How different cultures enjoy rusk
Globe-trotting is a marvelous way to explore new, inventive ways of tasting and rediscovering otherwise familiar everyday foods. Rusk is loved by many nations but consumed in a creatively peculiar style within each of them. Let’s get a short crunchy tour to grab some ideas from around the globe!
Netherlands: strawberry rusk breakfast
In Holland rusks are eaten with pleasure by people of all ages. “Beschuit” is a typical Dutch breakfast. Yummy looking yet easy to prepare, it is just round rusks with fresh strawberry slices on top. Usually there’s a thin coating of butter, too. A curious fact is that whenever a baby is born, the proud Dutch parents use to treat visitors or colleagues at work with such rusk goodies.
Italy: cappuccino mate
In the beginning of the 20th century rusks became widely popular in many Italian cities. Italians called them “healthy biscuits” and kept them in tins which maintained their fragrance and freshness. This made rusk a very traditional food. Still, most typical is to dip your rusk in a cup of cappuccino, tea or dessert wine such as Vin Santo (very popular in Tuscany).
Scandinavia: angel’s food
Scandinavian countries share a great mutual love for a rusk dessert. In Norway it is called “Peasant girl”, in Sweden – “Angel’s food”. The sweet treat is made of layers: at the bottom – mashed fruits like apples or plums; then a whipped cream layer; then a layer of rusk crumbs followed by a second layer of whipped cream and usually a thin layer of crumbs on top. Possible decorations include chocolate or shaved almonds. It is typically served in transparent glass bowls.
Japan: chocolate rusks
Tokyo in particular is crazy for home-made choco treats with rusk. Usually it is a simple formula: you get the rusks, you add chocolate pieces on top, you put in the oven for about 5 minutes until melted. Afterwards you need to put the rusks in a cool place or a fridge to harden. And voila!
India: cake rusk
People of India just love rusks. They define them as the “ultimate breakfast indulgence”. Rusks are usually enjoyed with milk tea which softens them, as well as with butter and savory herbs. Indians adore rusks so much that they have invented a great number of recipes for the so called “cake rusk” – a kind of tea rusk cookie!