Be it the ubiquitous ice-cream or the rare Mazapan from Spain, desserts are something that simply needs to be there. An entire array of dishes greet a person when they need to make a choice regarding the dish they would like to finish their meal with, and many are at their wits’ end – just at the sheer number and variety!
A look at some of the most lip-licking, utterly delightful desserts wouldn’t be much of a bad pastime… Here are some of the most delicious desserts from all around the world – this, of course, is just one tiny fraction of the tip of the iceberg!
Apfelstrudel, or Apple Strudel, as it is more commonly known, is one dish people just cannot not have when in Vienna. The Viennese dessert is actually a traditional Strudel, which is in turn a layered pastry famous in Austria. The oldest strudel recipe is more than four hundred years old, and ever since has been through innumerable varieties and metamorphoses, but the essence has stood the test of time – and the popularity of the traditional Apple Strudel is a glowing reminder of that fact.
Melktert, South Africa
Milk Tart in Afrikaans, Melktert is a sweet pastry crust filled with milk, flour, sugar and eggs. And once whipped up in the correct consistency, the filling is nothing short of a dream… Melktert receives its name from the strong milky taste that it gets, thanks to a high ratio of milk is to eggs. The light texture of the tart makes it extremely delectable. And when in South Africa, go delve into the perfect Melktert!
Dulce de leche, Argentina
The literal meaning of ‘Dulce de leche’ is candy (made) of milk. And Dulce de leche is no misnomer for this dessert. The sweet dish is prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk, and the dessert gets its unforgettable taste from caramelized sugar. It is very popular in South American countries, and is believed to have originated from Argentina.
Also known by the commoner and easier-to-pronounce names Chimney Cake or Stove Cake, Kurtoscalacs is a Hungarian pastry which – true to its name – resembles a chimney. The delicacy is a helix-shaped pastry usually flavoured with sweet spices, most commonly cinnamon. Kurtoscalacs is the oldest Hungarian pastry and arguably the most delicious traditional one too!
When in Japan, this is one dessert that you just can’t afford to miss! Anmitsu has been a popular Japanese sweet dish for several decades now, and retains its position as one of the most delicious desserts of Japan. The dish consists of small cubes of agar (red algae or seaweed) jelly, sweet azuki bean paste, boiled peas and fruit slices. The ‘mitsu’ in the Anmitsu is sweet black syrup which is poured on top of the dish before eating.
Pavlova, New Zealand
The love and affection that goes into the preparation of Pavlova is evident from the fact that this dessert is a national dish of two countries – New Zealand and Australia. Named after the renowned dancer Anna Pavlova, this meringue-based dessert is one that is loved for its simplicity and ease of preparation. Despite Australia and New Zealand still being at loggerheads regarding the origin of the dessert, researches have now shown that Pavlova was born in New Zealand. The dessert has a crisp crust with a soft and light interior.
Rabri, North India
Sweet Rabri is a dish that is prepared by boiling milk on low heat till the consistency is thick and the hue of the milk changes from white to slight pinkish. Sugar, spices and nuts are then added to the milk and Rabri is made. The sweet dish is one of the most famous ones in the northern part of India and cities like Varanasi are known for the variety of Rabri that they serve.
Pastel de nata, Portugal
This Portugese egg tart pastry has travelled to places and carved a nice niche for itself wherever the Portugese have settled down. The shape of the pastry cup and the filling of the Pastel de nata have been subject to many alterations, but Pastel de nata essentially still remains the same.
The New York form of Cheesecake is one of the most delicious types available under the sun. Cheesecake is an extremely popular and extremely common dessert, almost ubiquitous in Europe and America. The dish consists of a topping of soft and fresh cheese and a crust of biscuit, spongecake or pastry. Cheesecakes are found in many flavours and have an entire range of toppings at their disposal. Once you’ve decided that you want to have a Cheesecake, the toughest task is to choose which one to have!
The name of this Italian dessert means ‘Pick me up’, and believe me, one spoon of this immensely delicious soft cake can make you fly – such is the taste! Tiramisu is made of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, flavoured with cocoa and liquor and with layers of whipped egg yolks and mascarpone cheese in between. The melt-in-the-mouth quality of Tiramisu is something that is much loved, and one is left hankering for more!