Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is a remarkable blend of Gothic, Renaissance, and Romanesque architecture. Within this noteworthy intermingling of historical periods, the culinary landscape holds an equally impressive stature. With richly spiced goulash and salty, crispy fried cheese (smažený sýr), Czech cuisine is comfort food that emphasizes hearty dishes. One such dish that will be extremely hard to avoid once you step into this marvelous country is the trdelnik.
Trdelnik, also written as trdelník or referred to as chimney cake, is a type of cone-shaped dessert that can be found throughout the Czech Republic. It's made from sweet dough twisted around a spit and cooked on an open fire. Part of its draw is its preparation, as the sugar on the dough's exterior caramelizes with the fire's heat. The sweet smell of warm sugar begins to waft as these treats bake in the open air. Once the dough is cooked, the trdelnik is often dusted with sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon. It's utterly mouthwatering.
Although it inspired a delicious snack at Buc-Ees, Czech cuisine may be fairly new to your radar. Either way, it offers an exceptionally unique range of dishes to explore, and there is no better place to start your journey than with a trdelnik.
Preparation And Fillings
The trdelnik is made with a yeasty dough that's sweetened with sugar. Once the dough is mixed and risen, it is cut into strips and twirled around a wooden pole called a trdlo. This pole is then placed over open coals, which grill the dough and melt the sugar. This style of grill-baking creates a cylindrical dough that's firm, crunchy, and a wonderful shade of golden brown. The trdelnik's shape makes it the perfect vessel for fillings.
The fillings for trdelnik usually complement the crispy dough with a soft, fresh, or creamy contrast. They may be filled with various flavors of soft serve, whipped cream, fresh fruits, or nuts. Adding a Nutella drizzle is even in the cards for those who like it seriously decadent. If you like the mixture of sweet and salty, there are also variations that include savory items like hot dogs. There is undoubtedly a trdelnik to suit any mood or set of taste buds.
Finding Trdelnik Outside Of The Czech Republic
While trdelnik is extremely popular in the Czech Republic, it's believed to have been invented in Romania and was then brought to a town in Slovakia in the 18th century. This town, called Skalica, borders the Czech Republic, which would explain the dessert's ubiquity in the country. However, it didn't stop there; the popularity of trdelnik spread across central Europe, reaching Hungary and Austria too. This demonstrates why it can be found easily throughout this region.
It is also available throughout the United States, with several establishments offering trdelnik or a variation. The House of Chimney Cakes has shops in Texas, California, and Michigan, but if this is a little out of the way, you can always order online from Kürtős Chimney Cakes or pick up from one of its Florida locations. There are also various food trucks serving up trdelnik, so keep an eye out when you're in a prime food truck area.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.