Who’s got a sweet tooth?
Cuisines of the world have forever offered up sweets as part of our diverse diets. Our palates have been enticed by the confections and creations of master chefs and moms alike. From breakfast treats to fifth-course sweets, this list of the world’s most delicious desserts will most assuredly whet your appetite.
- French Macarons. Available in a kaleidoscope of colors, and traditional and contemporary flavors
- Churros. Exalted doughnuts found at fairs and on breakfast tables
- Sachertorte. A princely cake born of an apprentice’s skill
- Kheer. An austere dish made from humble ingredients
- Turkish Delight. A centuries-old sweet that made a lasting impression
- Cannoli. A perfect marriage of fried goodness and cheesy fillings
- Christmas Pudding. A holiday tradition with a steamy past
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Hello and welcome to Rosetta Stone TV! I’m Avantika Fraser. Today, we’re going to share some of our favorite desserts from around the world. No matter who you are, where you’re from, or what language you know, a delicious dessert speaks to all of us. But, dessert confections represent much more than just a sugar rush. Beyond satiating your own sweet tooth, they bring together family traditions, cultural celebrations, and joyous occasions.
10. Let’s start our delicious journey off with the round, smooth, brightly colored confections known as French macarons, which are two thin meringue cookies that sandwich a flavorful filling. When first created, the cookies were stuffed with preserves and spices, whereas today flavors range from the traditional (like ganache and vanilla buttercream) to the unusual (like blueberry olive oil, lemon basil, and green-apple coriander).
Macarons gained popularity over 150 years ago in Paris at the now iconic Ladurée pâtisserie, but their origin can be traced as far back as the fourteenth century.
9. Our next mouth-watering dessert is flan, also known as crème caramel, which is a soft caramel layer that tops a creamy egg custard. Flan is a popular dish throughout the world but most often associated with Spanish and Latin American cuisines. There are many regional variations of the preparation for the dish including eating it with dulce de leche; cooking it with coconut milk; and pouring a coffee, vanilla, or orange sauce on top of it.
8. It’s likely that if you’ve ever eaten our next dessert it’s been at a carnival or street fair. Churros are deep-fried strips of pastry dough rolled in sugar and cinnamon. Although the easy-to-carry treats are popular amusement-park snacks, they are actually traditionally eaten for breakfast—often dipped in hot chocolate or served with café con leche. Churros are a popular dessert in many parts of the world and can be eaten in many different ways. Mexican-style churros are often stuffed with custard or chocolate.
7. Speaking of chocolate, at number 7 we have the world’s most famous chocolate cake, the Sachertorte. The cake has two layers of dense sponge cake, with a thin layer of apricot jam underneath the dark chocolate icing. The recipe was created over 180 years ago for the prince of Austria by Franz Sacher, a 16-year-old apprentice to the prince’s head chef. Today, over 360,000 cakes are produced each year.
6. At number 6 we have the traditional South Asian dish known as kheer. Kheer is a rice pudding made with milk and sugar and flavored with cardamom, raisins, saffron, and nuts. It is an essential part of many Hindu and Muslim feasts, festivals, and special occasions such as weddings. Kheer is also often used as a religious offering in temples. It’s a dish with a rich cultural significance and considered an auspicious food to serve and eat.
5. Turkish delight is a traditional Turkish confection containing a variety of chopped nuts, including dates and pistachios, and bound by a gel traditionally flavored with rosewater. It’s packaged and eaten in small cubes covered in powdered sugar and is credited to an eighteenth-century Turkish confectioner. So why do we call it delight? The name was coined in the eighteenth century by a British traveler who loved the dessert so much he brought back boxfuls of the treat to his native country and declared it a Turkish delight!
4. At number 4, we have the cannoli, a traditional Sicilian pasty. Cannoli is a Sicilan word meaning little tube, which is exactly what they are. A tube-shaped shell of fried pastry dough, stuffed with a creamy filling usually containing ricotta or mascarpone cheese. Cannoli were historically prepared as a treat during the Carnevale season in Italy, but became popular in America in the early 1900s when a surge of Italians immigrated to the US.
3. Mango sticky rice is popular dish throughout Thailand and Southeast Asia. The dish is made from glutinous rice that is prepared with a thick coconut milk and cooked until it’s creamy. It’s then topped with fresh, slicked mangos when in season.
2. At number 2 we have Christmas pudding, which is a steamed or boiled pudding with dried fruits traditionally served during Christmas dinner. It’s said to have origins as far back as medieval England. The pudding is made of things that were once thought of as expensive or luxurious ingredients such as spices, brown sugar, and black treacle syrup. The mixture is then moistened with citrus juice and brandy, rum, and sherry as well as other ingredients. The mixture is then cooked for hours at a time. It is traditional for puddings to be made up to a year in advance of serving! The dish is then flambéed and served with a rich brandy-butter sauce. A common practice in some homes was to include a silver coin in the pudding mixture which was believed to bring wealth in the coming year to the person who found it.
1. As the saying goes, “there are few things more American than apple pie,” which is the dessert that takes our top spot. In actuality, the original apple-pie recipe came from England and was made with unsweetened apples and no sugar because sugar cost too much. Early on, English settlers brought apple pie making to America. The contemporary version of apple pie became a common food in America in the eighteenth century. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, apple pie became a symbol of American prosperity and national pride and is considered one of the top symbols of American culture.