They say travel broadens the mind, but when there's cake involved other body parts are also at risk of broadening.
Sugar lurks around every street corner, particularly since the diabolical cupcake revolution began foisting its caloric concoctions on an unsuspecting public.
While cupcakes might be a passing fad, some dessert offerings seem impervious to change.
In a few lucky corners of the world, pastry makers have been perfecting their creations for generations, reaching the point where they're works of art.
Here are nine of the world's oldest pastry shops -- tried and trusted by centuries of cake-hungry visitors.
Hofbackerei Edegger-Tax (Graz, Austria)
This bakery has been coming up with the goods since the 14th century and has been at its current location since 1880.
The ornately carved, arched wooden doors and storefront crowned by the Austro-Hungarian imperial coat of arms -- a gold two-headed eagle holding a sword and a globe above the door -- attest to its age and popularity with local royalty.
This was, after all, a "Purveyor to the Imperial and Royal Court."
Its traditional Sissi Busserl cookies, named after Empress Elizabeth of Austria, are worth trying.
Celiac sufferers are in luck -- the bakery might be ancient but it's keeping up with the times by offering gluten-free products.
Hofbackerei Edegger-Tax, Hofgasse 6, Graz;. +43 316 83 02 300
La Maison Stohrer (Paris)
Continuing the theme of royalty with a fondness for fat, Paris's oldest pastry shop, La Maison Stohrer, can claim regal connections via Poland.
In 1725, when Louis XV married Polish princess Marie Leszczynska, his new bride brought along her father's pastry chef, Nicolas Stohrer, to Versailles.
Five years later Stohrer opened this pastry shop on Rue Montorgueil in Paris, and it's been serving royalty ever since -- Britain's Queen Elizabeth II stopped in during her 2004 state visit to France.
Commoners are welcome too.
Stohrer is credited with inventing "baba au rhum" -- a booze-soaked brioche named after a character in "The Thousand and One Nights" -- that's still a popular choice.
It's worth breaking eye contact from Stohrer's crammed pastry cases to check out the frescoes created by artist Paul Baudry in 1860.
Maison Stohrer, 51 Rue Montorgueil; +33 1 42 33 38 20
Pietro Romanengo fu Stefano (Genova, Italy)
This ancient cafe is heavy on the confectionery and famous for its candied fruit.
The company was founded in 1780, opening the oldest of its two shops on Via Soziglia in 1814.
Not much has changed since.
Those visiting in May and June will witness Pietro Romanengo fu Stefano's staff engaged in annual labors to separate the petals used to produce the cafe's celebrated rose syrup and rose sugar.