As the holidays near, you’ll likely be enjoying some sweet treats. But Winston-Salem boasts a truly unique dessert known as the Moravian cookie. The religious group from Eastern Europe settled here in the 1700s and brought over their traditions and customs. Today, there’s a culinary trail devoted to the culture around the city where you can see how they lived and how their ancestors have carried on the legacy.
Start your visit at Old Salem Museums & Gardens, where you can learn from museum docents portraying the original Moravians. In addition to the exhibits featuring woodworkers, gardeners, and craftsmen, there’s the Winkler Bakery, a 200+-year-old Moravian bakery featuring their original wood fire oven. Grab a free sample before purchasing some to take home as gifts for your friends and family.
Another must-see stop on the Moravian cookie trail is Mrs. Hanes’ Moravian Cookie, pictured above. The family-run operation in the suburbs of Winston-Salem allows tours of their facilities. You can watch as bakers work, rolling out the dough and punching out their signature thin cookies. They hand package over 110,000 pounds of dough each year in their lemon, sugar, and traditional Moravian ginger flavors. Mrs. Hanes makes many other flavors, and ships nationwide, so it’s no wonder they were chosen as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2010.
You can also find the cookies at Dewey’s Bakery, which has been open since 1930 with locations in town and the Reynolda Manor. The company also makes sugar cakes and cheese straws. For something totally different, try the Moravian Porter from Foothills Brewing Tasting Room.
So the next time you’re in Winston-Salem, be sure to stop by one of these bakeries to enjoy a cookie you won’t find anywhere else!