloves. Catch them while you can, at bars, restaurants and public licenses from set dates in November to January 6 (the 13th of Christmas and the traditional end of the Icelandic holiday season).

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