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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

Man Walks Into Utah Denny’s, Spends $1000 Paying For Other People’s Food

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“Today I met an angel.”

That’s how one purported staff member at a in Utah described her encounter with a mysterious man whose act of kindness touched at least eight families, according to a Facebook post by Love What Matters.

According to the worker’s account, a man entered the restaurant and requested to be sat at a table that would be served by a waitress who is a single mother.

Although the staff member thought the request was “very odd,” they sat the man at a table waitressed by a single mother named Crystal.

The man allegedly sat at the table for two hours, “just watching people.” During that time, seven families came in and ate, and the man paid for each one of their bills, which in all totaled to over $1,000.

When the staff member asked the man, “Why did you do that?”, he replied, “Family is everything, I’ve lost all mine.”

“Looking into your eyes while you said that made me tear up,” the staff member’s account reads. “As soon as I got in the back I broke down in tears because your eyes had so much pain in them.”

The post continued:

“I just wanted to let you know, the waitress Crystal that you requested was living in a shelter with her son until she was able to save up enough to get a place. Your bill was $21.34 and you left her a $1,500 tip, because of you she gets her new place next week, because of you 7 families ate for free.

“Crystal told me she prayed the night before for a miracle and God sent you.

“You left before any of us could say thank you, I hope you read this because you’re truly an amazing person and you stole the hearts of every one of us here. Thank you.”

Since being uploaded last week, the Facebook post has garnered over 330,000 likes and has been shared over 176,000 times.

Written by Editorial Staff of NextShark

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Hit-Or-Miss

Dumped Before Her Wedding, Bride Turns Reception Into Dinner For The Homeless

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When a groom got cold feet before his wedding, his bride-to-be donated her special day to the homeless.

Dana Olsen, 29, was faced with a difficult situation on what would have been one of the most memorable days of her life. Olsen and her fiance, who were both born in Seattle, planned to say their vows to one another at Sodo Park, a fancy hall venue they booked together for their wedding day in Seattle.

According to the Seattle Times, the entire reception had been paid for and the preparations were ready, however, when the groom got cold feet, Olsen was forced to call off the wedding. Unable to request a refund, Olsen decided to give her special day away to homeless families.

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Olsen remained positive and told her best friend and maid of honor, Katie McCary:

“I’m going to have a bad day. Other people might as well have a good night.”

Many of the needy families in attendance at the reception were from Mary’s Place, a homeless shelter and non-profit. A team of hair stylists and make-up artists from Lala’s Cuts salon in Queen Anne generously provided make-overs for those attending the charity event. Nearly 100 homeless individuals and their families were invited to the reception that included a delicious feast, a live band and dancing.

Olsen said her family was dumbfounded as to why the wedding was called off. McCary said the bride-to-be was “devastated” by the turn of events, but that “she is very strong.”

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With an entire non-refundable wedding reception on her hands, Dana asked her mother, Karen Olsen, to donate it to the neediest. Her mother said of her daughter:

“I’m proud of her.”

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The family got the idea of providing the special evening for the homeless from Olsen’s father who volunteers as a cook at Compass Center shelter. Turning down her girlfriends’ suggestion to go partying on Saturday, Olsen decided to go hiking on the six-mile Crest Trail with her father in Palm Springs, California.

Her mother told the Times:

“He’s a big teddy bear. He’s the perfect guy for her to be with today.”