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This Is How The Rest Of The World Does Apple Pie

“There’s nothing more American than apple pie.”

While the US is the most vocal about its apple pride, apple pie is really just a testament to the constant stirring of our melting pot. British and Scandinavian pies have the most direct influence, but various other countries have their own ideas when it comes to apple pastries.

 

GERMANY: Apfel Maultaschen 

 

American apple turnovers get most of the fame associated with their deliciousness, but they owe their ubiquity to early German immigrants. In 17th century Germany, Swabian monks began to “hide” donated meats in savory pastries that were eventually called Maultaschen. The nearby Bavarians, no strangers to the dessert world, began putting sweeter fillings between the dough, like plums and apples. The result can look like a traditional apple turnover or a strudel, depending on the recipe you follow.

What sets it apart: Though some throw this ingredient to the wind, authentic Apfel Maultaschen should use potato dough instead of plain flour.  

COLOMBIA: Arepas Dulces con Manzanas

 

If you’re not much of a baker, this dessert is the perfect deconstruction of any country’s approach to an apple pastry. Arepas are typically a no-nonsense, cornmeal flatbread found throughout Latin America, but Colombia is notorious for its arepa ingenuity. There are dozens of variations that stretch the definition of what a flatbread should be, including a simple addition of sugar and cinnamon that allows you to cling to the culinary safety of the frying pan. Caramelize some apple slices to pile on top of your crispy arepas and they’re ready to enjoy.

What sets it apart: No oven necessary. But you might want to wear sleeves.

 

ITALY: Torta di Mele

Lately, cakes with fruit crusts have been popping up all over Pinterest and dessert blogs with little to no credit given to the Western European countries who’ve been mastering these bad boys for centuries. Italian torte di mele seems like uncovered apple pies at first glance, but beneath the oven-glazed apple slices lies a lemon cake. Its rustic simplicity allows for several variations, but it’s common for recipes from Northern Italy to require more apples due to the region’s plentiful 2,000-year-old apple orchards.

What sets it apart: When people talk about rustic cakes, this is what’s on their mind. 

FRANCE: Gâteau aux Pommes

A photo posted by Isma (@touchedesaveurs) on

This cake is more apple than anything else and is an unapologetic celebration of French flippancy. The measurements vary from person to person, because French chefs just have a sixth sense about how much vanilla extract is too much without using measuring tools. Think of this cake as a torta di mele’s wild sibling: full of enough apple chunks, booze, and sugar to produce the sexiest sugar crash ever invented. Rum is the popular libation of choice, but whiskeys and bourbons round out the recipe just as nicely.

What sets it apart: The breathalyzer you might need afterwards and the overwhelming apple presence.

RUSSIA: Sharlotka

Russia’s thrown its own hat in this fray by way of a super sweet treat that lends its popularity to the simplicity in its preparation. Contributing to the overall sweetness of the sharlotka is the tale behind its name’s inception: as the story goes, the inventing baker named it after Charlotte, the name of the woman he was smitten by. Aaaaand the crowd goes ‘awwwww.’

What sets it apart: Think of the sharlotka as the glorious offspring of an apple pie and apple cake.

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Hit-Or-Miss

This Danish Supermarket Only Sells Expired Foods and Everyone Loves It

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First World countries are striving to end world hunger, yet they are guilty of wasting a ridiculous amount of food themselves.

Now one country is launching an initiative to change that irony by opening its first food waste supermarket. Denmark has opened its first-ever charity market, which sells surplus produce that are past their fresh date or damaged in such a way that they wouldn’t be sold on the shelves of a typical grocery store.

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The store called WeFood in Denmark’s capital city of Copenhagen sells their produce for 30 to 50% of their value at normal markets. The store is designed for the environmentally conscious and budget-limited consumers who are looking to save money and the planet. Per Bjerre from the Danish NGO behind the initiative, Folkekirkens Nødhjælp, explained to the Independent:

“WeFood is the first supermarket of its kind in Denmark and perhaps the world as it is not just aimed at low-income shoppers, but anyone who is concerned about the amount of food waste produced in this country. Many people see this as a positive and politically correct way to approach the issue.”

More NextShark Stories: These Photos Are Going to Stress You Out

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According to statistics, 700,000 metric tons of food are thrown away in Denmark annually. That is the figure after the country reduced its food waste by 25% over five years. Worldwide, 1.3 billion metric tons of food is wasted each year. The number is “ridiculous,” Danish Food and Agriculture Minister Eva Kjer Hansen remarked.

WeFood is collaborating with other supermarkets, chains and importers to provide the products. Volunteers pick up the supplies to help stock WeFood’s shelves. France has taken a similar course of action by banning food waste and requiring supermarkets to donate unwanted food to food banks and charities.

Written by Editorial Staff, NextShark

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Products

These Cookie Cutters Combine Into the 47 Prefectures of Japan

Japan-Cookie-Cutter

As terrible as it sounds for a guy nearing his thirties, I still have trouble naming all 50 states in one sitting. That being said, if the US had a cookie cutter set that compiled every individual state into the shape of a cookie, maybe I’d remember a little better. Not the case for Japan, however, as the 47-prefecture nation does have said cookie cutter.

Grouped by color and separated by region, the set comes with 47 pieces (one for each prefecture). The cookie cutter is detailed amazingly to form the exact curves and separations of the Japanese islands. I mean, if you’re going to make a complete set you might as well shoot for perfection, right?

Each cookie can be cut and baked individually depending on what Japanese region you’re in the mood to snack on. One can even bake them all at once, provided your oven is large enough, or assemble them afterwards as a sort of Japanese family puzzle night.

The cookie cutter is available at Amazon Japan for 1884 yen, $18 US.

H/T Rocket News 24