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Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch: The Norwegian Churro

by Reuben Gutierrez

24 March 2013

I have been craving a churro since I saw all 57 churro carts at the Disneyland Resort last month (more on that another Sunday). Cinnamon and sugar bursts in every bite of this both soft and crispy snack. So last Tuesday after work, I journeyed to Epcot to join my friends for a limited time egg hunt with the hopes of highlighting the evening with a sweet and cinnamon reward. Epcot is the home of a pavilion that pays homage to creator of the sweet treat, so what better destination? Wrong.

The Mexico pavilion does not offer the churro most are familiar with. In lieu of the feet long fried dough treat, they offer churritos, little dough circles fried and prepared the same way as the much superior churro. Mexico's food and beverage locations offer quality food, they did not offer the traditional Disney parks churro I was expecting. My hopes and dreams of a churro were crushed. As my friends and I continued to look for a snack to close the evening, we decided the one place we can never go wrong: Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe.

I cannot write enough about this place. While only my second article exploring this fantastic bakeshop (and several hundredth time visiting), I foresee more stories and visits in the weeks to come. This is simply because not only does Kringla offer delicious desserts, it continues to epitomize quality products and service Disney is known for. Unlike the other popular bakery in World Showcase, Walt Disney World owns and operates Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe, ensuring the Disney seal of freshness and quality, thus resulting in repeat visitors.

Fresh from my sudden depression of missed churros, I threw myself at an old favorite: the School Bread. This sweet, custard filled roll topped with coconut and more custard is a genuine traditional Norwegian favorite. Norwegian children often found a roll of school bread packed with their lunch for school. Also, the bread is a common baked good used at bake sales.

Norway bakery

In my experience, this pastry more often than not becomes an instant favorite to anyone who tries it. The bread itself is a soft and fluffy sweet roll enhanced with cardamom, a strongly aromatic and fragrant sweet spice originating from South Asia and heavily used in Nordic baking. Though the bread portion of the school bread is delicious by itself, the vanilla custard filling really completes the pastry, adding a moist and creamy component. Toasted and glazed coconut flakes garnish the dessert and add an additional exotic flavor.

After brightening my spirits with a school bread, another treat caught my eye: the Lefse. We read on the menu that this long, rolled up pastry was actually potato flat bread rolled with a sweet cinnamon sugar butter spread. My friend Ashley had commented that it actually seemed like the Norwegian version of a churro. Were my evening snack dreams suddenly made true?

Norway Bakery

Norway Bakery

I ordered one, but it looked like I was getting two upon receiving the Lefse. Lefse actually is a lot like the Norwegian version of a churro in that it's a long pastry with a sweet cinnamon flavor. My friend Aaron had said he remembers eating a longer version of the pastry in his youth, so I suspect what looked like two pastries was one cut in half to fit in the box. Still having two pastries in a box is a nice surprise and terrific value, since the dessert is already priced at $1.99, preposterously low for a Disney treat! While not the crispy, doughy fried goodness that is a churro, the Lefse was a suitable substitute. It actually is used a lot like a tortilla is used in Latin cuisine, as both a savory or sweet wrapper. Lefse is a broad term for the flatbread itself and the lefse served at Kringla is commonly known as tynnlefse (thin lefse) in Norway. I enjoyed it for what it was, though served cold, I wondered how it would taste if warm, like a churro.

Our Norwegian snack adventure was rounded out with the crowd-pleasing waffle. While waffles are popular worldwide, they are indeed most popular in Belgium as well as Scandinavia. The Norwegian waffle is no different than most, though here at Kringla, a hot waffle is folded over with a strawberry preserves filling. What I like most about this waffle is the ensured freshness as whenever ordered, it is baked fresh and delivered hot off the iron, enhancing the goodness of any waffle dining experience.

Norway Bakery

Norway Bakery

Most do not think of Norway when looking for a global sample of baked goods. While I have not yet fulfilled my churro craving, I certainly am happy to snack at Kringla in the meanwhile. The quality and freshness associated with Kringla Bakeri og Kafe helps to bring Norway's fantastic pastries out of obscurity and into the hearts, minds, and bellies of snackers around the Disney World. With still a half dozen more Norwegian pastries to try, the churro can continue to wait its turn for my next snacking adventure.




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