Sweet Treats

“Some sin only to feel the pleasure of remorse”

Sacha Guitry

Sweet Treats

A sweet treat such as a cookie, biscuit, amaretto, croissant, fruit tartlet, waffle, muffin or macaroon is a popular accompaniment to a cup of coffee or tea, with the choice being as great as the variety of flavours.

Oriental Indulgence or European Tradition?

The origins of the tradition of offering a small biscuit with a cup of coffee are disputed. Probably, like coffee itself, the sweet accompaniment also has its roots in present-day Turkey. In the Ottoman Empire, small sweet treats were always enjoyed occasionally and with a coffee. In France too, small baked items such as colourful macaroons have been popular since the 9th century. However it is clear that a sugary treat with a coffee was intended to sweeten what was often a very bitter-tasting black brew.

Coffee without Cookies or Cake – only half as enjoyable

Nowadays for many people a small biscuit or pastry is simply a must with a cup of coffee. Whether it’s a little amaretto biscuit or a fruit tartlet is purely a matter of taste. In many cafés a cup of coffee is also pepped up with a little piece of chocolate or special chocolate-coated coffee beans. Meanwhile, for most people it is traditional to enhance their coffee with a little extra of this nature. And where would a good old gossip over coffee be without a sweet snack to go with it? Incidentally, it also works the other way round. For example, a genuine sambuca is only really complete if a couple of coffee beans are added to it. Here the coffee is an interesting extra in terms of flavour.

In most cases it is the sweet treats on the coffee table that separate the leisurely cup of coffee from the quickly quaffed pick-me-up in the office. Then it doesn’t matter a jot where the tradition comes from. Insiders believe that it was the Viennese coffee houses that introduced the pastry or biscuit as a standard accompaniment to a coffee. Even today it is possible to sit for hours in one of these behind a cup of coffee without the waiter looking askance. And there’s always a sweet little treat to go with it!