Around the World in 10 Desserts
There's something about summertime that brings out the sweet tooth in all of us. From frothy milkshakes to towering pillars of ice cream, vacation season always has us reaching for the next delicacy. But we bet you haven't reached for one of these — yet. Join us as we explore the world through ooey-gooey, lip-smacking desserts.
1. Gelato (Italy)
Speaking of ice cream, have you ever savored homemade gelato from a street corner in Italy? This dense frozen treat is whipped up with milk instead of cream, making for a more flavorful delicacy. With nearly 37,000 gelato shops in Italy, it's only a matter of time until you are drawn in by the shops' colorful, eye-catching displays.
2. Gulab Jamun (India)
This isn't your average drive-thru donut. These deep-friend dough balls are dipped in a sugary, sticky syrup flavored with cardamom seeds, rosewater or saffron, and is often served at special events like birthdays and weddings. You'll sometimes see it served with a dainty side of yogurt, but we're betting you'll pop these bite-sized balls of deliciousness into your mouth by the handful as soon as you get your first taste.
3. Suspiro de Limeña (Peru)
Named for its sweet and light flavor, this dessert's name means “the sigh of a woman”—yes, it's that good. This classic Peruvian recipe is made with dulce de leche (or manjar blanco in Peru) and topped with stiff meringue peaks crafted with port wine. It's so intensely sweet, so exquisite, you just might sigh with delight when that first spoonful of confection hits your lips.
4. Chocolate Soufflé (France)
If you're looking for a rich, decadent treat, look no further than France's Chocolate Soufflé. It's essentially a light chocolate cake with an ooey-gooey-oh-so-delectable chocolate filling. To top it off, the French infuse the dessert with Grand Marnier, which gives it a mild citrusy flavor.
5. Belgian Waffles (Belgium)
What we've adopted as the Belgian Waffle in North America cannot be compared to the original found in Belgium. This dessert-turned-breakfast item is more commonly known as the Brussels Waffle or Liège Waffle in Belgium and is eaten as a street food — not as the soggy concoction saturated in butter and syrup that we know in the West. The light, crisp, deep-pocketed Brussels Waffle is most often dusted with confectioner's sugar and that's it. The melt-in-your-mouth wonder doesn't need anything else, whereas the Liège Waffle offers a richer, denser, sweeter taste thanks to the caramelized sugar on the waffle's edges.
6. N'dizi No Kastad (Zanzibar)
From a distance, it looks like a fleet of ants attacking a mound of sand, but fear not! This banana custard dessert is made with a delicious vanilla pudding and flavored with sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and peanuts. In this case, it appears the pastry chef sprinkled on some chocolate shavings to top off the look.
7. Pavlova (Australia and New Zealand)
In the outback, this light and airy dessert is popular among mates in Australia and New Zealand for its marshmallow-like texture. Named after Russian ballerina, Anne Pavolva, who visited Australia in the 1920s, this meringue-based dessert is surrounded by a crisp crust and is usually topped with fruit — think kiwi, passion fruit, blueberries, raspberries, pomegranates or strawberries ... mmm!
8. Dobos Torte (Hungary)
Commence mouth-watering. This Hungarian five-tiered sponge cake is layered with chocolate butter cream, flavored with lemon and topped with caramel. And it doesn't stop there: the outer edges of the cake are coated with ground hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts or almonds. The alternate layers of sponge cake and chocolate or mocha cream (there are over 100 variations of this pastry) guarantee a party in your mouth — every time.
9. Alfajores (Argentina)
It's a cookie. It's a sandwich. It's a variation of the whoopie pie? This popular Argentinean dessert sandwiches dulce de leche filling between two soft shortbread cookies and is often serve with a side of chocolate dipping sauce, powered sugar or coconut. Some are even coated in the aforementioned confections. What's not to love?
10. Castle Pudding (England)
We'll wrap it up with a royal dessert: Castle Pudding. This centuries-old delicacy is traditionally baked in a dariole mold, giving it that towering volcano look. Which is appropriate, given that this dessert explodes with flavor thanks to the generous dose of strawberry jam that cascades down the sides. Seconds anyone?
While most of us won't be country-hopping anytime soon, there are plenty of recipes available online for those who want to try their hand at imitating the aforementioned international desserts. Get started by stocking up on all your sugars and spices at Save-a-Lot!