Verdens Beste Kake
Scandinavian Specialties, $3.75
Too many hours of cooking shows have trained me to equate quality with complexity: flavors aren't flavors unless they're squired by at least a dozen partners, textures aren't worth their weight unless they're tussling against crunchy toppings, runny reductions, and chunky compotes.
This might be why a particular item at Scandinavian Specialities pulled me up short. Verdens Beste Kake translates to "World's Best Cake," but it wasn't the boast alone that got to me: it was the combination of superlative and simplicity. As the menu sums it up, Verdens Best Kake is no more or less than "Almond meringue with vanilla cream." Baked in large sheets, the crunchy almond-topped meringue becomes the "bread" for this simple sandwich, slathered with at least an inch of thick, cool, sweetened cream.
The cake first appeared in northern Norway in the 1930s, and was then known as Kvæfjordkaka, after the local fjord. From there, the recipe gained ground and popularity, earning first its impressive new name, and then, in 2002, recognition as the official cake of Norway.
6719 15th Ave NW