- Pastries look different depending on where you are in the world.
- From pan dulces to kanelbullar to cornetti – there are different favourite pastries in different countries.
- Different countries also have different traditions involving their classic pastries.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Places across the globe each have their own baking traditions which means they each also have their own unique bakeries. Some bakeries more commonly sell certain types of treats while others can offer a wide variety of sweets, savoury breads, and more.
From boulangeries in France to panaderías in Mexico, here’s what bakeries look like in 15 places around the world.
France is famous for its bakeries, which sell everything from fresh baguettes to croissants.
There are two types of French bakeries. Pâtisseries, or pastry shops, sell desserts such as éclairs and fruit tarts, while boulangeries specialize in freshly baked breads, like baguettes and pains de campagne (a traditional loaf with a thick crust).
A boulangerie will also typically offer various kind of viennoiseries ― flaky pastries named for their origins in Vienna, Austria ― from croissants to pains au chocolat.
In Mexico, bakeries offer multiple varieties of sweet breads.
As in France, there are separate bakeries for bread and pastries in Mexico: panaderías and pastelerías. But both types of shops sell sweet breads (pan dulces). Varieties range from shell-shaped conchas, which are characterised by their sweet crust, to breads for special occasions, like pan de muerto (“bread of the dead”).
As far as pastries go, treats such as churros and orejas, also known as palmiers, are favourites.
Italian bakeries offer sweet and savoury specialties.
Whether you’re looking for treats like cornetti ― the Italian iteration of the croissant ― and biscotti or want some good, flat focaccia (or schiacciata), you can take your pick of sweet and savoury offerings at an Italian forno.
From Bavarian pretzels to cinnamon snails, German baked goods are one-of-a-kind.
When you picture baked goods from Germany, the most quintessential are large, Bavarian-style pretzels. Other traditional items, however, include marble cake (marmorkuchen), cinnamon rolls (zimtschnecken, which translates to “cinnamon snails”), and sweet treats like quark balls (quarkbällchen).
Polish bakeries sell items ranging from jelly-filled doughnuts to cream cakes.
Bakeries in Poland sell sweet treats such as paczki (jelly-filled doughnuts), cream cakes called kremówki, and wuzetka, a chocolate cream pie named for Warsaw’s W-Z route.
Vienna, Austria’s capital, is known for its pastries.
Viennese pastries are world famous. Some of the most iconic confections include Sachertorte, a dense chocolate sponge cake layered with apricot jam and coated in ganache, and Apfelstrudel (apple strudel), a tasty combination of apples and thin, filo-like pastry.
You’ll find more than baklava at a Turkish bakery.
Baklava ― a pastry comprising layers of filo dough loaded with chopped nuts and honey ― is one of the most common Turkish baked goods. In Turkish bakeries, you’ll also typically find items such as sweet tahini bread and gözleme, a type of savoury flatbread.
Baked goods are central to the Swedish ritual of fika.
Fika is a social ritual that revolves around drinking coffee accompanied by a pastry. From kanelbullar (cinnamon buns) to mazariner (almond tarts), Swedes make some delectable baked goods to pair with their caffeine fix.
In the UK, classic baked treats range from a Victoria sandwich to shortbread.
“The Great British Bake-Off” introduced audiences around the world to classic British desserts such as Victoria sandwich ― a layered confection made by sandwiching jam between sponge cake ― and a citrusy loaf called lemon drizzle cake.
Bakeries in the UK also sell treats such as Bakewell tarts (which are comprised of pastry shells filled with jam and frangipane), scones, and shortbread.
Japanese bakeries sell a range of sweet buns.
In Japan, traditional bakeries sell a range of sweet buns. The popular bun, anpan, is typically filled with red bean paste. Dating back to the 19th century, it was invented at Kimuraya bakery in Tokyo’s Ginza neighbourhood.
Another common variety, melonpan, is characterised by its cookie crust and melon-like appearance.
There’s more to Israeli baking than pita bread.
You’re probably familiar with pita (which forms the wrap for your falafel sandwich) and challah (a sweet, fluffy bread which is enjoyed on Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath).
But in Israel, you’ll also find baked goods like malawach, a Yemeni flatbread, and krantz, the Israeli version of the Eastern European yeast cake called babka.
US bakeries offer treats like cookies, brownies, and cupcakes.
Throughout the US, you can find bakeries specially in many regional and international cuisines. But when it comes to typical American baked goods, most shops sell treats such as cookies, brownies, and cupcakes.
Macarons, hybrid creations, like cronuts, and regional desserts like whoopie pies are also popular.
Some iconic Australian baked goods include lamingtons and caramel slices.
One of the most iconic Australian baked goods is the lamington, a chocolate-dipped sponge cake coated in shredded coconut. Other classic Aussie confections include caramel slices (caramel sandwiched between chocolate and a biscuit) and ANZAC biscuits.
The latter, a sweet biscuit made with oats and coconut, was originally invented as a bread substitute for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I.
Filled buns are a staple of Chinese bakeries.
Chinese bakeries are known for selling flavorful buns filled with everything from roast pork (char siu) to ube (purple yam).
Moroccan pastries range from biscotti-like confections to deep-fried sesame cookies.
From biscotti-like fekkas to chebakia – deep-fried cookies made with sesame and honey that are enjoyed during Ramadan – Morocco has plenty of traditional pastries to offer.
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