Today’s curious quirk is dessert; a very alcoholic dessert in Lithuania, specifically. On a recent girl friend weekend break in Vilnius, we decided to visit the Television Tower, one of the tallest buildings in all of Eastern Europe, to get our bearings.

The Television Tower has a revolving panorama platform and restaurant, the Paukščių takas (Milky Way). We thought we might as well have lunch here and ordered a variety of local dishes. Ellen was particularly intrigued by one of the desserts; it mentioned liqueur. She adores ice cream with blackberries and egg liqueur – and eagerly awaited something like that. It was something all right. At the end of the meal, everyone got desserts but Ellen and it was pointed out that her Lithuanian dessert was the selection of nalewkas that was set at the table at the beginning of our meal.

Nalewka, as it turns out, is a very strong liqueur (sometimes as strong as 75 %), usually aged – made on vodka infused with fruits, berries, herbs or spices. The dessert comprised six large glasses, served on a flat ‘rolling pin’. (Later, I noticed this rolling pin on the menu in many other restaurants in town, often listed under ‘dessert’).

Now, there’s no getting around it, alcohol is expensive in Norway. I’ve no doubt many of our fellow countrymen would be overjoyed at the sight of this generous offering of liquid dessert, and at an extremely affordable price, too. Sadly, all this boozy goodness was wasted on our particular group, as you can see. This is all we could manage between the three of us.

World at a Glance is a series of short articles here on Sophie’s World, with a single photo – portraying curious, evocative, happy, sad or wondrous, unexpected little encounters.